With Marvel’s insanely ambitious 23 film arc – starting with Iron Man and culminating with the release of Avengers Endgame – finally coming to a close, now is the perfect time to offer up what I think is the top 100 moments from superhero movies. Superhero movies have been around for a while, but they weren’t a common thing till around the turn of the century, with even more films being pumped out at the beginning of the MCU in 2008. To honor these movies that have entertained us so much, I have compiled a combination of entries that have a bit of everything. Moments that have thrilled us inspired us, made us laugh, and even some that made us cry.
*Warning! Possible SPOILERS below! Proceed with caution!*
Lastly, I wanted to share a few of the rules of my list to help clear up any questions you may have:
1) For a scene to be included, it had to be one continuous scene. The entire Battle of Wakanda, for example, didn’t make the cut due to it jumping back and forth between the action on Wakanda and the forging of the ax with Thor.
2) The movie must have had a theater release. No direct to DVD. Endgame was the cut-off, so no Far From Home.
3) I limited a film to no more than four entries or otherwise, I would have just put the entire Dark Knight movie on here.
4) Most likely I broke these rules and you will just have to get over it.
On to the List!
70. Hit-Girl vs The Mob | Kick-Ass (2010)
Hit-Girl is the most foul mouth and badass superheroes out there and she is only 11. She burst onto the screen in a brutal way all the while throwing out one obscenity after another. You fall in love with her immediately and can not wait to see her wreck some fools as the movie goes on. We come to the final showdown and she is all alone as she takes down an entire mob of hitmen in the longest hallway ever.
Chole Grace Moretz just kills with her facial expressions her and to see a little 11-year-old girl dispatch all these nicely dressed thugs is fun as hell. Adding in Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” was a great cherry on top.
69. Child Magneto | X-Men (2000)
I debated back and forth between this scene and the one from First Class. First Class is not a bad scene at all. Bacon is maniacal, kid magneto conveys solid emotion, and the killing of his mother was emotional. Then when his powers were unleashed, it was a spectacle and exhilarating to witness.
However, that is the reason I went with 2000’s X-Men version because was so subtle and conveyed everything First Class did without going the more “epic” route. You felt everything young Eric Lensherr was feeling in that moment being torn away from his parents by Nazi soldiers. The drab setting in the rain set the emotional tone, the young boys cries as one soldier tries pulling him away. Then another soldier. As we see the fence bends a bit. And then two more soldiers rush over to carry the kid away as Eric’s unrealized power of his outstretched hand drags all of them toward the fence that was about to break apart before a fifth soldier arrives to knock the young boy out and end this struggle.
68. Meeting the Spidey’s | Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (2018)
If you thought you were only getting a few different Spider-Man’s and Ladies when exploring the Spiderverse, you were delightfully wrong. As multiple Spidey’s started to pile up seeking help to stop Kingpin and his cohorts, the last things you expect was for Aunt May to have a hidden SpiderCave in her backyard shed harboring three stowaways.
As May passes out the name tags, we get to meet Spider-Ham (yes, a pig Spider-Man), Peni Parker (Hello kitty Spider-Girl with anime robot) and the best of the bunch, the dark shadowy figure that has the wind follow him everywhere, Spider-Man Noir voiced by none other than Nic Cage. We get the quick and condensed back story of these new characters and the whole scene is just, well, amazing.
67. Fury’s SUV Chase | Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Winter Soldier is one of the best entries into the MCU with some of the best scenes to boot. On its own, this is a thrilling and fun car chase with all the shooting and near misses and not so near misses. The tech and artillery being utilized are bar none, but what puts this chase scene above most others is we finally get to see Nick Fury in action. Up until now, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury has had it all together seemingly in control of everything. Doing just what he needed to or simply commanding others to get the job done. Here he is all alone and it is fight or die. With a great score and a good old fashion car chase, this scene is exhilarating.
66. Mr. Blue Sky | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
So, the Guardians just know how to do opening dance sequences to their movies. As all the parties are quickly and effectively reintroduced as they get ready to battle something big and ugly and Drax battles chaffed nipples, we are reminded of how much fun this group is.
