SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t seen all of Marvel’s movies, you should fix that. Also, don’t read further if you don’t want to spoil anything about some of their biggest moments.
“Captain America: Civil War” is checking off a lot of “firsts” for the Marvel Cinematic Universe: First movie to feature Black Panther. First to feature Spider-Man on the big screen (finally!) opposite Cap and Iron Man.
It’s also the first comic book movie to bring a big, epic splash page brawl to life, worthy of even the biggest comic event stories. And having already seen the movie, there’s a decent chance it will melt your brain in the best possible way. It will melt your brain.
In honor of the impending, amazing showdown, here are some of the greatest battles from across the MCU canon thus far that show no one can do fisticuffs (or car chases) quite like Marvel Studios.
Iron Man vs. Iron Monger (2008)
Tony Stark turns his suit’s icing problem against Obadiah Stane in the action-packed climax of the first “Iron Man” film — but not before turning a section of Los Angeles freeway into their personal UFC ring.
Thor vs. the Frost Giants (2011)
Before he was an Avenger, Thor’s pride and lust for battle would get the better of him — as seen here when he and his pals took on a small army of Frost Giants. Lots of hammer-crushing blows ensue, leading to one hell of a finish that pits the God of Thunder against a big CG beastie.
Iron Man vs. Cap vs. Thor (2012)
Nothing causes an instant nerdgasm more than seeing your favorite heroes fight each other. Joss Whedon’s first “Avengers” gave them exactly that as Thor, Cap and Tony Stark brawled superhero-style. Lots of punches, repulsor beams and lightning bolts ensued.
The Avengers vs. Loki’s Alien Army (2012)
The Chitarui are an alien race armed with laser gauntlets and cool flying jet skis. They also have giant armored space eels, which they sic on New York. Thankfully, the Avengers are on hand to deliver massive amounts of kick-punching and property destruction.
Our favorite fight in this sea full of them? Bruce “I’m Always Angry” Banner TKO-ing a Leviathan with one Hulk-sized punch.
Iron Man vs. Killian (2013)
The fight between Tony Stark and Killian’s thug, Savin, ends in one of the best finishing moves of all time: chest-emitted repulsor blast through said thug.
The only way to top that is to have drone-like Iron Man suits fly in for some mayhem, culminating with some fun and inventive action centered on Tony Stark and the “resurrection” of his new super-powered girlfriend. Oh, and don’t forget a fire-breathing Mandarin. Because Extremis.
Thor vs. Malekith (2013)
“Thor: The Dark World” is largely forgettable — minus its very inventive, and action-packed third act showdown between Thor and the big bad pale elf. Their literal earth-shattering fisticuffs takes place in our world and on a few others, as the two duke it out and break the laws of physics thanks to the Aether. If you’re not grinning, clapping, and drooling by the fight’s end, you’re doing it wrong.
Nick Fury vs. Several Hydra and Their Cars (2014)
What seemingly starts as a routine traffic stop turns into an all-timer car chase as Nick Fury uses nothing but his wits and a console-mounted .50 cal to outgun and out-maneuver a posse of canon fodder. The chase ends with a scary-cool beat involving Winter Soldier, a crash, and Nick Fury’s lightsaber/portable blow torch tool.
Cap vs. an Elevator Full of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014)
We can still hear the fist-pumping cheers coming from the crowd when we first saw this scene in a packed theater. Cap barely breaks a sweat as he takes down a dozen S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives — having enough energy left to slay a Quinn Jet on his way out of the building. That’s Cap’s version of a mic drop.
Iron Man’s Hulkbuster Armor Vs. Hulk (2015)
How do they pack so much awesome into one normal-sized fight? From using an elevator as a mace, to Tony’s rapid “Go to sleep, go to sleep!” volley of jabs, this fight is proof that Marvel just gets us.
What’s your favorite MCU fight? Let us know in the comments!
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