Hey everyone! Okay, so here’s the deal. I am about to set course on a new weekly series entitled Ranked, and here’s the plan for it.
As we all know, our favorite characters come with several different iterations. We have comic book versions, as well as their movie & TV forms. Lest we forget about versions straight from trade paperbacks and video games! One thing that goes along with geek culture as much as cosplay, action figures and living in your Mom’s basement WAY longer than you should, is arguing with each other over which version of a select character is best. So…that’s essentially what I’m going to do, without the arguing part…or anyone else’s input.
Each week, I will pick a character, or category, that is extremely close to the hearts of all geeks. With the person (or place…or thing…so basically I’ll pick a noun) chosen, I will then compile a Top 10 “best” versions of this dramatis personae (look it up, that’s a synonym for character, AND it makes me feel fancy when I type it) for your viewing pleasure. Notice that the word best is in quotation marks. That’s because I am not an egomaniacal, toolbox troll who insists that I have all of the answers and that my opinions should be gospel. This is MY opinion. Every word. If you don’t agree with it, GREAT! I want to see your Ranked lists as well! Just because a common trend of geek/superhero culture at the moment is trolling and arguing doesn’t mean WE have to follow that trend. I’m looking forward to these editions, and I’m looking forward to hearing from all of you as well. Superheroes, geek culture, SciFi, all of it: It’s supposed to be fun. Let’s have fun with it.
Now, since this is my weekly article, I’m already going to bend my self-appointed rules in preparation for Doctor Strange hitting theaters in less than a month. So, yeah, let’s get on with it……
Ranked: Top 10 Moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe…So Far
With the Marvel Cinematic Universe about to be 14 films and counting as of November 4th, the amount of cool, breathtaking, or kick ass moments in the MCU might just be approaching triple figures. Narrowing this list down to 10 moments was painstaking, but someone had to try…and by God, I tried.
10. Stark & Rhodey go HAM on Hammer Drones-Iron Man 2
I know what you’re all thinking: “He’s starting this list off with something from Iron Man 2??? I’m never reading his list again!” And to that I say, “fair enough.” But hear me out. Nobody, including myself, would ever say Iron Man 2 is the crown jewel of the MCU. It’s not even one of those side jewels that looks kind of like a ruby, but is probably something better, because it’s on the crown of the damn king. But with all of its faults, and yes, there are many, this scene is guaranteed to get a full “holy crap!” from at least 50% of viewers. I say it every time I watch this scene, which is every 17 minutes on TBS or TNT. You know the minute the helmets close on Iron Man and War Machine, that you are about to witness pure and unadulterated kick-assery. Regardless of what you might think of this movie as a whole, this scene is guaranteed to get you pumped up.
9. Thor Wrecks SHIELD-Thor
He took on Frost Giants and defied his King (i.e. Dad), yet we hadn’t gotten our proper introduction to the Asgardian God of Thunder until we witnessed him break into a SHIELD facility to retrieve his trusty hammer, Mjolnir. Looking like a true god among men, Thor Odinson beats the living hell out of what seems like 125 SHIELD agents in a 2 minute span. It was here that we witness just how imposing a man he is to mere mortals. Highlight: His slow motion dropkick in the rain is truly breathtaking to watch. When Thor tries to retrieve his Hammer from the rock and is unable to budge it, the sheer size of Chris Hemsworth’s muscles brought audible gasps from the audience when I saw it. Those gasps were nearly as loud as the ones brought about the first time he had his shirt off in the film. Does that man really have 14 abs??
A highlight within a highlight: We get our introduction to Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, who is not so secretly rooting for alien.
8. Loki’s Reaction to Frigga’s Death-Thor: The Dark World
Yes, I am equally as shocked as you that there is a moment from this movie on this list as well. But with a 5 second scene, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki managed to solidify in my mind why he has been the MCU’s greatest villain. In a nearly silent scene, we get an Asgardian guard alerting Loki, who’s being held prisoner after the events of the Avengers, that his adoptive mother, Frigga, has been slain at the hands of Malekith, the dark elf. Without a word, without even seeing his face, he conveys the most emotional scene in the movie, using his “magic” to destroy his entire cell. Loki might hate his brother, and have not so fond feelings for his father, but this scene showed that he loved his mother, and her death broke his heart. A later scene between Thor and Loki reveals the latter in complete devastation after the event. Marvel’s greatest cinematic villain, showing why he’s also one of Marvel’s cinematic fan favorites.
7. The storytelling abilities of Luis-Ant-Man
Michael Peña has long been an underrated character actor that commands his time on screen, and his comedic chops were on full display every time he opened his mouth in Ant-Man. In a film full of great actors and likable characters, he was the one I couldn’t wait to rewatch (and mind you, I have a huge man crush on Paul Rudd, so add that for effect). His impressive, non-stop delivery along with his “he said, she said” form of storytelling made the final scene, of a very good movie, the perfect one to end the film, leaving audiences laughing and looking forward to the next time we get to see his character in the MCU. Let’s not forget to mention the smile at the end that perfectly punctuates the story. Classic Luis.
