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The Most Paused Superhero Movie Moments

Whether it's an X-Men film, the next chapter in the MCU, or an entry in the DC Extended Universe, superhero movies are filled with some truly incredible moments. After all, these films are about super-powered beings who fight crime, serve justice, and provide humanity with hope. As a result, they've given us all kinds of epic moments and stunning visuals that make you want to press that pause button. Perhaps there's a jaw-dropping battle scene that's just so awesome you'll want to rewind for a second watch. Or maybe there's a beautifully composed shot of your favorite hero about to perform their trademark move, and you need a few extra seconds to admire the scene. Or perhaps there's a supervillain so scary that you'll need a minute or two to catch your breath after he makes his grand and ghoulish entrance. From Wakanda to Wonder Woman, these are the most paused superhero movie moments.

The Avengers - That epic hero shot

It all started in 2008, when Tony Stark announced, "I am Iron Man." After that, we were introduced to a green rage monster, a star-spangled soldier, the god of thunder, and two deadly assassins. But we hadn't seen them all together yet... until The Avengers came along. Directed by Joss Whedon, this 2012 hit assembled Earth's mightiest heroes for the very first time. They bickered, they bantered, they battled aliens, and every scene built towards possibly the greatest hero shot in cinematic history.

In the final act of the film, Loki and his Chitauri army are attacking New York. Five of the six Avengers are doing their best to hold back the aliens, but now there's a toothy space whale in the mix. Fortunately, that's when a bedraggled Bruce Banner shows up. He gets mad, Hulk smashes the Leviathan, and the angry Chitauri surround the Avengers, letting loose with a terrifying war cry. But these heroes aren't afraid. Instead, they all stand back-to-back, preparing for war, as the camera circles around them. For the first time ever, we've got Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye all fighting together, and you'll need to press pause so you can revel in such an awesome moment.

Avengers: Infinity War - Strange magic

Starting with The Avengers, Marvel fans knew Thanos (Josh Brolin) was coming. Finally, the Mad Titan made his move in Avengers: Infinity War, rounding up all the Infinity Stones and halving the population of the universe with a single snap. But before that heartbreaking moment, the Avengers did their best to stop the purple warlord, and none were quite as effective as Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). The surgeon-turned-sorcerer was a key player in Infinity War, protecting the Time Stone from the Black Order and battling Thanos himself on Titan. And it's on this desolate planet that Strange's powers are on full display.

He opens portals for Spider-Man to jump through, he helps Star-Lord run through the air, and his cloak even gets in on the action. In fact, the best moment of the Titan fight is when Strange and Thanos go mano a mano. Shoot a purple lighting bolt at Strange? He'll return fire with the mirror dimension. Hurl a black hole his way? Strange will turn your black hole into beautiful butterflies. But the true pause-worthy moment comes when Strange goes all Shiva, sprouting multiple arms to perform the Images of Ikonn. That moment alone is such an incredible shot that it's worth hitting the pause button, and you'll want to hit it again when there are like 100 Dr. Stranges attacking Thanos with 100 Eldritch Whips. Basically, any time Strange and Thanos are throwing down, you'll want to pause the movie and admire the magic.

Batman Returns - Hell Here

Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) is having a bad day. Moments after learning her boss plans on taking over Gotham City, she's shoved out a window and nearly dies. But this kitty's got nine lives, and after her twitching body is swarmed by every cat in town, the mousy secretary morphs into a sexy, psychotic supervillain, ready for revenge.

When Kyle staggers back into her apartment pale and wild-eyed, her timid ways are gone for good. She begins shoving her stuffed toys down a garbage disposal, spraying her walls with black paint, and destroying anything that belonged to the Selina Kyle of old. And during all this destruction, she takes aim at a pink neon sign hanging in her apartment, knocking out a few letters to change "Hello There" to "Hell Here."

Once she's done trashing the place, Kyle pulls a leather jacket from her closet and makes the world's most skintight bodysuit, complete with razor-sharp claws and cat ears. Totally mad and completely made over, Kyle has finally become Catwoman, and that's when you'll want to press pause to admire the incredibly composed shot. We're looking into her apartment as Catwoman stands at the window, feeling her body and admiring herself. The pink neon "Hell Here" sign is glowing behind her, while outside, it's a world of ice, steam, and stone. The buildings outside are a Gothic nightmare — there's even a gargoyle hunched right over Kyle's head — and there are cats everywhere. It's a creepy and iconic introduction to one of cinema's best villains.

Black Panther - Killmonger revealed

Released in 2018, Black Panther might be Marvel's best film to date. It won three Academy Awards, is currently the highest-rated superhero film on Rotten Tomatoes, and it's one of the highest-grossing films of all time. It also introduced the world to Erik Killmonger, possibly the greatest villain to wreak havoc in the MCU. Played by Michael B. Jordan, Killmonger is a black ops soldier who wants the Wakandan throne, but before he can rule, he'll have to defeat King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman).

