It’s no secret that superhero movies have gone a long way from inception, from the first Superman movie to the oft ridiculed 90’s Batman, up until the present. Along with this evolution comes the quality of the movies from campy depictions to the more grounded, realistic types, even reflecting the current views and political situations of present society.
With this evolution, story-telling has evolved and even includes complex scenes and sets. Superhero movies have likewise upped the ante when it comes to the opening scenes, after all these opening scenes setup the ensuing proceedings in the movie. While there are tons of lists there listing the best superhero movies, we here at geekendgladiators have decided to list down the best opening scenes in superhero movies, since we know that not all good opening scenes necessarily mean that the movies a hit.
Without further ado, here’s our 5 best opening scenes from superhero movies.
BvS: Dawn of Justice
Batman vs. Superman has been universally derided by critics alike for fumbling the ball during crunch time. There’s plenty of blame to go by for this movie’s rep, be it the hammy performance of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, or “Marthagate”, or even the fact that this is not the Batman that we know. But there is one thing BvS has going for it, and that’s the opening sequence.
In the opening sequence, we’re teased of the potential bad blood between Superman and Batman when we see Bruce Wayne throttling his car through the streets of Metropolis while it crumbles during the battle of Superman and Zod. We see a Bruce Wayne fighting and struggling to get to Wayne Tower in a manic chase sequence, only to arrive at Wayne Tower crumbling and saving a girl from its debris.
The frenetic pace of this sequence suggests that the movie would follow suit and give us a thrilling ride where Bruce would seek to avenge and protect this world from aliens and other powered beings. It suggested a political battle where Bruce Wayne or Batman would use the government’s power to limit or regulate metahumans and aliens. It also suggested that Superman would have to face sanctions for his actions and atone for them during the process. What we got though was a little bit of all of those teasers, but was never really brought to fruition. There was so many potential there to have the two titans come face to face with each other, but was ultimately wasted due to the plot.
If there is any recent superhero movie that shows everything that is to expect of the movie, its gotta be Doctor Strange.
The opening sequence alone gave us eye-popping visuals, a dizzying action scene, an introduction to the big bad (Kaecilius) and the good side (the Ancient One). From the get-go we see just how despicable and power-hungry Kaecilius is, to the point of killing the then Librarian, which I presume he knew well. We also get a glimpse of how powerful and imposing the Ancient One is. The scene also introduces us to a mirror dimension where all the sorcerer battles take place.
The best part about this is the fact that this opening scene was just an opening salvo to what was in fact a superb superhero movie.
Captain America: Winter Soldier
I’ve raved about this movie’s opening sequence since I’ve seen it just because of the overall feel of it. This is due in large part because Captain America: The First Avenger, while a really good movie, was somewhat dull in comparison to Winter Soldier’s.
Winter Soldier, though, had that breath-taking stealth mission in the middle of the ocean with S.H.I.E.L.D. infiltrating a HYDRA carrier. The end result was one that oozes with eye-candy spy action sequences where we see Captain America expertly wield his shield in ways we haven’t seen in The First Avenger nor the Avengers movies. We also got a glimpse of how a Captain America S.H.I.E.L.D. operative would look like, and it looks mighty good. The choreography was likewise on spot with how Chris Evans and Scarlet Johansson executed them.
This opening scene likewise gave the viewers a glimpse of the movie’s spy feel and political thriller. And if there’s a Marvel movie that stands above the rest, this is that movie, because it is that good.
Captain America: Civil War
Another impressive opening scene is that of Captain America: Civil War. The movie drops us right in the middle of the action while Cap’s team conducts a covert mission in Lagos. What ensues is a bunch of spy-craft and witty banters that exude our heroes’ personalities.
Aside from this, the subsequent fight scenes and stunts have viewers mouths gaping from its beauty. Seeing the team work as one cohesive unit was a sight to behold. From Black Widow taking down thugs single-handidly, Falcon spreading his wings and showing us what he’s got, and the team-up moments between Cap and Wanda was also a sight to behold.
What makes this scene so memorable is the fact that this is the conflict of the whole movie in a nutshell. Seeing the good that our heroes have done, and then see it all unravel before our eyes because of one mistake sets up the movie nicely. Much has been said about the fallout of our heroes’ actions, and this scene brings that all to the front, what ensues is the much talked-about superhero civil war.
Batman: The Dark Knight
No list would be complete without this. The Nolan-verse has been widely regarded by fans as one of the best superhero movies, and has been mainly regarded the one who saved the superhero movie genre. Batman Begins was a critically-acclaimed movie for its grounded approach to the superhero genre, with a serious, game-changing plot as well, until The Dark Knight that is.
In Batman Begins, it was teased in the end that Batman will look into the recent crimes done by a certain masked villain in the Joker. With that, it stands to reason that The Dark Knight would bring the Joker to the forefront, it did and it delivered.
The opening sequence was ambitious and bold, just like the clown prince of crime. We see Joker’s crew executing a bank heist, although this is not your typical bank heist what with the offing of Joker’s crew one by one during every step of the way. The heist continues until we hear Joker’s crew start to recognize the plan and devise their own way of crossing the Joker, until surprise, the Joker reveals himself to be one of the members of the crew. We also get a glimpse of how hideous Heath Ledger’s Joker is in the opening scene, and we also get a taste of how good this iteration really is. Joker’s getaway was also very Joker-like.
The opening scene gives us a taste of just who the Joker is, and what he can really do. The scene also gives us something to look forward to for the next 2 hours. This scene is easily one of the most classic scenes not only in the superhero genre, but in all of movie history.
Aaaand, that’s our list of the best opening sequences in superhero movies. Do you think we missed a movie? Or do you think you got a better list? Come let us know, in the arena -er- the comment section below.
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Gino is the Gladiators’ resident TV and comicbook aficionado. He is Matt Murdock by profession in the day, without the vigilante crime fighting at night. He believes that the lightsaber is the best weapon during a zombie apocalypse.