2013 was a big year for superheroes. Superman soared back onto the big screen while Iron Man gave (perhaps) his final solo outing. We saw the Flash brought to life twice while other heroes bit the dust. And, of course, Loki finally took his rightful place on the throne of Asgard.
I personally had what can only be described as a super year, and all of you reading this now are the reason. As I look back at the 10 superhero films and TV shows of the year, I decided to pick out the one moment from each that stuck out most for me. The ones I think of first when I think of each show/film, or the ones that meant the most to me.
So here they are. The best origin scenes. The best fights. And even who had the best deaths.
Disclaimer: Lots of spoilers (I mean, I am picking out the best bits). Also, the list is in no particular order.
Best Superhero Fights of 2013
Iron Man 3: House Party Protocol
Perhaps the most visually stunning of the action pieces this year, and by far the most random, was the final fray in Iron Man 3. With Tony Stark jumping from one armor to the next and plenty of Extremis-powered baddies, this was a non-stop battle to the max! The one-on-one between Stark and Killian was the icing on the cake. And let’s not forget, even Pepper managed to get in on the action here. If Iron Man 4 is not to be, at least 3 went out with a bang!
The Dark Knight Returns Part 2: Batman vs. Superman
In truth, I’m including this scene on this list for one simple reason: it’s one of my all-time favourite comic book scenes finally realised in animation. I love The Dark Knight Returns and the fight between Batman and Superman is the ultimate fanboy dream (why do you think the next Superman movie is going to include Batman?). As great as the scene is in the book, though, seeing it play out in animation was even better. The scene is bigger, bolder, and I felt myself cheering for both titans anytime they landed a punch. Truly, a great scene.
Young Justice: Young Justice vs. The Light
This was easily one of the best action pieces of the whole series. The many disguise reveals were just badass, and we got to see just how effective Young Justice is both as a team and individually. From the team ups of Beast Boy and Lagoon Boy to Flash’s assist with Batgirl, to my absolute favourite moment: finally seeing Nightwing in action, this fight had it all. The surrender and subsequent death of Ra’s Al Ghul was particularly memorable as well. After months of waiting, it was nice to finally see the whole team fighting together as one, even if it did only happen once.
The Wolverine: Wolverine vs. Shingen
Alright guys, let’s be honest: picking just one of the best fight scenes from The Wolverine is impossible. First, I was going to write about the epic train sequence, but then I remembered the fight with the ninjas and how badass Logan looked stuck full of arrows, not to mention the amazing climax with the Silver Samurai. But I found that I still kept coming back to Wolverine’s fight with Shingen (after performing open heart surgery on himself, no less) as the most emblematic of the film. Wolverine fights claw to sword and proves that yes, six blades really are better than one. But what I loved most about this scene is the symbolism of the way it ends: with Wolverine pulling the sword from his chest, a kind of reverse-seppuku, showing that his rebirth is now complete.