Recently I've taken up the task of revisiting a vast majority of past Marvel films, and one surprising fact has come to light. There are far more moments in and outside of the MCU in which two characters who are traditionally Marvel heroes go toe-to-toe than I ever remembered. Prior to this, I really only related superhero infighting to Captain America: Civil War, but it happened a lot of times in theatrical releases before and after that as well. Just ask Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool. Or Thor and Hulk.
While there are some amazing fights from Civil War that deserve the proper tribute, there are some criminally underrated Marvel fights that don't get enough love. Here are some glowing examples for anyone looking to see two good guys (or one sarcastic good guy and one sort-of not bad guy) go toe-to-toe, even if they ultimately realize in the end they're both on the same side.
Tony Stark Vs. James "Rhodey" Rhodes (Iron Man 2)
In Iron Man 2, Tony Stark thinks he's going to die, and since he's not quite the full-blown hero we see in later MCU movies, he gets ripped drunk and throws a penthouse party in the Iron Man suit. After embarrassing Pepper Potts and Rhodey, the latter of the two decides to do something about it. Though I question Rhodes not being able to effectively overtake a drunk Stark, I do appreciate the overall chaotic nature of their club brawl, which features some pretty great tunes from Daft Punk, Rob Base, and DJ E-Z Rock. It certainly took two to make this fight alright, and while the movie isn't the best the MCU has to offer, this scene makes the whole experience out of sight.
Deadpool Vs. Cable (Deadpool 2)
I'd be making a mistake if I went down the list of greatest Marvel superhero showdowns on film and didn't bring up the Truck fight between Cable and Deadpool. This sequence is balls-out action from start to finish, quite literally since Cable takes Deadpool's groin to the face just before the truck completely falls apart. No disrespect to the prison fight, of course, but you really can't find a better balance of action and laughs throughout all of Deadpool 2 than in the truck scene. If you don't laugh after Wade attempts to block all of Cable's bullets with dual katanas and fails, I have to conclude you must just hate fun.
Spider-Man Vs. Captain America (Captain America: Civil War)
It's the classic tale of a kid from Queens taking on a man from Brooklyn. Peter Parker's MCU debut was and still feels like a big moment when he's enlisted by Iron Man for the airfield fight for reasons I still don't fully understand. In either case, these scenes did a great job of showing just where Tom Holland's Spidey fell on the MCU strength chart and was an impressive preview of what he could do. It's a shame we never saw an experienced Spidey go toe-to-toe with Cap, though with some weird multiverse stuff set to happen in Phase Five, perhaps there's a chance for that yet.
Thor Vs. Hulk (Thor: Ragnarok)
Thor and Hulk have had their showdowns in the past, but none are quite as fun or as entertaining as their arena brawl in Thor: Ragnarok. The whole fight, pageantry, and pops of color make for the ultimate blend of MCU meets classic Marvel Comics. There's also that classic touch of Taika Waititi comedy, which I love when Thor calls back to that cheesy calm-down sequence for Hulk first referenced in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Sure there are other fights that feature a bit more skill, but sometimes you just want to see two strong dudes beat the hell out of each other.
Logan Vs. Gambit (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
I have no doubt this encounter is overlooked more often than not, but we need to start recognizing Logan's showdown with Gambit for the masterpiece that it is. This one fight from a universally-panned movie sparked calls for Channing Tatum's Gambit to get solo projects for a decade after it debuted, and it isn't hard to see why watching the scene. Logan getting blown through the wall by the deck of cards is pretty amazing, but man, do I wish we could've seen more of that bo staff action in a better X-Men project.
Ant-Man Vs. Falcon (Ant-Man)
Steve Rogers turned over his shield to Sam Wilson in Avengers: Endgame, though I have to wonder if he wouldn't have had second thoughts after hearing about his run-in with Scott Lang. The Ant-Man lead inadvertently embarrassed Falcon when the two squared off, much to the surprise of Hank and Janet. It's definitely one of the more memorable hero showdowns, thanks in large part to the unconventional fighting methods on display. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to see the two go another round in the near future, though I'd like to see Sam perhaps reveal he's trained for that rematch without anyone knowing. That sounds like a Falcon thing to do, right?
Silver Surfer Vs. The Human Torch (Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer)
With all the leaps and bounds in technology in recent years, it's hard to remember just how damn cool it was to see Silver Surfer zipping through New York while the Human Torch gives chase. Truth be told, Human Torch never really stood a chance against the cosmic being, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate his grit and ability to dodge buses all the same. It's also super cool that Silver Surfer grabs him by the throat and chokes out the flame in space without much thought at all. Like, who comes up with that off the top of their head? I certainly wouldn't.
Tony vs. Captain America + Bucky (Captain America: Civil War)
As if there were any doubt this would be on the list, Tony and Captain America's final showdown in Captain America: Civil War was a major turning point in the MCU that set the stage for the thrilling final acts of The Infinity Saga. It's a fight that had been building between the two since Phase 1, and it all came to a head as Cap went to bat for Bucky. The epic-ness of this fight cannot be understated, though I would argue that on paper, Cap and Bucky shouldn't have struggled to take down Tony as much as they did. Still, what happened happened, and it set a course of events that you have to wonder what would've happened had everyone been on speaking terms when Thanos first attacked.
Remember that with a plethora of Marvel content still on the way, we could be seeing a lot more showdowns between superheroes very soon. Personally, I'm banking on some form of brawl between Falcon and Winter Soldier in their upcoming series, especially given all the squabbling they're doing in the trailer. Got any other fights between Marvel heroes worth mentioning?
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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