EDITORIAL: My Top 5 Comic Book Movie Scenes

EDITORIAL: My Top 5 Comic Book Movie Scenes

There's always a lot of discussion here on CBM about which Comic Book Movies are best, but what about which scenes stand out as the greatest of all time? Here are my top 5. Have a look and sound off in the usual place.

It's a well documented fact that nerds and geeks like to make lists. I am a nerd so here is a list of what I feel are the best scenes to ever be seen in comic book movies.

NOTE: This is in no particular order so the last one is not necessarily 'the best' - they are all just great scenes. I also would like to point out that I am trying to avoid enormous action set-pieces such as the battle of New York for the purposes of identifying more crucial or pivotal scenes.

Frankenstein's Monster - X-Men: First Class

As a boy Erik Lehnsherr was forced into a concentration camp, separated from his family and saw his mother killed before his very eyes. Just after Shaw (or Schmidt as he is then) shoots his mama dead, the young mutant rather understandably goes a bit nuts. He kills two guards in the ensuing madness but it's not 'til years later in Argentina that he gets his greater revenge.
Fueled by hatred Erik Lehnsherr, the man, first toys with his targets before brutally murdering them. It may not be as poignant as when he pushes the coin through Shaw's brain in the film's finale but it does serve to set up Erik as having been transformed - a man who will stop at nothing to take his vengeance and is arguably the moment he truly becomes Magneto.

Knightfall - The Dark Knight Rises

I am not a fan of the final instalment of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy but some scenes do stand out and this one in particular stands above all others. Bruce has been fooled in to following Selina Kyle down in to the sewers only to get locked in a cage with the beast that is Bane.
Tom Hardy's Bane may not be a completely faithful conversion of the character but what they do get right, they get very right.
No matter what Bruce throws at him, Bane is completely unyielding. He is intimidating, imposing and incredibly brutal. The low angle shots really give an impression of total dominance while Bruce is left flailing like a child. After seeing Batman pretty much trounce everything in his path in the first two films, it came as a bit of a shock to see him so soundly beaten (even though it was expected). By the end Bruce is a broken man, dragged away lifeless and defeated. 

Quicksilver Destroys All Guards - X-Men: Days of Future Past

When I saw this scene at the cinema I was literally swept up in the awesomeness. By this point we already know that Peter/Pietro is a speedster, able to move quicker than any of the other characters can even register, but it's not until the moment Charles, Erik, Logan and himself are cornered by guards that we get to see through his goggles.
The slow-motion action is some of the best I've ever seen in cinema let alone comic book movies and it's hard to imagine Avengers: Age of Ultron topping it. Not only is the scene incredibly well conceived in terms of how it's shot, it also serves to show us a little of Quicksilver's personality. He is a jovial sort and his nonchalance really shines through as he takes care of the guards and casually changes the trajectory of bullets. Added to that a satisfying crash at the end, coupled with the bewilderment on his associates faces and we really do have a stand-out scene.

The Joker Introduces Himself - The Dark Knight

Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Clown Prince of Crime is nothing short of legendary. He not only won an Oscar for the role but also (in my opinion) raises the whole film several points, so it's hard to narrow down one scene alone. The interrogation scene between him and Batman is often hailed as the best but this scene, brazenly interrupting the gangster's meeting and killing one of their men, is where we find out all we need to know about the Joker.
He is highly intelligent, seems to have knowledge beyond his means  and is willing not only to kill but also to die.  He's like a force of nature blowing through and even manages to get in a couple of gags. But damn it, he is not crazy! He's out-gunned and out-numbered but he completely owns the room.

Doc Ock Awakens - Spider-Man 2

I am a huge fan of Sam Raimi so it was inevitable I would include a scene from one of his Spider-Man films. Aside from the incredible set piece on the train, this scene of Otto Octavius awakening in hospital after unconsciously taking out the staff with his new found appendages is pure Raimi. For anyone familiar with Raimi's earlier work, particularly on Evil Dead and Evil Dead II, you will instantly recognise the Raimi trademarks. From crash zooms to whip pans and slapstick mixed with horror, this scene has it all including a chainsaw! It may not be the most pivotal scene on this list but from a purely stylistic point of view it is a true joy to watch and is still superior to anything in the Spider-Man films that have followed.

