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10 Best Fight Scenes In Comic Book Movies

Everyone loves a good fight scene, right? Good going against evil, or sometimes even two good guys duking it out over a difference of opinion. And these days, with cinemas bursting at the seams with fantastic comic book movies, there’s so many great ones to choose from. While there’s a lot more heart and craft in the characterisation of the Marvel & DC silver screen supers than ever before, the focal point of many of their movies is still a good old-fashioned fight scene.

Because this is strictly about fights, there’s no place for Avengers’ iconic Battle For New York, seeing as it’s a sprawling action sequence featuring lots of mini fights, escapes and rescues from across NYC. There’s also no place for the new young X-Men movies either. No particular reason; they’re just not very good.

While gunplay and superpowers aren’t a disqualifier here, the list does give credence to close quarters combat (that is what a fight is, after all). With that in mind, get ready to relive some of the most exciting action sequences in modern movies as we track every punch, kick and headbutt from our costumed heroes.

10. Sin City – Deadly Little Miho

Troublemaker Studios

Kicking it off with a non-Marvel/DC entry, though they do make up the remainder of the list. Still, it felt right to have at least one representing the also rans, with Dark Horse’s Sin City taking the spot. Across both this and the so-so sequel, A Dame To Kill For, there’s a lot of blood spraying action, but nothing quite captured Frank Miller’s comic book as well as Deadly Little Miho.

A skilled samurai in her troupe of prostitute assassins, Miho never says a word across either movie. First introduced when her throwing star slices off Jackie Boy’s hand, she then leaps onto his car killing two henchmen. The shot of her stabbing through the roof and impaling one of their eyeballs especially feels like a frame ripped right out of Miller’s noir opus.

Even in a movie dripping with cool, Miho’s killing of Jackie Boy tops the lot. After tricking him into slipping on his severed hand (the nearby throwing star lodging in his butt cheek as he falls), she then blocks the barrel of his gun so it backfires and slams between his own forehead. He’s still not quite dead, so Miho ‘makes a Pez dispenser out of him’.

9. Spider-Man – Spider-Man Vs. Green Goblin

Sony Pictures

This is the kind of scene they just don’t make anymore. Comic book movies have gotten considerably less campy, and while for the most part that’s a good thing (no one wants to see Ben Affleck doing the Batusi), we do miss out on pantomime moments like this.

After a colourful, cartoonish rampage earlier in the movie (equipped with grenades that turn people into skeletons), the Goblin’s final fight with Spidey is much darker. In a shadowy, slow motion sequence, Green Goblin pummels Spider-Man with blow after blow, only relenting when Spider-Man breaks free and yanks an old wall down on top of him.

The acting is hammy as hell in the closing monologue, but if you’re watching the old Spider-Man movies these days that’s what you’re looking forward too. Marvel is quip a minute now, but it still takes itself more seriously than it did in the early ‘00s.

It all ends when Goblin is impaled on his own board after Spider-Man backflips over it. This kind of scene has no place in the MCU these days, but it’s etched into comic book movie legacy forever.

8. Avengers: Infinity War – Thanos Vs. Tony’s Team

Marvel Studios

Avengers: Infinity War had so many blockbuster moments (Thor stopping the power of a star comes to mind) but without a doubt the single greatest fight sequence went down on Titan.

With Thanos having been built up for so long, Josh Brolin’s performance really had to deliver. And deliver it did. While the other Avengers movies have focused on a well oiled unit working together, Infinity War saw Tony Stark leading a ragtag gang of misfits in an assault against Thanos.

Bloody Peter Quill. They might have defeated him if Star-Lord could’ve kept his damn head together. Yes, I know Doctor Strange saw the future and this was the only way they’d win, but still…

The fight itself is so great because we get to see so many different dynamics. Mantis has a purpose for once, we see some sublime action sequences from Spider-Man, and authoritarian Tony Stark always has gravitas. Once Thanos awakes from his hypnosis – courtesy of Quill – we then see the always cinematic Doctor Strange join the fray.

This scene is so successful because it does what every great MCU moment does; milks the characterisation for all it’s worth and throws it into high octane action.

7. Wonder Woman – No Man’s Land

Warner Bros.

Is this breaking the rules laid out in the introduction? Possibly, given as it’s Diana’s slow march across No Man’s Land rather than straight up combat, but it feels like she’s single handedly fighting the German army and is too good a scene to leave out.

It’s hard to believe that Warner Brothers actually wanted this scene cut entirely before director Patty Jenkins insisted it remain. Actually, considering the general mismanagement of the DCEU it’s not to difficult to believe at all.

Wonder Woman is often thought of as the best DC movie since The Dark Knight Rises, and moments like this elevate it above the crowd. There’s the ice cool reveal of her crown as she pulls away her hair, the sumptuous rising music and that confident, no nonsense strut combining perfectly to make this moment so memorable. The only issue is that while deflecting the bullets with her arms looks cool, why not just use her huge shield?

If you’re a real stickler for accuracy, you can go ahead and pretend this entry’s about Diana’s initial fight with the soldiers when they first land in Themyscira. It’s almost as good.

6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Elevator Scene

Marvel Studios

While a lot of this list deals with huge action sequences (as do the majority of comic book movies themselves), Captain America: The Winter Soldier was best when it went micro. Although the fight on the ship with Batroc is a good set piece, the fight in the elevator is indelibly linked with the Russo brothers’ first movie.

While Captain America has always had his super serum, his lack of flight or other obviously supernatural power has always seen him walk a line between the likes of Thor and Hawkeye. He’s both a superhero and a regular Joe.

