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11 years, and 21 films. In my opinion, here is the best of the
very best ........

10) Carol Danvers rises up, multiple times through her life

For entries 9 through 10 on this list, I knew the exact moments I wanted to include. For the tenth spot, I had multiple candidates. It was hard to determine which moment, out of 21 movies, and eleven years of being immersed in the MCU, that could stand shoulder to shoulder with the 9 other scenes you are going to read about.
 There were other moments from the movies I chose for this list, including Infinity War, Guardians Vol 1 and 2, and Black Panther, that could have fit in here. I also felt like something from Civil War, or the original Iron Man should have made the list.
 In the end, This scene stood (pun intended) out among the other contenders. I go back and forth about whether Captain Marvel is a sub par film, with a few good moments, or a good film, with a few stand out moments. One thing I cannot deny is that this is the best scene in the movie. I could see it from a mile away, watching the trailers, that there would be a rallying moment, where the audience was fully behind Carol, and that she would prove exactly how she earned the honor of being the MCU’s most powerful hero. I have seen Captain Marvel twice, both times, this moment got me teary-eyed. I do feel like the Captain Marvel musical “Theme” is not a strong one. The scene begins when Carol is connected to the Supreme Intelligence, and Annette Benning is dancing to to Come as you are, in her flight suit, It leads right up to the moment where Carol disconnects from the Supreme Intelligence, and goes all Super Saiyan. It is the first, best moment on this list, as long as we stop just before that weak Captain Marvel Theme song kicks in. 

9) Captain America - The Winter Soldier: Captain America takes down Hydra agents in Elevator

This sequence is unique among MCU films, and is unique to modern big budget films in general. floor by floor, agents, who you know will turn on Captain America, and attack him, nonchalantly pile into the Elevator. This slow build of tension is missing from modern action films, whereas it was more common in movies from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Often, reviewers that praise Winter Soldier say it is a throw back to 1970s Spy Thrillers. I have always considered Winter Soldier to be an MCU film with an excellent collection of action scenes, that wears a few of the trappings of Spy Thrillers. The reason why this action scene stands out, and it is also Chris Evan’s favorite Cap scene, is due to its use of rising tension. Here is a hero, about to be betrayed by the very organization he has been devoting his life to. You don’t get emotional moments in the MCU, as strong as this, until you get further up in my list, and almost none of them finish off with such intense and satisfying, as this one does.

8)Thor - Ragnarok :Thor Channels Lightning without Mjolnir

It took three Thor Films, and six years, for a filmmaker to come up with the idea of pairing a norse god superhero with Led Zeppelin. In a lighting flash, you have instant magic. I would have included the opening sequence, of Thor smashing through Surtur’s minions, with Immigrant Song blasting in the background, but I felt that when Jimmy Page’s charging guitar riffs kicked in a second time, the excitement level was far higher, and that was when the super heroic pay off had been earned. Just as AC DC songs had served as a makeshift Iron Man theme for Iron Man 1 and 2, and the Avengers, Immigrant Song should be the go to Thor music, for as long as the Asgardian is still alive in the MCU.

7) Guardians of the Galaxy - Vol 2 :Yondu, Rocket and Groot take down the Mutineer Ravagers

The Formula you could apply, when trying to determine if I think a scene is truly great looks something like this:

Perfect choice of emotion evoking music + character Inspired, original Imagery = Goosebumps inducing Wonder.

As long as a filmmaker puts those two components together, it should generate wonder, and every film should evoke a sense of wonder. Even films that do not have a musical score at all, can evoke wonder as long as there is a character doing something unique, based upon their specific personalities.
This scene fits that formula, perfectly.

Come a Little Bit Closer, by Jay and the Americans, makes you think of a stage populated by musicians who wear sweaters over their buttoned down shirts, and gives you that dream like, nostalgia feeling of any good Roy Orbison song. Not exactly what you would expect in the background, for a Slaughtering of Space Pirates.