Honourable Mention
Norman Is Not Normal - Spider-Man

Yes, I know...another Raimi scene! But there is no doubt the performance and staging of this moment is incredible. With the mirror acting as a symbol for Norman's fractured psyche, we get to see Willem Dafoe give a tour-de-force as he comes to terms with his actions and ultimately submits to the Goblin's way of thinking. Much is made of Spider-Man villains (particularly Raimi's) always being portrayed in a sympathetic light. There is some truth to this but it doesn't apply to the Green Goblin. Before his accident he is a driven man, determined to achieve success at almost any cost. Initially he is not in control of his actions - his mind seems to split and the 'normal' Norman has no recollection of any of the Goblin's actions. But, by the end of the film Norman tries using this 'innocent' persona to attempt to kill Peter. He is manipulative and down right mean and it is this scene, stood in front of the mirror holding a paper, which is where he turns.

So that's my list, I hope you enjoyed it. Undoubtedly there will be a lot of disagreement with it - if so let me know! What are your favourite scenes and why?  I do have a feeling I've missed something big.

*Apologies for not having videos for all but they're a bit difficult to come by in high enough quality.


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Member Since 7/27/2013
Filed Under "Comics" 7/10/2014
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kinghulk - 7/10/2014, 8:08 AM
no avengers assemble scene? not the entire battle just the assemble bit where the camera circles around them. nice pick anyway i especially loved the joker scene and seeing bane break the bat
sKeemAn - 7/10/2014, 8:24 AM
This is a great moment for me.

Doopie - 7/10/2014, 8:26 AM
the avengers assembling scene almost made it but it's part of a larger set-piece and therefore didn't quite meet my criteria. The bit where Clark rescues the oil rig workers also nearly made it but fell short for the same reason.

my criteria are a bit weird and arguably inconsistent though I must admit
yossarian - 7/10/2014, 8:28 AM
I really liked it when Hal Jordan made a hot wheels construct.

Damn. Okay I start bashing Cyclops tomorrow.
blackandyellow - 7/10/2014, 8:39 AM
The sex scene in A History of Violence.
MercwithMouth - 7/10/2014, 8:40 AM
Great choices...except for Ock. Raimi made a mockery of Doc Ock.

I would likely have the Norman scene at the top of the list. Dafoe is one of my all-time favorite actors and he owned that movie. Probably my second favorite villain performance of all-time behind Nomak from Blade II.

Bane breaking the Bat was probably the biggest nerdgasm of my life...it was phenomenal, and Hard was brilliant as Bane.

Can't say anything bad about Ledger. He made a decent movie incredible. Without him, I don't think any of us would think as highly of the movie as we do.

I wasn't a big fan of First Class, as I found it boring, but Fassbender really made Magneto HIS character. It's not easy to top McKellan, but Fassbender just reeks of evil as Erik.

What can I say about Quicksilver? Loved the portrayal by Evan Peters, who is a criminally underrated actor. And the characterization more than made up for the goofy wardrobe. I can't wait to see him again in Apocalypse.(hopefully with a nice new costume)
kinghulk - 7/10/2014, 8:41 AM
doopie- fair enough what about loki's freedom speech, or the discussion about freedom between nick and cap in TWS? the the privateising world peace scene in iron man 2 that was pretty cool. by the way how is Gurkha coming along?
Doopie - 7/10/2014, 8:53 AM
Merc - couldn't agree more with your assessment of Ledger/TDK - without him, TDK is not that great a picture imo. Might be blasphemy I know!

kinghulk - the scene from avengers that nearly almost made it was the convo between Loki and Stark. That is a great scene but you're right the speech is good too...

"there are no men like me"

"there are always men like you"
yossarian - 7/10/2014, 8:53 AM

I am in the Hall of Shame for the dumbest comment ever.
kinghulk - 7/10/2014, 9:06 AM
doopie- forgot about that scene between stark and loki.
"i have an army" "we have a Hulk"
and this bit "and there's one other person you pissed off, his name was phil"
apparently the his name was phil bit was added like 2 weeks before release and i gotta say im glad they did.
MercwithMouth - 7/10/2014, 9:08 AM
All-time favorite MCU scene:

Shakespearean perfection by arguably the two best actors in the MCU.
Doopie - 7/10/2014, 9:19 AM
Merc - yep I missed that one. It is excellent.
kinghulk - 7/10/2014, 9:23 AM
merc- that scene is brilliant, i loved how odin goes into the odin sleep the very second his son finds out hes adopted lol.
kong - 7/10/2014, 9:28 AM
I laughed out loud when he slammed the guys head in to the pencil. I've continued to ever since I saw that movie for the first time.
Doopie - 7/10/2014, 9:40 AM
kinghulk - I must admit the pics for Gurkha are going rather slowly but they will get done. I've just got a lot of drawing on my plate at the moment
kinghulk - 7/10/2014, 9:42 AM
doopie- thanks i dont mind them going slow i just like to check every now and again. i understand you got a lot to do and i dont care how long it takes after all you have other stuff to do like real life and that villian pub thing yesterday which was brilliant.
cipher - 7/10/2014, 10:08 AM
Dude, I'm glad you mentioned the Mirror Scene from Spider-Man. That's still one of my favourites. Dafoe was the best part of the original trilogy as far as I'm concerned. He just seemed to be having so much fun with the role, y'know? I loved it.