Baby freakin’ Groot! The darn cutest and lovable superhero character of all-time hands down. Peter, Gamora, Rocket, and Drax all rush into battle, as Baby Groot plugs in the speaker and ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky tickles our eardrums, we witness some awesome dance moves by Baby Groot with him having some battle of his own all while the rest of the Guardians get their butts kicked in the background. Extremely entertaining.
65. Airport Fight | Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Okay just simmer down now. I know a lot out there would rank this much higher on the list. I mean it’s a story all Marvel fans were waiting and hoping for when this whole cinematic universe kicked off. Two sides, heroes vs. heroes. Team Captain America vs. Team Iron Man. Meeting on a battlefield of an airport in an epic “Civil War” where each side tries to see who can knock each other down more and hold on to one another the longest…
I admit this was a fun scene with some great moments. Spider-Man’s introduction alone makes list. Saying hi to Captain America. Come on, that was hilarious. Plus, all the banter back and forth with some classic lines and Ant-Man going gigantic and everything in between. My biggest issue was there were no real stakes. We all knew no one was going to die or be permanently injured (without being saved by Stark tech). That’s why I can’t take it that seriously. Fun overall though.
64. Pencil Trick | The Dark Knight (2008)
To be completely transparent, I wanted so bad to put this as my number one. It is quintessential Joker and comes out of nowhere with that hesitated “what the hell just happened?!” pause. It is violently humorous and showed us that this wasn’t your grandpa’s Joker, full of only jokes and silly non-harmful gags. Oh, this Joker has the jokes, but your death might be the punch line.
The scene is really well done. When Joker arrives, we instantly witness the rising animosity by Michael Jai White’s character toward him. He then underestimates the Clown Prince by sending only one of his henchmen to take care of him, and we see that this Joker can handle himself. Placing the pencil on the table the way he does has you scratching your head till the moment he says, “it’s gone”. It’s one of those moments in the theater you would love to have a rewind button. Simple but highly effective in conveying who and what we are dealing with.
63. Prison Break | Watchmen (2009)
The controversial Rorschach has only been in prison for a day or two and has already brutally attacked another inmate so bad he dies which in turn incites a prison riot. Oh, Rorschach. While an old friend tries to get his revenge on the anti-hero, Nite Owl and Silk Spectre arrive to bust their odd buddy out of the slamma. Has chaos ensues and Rorschach finds his face, Nite Owl and Silk Spectre have one of the coolest prison fight scenes of all time. In all of Zack Snyder’s rocking speed up slow-motion fighting glory, we get it all here. Jamming score, slick fight choreography, hearing and feeling every swing, punch and kick, as the two dispatch several inmates in mere seconds. Everything about this scene is badass.
62. “Meow” | Batman Returns (1992)
Easily the shortest and sexiest moment on this entire list. While a riot is going on Gotham, Batman and Penguin meet face to face and exchange some compelling hero-villain banter, when Michelle Sultry Pfeiffer as Catwoman comes flipping toward them in her skin-tight leather outfit. Mhmm Mhmm Mhmmmm. Have mercy. She instantly became the definitive big-screen Catwoman.
61. “Ideas are bulletproof” | V for Vendetta (2005)
All superheroes or vigilantes stand for something. Some are basic and normal. Some are selfish and misguided but with good intentions. Some simply just love beating up on the bad guys. V, however, maybe one of the deepest and revolutionary heroes there is. Much like Bruce Wayne wanted the bat to be a symbol, V wanted ideas to be the ultimate weapon against tyranny and oppression.
When the evil henchmen finally have this nuisance “cornered”, we see the hero gunned down, but somehow still standing. V then knives and karates his way through all the armed henchmen straight to Mr. Creedy where he wraps his hands around his throat just like he had promised moment earlier. V lets him know that behind his mask there is something far more powerful. An Idea.
What do you think of the selection so far? What was your favorite superhero movie moment?