30. Attack at Campus
Movie The Incredible Hulk
Moment: General Ross and his forcers corner Bruce Banner. Of course their plans do go as they would like as The Hulk proves to be unstoppable.
Why It Stands Out: I never fully understood why The Incredible Hulk got as much hate as it did. It gave me the Hulk action I always wanted starting with this scene. Yes it’s a little too video gamey. Fighting a array of enemies that progressively get more powerful, but I still enjoy it. Plus at the time the Emil Blonsky vs Hulk fight game great faith in the upcoming Captain America movie. Not to mention the moment Blonsky gets kick by Hulk into a great—gruesome and hilarious.
29. Iron Man is Born
Movie: Iron Man
Moment: Tony Stark is being held captive by the terrorist group The Ten Rings. They are forcing him to make weapons for their own use, but he is secretly designing armor for himself. Time has run out and he must now make his escape in his new Iron Man Armor.
Why It Stands Out: This was a huge moment for Marvel’s Movie Studios. The very first time we get to see not only Iron Man, but a superhero shown through their vision. On their first trip up to the plate they hit it out of the park. There is something about the bulking original Iron Man armor that gives it a unique charm. This also set the tone for Marvel’s action sequences. Making sure to stop for a moment a comedy during all the gunfire and explosions.
28. Portal Battle
Movie: Thor: The Dark Word
Moment: Thor has his final showdown with Malekith on the streets of London. The rules of time and space are thrown out of whack as random portals transport anything they touch across galaxies and dimensions.
Why It Stands Out: Although I did enjoy the first Thor it did lack an epic action set piece. Here we finally get one. The portal aspect kept you guessing to what could happen next. It was thrilling, well designed, and even had time for a few jokes or two. Thor having to catch the subway is one moment that especially stood out.
Movie: Iron Man
Moment: While in Afghanistan Tony Stark is showing off his latest tech—the Jericho missile that will revolutionize the war on terror. On his way back from the demonstration his Humvee convoy is attacked, and Tony Stark is nearly killed.
Why It Stands Out: I will admit that I am somewhat cheating here. Technically these are two separate moments, that are shown out of sequence in the movie. But this is my list so I can cheat if I want to. This opening sequence was vital in Iron Man and Marvel’s success. It shows the humorous side of Tony Stark and what a charismatic actor Robert Downey Jr. can be. Tony Stark in all his glory, and right before his life is changed forever.
26. “I’m Always Angry”
Movie: The Avengers
Moment: Bruce Banner slowly walks towards an gigantic alien creature. After being told it is perfect time for him to get angry and release the Hulk. He responds with, “That’s My Secret, I’m Always Angry”. Quickly turning into Hulk and taking out the creature with one well-placed punch.
Why It Stands Out: Of all the lines from The Avengers this may be the most quoted. I’ve always wondered why that is, and I think the secret lies with Mark Ruffalo’s delivery. The nonchalant way he says it juxtaposed with the big moment that follows gives it a sarcastic edge.
25. Homo Sapiens and Their Guns
Moment: After capturing Rogue from the train station a group of police officers have a shown down with Magneto. Showing his power Magneto takes their guns and points them straight at their heads.
Why It Stands Out: It starts with Ian McKellen’s great delivery in one of my personal favorite lines, “Homo Sapiens and Their Guns”. His discontent for humanity comes out in those few words. Also the image of a bullet slowly burning a hole in a police officer’s forehead has stuck in my mind since the first time I saw it.
24. Vampire Rave
Moment: What starts as a normal underground rave turns out to be a secret haven for vampires. As they begin to snack on their unexpected human pray a shadowy figure appears. Blade begins to lay waste to all the vampires in the only way he can.
Why It Stands Out: This goes back to where it all started—the very first scene of the first real Marvel movie. If you ask anyone to point to a moment in the Blade franchise you can almost gurantee it will always be this fight sequence. Some of the special effects may not completely stand up to today’s standards, but the energy has remained.
23. Magneto’s Origin
Moment: During Germany’s occupation of Poland we see the all too familiar scene of a child being ripped away from his family. As this child reaches out to his family he begins to manipulate the dgate until he is eventually knocked out cold.
Why It Stands Out: It is easy to under estimate how gutsy it is to begin a brand new comic book franchise with the Holocaust. This summer tent pole film, which came out well before comic book movies where the norm, starts with an ultra-serious tone. It added immediate weight to the film, and showed comic books were more than spandex and superpowers. They can allegorical representations of our greatest real life struggles. This is also the only moment on this list that appears in two separate movies. X-Men and then again in X-Men: First Class.
22. “I don’t like Bullies”
Movie: Captain America: First Avenger
Moment: Dr. Abraham Erskine sits down with Steve Rogers to see why he is so dedicated to fighting for his country. Roger replies to his inquiry by informing him of his fundamental issue with Germany. He doesn’t like bullies.
Why It Stands Out: With a name like Captain America it can be easy to display the character as this no nonsense patriot who only thinks country first. This moment sold me on Chris Evans’s take on Steve Rogers and made me realize the writers got what makes Captain America such a great character. It showed they realized Steve Rogers is not a mindless patriot, but a man who despises injustice in any form. First and foremost he is a great man.
21. Air Force One Mid Air Rescue
Movie: Iron Man 3
Moment: Iron Man is trying to save the life of the passengers of Air Force One after it is blown out of the sky. The only way he can do it is by creating a chain lynching everyone together. The only question is does he have enough time before they hit the ground?
Why It Stands Out: What makes this work is the combination of practical and special effects. It makes you wonder what is real and what was done on a sound stage. Credit needs to go the stunt team that was willing to pull off such a feat. There’s no way I would ever attempt anything close to that.