It's kinda hard for me to narrow my favourite scenes down to a list without agonising over it and feeding my f*cking OCD, but I like all of these.

Good stuff, Doop.


cipher - 7/10/2014, 10:13 AM
I love the scene from DOFP when Wolvie's trying to convince the young Charles to not give up. McAvoy's a great f*cking actor, man.
TwistedKingdom - 7/10/2014, 10:24 AM

I 2nd that.
cipher - 7/10/2014, 10:32 AM
V for Vendetta? Nice. Don't see a lot of people mentioning that one very often. It's a great movie.

Doopie - 7/10/2014, 10:46 AM
the lack of Watchmen and V scenes is due to me not being a fan of them at all. I love Alan Moore's work, I find it truly inspiring but the films do (almost) nothing for me.
Abary - 7/10/2014, 10:48 AM
Great list, all of these are really great, but my top 5 would probably be way off. I personally would have included something from Avengers, but following your criteria, it makes sense because most of the scenes from Avengers are all connected within a bigger scene. Also, you should have waited a few weeks for this in case GOTG were to add a scene here ;P
GodzillaKart - 7/10/2014, 11:04 AM
@Doopie! Great list! I love them all except the Batman/Bane scene. I like the emotional aspect of Bruce getting owned, but thought they fought more like bar room brawlers than trained combatants.

The other four would probably be in my top 5 as well.
GodzillaKart - 7/10/2014, 11:07 AM
Iron Man's Mark 3 assault in afghanistan or Cap's assault on the boat in TWS would probably round out my top 5.
Doopie - 7/10/2014, 11:12 AM
the boat sequence is awesome especially the showdown between Cap and Batroc. truly great stuff.

I get what you mean about the Bane/Bats fight but I look at it as if Bruce is meant to be out of shape and Bane is just meant to be a dominating physical presence without the need to be refined
GodzillaKart - 7/10/2014, 11:12 AM
Jesus...I have to agree with MantiniumMan. Hit Girl saving Big Daddy was a fantastic scene...as was the introduction to Hit Girl scene with the Banana Split theme playing.
GodzillaKart - 7/10/2014, 11:13 AM
Good point on the Bane/Bat fight.
GodzillaKart - 7/10/2014, 11:14 AM
I'm not a fan of TIH, but the campus fight scene was great.
DeusExSponge - 7/10/2014, 11:15 AM
While I don't have list, one of my favourite scenes from any CBM would be the first Iron Man where he uses the Mark III for the first time. It was absolutely breath taking and made me realize how awesome Iron Man is!
WinterSoldier33 - 7/10/2014, 12:24 PM
dark knight interrogation scene is my favorite
YoDawg - 7/10/2014, 12:25 PM
Yall faking on the MS shit.

Cap fighting Bucky and finding out he's the winter soldier?
The Avengers Assemble Scene?
Spiderman vs Dock Ock fight?
Joker Bank Rob scene?
MOS Smallville fight?

MrBlackJack - 7/10/2014, 12:28 PM
Excellent list Doop! I got chills watching the Bane/Batman fight when I first saw it in the theater.
McGee - 7/10/2014, 12:30 PM
Your list is shit Doopie.


Because this should have been on your list!!!

MrBlackJack - 7/10/2014, 12:30 PM
This may be a little short for a list like this, but if I were making a list I'd make this an honorable mention:
MrBlackJack - 7/10/2014, 12:31 PM
^^^ Just open the gif in a new tab and it'll look much better. ^^^
Sunnyd - 7/10/2014, 12:33 PM
hitgirl scene at the end was fanfriggintastic
EhMaybeSays - 7/10/2014, 12:34 PM
Opticblast - 7/10/2014, 12:35 PM
I think the Quicksilver scene in DOFP is overrated. It's nothing we haven't seen before (Smallville anyone?). I'm sure Avengers AOU version of Quicksilver will run circles around Fox's version. He'll be more than just a plot device. He'll be an actual character.
TheRationalNerd - 7/10/2014, 12:40 PM
Mines would probably have to be:

Wolverine vs. Shingen Yashida

Hulk (2003) ending

Superman Returns (2006) When Clark flies to the Sun to regain his strength.

X-Men: First Class (2011) "Never Again"

The Dark Knight (2008) Interrogation Scene with The Joker

gaikinger - 7/10/2014, 12:41 PM
My favorite CBM scene is the one that starts just before the beginning credits and ends at the end of the closing credits in Dredd.
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