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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
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February 26, 2024

Top 5 Marvel Cinematic Universe Films

With+the+recent+release+of+Black+Panther%2C+Marvel+has+once+again+outdone+itself+with+this+nuanced+take+on+the+greatest+African-American+hero+of+all+time.

With the recent release of “Black Panther,” Marvel has once again outdone itself with this nuanced take on the greatest African-American hero of all time.

Marvel Studios have been knocking it out of the park for 10 years now. Each new film continues to be a critical and commercial success, even sticking to the comic book source material. Every new film seems to one-up the previous, with each passing year engrossing the audience more and more in the world of heroes. With the recent release of “Black Panther,” Marvel has once again outdone itself with this nuanced take on the greatest African-American hero of all time. The eighteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has caused a re-ranking for all of the films.
Here are, in my opinion, the top five MCU movies thus far:

5. Iron Man (2008)
This is the film that started it all. “Iron Man” introduced us to one of the most memorable characters of all time: Tony Stark. This was the perfect movie to kick off the shared universe, as it really had everything. We get an exciting and relatable character with a brilliant origin story. Most importantly, it opened the door for the growth of the universe. “Iron Man” made a lesser known hero, at least from a pop culture standpoint, a household name. This is all because Iron Man was one of the best superhero films ever made.

4. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
To me, it seems like this was a tricky film to make. Based on one of the most important comics in the last 20 years, “Captain America: Civil War” needed to knock it out of the park. While it took a lot of liberties with the source material, it still told an exciting and emotionally thrilling story surrounding the relationship of Captain Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. “Civil War” was the perfect set up for “Avengers: Infinity War,” which will be the culmination of over 10 years of Marvel’s building.

3. Black Panther (2018)
Where to begin with this one. “Black Panther” was easily the most unique and nuanced story that Marvel has ever done. The film tells real-world stories through the lens of comic book characters. Fans were clamoring for more Black Panther after his amazing introduction in “Civil War.” This film delivered on those expectations. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where this film ranked all time in the MCU, and while it’s the best origin film Marvel has ever done, it isn’t the best solo film. It’s truly amazing in every way that a comic book movie should be, but it’s just a touch behind film #2 on the list.

2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
I’m backtracking a bit on my claim from the “Black Panther” review, but this film took the MCU to a new level. At this time, comic book movies were still just viewed as “popcorn flicks.” However, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” told a new, deeper story. The only superhero films to tell stories like this were Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” films, which were obviously not involved in the MCU. Marvel’s films were more geared toward kids with a much lighter tone and more humorous characters. While “Winter Soldier” has these things, it also tells a deep and emotional story. This movie even makes Captain America, the often-criticized flag-bearing boy scout, one of the most popular characters in the world by making him more realistic to a post-Vietnam War America. “Winter Soldier” is still the best solo film in Marvel history, based on its quality and impact.

1. The Avengers (2012)
What else can be said about this one? It changed everything. This film took the superhero genre to new heights. There had never been a team up of this magnitude on screen before, and for the first time, fans saw “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” united on the big screen. This one felt like an Avengers comic, even using the team’s first villain from the comics, Loki, as the main villain.