It’s that time of the year again. As we wrap up the first decade of the MCU, we look back at moments – big and small – that moved us. Think of the deep cuts as those small quiet moments that often get ignored in MCU discourse. Some of the best moments of character development are found in these quieter pieces. Here are our picks for our favorite deep cuts this decade!
My pick would be Tony’s vision from Avengers: Age Of Ultron. During that time, seeing the Avengers lose was shocking for both Tony and the audience. It was an outcome that no one would expect to happen on screen and it did happen years later in Infinity War. It was such an overlooked moment for me. Upon seeing Infinity War, I looked at Age of Ultron in a different light especially that one scene with Tony’s vision. It was the driving force for Tony and you can see him do everything he can to make sure that it doesn’t happen. Then, Infinity War happened and you just feel for the guy. You can just feel his pain during his big “I told you so” moment/exchange between him and Cap in Avengers: Endgame. Another thing to point out is the fact that that was the first time for any Avenger to be aware of the big imminent threat that is set to arrive. – Aeron Eclarinal, News Writer
After racking my brain to pick the absolute most underrated moment of the decade, the one that hit me the most profoundly is, ironically enough, a moment from one of the most underrated movies of the entire MCU: Avengers: Age of Ultron. The team-up sequel may have its issues, but it does have a moment nobody ever talks about as profoundly as I feel it should be talked about. After the Avengers’ celebration party, the original 6 heroes decide to have some fun testing out the legitimacy of Mjolnir’s “worthiness clause,” and as you look deeper into the outcome, it subtlety foreshadows either the character flaws each hero still has to address, or how truly special they will become in the end.
Clint doesn’t move it an inch, very likely a sign of the unresolved issues that we see come to fruition at the end of Phase 3. Tony is unsuccessful as well, even with Rhodey’s help, obviously showing he is still a little too focused on him own ego, and his maturation speaks for itself after becoming a father and sacrificing himself to save the universe 8 years later. Bruce has no luck, even as lightly as he takes it, the struggle of balancing his personalities still as clear as ever. Cap is the only success, budging it but choosing not to follow through with it, which not only keeps him from embarrassing his friend Thor, but also sets up his big-time hero moment in Avengers: Endgame, proving he was always worthy even before he was turned into a super soldier. Lastly, Nat doesn’t even make an attempt to lift it, likely from her own self-doubt due to her dark past, but her choice on Vormir to put the lives of billions above her own and give her life for the Soul Stone show that if SHE isn’t worthy of wielding the hammer, then no one should be. This was a fun moment probably played for some chuckles at the time of the movie’s release, but looking back at it now, it is no doubt one of the deepest few minutes in the entire MCU and should he recognized as such. – Richard Nebes, News Writer
Finding a deep cut was difficult because so many fans are just extremely good at uncovering those small moments way better than I am. Still, taking some time to think about it, there is that one moment I feel just doesn’t get talked about a lot. It comes right after a massive moment that makes it almost insignificant outside of what it implies. In Captain America: Civil War, Tony finds out that Bucky killed his parents and that Steve Rogers knew about it. This revelation is probably one of the most emotional moments in the franchise and also is extremely known. Yet, no one really talks about that one line that Tony says when Rogers tries to stop him from killing Bucky out of revenge. His justification isn’t that he killed his parents but that his mother was killed. One of Tony’s biggest arcs since the first Iron Man was that he had issues growing up with his father. Something that is also alluded to in the B.A.R.F. scene at the beginning of this film and wouldn’t be concluded until Avengers: Endgame. The fact that both of his parents were killed by Bucky is part of his rage but, moreover, the fact that his mother had to die gets to him. It’s one single line that has so many meanings for his character, his history and that even after Howard’s speech towards his son in Iron Man 2, he still hasn’t forgiven him. If you combine with the scene in Endgame, where he now also has a daughter and must face his own father in person, we understand how far this character has come before he finally makes the ultimate sacrifice. – Joseph Aberl, Editor
One moment that doesn’t get much love, but I think exemplifies the power of the MCU’s storytelling, is the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron when Cap says “Avengers –” and cuts off at the last moment before he says “assemble.” As hardcore fans we know what the next line is, but Marvel knew that Cap saying the iconic “Avengers Assemble” could be used in much bigger and more impactful way further down the road. Their choice here shows an immense amount of restraint and confidence in their storytelling that isn’t found in most other franchises. And in a way, it’s the perfect metaphor for Age of Ultron: a tease that gets better with the benefit of hindsight. – Alex Lurie, Feature Writer
“A symbol to the nation. A hero to the world.”
Steve Rogers’ visit to a museum dedicated to his life is my favorite deep cut moment in the MCU. It’s a 2-minute sequence that carries so much weight in his journey through the modern world. It’s a scene that’s even made more powerful knowing the decision he makes in Avengers: Endgame. As Steve makes his way through installations highlighting the ghosts of his past, you can’t help but feel his isolation in this world. Cap’s journey in the MCU has always been anchored by selflessness. He gives up his life for his country. He gives up a dance with the love of his life to save the world. He may have won all these battles but he’s left with isolation as his spoil of war. To see him finally make that righteously selfish choice at the tail-end of Endgame, makes this scene all the more worth it. – Charles Villanueva, Editor-in-Chief
Now, the scene I’m picking is not THAT underrated, but it is usually mentioned when talking about the character arc it helps build, and not the meaning it has for the real world. I’m talking about Thor picking up Mjolnir once again and saying “I’m still worthy”. Of course, the scene does show a lot of the work the writers have done with The God of Thunder, but it also says a lot about broken people and the meaning of once more seeing themselves as strong as they once were. If you’ve ever been like Thor, lost, confused and feeling like you’ve lost everything you once held dear, then you know how awful it feels. How hard it feels to move on, try to pick up the pieces and rebuild yourself. That scene brings some catharsis to all who felt like that at some point, and reminds us that our strength and our capacities come from within ourselves, and will always be there. All it takes is the courage to fight to get where we want to be. It is a scene that truly got me, and spoke to me a lot the first time I saw it in the theaters, and every other time I watched the film. Thank you, MCU. – Tiago Fiszbejn, News Writer
There’s many underrated moments in the MCU, but one I personally love is the moment where the Vulture realises that Peter Parker is Spider-Man – while he’s driving his daughter and Peter to their high school prom. There’s so much to love about this scene – Michael Keaton’s effortlessly menacing and intimidating performance, coupled with some fantastic writing and a great performance from Tom Holland as well, results in a perfectly executed scene, and one that overshadows pretty much everything else in the whole movie. Regardless of whether or not Homecoming is one of the MCU’s best outings, that singular scene stands out to me as one of the best and most intimidating moments any character, good or bad, has had thus far. – Alex Josiah, News Writer
The one scene that I think Captain America: Civil War cannot do without is Tony attempting to offer Rogers an olive branch. He promises to make sure Bucky makes it to an American psych-center instead of a Wakandan prison, that they can iron out the details later. He comes so close to ending this peacefully, until he brings up Wanda and it collapses. The scene escalates from two friends catching up with one another to Tony shouting at Rogers, that he’s only doing what has to be done. Throughout this scene we see two people who are comrades, friends, that want nothing more than to simply stop fighting. Many say that Robert Downey Jr. is his best as Tony in this movie and this scene is one of many examples why. If this scene was missing from the movie, the entire thing would be lesser for it. – Pierre Chanliau, Editor
That’s it for the decade! We’ll catch you guys next year. Let us know in the comments below what your picks are!