Maybe it was Superman besting Lex Luthor’s nuclear missiles by turning the world backward on its axis. Maybe it was Spider-Man swinging over the NYC skyline for the first time. Heck, maybe it was a Robert Downey Jr. quip.
We all know them when we see them: Those moments in big-screen adaptations of superhero comics that made you get goosebumps, that made you pump your fist and shout “Yes!” right there in the theater.
Here’s a personal, subjective list of my five favorite superhero movie moments. And yes, this short list is heavy on “Iron Man” and Marvel movies. Maybe a follow-up installment will spread the love around a bit.
Superman’s first flight. The 1978 “Superman” reaches a several-minute-long high point during the sequence when Superman takes on bad guys and even rescues a kitten from a tree on his first night in Metropolis. But the single coolest moment? When, at the end of years of training, Christopher Reeve, in the classic Superman suit for the first time, flies from a distant point in the Fortress of Solitude toward the camera.
The suitcase suit. “Iron Man 2” was lacking in a lot of ways, but the appearance of the suitcase suit – a staple of the classic “Iron Man” comics – was a highlight.
Iron Man vs. thugs. When Tony Stark finds out his weapons are being used by marauding terrorists in “Iron Man,” he suits up and engages in some wish fulfillment fantasy. Who hasn’t wanted to fly over to a foreign country and take out some oppressors?
The tracking shot in “The Avengers.” There’s no denying the power of the moment in “The Avengers” when the team assembles, backs to each other, in a circle, ready to face the menace of Loki’s army. That’s the single most powerful visual shot in the movie. But for my fanboy money, the coolest sequence in the movie is Joss Whedon’s long tracking shot as his camera follows Iron Man through the concrete canyons, capturing one Avenger after another battling the Chitauri.
Nick Fury. Nick Fury! The modern age of comic book movies began at the end of 2008’s “Iron Man” when Tony Stark comes home to find Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, director of SHIELD, in his house. Fury says he’s there to talk to him about … the Avengers Initiative!