With the release of Avengers: Endgame in a couple of weeks, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is coming to a major point when the complete saga ends. It is hard to come out with a list of top moments and hence we take a look at some of the most defining moments over the course of the 21 movies in the MCU.
1. Captain America crashes into hibernation (Captain America: First Avenger)
Captain America crash landing into the bed of the ocean after his fight with the Red Skull is a major point in the MCU, as it makes Captain America freeze for the next 70 years. In the same scene, the Tesseract too gets into the ocean away from Red Skull. This incident enables Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D to use Cap and his leadership abilities in the wars to come. Furthermore, this incident is also responsible for the tesseract staying on Earth for all these years.
2. Captain Marvel realizes her true potential (Captain Marvel)
Vers or Carol Danvers was asked not to use her powers during her stay in Kree by Yon-Rogg. Multiple factors lead to her unleashing her full potential, like recalling her memories, finding out the true nature of Yon-Rogg and the need to save the Skrulls from the attack of Kree. This is the moment when Carol Danvers truly becomes Captain Marvel. She defeats the Skrull Army and the spaceships of Ronan, single-handedly, using her superhuman powers like travelling at supersonic speeds, sending energy beams from her hands, brute strength and much more. The best part is that she is still discovering all her powers.
3. “I am Iron Man” (Iron Man)
This is undoubtedly one of the most iconic moments in the history of MCU. When Tony Stark addresses the media to explain the events that took place in his building and other related stuff, he simple says, “I am Iron Man.” This was the first time ever in the history of superhero movies, a superhero reveals his true identity. However, this should not come as a surprise, given the cocky nature (in a good way) of Tony Stark.
4. Thor becomes worthy of Mjolnir (Thor)
When Odin sends Thor to Earth on exile, he no longer can wield his hammer Mjolnir. When Loki sends The Destroyer on Earth to kill Thor and his friends. Thor stands up to the Destroyer to save his friends. Destroyer hits him hard, almost killing him. This good deed makes him worthy enough to wield his hammer. Mjolnir comes from the drop site and reaches Thor’s hand with clap of thunder. Thor gets his powers and suit back along with the Hammer. He kills the Destroyer with ease and takes him back to Asgard.
5. Loki uses the mind stone (Avengers)
Thanos sends Loki to Earth with a Scepter that has innumerable powers. He is able to kill soldiers and manipulate minds using it. He manipulates the minds of Dr. Selvig and Clint Barton to aid him to get the Tesseract. This is a major point in the plotline, as it is the first time we get to see the powers of Mind Stone. One of the most interesting things that very few know is that Loki himself was manipulated by Thanos before coming to Earth. If this is true then Loki might not have been as bad as we think he is during this stage.
6. Coulson’s death unites the Avengers (Avengers)
When Loki arrives on Earth, Nick Fury calls in Earth’s mightiest superheroes for help. However, everyone has their own ego issues and they do not get along at all. Loki ends up killing Agent Coulson using the Scepter, which comes as a shock to everyone. Coulson was the one person who believed the most in the Avengers. Nevertheless, he succumbs to death due to the negligence of the very same people he looked up to all this while. This incident hits the superheroes hard and unites them together to form the team of Avengers for the very first time.
7. Reality Stone as Aether (Thor: The Dark World)
When Jane Foster reaches the point of Convergence, the portal sucks her into a far-off planet. She finds a mysterious object, liquid in shape, red in colour and stored between two huge rocks. When she approaches it, the flowing liquid latches on to it. We later come to know that it is the Aether that has possessed her. The movement of Aether from its safe haven, brings back the Dark Elves from their long hibernation.
8. Bucky returns from the dead (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Everyone including Captain America thought that Bucky died in the train accident when fighting Red Skull and his men. However, it was not the case, as the agents of HYDRA had saved his life only to turn him into a master assassin. Captain America is shocked to see his old pal in this condition but has to fight against him to save the world from HYDRA.
9. Decimation of S.H.I.E.L.D (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Right at the end of the battle, Nick Fury fakes his death by building a grave for himself. He asks Cap and Agent Romanoff to call him whenever they need his help. In short, this is the end of SHIELD and its glory days. Fury’s departure is also crucial to the fact that his absence is what allows the Avengers to dismantle so easily later in the timeline. If Fury were there, he would have ensured that the Avengers stick together as a team.
10. Guardians contain the Power Stone (Guardians of the Galaxy)
When the Guardians are fighting against Ronan the Accuser in the end, Peter Quill manages to steal the Power Stone from him using his antics. He tries to sacrifice himself by consuming the power of Power Stone for the greater good of the Universe. The explosion kills Ronan but the energy outflow is so much that the Guardians are called into action to absorb the energy within them. Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot help Quill in bringing the Power Stone back into the Orb. This is the first time that the Guardians show the Unity that they were lacking. This moment also shows that Quill is not a mere human but has some special powers too, as he is able to manage the strength of an infinity stone.
