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The Definitive Ranking of The Marvel Cinematic Universe’ Scientists, Based On Lack Of Responsibility

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In real life, being a scientist involves a lot of hard work, long hours, meticulous attention to detail, and above all else, endless safety precautions. Seriously, just try to go into a lab without the proper eyewear — it is SUPER not allowed.

But in the movies, Carol’s infamous goggles just aren’t very glamorous, and we find our favorite characters doing a lot of stuff that no professional scientist would seriously attempt. Hypnotizing your patients into becoming suicidal zombies? Go for it! Injecting yourself with an untested formula? What could go wrong?

So many Marvel heroes and villains alike ignore the conventions we all learned in high school chemistry class, and usually it tends to go pretty badly for them — which is great for US as fans of these stories, of course! Here are the most egregious examples, ranked from most to least responsible:

Helen Cho
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The mere fact that we know nothing about this “world-renowned geneticist” going into “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” is pretty good evidence that she knows how to keep her head down. Good job, Dr. Cho.

Erik Selvig
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Maybe next time you get possessed by a Norse God who messes with your brain, just sit a couple of adventures out for a bit. Otherwise you might end up running around Stonehenge naked with a bunch of weird portal-detecting equipment, and nobody wants that.

Jemma Simmons
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Jemma is the most competent S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist there is — but she’s also NOT a medical doctor and doesn’t actually have any training in that particular field, so she really shouldn’t be the one who has to patch everyone up. Still, she hasn’t killed anyone yet, right?

Leo Fitz
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Poor Fitzy has gone through so much over the past two seasons of “Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and is still standing, which is impressive in and of itself — although as much as we love him, he probably should be in physical rehab and not currently facing up against meta-humans on a weekly basis.

Abraham Erskine
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When you think about it, Project Rebirth should NOT have worked — but not only was Erskine able to create a super soldier serum that did exactly what it was supposed to, but he found the best person for the job in tiny Steve Rogers. Now, if only everyone weren’t trying to copy his methods all the time…

Jane Foster
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Overall Jane is pretty grounded, but in “Thor: The Dark World” she committed the cardinal sin of all science fiction scientists: touching the big mystical thing you come across in a fancy space portal without any backup. You DESERVED to get possessed by the Aether for that one, girl.

Whoever Decided To Drive Chemicals Through Hell’s Kitchen That One Time
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Okay, so we don’t know if a scientist was necessarily responsible for the decision that blinded Matt Murdock, but c’moooon. There’s got to be a better way to move radioactive waste through an incredibly populated area of Manhattan other than the back of a truck.

Maya Hansen
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Sure, let’s team up with a dangerous weapons designer to get back at one night stand, and then ask that one night stand for help in perfecting the research that’s currently ruining his life. What could go wrong?

Henry Pym
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Except for somehow managing to lose the Ant-Man suit to a rival CEO and hiring a burglar to get it back, so far Hank isn’t as irresponsible a scientist as his comics history would suggest. Of course, he also created Ultron in the comics, so he’d need to be REALLY terrible in the MCU to top that.

Calvin Zabo
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Here are the three things you must know as a scientist: 1) don’t ever test your own formulas on yourself; 2) don’t ever test your own formulas on yourself. 3) don’t ever test your own formulas on yourself. Zabo did, and now he’s a super murder-y person to be around. Don’t be that guy.

Armin Zola
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Arguably Zola is worse than Red Skull (we’ll get to him in a second), because he’s the one who created all of HYDRA’s weapons and commits countless crimes against humanity to further his own scientific accomplishments. But, hey… it worked. Dude stayed pretty below the radar even after he died, which means that he must have been doing something right. Not, you know, being an ethnical person, but SOMEthing.

Ivan Vanko
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Let’s face it, Vanko’s revenge plan was pretty trite. Maybe instead of attacking Iron Man in public with your arc reactor exoskeleton, you could find some evidence that the Starks ruined your family name and use THAT against him?

Johann Fennhoff
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Generally speaking, therapists are not supposed to compel their patients to put themselves in life-threatening situations via hypnosis. The American Medical Association frowns on that behavior.

Johann “Red Skull” Schmidt
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As we’ve established, testing formulas on yourself is a GIANT science no-no. Of course, Schmidt is so obsessed with becoming more than human that he was bound to jeopardize his own safety at some point — and aside from his new Cinnamon Red Hots complexion, he basically got the results he wanted. So there’s that, I guess. But he’s still a noseless Nazi, so he still makes the shortlist

Aldrich Killian
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Accidentally exploding your super serum test subjects and then covering it up with a fake terrorist organization is maybe not a good way to conduct business.

Howard Stark

Bless Stark Sr. for TRYING to keep his terrifying nightmare inventions in a locked vault away from prying eyes, but he probably should have just destroyed them… or, you know, never invented them in the first place. It certainly would have saved Agent Carter a lot of trouble.

Bruce Banner

Red Skull might be a Nazi, but that at least explains why he’s so preoccupied with turning himself into a superhuman specimen; bro’s clearly got some issues he’s compensating for. Banner, however, isn’t an egocentric at all — he’s almost the complete opposite. So what’s his excuse for testing his own formula on himself? No wonder “The Other Guy” is so mad all the time, he’s frustrated by your lack of workplace safety.

Tony Stark

Stark would probably already be pretty high on this list as it is — he generally tends to play fast and loose with rules, which doesn’t really lend itself well to the scientific method — but in creating Ultron he also manages to put the entire world in peril, which is reaaaaally not great.
Check out how the Avengers manage to fix Tony’s massive mistakes when “Age of Ultron” arrives in theaters on May 1!

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