And what a slaughter it was. From the moment they send poor Tommy Flanagan’s character into the void of space, to the time they pour something gross onto Baby Groot, you are ready for the Mutineer Ravagers to die. With his Intense, Metal Mohawk, and an effortless whistle, Yondu wipes all of the Mutineers out, both specifically and quickly. It is something I haven’t really seen before - A trailer park space pirate, killing off hordes, with his arrow, that was never shot from a bow. Michael Rooker always gives us something better than the material he is working with, and he usually dies by the end of the Show/Movie. At least, in this case, He pulled off a sequence more fun and exciting, with an arrow than Hawkeye or any other comic book archer could inspire.

6) Avengers - Infinity War: Thanos Snaps out half the Universe

Most people don’t read comic books. Marvel comics is lucky, if their highest selling comic sells five hundred thousand copies. Millions of people, many of them under the age of twelve, saw Infinity War. Most of the people that helped make this movie earn over a billion dollars, do not know that, in comics continuity, it is not completely unbelievable to have an evil purple alien purple alien wipe out half of all life in the Universe.
Before Infinity War was released, Fansites started spreading the rumor that Avengers 4 was NOT a sequel to Infinity War. Avengers 4 would have its own separate story. I kept that thought in the back of my mind, as I watched Thanos collect the Infinity Stones, and kill off Gamora, and Vision and easily defeat the rest of the Avengers. I thought that maybe the heroes would prevent him from snapping his fingers, at the very end, and a new threat would emerge for the fourth film. Then, he was whispering to Thor, about going for the head” and I knew it was all over.
In the comics, Thanos snaps his fingers at the very beginning of the Infinity Gauntlet miniseries. It is to show how ruthless and reckless the Mad Titan is. The scenes that follow, in the comic, are like something out of The Leftovers - various comic book characters search, frantically, for their lost loved ones and teammates. As a comic, it works well. Panel one establishes a character assuming that their loved on or team mate is nearby. The Following panel shows the empty space where their reliable other should be.
Infinity War takes advantage of the fact that the story is not being told by frozen images. We watch as half the population fades away, into nothingness. There is no dread filled music, just the eerie sound of brave heroes twinkling into oblivion. Out of every single MCU film, this is the one moment that feels the most real, even though a demigod has used a magic gauntlet to Snap away half of the Universe.

5)Guardians of the Galaxy: Star-Lord Dances around ancient Ruins

I already had high expectations for Guardians of the Galaxy, based on the excellent trailers that led up to the film. The first five minutes of the film are misleading, being melodramatic and extremely serious. Up until Star-Lord turns on his Walkman for the first time, it is is a different movie. Peter Quill pressing play was truly what catapulted the MCU into what it is today. Sure, each Iron Man movie is full of laughs, but what are the audience members, that turn these movies into Blockbuster Juggernauts going to associate with more - A tech genius who turned his brilliance into a multi-billion dollar corporation, or a schlubby guy, rocking out to music from the 70s and 80s, ready to drop a pop-culture reference, on a dime? The sequence is so well done. The chorus of Come and get your love seems to echo off the vast caverns that Star-Lord is exploring. I knew immediately, this movie was going to be brilliant, and Marvel owes so much of its success to this one sequence.

4) Avengers Infinity War: Thor Arrives at Wakanda

Thor. Experiencing this moment is like tasting the delicious fruit of a plant, that scientists hybridized in front of you. These scientists took two plants. The first plant had immense potential in its DNA. Work with me here, on this metaphor. That first plant is the Thor from Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. We are told that he is a God, and there are demonstrations to his mythical power. We also see Glimpses of Chris Hemsworth’s uncanny comedic ability. The second plant is Thor, from Thor: Ragnarok. Ragnarok is all about Thor unlocking his true potential, and in this film, thanks to scenes where Led Zeppelin is blasting in the background, we get to see what a bad ass god of thunder warrior looks like. Just as he is blasting away enemies with his lightning, comedic beat after comedic beat is being dropped, of Thor tripping over his own super ego. 

