Best Superhero Movie Moments of 2018

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.

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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.

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?"

Related: Avengers 4 Theory: Iron Man Recreates Ultron To Defeat Thanos

9. Aquaman - Escaping The Trench

Aquaman Trailer 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.

Related: Aquaman's Ending Explained: What It Means For Atlantis & DC's Future

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.

Related: Stormbreaker Can Stop All Six Infinity Stones - Just How Powerful Is Thor's Weapon?

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.

Related: Spider-Gwen's Comic Backstory (& What The Spider-Verse Movie Changes)

6. Black Panther - Killmonger's Death

Black Panther Killmonger 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.

Related: Black Panther Behind-The-Scenes Secrets: Killmonger

"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.

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