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Top 10 Hero Defining Moments from Marvel Movies

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden

Script written by Garrett Alden

If you looked under "hero" in the dictionary, you'd find these inspiring moments. From Iron Man to Spider-Man to Wolverine, these selfless champions of justice have shown of their heroic qualities time after time. Watchmojo counts down the top hero defining moments from Marvel movies.

Special thanks to our user MattW128 for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Hero+Defining+Moments+from+Marvel+Movies


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Script written by Garrett Alden

Top 10 Hero Defining Moments from Marvel Movies

What makes a hero? Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Hero Defining Moments from Marvel Movies.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the moments from movies based on Marvel comics that define the heroes that appear in them. Due to the plot important nature of many of these moments, there will be spoilers ahead.

#10: Wolverine Rescues Rogue

“X-Men” (2000)
Wolverine, a.k.a. Logan, spends a lot of his first film appearance bonding with Rogue, a.k.a. Marie. Although their bond is tested, such as when he accidentally stabbed her and she was forced to absorb his power to heal herself, it’s one of the central emotional currents that runs through the story. During the movie’s climax, Rogue is nearly killed by the strain Magneto’s machine puts on her. In an attempt to save her, Wolverine touches her skin directly, risking death by loss of healing powers, in order to save her. He may be immortal, but it’s when he’s in mortal danger that he’s at his most heroic.

#9: Peter Risks His Life for Gamora

“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)
Given that he was raised by a group of interplanetary criminals who kidnapped him after his mother died, Peter Quill is not the most courageous, selfless, or even well-adjusted of guys. Throughout the beginning of the first “Guardians” film, Peter is only interested in looking out for himself, and only considers helping others if they can help him. However, when Gamora is trapped in the vacuum of space, Peter risks his life to give her his oxygen mask. Granted, he does have a backup plan and he’s not exactly humble about it afterwards, but it still marks his path towards becoming a better man.

#8: You Didn’t See That Coming

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)
Pietro Maximoff, also known as Quicksilver, is a super-fast metahuman who, along with his sister, Wanda, ally themselves with Ultron to get revenge on Tony Stark. Upon realizing the scope of Ultron’s villainy, though, the siblings decide to join the Avengers in their fight against the diabolical machine. Throughout the film, Quicksilver and Hawkeye have a bit of an ongoing rivalry in which one of them says to the other “You didn’t see that coming.” In the film’s climatic battle, Quicksilver uses his speed to save Hawkeye and a civilian from a hail of bullets, demonstrating the true strength of his character and moving beyond fighting for revenge or necessity.

#7: One Last Berserker Rage

“Logan” (2017)
Yes, we’re doing another Wolverine entry. We feel that the character’s long presence on film and extended lifespan make him more prone to redefining himself as a hero. In his final film, Logan spends much of it reluctantly helping his cloned daughter, Laura, reach other young mutants, all while being hunted by cyborg soldiers. Once he unites her with them, he feels like he’s done his duty. However, upon seeing that she’s still being hunted, Logan pursues the goons after injecting himself with a serum that will restore his abilities to full strength, though at a cost. For one final time, the Wolverine is let loose.

#6: I’ve Come to Bargain

“Doctor Strange” (2016)
Despite his profession as a surgeon, Doctor Stephen Strange is predominantly a self-centered man, concerned with his own interests and improving his own skills. This doesn’t exactly change when he starts training to become a sorcerer either. By the film’s climax, Strange comes to understand an important lesson thanks to the advice of the Ancient One: “It’s not about you.” Taking that advice to heart, Strange confronts the powerful Dormammu in the Dark Dimension, asking to bargain. Dormammu promptly kills him, but Strange soon returns. He has trapped them in a time loop, choosing to sacrifice his life over and over to keep Earth safe. Luckily, Dormammu has a short attention span.

#5: Spider-Man Stops a Train

“Spider-Man 2” (2004)
A battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus leads to a train full of people getting caught in the middle. Doc Ock ends up sabotaging the train’s brakes, forcing his opponent to choose between pursuing him, and saving the people on the runaway vehicle. Peter Parker spends much of the film doubting himself and his ability to continue being Spider-Man, due to a temporary loss in his powers. In this moment though, Peter puts his body and life on the line to save the passengers in an impressive display of heroism. The passengers try to return the favor, but aren’t quite as successful…

#4: Groot’s Sacrifice

“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)
At first glance, Groot doesn’t seem all that complex. He’s a big talking tree with a very limited vocabulary. From his behavior, he appears easygoing and somewhat childlike, although given to outbursts of violence during dangerous situations. However, the true measure of the plant man is revealed close to the conclusion of “Guardians of the Galaxy” when the group is aboard a crashing space ship. To protect the others, Groot expands his wooden body to encompass them and protect them from the impact at the cost of his life – because they are Groot… or maybe, friends.

#3: Facing the Destroyer

“Thor” (2011)
Despite being inspired by the Norse god of thunder, Thor still has a lot of growing up to do in his first MCU film. After a rash decision early on, Thor’s father Odin deprives him of his abilities and sends him to Earth to teach him a lesson. Near the film’s climax, Thor’s villainous brother, Loki, sends a powerful mechanical monster called “the Destroyer” to Earth. Upon seeing the, um, destruction his presence has caused, Thor offers his own life to appease Loki, which leads to the depowered god being severely injured. Yet, Thor’s sacrifice demonstrates his worthiness and leads to the restoration of his powers.

#2: Tony Stark Escapes the Cave

“Iron Man” (2008)
While demonstrating his products for the military, weapons manufacturer Tony Stark is kidnapped and imprisoned by terrorists. During his captivity, he comes to understand the effects his weapons have. To escape, he constructs an armored suit and battles the terrorists. As a genius billionaire, Tony has never had to fight for himself. However, he proves here that not only can he fight, but he fights well, especially when motivated to help others for a change. Though Tony experiences another defining moment when he essentially sacrifices himself to shut the wormhole in “The Avengers,” we chose this moment, as it’s when he truly became Iron Man.

#1: I Can Do This All Day

“Captain America” franchise (2011-)
Steve Rogers is a skinny kid from Brooklyn who just wants to do his part for the war effort in the first “Captain America” film, yet his stature prevents him from being recruited, even if he has the right character. At a movie theater, Rogers stands up to a disruptive bully, leading his receiving a beating outside. No matter how many times he gets knocked down though, Steve gets backs up again, finally telling the bully “I can do this all day.” Although he proves his courage once he finally reaches the army by jumping on a grenade, it’s Steve’s determination to never give up that continues to define him once he becomes Captain America.

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