The first Thor, that poor plant, has been a loyal Avenger, since day one. He has gone toe to toe with the Hulk. We have watched this Thor’s Mother die, and we know how badly his charismatic brother (whom everybody loves, more) has hurt him.

In this scene, the two plants are merged together, and we get a taste of the fruit. It is beyond delicious. The loyal avenger, who has suffered at the hands of his brother, rises into the sky, as his two comedic counterparts rush into battle below him (Rocket and Groot). “Bring me Thanos!” He shouts as if he is in the center of a two page comic book spread, and the warrior god of thunder brings his hammer down.

3) Black Panther :Erik Killmonger takes heart Shaped Herb

Erik Killmonger’s father notices that his son has no tears to shed, over his death, and this is the only reason why Black Panther should have been nominated for Best Picture. Please do not get me wrong for a second. This is an excellent film. It is my second Favorite Marvel Film. It deserves every bit of praise for being such an ambitious, beautiful to look at, and perfectly scored film. Black Panther also happens to be the superhero film with the most black actors and is the highest grossing film of its kind. It is still a marvel movie, however, and has not yet reached that level of Logan or the Dark Knight. This one scene, however is better than many of the scenes in either of those movies. Sterling K. Brown and Michael B. Jordan are two of the best actors of their generation, and they leave nothing on the floor, as they both act the hell out of a scene that is a true example of a cinematic iceberg. There is so much more, far beneath the surface here. Sterling K. Brown brings the fantasy, the hope of a country ruled by noble kings, that has only known advancement. Michael B Jordan brings with him the history that has been around since the actor was born, from the hope killing news to the everyday prejudices (that he very much could have experienced) and stabs his father with it.

As the father dies, there is no sympathy from the son, because that is the way the world has made him, even at a young age.

2) The Avengers :Avengers Assemble in Manhattan

This type of scene can be found in comic books, though it is not as common as you think. To have each and every one of the main characters brought together, standing in a circle, ready to take on an intimidating force, you have to get to the end of a major comic event. This is from the Second to last issue of A major Crossover event, or from the second to last issue of a years long run by one writer. After many costing trials, and periods where it looks like the team will never work together, they are united against their common foe. It is the rally point, the time when the music reaches its crescendo. I hear the avengers theme just looking at this picture. They say that the Music in the Marvel films is substandard. They are right. Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy films have elevated the quality of music in the Marvel films, but The Avengers theme, however has always been memorable. Even though it might not be at that level of John Williams’ Superman theme, or Danny Elfman’s Batman theme, they are still reaching for those heights. The experiment worked. They were able to create a shared universe, and here is the evidence that it can be successful. It is the MCU moment, where they finally convince the mainstream that you can use comic book tropes to make something truly spectacular.

1)Guardians of the Galaxy- Vol 2: Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora arrive on Ego’s Planet

There are many people that might choose one of the moments I listed above as one of their favorite MCU moments. I am sure there are many scenes, I could have added to this list, whose exemption would startle some people. This scene will always be number one for me, unless something more magical comes a long to replace it. This scene is all about wonder. Could you imagine a world where the director of Slither, who cut his teeth working on Troma films, made a movie about D level (or, at least, used to be) cosmic Marvel characters, featuring a beautiful sequence, set to a George Harrison song? Wait, you don’t have to imagine that. That is this world! Not many people place Guardians Vol 2 as their number one MCU film, but when I saw this sequence I knew that is where it would reign. After watching this sequence, I thought to myself, as long as they stick the landing this will be my favorite of all of these adventures, and boy did they stick that landing.

Thank you so much for reading my list. I am very curious to see where these scenes would rank on your MCU movie scene list, if you would even choose any of them. I wonder if a scene from Endgame will showcase its worthiness and snap one of these 10, off the list.


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