Even though it's an incredibly advanced nation, Wakanda still practices ritual combat. If you beat the king, you get the crown, and Killmonger has been training his entire life for this. As his name implies, Killmonger has been racking up an impressive body count, and every time he takes a life, he marks his body with a scar. At first, we only see a few bumps on his forearm, but when it comes time to fight Black Panther, Killmonger pops that shirt off and reveals he's absolutely covered in little dots — one for each dead man.

According to Michael B. Jordan, he's covered in over 2000 of these bumps, which adds up to a lot of corpses. It's a terrific and terrifying reveal, showing that Killmonger is going to be the toughest challenge that T'Challa has ever faced. On top of that, seeing Killmonger in all his glory prompted quite a bit of thirst from Michael B. Jordan fans. So whether you're counting those scars or stopping to admire the view, there are plenty of reasons to pause this revealing scene.

Captain America: Civil War - The airport battle

The airport battle in Captain America: Civil War might be the greatest comic book movie moment of all time. We've got all these heroes coming together for an epic showdown. Nobody wants to kill anyone (aside from Black Panther, anyway), and they're mostly friends, so they're going to exchange as many quips as kicks. Still, that doesn't stop them from shooting arrows, tossing cars, and blowing things up. As a result, you've got a fun-filled action scene filled with pause-worthy moments that need some extra appreciation. 

For example, there's the first appearance of a suited-up Spider-Man, stealing Cap's shield and nervously introducing himself to the rest of the Avengers. The showdown between Spidey, Falcon, and Bucky is filled with so many one-liners that you'll have to keep hitting pause between all the laughter. The moment Giant-Man snags War Machine out of the air, the Empire Strikes Back reference, and anytime Black Panther is going to town are moments that call for a pause-rewind-rewatch.

But the scene that deserves the most attention is when both groups finally square off. When it becomes clear that Cap's team isn't backing down, the two groups rush at each other for a superhero extravaganza. As the Avengers battle each other in this melee of epic proportions, the pause button will come in handy if you want to see who fights who, how they're using their powers, and who's the toughest hero in this crazy civil war.

The Dark Knight - Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stranger

When you're playing the Joker, you've got to make a big entrance. And while Jack Nicholson's first appearance as the Clown Prince of Crime is pretty iconic, it's hard to compete with Heath Ledger's strange and scary intro. In one of the best opening scenes of all time, we watch as a gang of bank robbers, all wearing clown masks, hit one of the biggest banks in Gotham. But as they deactivate the alarm system and crack the safe, we hear them talking about their murderous and mysterious employer — the Joker.

The clown thieves whisper about how the Joker wears "warpaint" and how he's totally crazy. He also seems to be a dangerous dude, as he's ordered the robbers to pick each other off, one by one. Eventually, there's only one clown left, and he's about to make his big getaway, when he hears somebody screaming after him. It's the bank manager — who also happens to work for the mob — and he's none too impressed with these mask-wearing thugs. These punks lack honor. These punks lack respect. What do they even believe in?

And that's when we get the money shot. The clown gets in the bank manager's face and pulls off his mask to reveal, yeah, he's the Joker. He's got greasy hair, darkened eyes, and big red scars. He's an absolute monster, the kind of guy who'll shove a grenade in your mouth, and he's right up in the camera as he announces his psychotic credo. It's then you'll want to pause the film so you can admire that impeccably choreographed heist... and also so you can calm down after staring straight into the eye of chaos incarnate.

The Dark Knight Rises - Light it up

One of the best directors working today, Christopher Nolan has a knack for creating truly staggering visuals. Think all the top hats in The Prestige, the planets in Interstellar, and the folding city in Inception. And right up there with those breathtaking images is the burning Bat Symbol from The Dark Knight Rises.

This 2012 hit finds Gotham City in a world of trouble. Bane (Tom Hardy) has taken over, and he's holding everybody hostage with a neutron bomb. He's cut off all escape routes, trapped the police in the sewer system, and worse still, he recently broke Batman's back and tossed him into an underground prison. Things are looking grim for the citizens of Gotham, especially Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) who's about to get iced, and that's when Batman (Christian Bale) shows up to save the day.

You can't keep a good bat down, and after fixing his back and escaping that pit, Batman rescues Gordon from his incredibly cold fate. But the rest of the city needs to know help is on the way, so the two crimefighters light a giant flaming Bat Symbol atop a nearby bridge. The burning logo gives everyone hope, and it's such a powerful shot that it's worth pausing the film to admire the flames. 

Hellboy II: The Golden Army - The Angel of Death

Guillermo del Toro is really good at making monsters. In fact, he's created some of the scariest creatures to ever crawl across the silver screen. There's the Pale Man in Pan's Labyrinth, the ghosts of Crimson Peak, and the slimy yet sympathetic Amphibian Man in The Shape of Water. But maybe his creepiest creation appears in Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

This movie is jam-packed with impressive-looking monsters, from the eerie elves and Wink the cave troll to a beautiful but beastly forest god. But fans of the otherworldly will definitely want to hit pause when the Angel of Death appears. After being stabbed by a magical spear, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) is taken to this ghastly creature for help. Played by the inimitable Doug Jones, the Angel has eerily long fingers, an immaculately designed rib cage, and no eyes... on its face, anyway.

