May has been a good month for Marvel superheroes, with “Captain America: Civil War” still riding high at the box office and “X-Men: Apocalypse” coming to theaters this weekend. In “Civil War” we saw our favorite heroes test their limits and battle each other, and in “Apocalypse” we’ll watch the X-Men literally try to stop the end of the world. Each of these films seems to up the ante in terms of epic action set pieces and overall scope, and I thought it might be fun to look back over these movies and rank some of my favorite moments.
10. Nick Fury’s first end credits scene from “Iron Man”
Although I didn’t fully comprehend it at the time, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury’s appearance during the end credits of “Iron Man” was a huge deal for Marvel fans. When Fury told Iron Man he’d come to discuss the “Avenger Initiative,” it offered a hint of Marvel’s long-term plans for the franchise. It’s fun to look back and see how far the Marvel Cinematic Universe has come since they first planted the seeds for a super-powered team-up.
9. Fourth-wall breaking expressway fight from “Deadpool”
As a whole, I actually didn’t love the “Deadpool” movie as much as I had been hoping to, but the fourth-wall breaking fight on the expressway is violent, outrageous, and tons of fun. Ryan Reynolds nails Deadpool’s twisted sense of humor, and his witty quips punctuate this great action sequence.
8. Tiny train set fight from “Ant-Man”
Although I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from “Ant-Man,” I found I really, really enjoyed this movie, and my favorite moment was the fight between a miniaturized Ant-Man and Yellowjacket on the toy train set. It’s a good action sequence but also quite humorous since it’s on such a small scale. The giant Thomas the Tank Engine crashing through the window is pretty funny too.
7. Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock in “Spider-Man 2”
Arguably the best of the Spider-Man films, “Spider-Man 2” features a battle between Spider-Man and Doc Ock. Doc Ock made for a great villain because he didn’t start out the movie as a psychotic mastermind bent on world domination. He’s a well-meaning scientist whose creation tragically takes control of his mind and ruins his life.
6. Magneto submarine lift from “X-Men: First Class”
“X-Men: First Class” is actually my favorite X-Men film. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy did a great job portraying the younger versions of Magneto and Professor X as the characters come to terms with their mutant powers. My favorite part of the movie is when Magneto finally masters his ability to manipulate metal and raises a giant submarine from the ocean (it’s also a great musical moment from the film’s score).
5. Avengers (finally!) team up in “The Avengers”
It takes the Avengers quite a bit of screen time to team up and actually fight the bad guys, but it’s definitely worth the wait. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye defend New York City from Loki’s intergalactic army in a big budget, action-packed battle.
4. Hydra reveal in “Captain America: The Winter Solider”
In a shocking twist we didn’t see coming, Captain America learns that for decades, Hydra has been slowing infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D. and now the organization is rotting from within. This revelation shakes the Cap to his core, and sets up his distrust for the government and regulation of superheroes, which plays a big role in “Civil War.”
3. Team Stark vs. Team Cap in “Captain America: Civil War”
And speaking of “Civil War,” Team Stark vs. Team Cap is one of my favorite MCU battles. We’ve watched these heroes fighting before, but now we see what happens when they turn on each other. It’s an intense fight that’s deeply personal and sometimes hard to watch, because we’ve come to love all these characters. We also get to see some new heroes in action (or at least new to the MCU): Spider-Man and Black Panther.
2. Guardians take control of the Infinity Stone from “Guardians of the Galaxy”
There are so many great moments in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” from Star-Lord’s cassette tape of ’60s and ’70s tunes that play throughout the movie to the surprisingly heartfelt friendship between a talking raccoon and a walking tree. Yet my personal favorite is at the very end of the film, when the Guardians truly become the Guardians for the first time. Star-Lord takes hold of the Infinity Stone, and as it starts to tear him apart, the other Guardians join hands with him, and together they harness the power of the stone. It’s one of my favorite moments in the film score, also.
1. “I am Iron Man” from “Iron Man”
Iron Man is my all-time favorite superhero and my all-time favorite superhero film. Robert Downey Jr. is just perfect in this role, and his best moment may be the final one in the film. Up until this point, we’d seen superheroes like Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man work so hard to conceal their secret identities. Tony Stark, however, couldn’t care less. At a press conference, he reveals his own secret identity, telling the world, “I am Iron Man” — and daring the world’s super-villains to come and try to stop him.
So, what are your personal favorite Marvel superhero movie moments? I’d love to hear what you think!