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!
90. Troll Market | Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Perhaps one of the best scenes to fully explain and show the universe more than any hero character without much exposition. One of those scenes where you end up paying more attention to the background than anything else. A lot of detail went to making every creature feel unique. Who didn’t fall in love with the cutest tumor in the history of film?
89. Football Fight | Flash Gordon (1980)
“Flash! A-ah! Savior of the universe!” Nothing like an intergalactic battle to be settled by playing a little of the tackle football with the All-American New York Jets player Flash Gordon versus a squad of aliens. Comic books were goofy and silly back in the day, and this is one of the best examples of that on screen. A fantastical world with incredible colors and costume designs helps make this scene all the more memorable. Along with the lovely Dale Arden cheering on the whole time.
88. Trench Dive | Aquaman (2018)
Jason Momoa and all involved should get an award for simply taking one of the lamest superheroes and making him pretty kick ass. We got a good look at bad boy Aquaman in Justice League and here he was in his very own film. The underwater effects were really well done and Star Wars-esque space battle taking place at the bottom of the ocean was extremely neat. However, this scene was just cool. Aquaman and Mera are on a ship being attacked by some nasty amphibious creatures called the Trench. They not only have to fight the Trench off but need to get to a wormhole to save the day. Surrounded by these creatures they dive right into the middle of them. Easily the coolest scene of the film.
87. Auditions | Mystery Men (1999)
Once the actual and effective hero of Champion City is captured and villains are causing chaos on their beloved city, want to be superheroes Mr. Furious, the Shoveler, and the Blue Raja fail at saving the day and figure out they need help. Open auditions for new superhero teammates it is then! We get a lot of hilarity and crazy individuals showcase their characters while seeing some just meander in the background. Does anyone remember Dane Cook? Me neither.
86. Castle vs The Russia | The Punisher (2004)
I’d like to start off by saying I enjoyed Thomas Jane as The Punisher and wished he would have had some more chances to play the character. If you enjoyed it too, there was a great little short of him reprising the role called Dirty Laundry that you can check out on the ‘tubes.
This is one of those superhero fight scenes that feels just as silly as it does real. Frank Castle just let his guard down and answered the door unprepared for the massive flat top threat on the other side. The Russian has been sent to eliminate Castle, and the two exchange some brutal blows, but none of it can be heard because “La donna è mobile” is blaring in another apartment. While the Russian is hitting grenades like batting practice in one apartment, others are dancing and having a good time in another. Simply a fun scene that does a good job of toeing that real world and comic book line. RIP The Russian.
85. Titans Change History | Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)
Teen Titans Go! is one of the few new cartoons I enjoy watching with my kids. Robin, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire, and Raven are a funny group of young superheroes who simply can’t get no respect. Every superhero is getting their very own movie and the Teen Titans are just waiting their turn. After being overlooked again they take matters into their own hands. With “Take on me” blaring in the background and their rainbow big wheel time machines, they decide to go back in time and change history to where they are the only heroes left. They must make a movie about them, now don’t they?! Seeing them change the fate of some of our favorite superheroes origin stories was a hilarious blast.
84. Meeting Deadpool | Deadpool (2016)
We honestly didn’t know exactly what we were going to get with Deadpool’s first feature-length foray into the superherodom. We had that miserable abomination version that we shan’t speak of. Also, we were smack dab in the middle of the family-friendly MCU with all it’s tickle fights and cotton candy rainbow superhero films. Yes, there were previews and even warnings of the hard-rated R film we were about to witness but did you really believe any of it? Well, we saw just how irreverent and fourth-wall-breaking Ryan Reynolds and crew were going to be right off the bat with the opening credits. However, the moment Deadpool, while listening to Shoop by Salt n Peppa, turns and starts conversing with the viewer, we got the full-blown Merc with a Mouth from the comic books we so love. The rest is juvenile and hilarious history.
83. Bullet Catch | Superman (1978)
As classic Kal-El as you can get. He doesn’t want to compromise his identity as the klutz Clark Kent, but also wants to protect Lois during a dangerous situation. He is able to do both by catching a bullet as Superman while fainting as Clark Kent from the anxiety of the situation. Christopher Reeves played this role perfectly with this scene helping define his two characters of the Man of Steel and the lovable reporter.
82. Briefcase Fight | Ant-Man (2015)
During Ant-Man’s climactic battle with the evil businessman, Darren Cross, we witness Scott Lang utilize the Ant-Man suit to its fullest abilities to try and take down the villain. Business really picks up when Cross is able to suit up himself as the Yellowjacket. We get the typical helicopter fight we have seen a million times, but what makes this showdown special is when both miniature characters get trapped inside of a briefcase that falls out of the helicopter and hurls toward earth. The Cure begins to play in the background as we see small objects appear gigantic on this unusual battlefield. My favorite part of the whole film.
81. “If You’re Nothing Without the Suit” | Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
We just saw young Spider-Man fail for the first real-time on a grand scale. His actions could have cost lives, but thankfully the Iron Man suit was there to help save the day. We see Peter dejected after his failure and arguing with what he thought was an empty Iron Man suit thinking Stark didn’t care enough to show up himself. Seeing Tony step out and become a father figure to Peter was pretty great. Being a father means having to be tough on your kids in critical moments. They won’t like you for it, but eventually, they will understand. Tony delivers his own version of “With great power” line which plants emotional seeds for things to come.
What do you think of the selection so far? What was your favorite superhero movie moment?