Perhaps the most shocking moment comes when it's revealed that the Angel's feathery wings are covered in eyeballs. The inspiration for this image came when del Toro saw a painting in a Mexican church depicting an archangel whose wings were dotted with eyeballs. While the monster was originally meant for a film called Mephisto's Bridge, that movie never came to pass; instead, the Angel descended upon The Golden Army, allowing superhero fans to admire its ghoulish design for years to come.

Iron Man - For your consideration, the Jericho

Tony Stark has always been the most complicated Avenger, but when he first appeared in Iron Man, the dude was a straight-up jerk. He was completely self-centered, totally amoral, and made his living as a "merchant of death." He was a warmonger who sold weapons of mass destruction, and until he was captured by terrorists, he didn't care where his missiles ended up. But even though he started off as an awful guy, his obnoxious attitude gave us one of the most pause-worthy moments in the MCU: when he proudly presents his Jericho missiles.

Ever the showman, Tony gives a razzle-dazzle speech to a group of Army officers as he fires his weapon into a desert. The missile opens mid-air and sends a dozen tiny rockets tumbling down into the mountains below. As they ignite some massive explosions, Tony spreads his arms like a circus ringmaster, and it's here you'll want to press pause — when the smoke is billowing in the background, the shock wave is heading straight for the camera, and Tony's hubris is on full display. Tony's self-destructive pride will pop back up multiple times before the franchise is finished, but here, it's captured in the most impressive way.  

Logan - Goodbye to the Wolverine

Hugh Jackman joined the X-Men in 2000, and after that first film, he played the cigar-chomping Wolverine for over 16 years. In fact, he holds the Guinness world record for "longest career as a live-action Marvel superhero," along with X-Men co-star Patrick Stewart. So when it came time for Jackman to say goodbye in Logan, it broke a lot of Marvel fans' hearts. Fortunately, the 2017 film gave Wolverine a proper goodbye. The mutant went out fighting, protecting children from an evil band of scientists and soldiers, and he was sent off with one of cinema's most emotional eulogies.

With tears welling in her eyes, Laura (Dafne Keen) stands over Logan's grave and delivers a monologue from the classic Western Shane. Once she's done saying "there are no more guns in the valley," Laura reaches over to Logan's grave marker and flips it on its side, turning a cross into an "X." Hit the pause button here because the tears will be flowing, and you'll also want to marvel at that final shot of the grave, a tender farewell to the most famous of the X-Men.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - Becoming Spider-Man

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature at the 91st Academy Awards, and with its vibrant colors, comic book textures, and use of panels and thought bubbles, it more than deserved that little gold trophy. And there's no scene more visually impressive than the moment Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) finally takes a leap of faith.

Throughout the film, this teenager has been struggling with way more than any kid should ever have to deal with. He's suddenly gotten super powers, he doesn't know how to use them, and he's scared he might never live up to his potential. (On top of all that, there are supervillains trying to kill him, which never makes things easier.) Grappling with his dual identities, Miles finally owns his Spider-persona, adapting his suit to fit his own background and personality, before literally taking a leap off an enormous skyscraper.

As Miles free falls through the air, he passes through a gorgeous cityscape lit with neon blues, dark purples, and smooth pinks. He's directly at the center of the frame, surrounded by giant, hulking buildings. The world seems so big, Miles seems so small, and he's falling so fast. But when he blasts those web shooters and begins swinging through the city, he is Spider-Man. He's done more than enough to earn the cover to his own comic, and this scene has done more than enough — both emotionally and visually — to earn a few admiring pauses.  

Wonder Woman - No Man's Land

Directed by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman was a box office smash, one of the best-reviewed superhero movies to date, and the first blockbuster to feature a female superhero as the main character. And this wasn't just any female hero — it was the most famous super-woman in comic book history. Played by Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman (a.k.a. Diana Prince) was both kind and courageous, gentle and deadly. She was a compassionate god-killer, and we got to see both sides on display during one of the greatest action scenes in superhero history: the battle of No Man's Land.

During a mission to stop an evil German general, Diana learns a village full of innocents has been captured by enemy troops. Putting her mission on hold, Diana decides to rescue the helpless villagers... by walking across the most dangerous stretch of ground on the Western Front. She dons her crown and shield, and with the help of her bulletproof bracelets, she storms across No Man's Land, blocking shots and deflecting bombs like it's an afternoon stroll through the park.

As she walks through explosions and streaks of flame, you'll need to press the pause button multiple times to revel in Diana's awesomeness. There's the scene when she steps onto the battlefield in her full Wonder Woman regalia. There's the moment when she blocks the first bullet, and then there's the scene when she pulls out that shield and stops a barrage of machine gun blasts. It's maybe the most inspirational scene in any DC movie, and any time you press pause, you can't help but stare in wonder.