11. Battle of Sokovia (Avnegers: Age of Ultron)
The Battle of Sokovia is a major scene in the sense that it not only shows the Avengers fighting Ultron, Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver but also the aftermath of the battle which leads to the splitting of Avengers during the Civil War. Ultron wants to end all human life to bring back peace in the world and takes the help of Scarlett Witch and Quick Silver as well. Avengers do manage to beat them and escape unscathed. However, during the long battle sequence, thousands of innocent lives are lost. Helmut Zemo, who lost his family during this battle, takes revenge on the Avengers by bringing forth major differences between them, making the battle of Sokovia a defining moment in the timeline of the MCU.
12. Proposal of Treaty (Captain America: Civil War)
Due to the actions of Avengers, thousands of people lose their lives and hence the government wants to keep them in check. The government wants to take the Avengers program under their belt. Iron Man, Vision and other few accept the offer but Captain America and Falcon decline it. Cap believes if they come under the government, they would not be able to protect the world when required but instead will be left just as pawns of the government. However, Iron Man tries to reason with him by saying that the Avengers need to be kept in check. This leads to tensions between the two leaders, which ultimately leads to the Avengers splitting.
13. Battle Royale (Captain America: Civil War)
Helmut Zemo plays the masterstroke of pitting the Avengers against each other. He understands that this is the only way of defeating the Avengers. He provides footage of Bucky Barnes killing Tony Stark’s parents. This infuriates Tony and he seeks revenge by killing Bucky. However, Captain America tries to save his best friend. This is the reason why Iron Man has his own team and Captain America builds his own team. Cap team: Falcon, Ant-Man, Scarlett Witch, Hawk-Eye, Winter Soldier and Cap himself. Iron Man team: Vision, Spiderman, War Machine, Black Panther, Black Widow and Iron Man himself. Well, that is your full roster of Avengers minus Thor and Hulk. This battle has huge repercussions; as Tony and Cap split after this and no longer work together.
14. Dr. Strange’s Time Stone (Doctor Strange)
When Doctor Strange uses the Time Stone, he gets to know about the different dimensions and the realms that are in store in the Universe. He practices to control the stone according to his wishes but fails to achieve it fully. He understands that he cannot use it just for fun, as it will create multiple timelines, leading to disruption in things that are already written. In this moment, we get to see the incredible potential of the Time Stone.
15. Destruction of Asgard (Thor: Ragnorak)
When Thor is fighting Hela to save Asgard from destruction, he remembers his father’s words about how he said that Asgard is not the planet but the people in it. Therefore, he asks Loki to bring the Crown of Surter from the Vault to bring on Raganarok to destroy the planet. Loki does so and the huge fire consumes Hela with it. Thor, Loki, Heimdall and Hulk leave the planet on a ship to create a new Asgard with their own civilization.
16. Loki dies a hero (Avengers: Infinity War)
Loki’s death in the first 15 minutes of the movie is one of the most defining moments of Infinity War, as it sets the tone for the rest of the movie. We get to know that Thanos means business and will not stop at anything. After Thanos takes the Space Stone out of the Tesseract and puts it in his gauntlet, Loki offers him to help get the remaining stones from Earth. Loki tries to kill Thanos when he approaches but fails to do so. Thanos kills Loki in one go and says that there will be no more resurrections this time. It is sad to see Loki dying at a moment where he selflessly stood for the right thing.
17. Thanos gets the soul stone (Avengers: Infinity War)
Thanos takes Gamora to the location of the Soul Stone, Vormir. Here, they confront Red Skull, the stonekeeper. He tells them that they will have to sacrifice something they love in order to gain the Soul Stone. Thanos pushes Gamora off the cliff to make the sacrifice and hence gets the soul stone. This moment is striking because Gamora laughed at Thanos that he would never get the Soul Stone, as he did not love anyone. It was quite heart breaking to see Gamora die this way. This also showed the soft side of Thanos.
18. Dr. Strange gives up the Time Stone (Avengers: Infinity War)
Doctor Strange looks into the future and sees 14 million possibilities of how things turn out from there on, finding only one outcome that favours them in which they manage to defeat Thanos. Therefore, Doctor Strange giving away the Time Stone to Thanos might be related to the outcome where they win. There is no other reason why Doctor Strange should give away the stone when he has sworn to protect at all costs. However, we can only come to know that in Endgame, as Doctor Strange dies in the end.
19. Thanos uses time stone to get the mind stone (Avengers: Infinity War)
When Thanos arrives in Wakanda, he goes after Vision to get the Mind Stone but faces a number of Avengers. He brushes past all of them before getting hold of Vision. However, just when Thanos is about to get the Mind Stone, Vision asks Scarlett Witch to kill him and destroy the Mind Stone. She does so and Thanos is left without completing his gauntlet. This is when Thanos uses the Time Stone to turn back the recent events like Wanda destroying the Mind Stone and killing Vision. He then holds Vision in his arms and takes out the mind stone from his head, leaving him dead for good. It leads to Thanos completing his infinity gauntlet.
20. The SNAP! (Avengers: Infinity War)
Right when Thanos has all the infinity stones in his gauntlet, Thor manages to plunge the Stormbreaker in his chest. However, Thanos tells him that he should have gone for the head and snaps his fingers. What everyone dreaded happens and the superheroes start disappearing into puffs of ash. Thanos actually snapping was a moment that was said right at the start but no one still expected it. This is the reason why this moment had such an impact on fans from around the world.