This scene fully plays to Cap’s unique position, jamming him and a set of enemies (including the man who would become Crossbones) into a cramped elevator. As well as the scuffle with Batroc, the film features emotional fisticuffs between the two title characters, but this is where we see pure comic book action.

Normally quite cut and dry, we see a rare quotable line from Rogers as he asks “Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?”. From there, the claustrophobic action just gets more intense as Cap single handedly takes on his assailants.

5. Logan – Logan Vs. X-24

Fox

Wolverine fans had been waiting since the first flick in 2000 to see Bezerker Rage unleashed, but maybe they should’ve been careful what they wished for. Not because the scene wasn’t amazing, but because of its rather tragic end.

It begins with possibly the darkest action sequence of an X-Men movie ever, led by Logan himself and young killing machine X-23. Logan takes bullets for her as he rips throats open, not that she can’t handle herself alone. We see her leaping through the air to take henchmen out fearlessly before the X-24 is unleashed.

Also played by Hugh Jackman, X-24 is a clone of Logan but set constantly in Bezerker Rage mode. He never even speaks, save for grunts of anger. While a lot of the entries here are sleekly choreographed, this battle is raw, blood soaked and powerful. It’s so gritty and grisly that it only ends when both Logan and the X-24 are dead.

Following Logan’s death and Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s Marvel properties, the silver screen future of Wolverine is very much up in the air. Hopefully we’ll at least get to see X-23 ripping enemies to shreds in the future.

4. Avengers – Black Widow On The Chair

Marvel Studios

Similar to Captain America in the elevator, except in a slightly bigger space and with way more acrobatics.

Part of Black Widow’s mystique in Iron Man 2 is her lack of backstory, but it does hamper development somewhat. That’s why when Avengers opens with her strapped to a chair, we’re not sure what to make of it. She’s in a precarious position, and although audiences knew such a main character wasn’t going to be killed off, we definitely weren’t expecting what came next.

Not only does Widow escape her ropes with ease, she’s only been pretending to let the interrogators have the upper hand to get information from them. While this is excellent foreshadowing for her getting the drop on Loki, it also provides a great insight into her intelligence; especially as her debut focussed almost solely on her athletic prowess.

As well as the story elements, the action is amazing too. Using the chair to her advantage, she uses it as a weapon against two enemies before slamming down to shatter it and escape. From there we see her full acrobatic skillset, and the cutaway to Coulson waiting patiently lets us know that this is the real Black Widow style.

3. Captain America: Civil War – Cap & Winter Soldier Vs. Iron Man

Marvel Studios

Moreso than anything else in Civil War (yes, more even than the battle at the airport) this is the moment that truly broke the Avengers apart.

After Tony learns that the Winter Soldier murdered his parents, all bets are off as he launches into a fierce attack. Steve’s loyalty to Bucky has never been in question, and with tensions between Cap & Iron Man frayed already, it soon turns into a two on one showdown.

What makes so many Marvel fight scenes great is the creativity, and how much they use each characters’ uniqueness to build the scene. This fight is no different, with Tony attempting to overpower Bucky’s metal arm as they go toe to toe.

We then see Iron Man struggling in a fight for the first real time as Steve lands blow after blow and FRIDAY tells him he can’t beat him hand to hand. Tony’s struggled against Stane, Whiplash and Killian in his solo outings, but you always knew he’d come out on top. Here, we’re left in the dark. Analysis of Steve’s fighting style lets him drive Cap back, but as the fight gets more desperate, the searing dialogue takes this bout to the next level.

2. Deadpool – On The Road

20th Century Fox

Deadpool was always going to be amazing or terrible, with the slim chance it would be so terrible it was amazing. Thankfully for Ryan Reynolds and the movie going public, Deadpool was a smash hit success.

Breaking the fourth wall was always going to be a huge staple of this release, with possibly the greatest example being this shootout on the highway. The build up to the fight is one of the best comic book movie car chases (although The Winter Soldier and Civil War offer competition) before Deadpool slows things down to explain to his attackers and to the audience that he only has twelve bullets to go around.

He gets two headshots right out the gate, but then three bullets are wasted on a biker. Another headshot quickly boosts his morale before the action speeds up and he scores another hilarious kill, posing on the tarmac as the henchman’s clip runs dry.

The next bullet takes out a grenade before a trickshot between the legs scores another in the head. Irritated by this henchman though, he pumps two more rounds into him. This just sets up the crowning moment of this gunfight; a triple headshot with the final bullet.

1. Avengers: Age Of Ultron – Hulk Vs. Hulkbuster

Marvel Studios

One of the coolest things in the entire MCU has been watching Tony Stark’s suits evolve and grow with each movie. While the nanotech in Infinity War is technically superior to Hulkbuster in its engineering, Iron Man has never been more cinematic than he was in Age Of Ultron.

The movie is decent, but like a lot of middle children it comes out looking worse when compared to its older and younger siblings: Avengers 1 & 3. Having said that, this all spills, all thrills fight is one of the highlights of the entire MCU.

We see the full creativity of Tony Stark on display here, from his (admittedly failed) hulkproof cage to his pneumatic fist pounding repeatedly into Hulk’s face. Tony’s cocky attitude is perfectly suited, with his trademark wit used just enough to fill the fight with character without going overboard and stealing the action’s limelight.

What’s most impressive here is how the frenetic fighting traverses a number of settings: the street, in flight, corporate offices… but we feel a part of it every step of the way. Hulk and Iron Man have each had their fair share of showdowns, but they’ve never been better than when they took on each other.

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