It has been an amazing year for superhero fans, with countless memorable moments on the big screen. This was the 10-year anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Marvel Studios celebrated it in style with no less than three blockbuster hits - and both Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War are Oscar contenders. Sony successfully launched their Spider-Man spinoffs, with the release of Venom and the animated Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. While 20th Century Fox delayed the releases of X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants, they still earned praise with the time-traveling antics of the Merc With A Mouth in Deadpool 2. And in December, Warner Bros. released the eagerly-anticipated Aquaman.
There was sadness and sorrow to 2018, as well, of course, with the passing of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Two of the greatest legends in the entire superhero genre, they will both be sorely missed. Lee's already-filmed cameos have taken on a fresh degree of poignancy after his death, and appropriately enough the Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse cameo is one of his best. The directors have claimed he was really happy with that particular cameo; although he never got to see it, he knew what his role was going to be and he saw what he was going to look like in Sony's animated world. The film's credits included a title card dedicating the movie to both Lee and Ditko, Spider-Man's creators.
In a year packed with superhero action and adventure, it's difficult to choose the best moments and the standout scenes. But we've reviewed each of the year's blockbuster superhero hits, in order to carefully pick out the scenes we think are absolutely unforgettable.
- This Page: Best Superhero Movie Moments Of 2018, #10 - #6
- Next Page: Best Superhero Movie Moments Of 2018, #5 - #1
10. Avengers: Infinity War - Tony Stark Suits Up
Who can forget the moment when Tony Stark suits up as Iron Man in Avengers: Infinity War? The Black Order have arrived on Earth, but they find themselves confronted by a "boy band" of sorcerers, a Hulk, and of course Tony Stark himself. At first, Stark's hubris seems to have gone badly wrong when Bruce proves unable to transform into the Hulk, but then Tony taps his chest and snaps his wrists out, releasing nanobots that flow over his body like liquid metal. Tony's Iron Man armor is like nothing viewers have seen before, and he's able to adapt it at will into a wide range of forms - quickly protecting himself with a shield, and then unleashing a super-laser. Hilariously, Stark can't resist turning to face Bruce. "It's nanotech," he explained proudly. "Do you like it?"
9. Aquaman - Escaping The Trench
Aquaman director James Wan is a horror filmmaker, and as a result the stand-out scene is an encounter with the monstrous Trench. The savage denizens of the deep launch an attack upon Aquaman and Mera's ship, and are soon swarming over its surface. Light proves to be the only defense, with Aquaman lighting flares to hold the creatures at bay. But matters get even worse for the heroes when they are forced to dive into the turbulent waters, and find themselves pursued by a relentless horde of the Trench. The score carefully builds the sense of tension, matching perfectly with the drama of the scene.
8. Avengers: Infinity War - Thor's Arrival In Wakanda
Thor's arrival in Wakanda is one of the most thrilling scenes in Avengers: Infinity War. The Outriders are in danger of overwhelming the Avengers, with even the Hulkbuster armor downed and a panicked Bruce Banner calling out that there are two many. That's when the Bifrost strikes the Wakandan soil, and Stormbreaker comes sweeping out, cutting down countless Outriders and giving the heroes a chance to get back on their feet. When the Bifrost is gone, three new arrivals stand ready to join battle; Thor, Rocket, and Groot. Bruce speaks for every viewer when he shouts out in joy and relief, knowing that the tide of battle has turned.
This scene is all the more impressive when you consider that Thor, Rocket, and Groot are hardly A-list superheroes. The Guardians of the Galaxy were essentially unknown to popular culture until Marvel brought them to the big screen in 2014, while the Thor franchise is generally regarded as one of the weakest in the MCU. And yet, the arrival of these three heroes is one of the most effective scenes in Avengers: Infinity War - true testimony to the power of Marvel's shared universe model.
7. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse - Meet Spider-Gwen
The breakout star of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is Spider-Gwen, voiced by Hailee Steinfeld. She's introduced (in costume) when the hapless Peter Parker and Miles Morales are out of their depth, and the animation demonstrates both her phenomenal speed and her tremendous agility. When Spider-Gwen unmasks herself, the film opens with a stunning recap sequence that's adapted from the comics. The artistic style in this recap mirrors Robbi Rodriguez's art in the comics, and indeed some of the brief clips are lifted straight from the comics themselves. No fan of Spider-Gwen will be able to watch this without a thrill of excitement and joy.
6. Black Panther - Killmonger's Death
Black Panther came to an emotional close as T'Challa watched as his rival, Killmonger, died. It's a powerful character moment, with T'Challa showing Killmonger mercy and letting him die as he looks upon the nation of Wakanda. Moved by Killmonger's love of his land, Black Panther offers mercy and healing; but that's unacceptable to Killmonger, who knows he will live as a prisoner.
