10. Puny God
Movie: The Avengers
Moment: During the Battle of New York Hulk and Loki come face to face. Loki begins to verbally assault the Hulk. Diminishing his existences and asking why some one of his limited intelligence would even dare to confront of god of his stature. Hulk responds by picking Loki up like a rag doll and smashing him with ease.
Why It Stands Out: I remember the first time I saw this scene in the theater the laughter was so loud I could not even hear what The Hulk had to say. I know Joss Whedon has his lovers and his haters. I have always been some place in the middle. Some of his choices irk me, while others bring delight. Moments like this make me see why so many people idolize him the way they do.
9. “With Great Power…”
Moment: Peter Parker and Uncle Ben have a heart to heart discussion. Ben has noticed Peter has not been himself lately, and attempts to pass on some fatherly advice. Including the most infamous line from any Marvel movie, “With great power comes great responsibility” . Peter rejects his advice and scolds Ben for trying to be his father.
Why It Stands Out: The line “With great power comes great responsibility” was already well known among comic book readers and fans of Spider-Man. This is the moment when it became known to the rest of the world, and may now even be bigger than the movie itself. One simple statement that sums up the meaning behind Spider-Man and what drives the character. Giving him the ultimate of ultimate motivations.
8. Qucksilver’s Moment in Time
Movie: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Moment: With Magneto being held in one of the world’s most fortified structures Wolverine, Beast, and Prof X need additional assistance to break him out. That assistance comes in the form of Quicksilver and his help proves necessary when a guards corner them with guns drawn. Before their bullets can hit their desired target Quicksilver jumps into action and gives us a firsthand view into the way he sees the world.
Why It Stands Out: I like many was super worried about Quicksilver before the movie was released. Everything I saw looked absolutely ridiculous. Those concerns were moot as he ended up having what was basically the best moment in the entire movie. Everything from the special effects to the use of music to the touch of humor makes it an immediate standout sequence.
7. Test Flight
Movie: Iron Man
Moment: Tony Stark has returned back to his home a new man. He hopes to take the design he made in a dingy cave and add some modern-day technology. Along the way to his final design he suffers a few set packs such as some fire extinguishers to the face.
Why It Stands Out: Usually the origin of a superhero is the most tedious part. You cannot wait to get past it and get to the good stuff. For Iron Man oddly the opposite is true. His origin is easily the best part of the entire movie. Tony Stark is the rare hero that is more exciting out of the mask than in it. This sequence is evidence of why.
6. “We Have a Hulk”
Movie The Avengers
Moment: Before the Battle of New York Loki confronts Tony Stark. Informing him there is no way he can be stopped. Tony Stark, being who he is, provides a perfectly acceptable reason of why they will stop Loki—The Avengers and especially this one large fellow with a temper.
Why It Stands Out: I don’t know how, and I don’t know why but Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Hiddleston need to have more scenes together. Having two strong personalities clash makes for a great movie. They bring out a lot from one another as neither is willing to back down. It is bravado on display in its fullest form.
5. Nightcrawler’s White House Assault
Movie: X2: X-Men United
Moment: For an unknown reason Nightcrawler invades the White House in hopes of assassinating the President. The Secret Service proves no match against his teleporting abilities. It appears the Presidents days are over but a bullet hits Nightcrawler right before he can strike the final blow.
Why It Stands Out: As mentioned previously X2 stepped up the action from the first X-Men in every way, starting with this sequence. This was during the time where everyone was copying The Matrix, and that influence is still felt. However, it’s more than just a carbon copy. It takes those ideas and translates them to the X-Men world, and adds a few new ones for good measure.
4. Avengers Initiative
Movie: Iron Man
Moment: Tony Stark walks into his living room to find an unexpected guest. Nick Fury in all his Samuel L. Jackson glory is standing there with a request. He utters only a few words, but those few words send shock waves through the geek community. He informs Stark he wishes to discuss The Avengers Initiative.
Why It Stands Out: Similar to the Stan Lee Camoes and J. Jonah Jameson moments I am kind of cheating here. Instead of looking at all the end credits sequences separately I put them into one. Some of them have been good, some of them had been bad, but the only truly important one was this. The idea of there actually being an Avengers movie was nothing more than a dream years prior. Now suddenly that dream was becoming a reality. This was the early stages of a four-year long plan that continues to grow today.
3. “A Little Help From Your Friend”
Movie: X-Men: First Class
Moment: During training Professor Charles Xavier asks Eric Lensherr to move a massive satellite. His first attempt is unsuccessful. In Eric’s mind it is just to0 massive and heavy. Xavier informs him that he believes true focus lies somewhere between rage and serenity. He accesses Eric’s mind finding a beautiful memory even Eric did not know he had. With this renewed focus he moves the satellite with ease.
Why It Stands Out: When I think of what makes X-Men: First Class such a standout movie for me it is this scene. None of the other Marvel movies have such strong character moments that take advantage of their actors’ enormous talents. Plus those other Marvel movies don’t have James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. Two of today’s best actors on top of their game. Fassbender’s facial expressions are priceless. You see the joy, the rage, and the serenity fully expressed.
2. Have to Catch a Train
Movie: Spider-Man 2
Moment: Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus battle high atop New York City’s streets. They eventually find their way on top of a speeding train. Try as he might Doctor Octopus is unable to stop Spider-Man. Out of options he destroys the train’s controls setting it on a collusion course. Spider-Man summons all of his strength and webbing ability to stop the training before countless people parish.
Why It Stands Out: This is not only one of my favorite Marvel moments it is one of my favorite fight sequences/action sequences ever. The progression is perfect. Starting with the brief fight next to the clock tower. The continual back and forth is akin to the greatest heavyweight fights. Its avoids becoming repetitive by consistently upping the ante. Once it gets to the point where Doc Ock is literally throwing people at Spider-Man the stakes seem like they cannot get any higher, only to have Doc Ock push the envelope even further. Finally we get to see Spider-Man be his heroic self. As corny as it might seem it gets to what makes Spider-Man such a special character. He’s a character that may lack the strength of Superman, but he has the will as strong as anyone. Some have issues with the ending and him losing his mask. For me it works. It is an important factor to what they are trying to say. How it displays how Spider-Man is more than a hero. He is a symbol.
1. Avengers Assemble
Movie: The Avengers
Moment: The sweeping battle shot where the camera moves from Iron Man flying through the city streets to Hawkeye perched atop a Skyscraper shooting his arrows to Thor and Hulk working together to take out an alien foe. For the very first time we finally get to see what The Avengers look like in action.
Why It Stands Out: This was a very tough choice. With all the Marvel movies and all the Marvel moments why does this one stand above the rest? Honestly part of it happens before the The Avengers was even shot. The build up, the hype, and the anticipation was perhaps higher than any movie in history. This was one of the many moments that made it all worth it. The moment it felt like we were actually getting The Avengers so many of us hoped for. A comic panel removed from the page and put onto the screen. Not to mention it ends with a killer punch–literally.