6. Fury-Iron Man
I probably don’t need to write anything about the first post-credit scene in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and why it’s so important. So I won’t. Just, enjoy.
5. All Hail, the King- Captain America: Civil War
T’Challa, the Wikandan King played masterfully by Chadwick Boseman, is the definition of class and respect, carrying himself with an air of royalty from the moment we meet him. But there is next to nothing like the initial meeting between the assassin known as the Winter Soldier and the warrior known as the Black Panther, which extends from a rooftop to the streets, ending in an epic chase sequence between the 2, along with the titular hero. T’Challa shows off his fighting skills a few minutes earlier in the movie, but demands an audible “whooaaaaa” his first moments on screen as the Black Panther. Considering his role in Civil War, the excitement for his solo film has never been higher.
4. The Battle for New York- the Avengers
It can be argued that the Avengers is the most important movie to date in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For the first time, we saw all of our heroes fight together to save the planet. Well, I mean, we watched them fight each other for an hour and a half first, but then they fought together. And it was essentially everything we could have dreamed of. Iron Man patrolling the skies while communicating with Cap fighting on the ground? Check. Thor and the Hulk wrecking the Chitauri on a giant flying alien centipede? Check. Hawkeye NOT being brain controlled? Check. Black Widow proving why she just might be the glue of this team? Check. Hulk punching Thor out of the frame, and then rag dolling Loki? Check. Iron Man pining for Schwarma after he launches a MF’in nuke into space? Check. Oh! And we finally learn Hulk’s secret. God bless you Joss Whedon, we forgive you for Age of Ultron.
3. Fighting in the Streets- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
To date, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is my favorite MCU film, and I have to defend this pick often to scoffers on the outside. The cinematic adventure is the most grounded and gritty we’ve seen, gives off a true “political thriller” feel, changes the whole perception of the Star-Spangled Avenger, and did I mention that Cap and the WS are 2 of my all-time favorite superheroes? I’m sure that has nothing to do with it. But bias aside, the scene in which begins with Bucky reaching into a moving car and throwing SHIELD agent/HYDRA agent/certified jerk Jasper Sitwell into on coming traffic, and ending with the best hand to hand combat fight scene that exists currently in the MCU, is as an impressive a scene as you are going to find. Throw into the mix our first real scene of Sam Wilson getting down and dirty with his pal, Natasha Rominoff doing, essentially, what she does best (here’s a hint: it rhymes with “tricking mass”) and Rogers and Bucky punching, flying kneeing, stabbing and straight MMA-ing each other until the big reveal of who the Winter Soldier is. And did I mention I love Cap and Winter Soldier? Yeah, no, that has nothing to do with it.
2. Escape from the Kyln- Guardians of the Galaxy
Let’s take a lovable space thief, team him with an assassin who is the adopted daughter of Thanos, a mammoth warrior who takes all things literal, a talking, bad ass raccoon with a HUGE gun, and a humanoid tree who can say 3 words, and have them try and protect the universe. You know what that is? A recipe for the most refreshing, hilarious & heartfelt Marvel film in the Cinematic Universe. This scene showcases why the film was a hit with both critics and audiences alike. For the first time you see the group work as a team, highlighting exactly what makes each character unique, and how together they are much better off than apart. The 2 who come shining through the brightest are most definitely the odd couple of Rocket and Groot. Groot sets the whole thing in motion by using his giant tree heart & not his giant tree head, and Rocket’s brains, along with his sense of humor, make the scene an instant classic. “No, I thought it’d be funny! Was it funny? No, wait, what’d he look like hopping around?” Classic Rocket.
1. Airport Super fight!- Captain America: Civil War
Despite the flaws many say it has, Civil War was essentially the Avengers movie we all wanted from Avengers: Age of Ultron. 12 of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes battle each other, 6 on 6, in one of the most entertaining and “fangirl” appropriate scenes that has ever existed in, well, movies in general. Not only do we get to see the comedic compatibility of “frienemies” the Winter Soldier and Falcon, and not only do we get to finally see our first glimpse of Giant-Man, and not ONLY do we get to see what a hand to hand fight between Hawkeye and Black Widow would look like, and not ONLY do we get to see the closest thing we’ll ever get to a live-action version of the opening introduction of the X-Men cartoon from the 90’s, but we get, FINALLY, Spider-Man, age appropriate I might add, in the MCU. Folks, I don’t know if it gets better than this, but I will say…it definitely doesn’t get better than this.
Thank you to all of those who stayed until the end and read each and every thing in my first official Ranked. Please, I would love to see everyone’s lists on this topic as well, so feel free to comment below!
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Lou Mattiuzzo is a full time teacher, full time husband, full time dad & full time superhero nerd. Also, how did the Sabres blow a 3-0 lead last night? #buffaloproblems
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