Spoilers: Because it just released in theaters, I’m throwing up a spoiler warning for Aquaman, which has one badass moment on this list. Read with caution!
2018 was a massive year for superhero movies. Not only is this the year that Marvel released Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War mere months apart, but we also got Ant-Man and the Wasp, Deadpool 2, Incredibles 2, Aquaman, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Venom to name just a few. That’s a lot of superhero movies crammed into one year, and each one of them was filled with badass moments that left us talking about them for days (a lifetime on the internet).
Superhero movies are like magnets for badass moments, whether it’s a full action scene or just an awesome beat that stuck out. With 2018 drawing to a close, it’s time to look at the superheroes who really proved how effortlessly cool they are. And no, it’s not just a list of scenes from Infinity War. (Though, that list COULD exist.) Sit back and revel in the top 10 badass superhero movie moments of 2018, ranked in no particular order.
Thor’s Epic Entrance in Wakanda
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is usually shortchanged when it comes to Avengers movies, so the Russo Brothers and Marvel made it a point to give the character lots of spotlight in Avengers: Infinity War. Thor gets several great moments, but the best is without a doubt his entrance in Wakanda. Everything about this moment is engineered to be one of the biggest crowd-pleasers in the film. Thor saving his friends in the nick of time. The smile on Cap’s face. The elation of Bruce Banner’s “You guys are so screwed now!” The Avengers theme pumping in the background. Thor, Rocket, and Groot ready for battle. Thor shouting “Bring me Thanos!” as he charges an army of outriders head-on. It sends the whole theater into applause and cheers.
Deadpool Gets Ripped In Half
Nothing’s more heavy metal than getting ripped in half by a guy named Juggernaut. This badass moment comes from Deadpool 2 and it’s really more for Juggernaut than it is for Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds). You have to be pretty badass for your opening move to be ripping someone in half, but you also have to be badass to, well, survive it. This is exactly the type of over the top, grotesque ridiculousness that people want from Deadpool. This is the only franchise that can pull something like this off. The moment is so sudden and funny that it catches the audience off guard almost as much as it does Deadpool. Plus, it led to Deadpool having baby legs!
Black Panther Chases Klaue Through Busan
Black Panther is busy with an awards campaign for the Oscars, meaning that it could become the first Academy Award-nominated film to feature a man in a bulletproof catsuit leaping from car to car in a highspeed pursuit. Black Panther is one of Marvel’s coolest heroes, pulling off sweet stunts and acting like it was no big deal. One of the best action scenes in the film finds T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) relentlessly chasing down the villainous Klaue (Andy Serkis) with some help from his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright). It’s a perfect demonstration of Black Panther’s skills and determination as he overcomes all obstacles to capture Klaue. Plus Okoye (Danai Gurira) gets a badass moment all to herself in the same chase.
Arthur Curry Gets His Trident And His Suit
James Wan’s Aquaman is a hero’s journey, an epic quest for the emotionally torn Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) to settle his internal strife and assume his birthright as the King of Atlantis. That arc concludes with a majestic entrance from behind a waterfall located deep within the Earth’s core, where Arthur has reclaimed the legendary trident of Atlan, and assumed the role of Atlantis’ once and future king. He also gets the traditional orange-and-green armor in the process, finally becoming the iconic DC hero we have known and loved for all these years. Yeah… chills!
Thanos vs. Doctor Strange
The whole fight scene on Titan against Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Infinity War is pretty kickass, but we have to give it to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) on this one. Strange went one-on-one with a gauntlet-powered Thanos and held his own, something that not many other characters can brag about. For the first time, we got to see Strange unleash his full mystic might, blasting energy, creating clones of himself, and turning a black hole into a bunch of butterflies. It’s a brief fight but incredibly memorable and a fantastic showing for Doctor Strange and his powers.
Elastigirl Stops The Runaway Train
Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) already had some of the best action sequences in The Incredibles, so we knew we were in for something special when she became the main focus of Incredibles 2. Taking the spotlight in order to restore the public image of Supers, one of Elastigirl’s first missions is stopping a runaway bullet train. While this might seem out of her wheelhouse at first glance, Elastigirl is able to rise to the challenge, chasing down the train on a motorcycle that makes very creative use of her stretchy powers. It’s another check in the win column for Elastigirl!
Venom Takes Down A S.W.A.T. Team
Venom may not have been R-rated, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t indulge in some violence. Venom (Tom Hardy) gets plenty of opportunities to show off his savagery and memorably does so against a helpless S.W.A.T. team. The officers never stand a chance as Venom beats the tar out of each and every one of them. He throws them around like ragdolls, and at one point uses an officer as a club and whacks people with him. The fight also makes cool use of smoke to play up the horror element as Venom strikes from the shadows. The only advantage S.W.A.T. has are flash grenades, but even those aren’t much against the symbiote and Venom comes out on top, licking his chops and roaring into the night.
Miles’ Leap of Faith
Throughout Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Miles Morales isn’t 100% convinced that he’s supposed to be Spider-Man. That’s a core component of anyone tasked with being Spidey. You frequently doubt your abilities, and often just want to hang your mask up on a hook, and ignore that responsibility. Longtime hero Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) coaches Miles (Shameik Moore) that he needs to make a “leap of faith” and accept his role, because one never really comes to terms with the right moment to be Spider-Man. So when Miles finally does it, Spider-Verse truly soars into the heavens, becoming one of the best — if not THE best — Spider-Man stories of all time.
Wasp Makes Her Debut
It was a long wait, but fans finally got to see Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lily) suit up as the Wasp in Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp. Hope kicked off her debut in style, suiting up to take out some goons all by herself in a restaurant. Utilizing wings, blasters, and size-changing, Wasp makes being a superhero look all too easy, pulling off some slick moves that even Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) wouldn’t be able to do. Not everyone can run on the side of a knife and conk dudes on the head with giant salt. It was a great debut for the character, adding another badass female hero to Marvel’s growing roster of characters.
The Final Fight Between Black Panther And Killmonger
Marvel movies usually end in a climactic battle, and the same is true for Black Panther. T’Challa and Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) face off in a final battle that takes them deep into the core of Wakanda. A battle for the fate of Wakanda is a battle for the world, and there are huge stakes as these cousins fight for control of the throne. While the two of them fight in Vibranium costumes, they both lose that advantage, and it ultimately becomes a battle of skill. T’Challa eventually comes out as the winner after a slick knife catch, and Killmonger exits the stage with what might be one of the most powerful lines of dialogue ever in the MCU.