"Bury me in the ocean," he tells T'Challa, "with my ancestors that jumped from the ships, because they knew death was better than bondage." Michael B. Jordan's delivery is heartwrenching, creating a real sense of gravitas. In the end, Killmonger pulls the blade buried in his chest out, effectively killing himself; all Black Panther does is sit and watch, his heart breaking at the death of a man who had been wronged by his father.
Page 2 of 2: Best Superhero Movie Moments Of 2018, #5 - #1
5. Deadpool 2 - Post Credits Scene
Deadpool has always been well-known for breaking the fourth wall, but the hilarious post-credits scene of Deadpool 2 went further than ever before. It saw Deadpool's friends successfully repair Cable's time-travel device, and the Merc With A Mouth then headed back in time to correct history. First, he averts the death of Vanessa, then he prevents the unexpected massacre of the film's X-Force team.
In a brilliant twist, Wade Wilson then erased X-Men Origins: Wolverine - by killing that film's version of Deadpool. The final scene sees Deadpool emerge sometime in 2009, and kill off Ryan Reynolds himself before he can sign up to star in Green Lantern. This post-credits scene was universally praised, with Marvel's Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada, calling it one of the best post-credits scenes ever made in Hollywood. It's definitely worthy of inclusion on this list.
4. Black Panther - Warrior Falls
The ritual combat between T'Challa and Killmonger in Wakanda is one of the highlights of Black Panther. The fight choreography is perhaps the most distinctive seen in 2018, a celebration of Afrofuturism in its own right; it incorporates genuine African martial arts such as Zulu stuck fighting and capoeira, a fighting style that specializes in punching, kicking, and grappling. The scene is exceptionally well-executed, with Killmonger attacking with a palpable sense of ferocity.
Soon, he's toying with T'Challa like a cat with his prey, cutting him and weakening him; by the end of the fight, the Black Panther is reduced to flailing helplessly at his foe. The horror of it all is driven home by a repeated switch to show the terrified, grief-stricken response of T'Challa's loved ones, while there's an effective interlude when Zuri attempts to bring the battle to a premature end and die in his King's stead.
3. Avengers: Infinity War - The Death Of Spider-Man
Avengers: Infinity War came to a horrific close when Thanos succeeded in his insane goal of erasing half the life in the universe with just a snap of his fingers. The Russo brothers choose to demonstrate this by showing key heroes literally crumble into dust - iconic characters like Black Panther, Winter Soldier, and even Spider-Man himself. Peter Parker's death is the most heartbreaking of them all, as his spider-sense warns him of his imminent death - but he's unable to do anything about it. Peter dies in the arms of his helpless mentor, Tony Stark, whose grief is palpable. The scene is all the more remarkable because Holland actually ad-libbed the dialogue, inspired by the death of David Tennant's Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who.
2. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse - Miles Morales' Leap Of Faith
The heart of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is the scene in which Miles Morales truly becomes Spider-Man. Peter Parker has told Miles that there's only way to know he's ready; he has to come to the point where he takes a leap of faith. Miles is unable to just stand by and watch as the other Spider-Men confront the Kingpin's forces. So, after first heading to the Spider-Cave, Miles create a costume of his own. Then, once suitably attired, Miles heads to the roof of a skyscraper in New York City, and makes the "leap of faith" literal when he jumps off.
What follows is an electrifying scene where the Ultimate Spider-Man pushes himself off the side of the 'scraper, the suction of his hands tearing the glass from the windows, and plunges down. For a moment it looks as though he's going to fail, as though he's falling to his death, but then the webs shoot out - webs from Peter Parker's webshooters, probably the pair he wore when he was just a 15-year-old himself. Soon he's web-slinging across the streets of New York - a new Spider-Man who has finally become the hero he was always destined to be.
1. Avengers: Infinity War - The Sacrifice Of Gamora
Easily the most powerful scene in Avengers: Infinity War was the sacrifice of Gamora. An unwilling Gamora guided her "father," Thanos, to the planet Vormir in order to give him the Soul Stone - and matters took a tragic twist when Thanos learned just what it would cost him to obtain his prize. The Red Skull in Infinity War, aka the Guardian of the Soul Stone, explained that he had to prove himself worthy by sacrificing something or someone he truly loved.
The scene is deeply emotional, showcasing the acting skill of Zoe Saldana as she initially reacts in relief and joy; she genuinely believed that Thanos' plans were doomed, because she couldn't conceive of the idea he loved someone. In reality, in his own insane way Thanos did have someone he loved; Gamora herself, and he threw her over the side of the cliff. This is probably the most visually impressive scene in the entire film, with the VFX team reproducing every nuance of Josh Brolin's own acting on the digital model of Thanos' face.