There have been some totally awesome fight scenes in comic book movies – of that there is absolutely no doubt. The action within them is as good and as explosive as any other genre out there and it’s a huge part of the reason that they have become every bit as popular as the likes of action, drama, thriller, horror, comedy and sci-fi movies in Hollywood.
In fact, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is officially the highest-grossing movie franchise on the planet and that’s thanks, in no small part, to the epic conflicts that have taken place in the franchise’s instalments.
Some of these fights have been quite large scale and it’s those ones that are truly epic. In this article, we’re going to take a look through a dozen of the very best of them. Here are the twelve most epic final battles in comic book movies.
Note that, for the purposes of this article, a “battle” will require more than just one party on each side – meaning that, for example, a straight-up one-on-one fight between Captain America and Red Skull wouldn’t meet the criteria and nor would a fight between Hulk and Abomination or Batman and Ra’s Al Ghul. This article contains comic book movie spoilers.
12. Blade & The Nightstalkers Vs Drake, Talos & Co. (Blade: Trinity)
Blade: Trinity saw the resurrection of the original vampire known as Drake – a loose adaptation of Dracula himself – as the vampires of the modern day sought out ways to both survive under the sun and kill the titular vampire hunter known as Blade.
In going up against Drake and his followers, Blade had the help of the Nightstalkers – including Hannibal King and Abigail Whistler – and a serum known as the Daystar virus that destroyed vampires from within. The final battle saw Blade, King and Whistler going up against Drake, Danica Talos and a bunch of vampire cronies in a building the latter group had made their base. Each hero had their own individual battle – including Blade versus Drake, who turned into his monstrous form – and the Daystar virus was ultimately released, killing every vampire left alive.
11. Iron Man, War Machine & The Iron Legion Vs Aldrich Killian & Extremis Soldiers (Iron Man 3)
Iron Man 3 saw the emergence of a new threat to Tony Stark, as a man he once ignored – Aldrich Killian – sought revenge against the hero, after having developed a powerful regenerative treatment known as Extremis. Killian committed acts of terrorism around the world under the guise of The Mandarin, but revealed himself later in the movie (after it was also revealed that The Mandarin was merely an actor providing a front).
The final battle saw Stark, his friend James “Rhodey” Rhodes and his remotely controlled legion of Iron Man armours taking on Killian and his army of Extremis soldiers – as they attempted to kill the U.S. President live on television – on an abandoned oil rig. It would actually be Pepper Potts – who was otherwise a damsel in distress – who would finally kill Killian, however.
10. Spider-Man & New Goblin Vs Venom & Sandman (Spider-Man 3)
Spider-Man 3 saw Peter Parker falling out with his best friend Harry Osborn, after the latter blamed the Webbed Wonder for his father’s death. However, when a dual threat emerged in the form of both Venom and Sandman, Osborn donned the Green Goblin armour to assist his friend in a battle against the powerful pairing.
The battle took place at a sand-filled construction site, enabling Sandman to grow to an enormous size. Venom had Mary Jane suspended in a taxi in his webbing high above the ground, adding extra danger to proceedings. Osborn is killed in the battle, Venom is destroyed when the symbiote is separated from its host and killed by a pumpkin bomb and Sandman floats off after Peter Parker forgave him for killing his Uncle Ben. There was all kinds of action and emotion in this battle.
9. Iron Man & War Machine Vs Whiplash & His Drones (Iron Man 2)
Iron Man 2 wasn’t received particularly well in general – it was described as fairly boring, with Mickey Rourke‘s villain Ivan Vanko AKA Whiplash heavily criticised in particular – but the final battle with Whiplash was an epic event.
Vanko was looking for revenge for his deceased father, after Tony Stark’s father Howard had accused him of espionage many years ago. He utilised resources provided by Justin Hammer to build powered armour and a drone army to face Iron Man – but the hero had some help in the form of Rhodey’s War Machine. Iron Man and War Machine took on Vanko’s Whiplash and his army of drones at Stark Expo, resulting in the heroic pair winning (by combining their repulsors to make a huge explosion) and Vanko activating a self-destruct mechanism in his armour (which, fortunately, didn’t cause the deaths he intended it to, thanks to the heroes’ intervention).
8. Thor, Loki & The Scientists Vs Malekith, Kurse & The Dark Elves (Thor: The Dark World)
Thor: The Dark World saw the Dark Elf Malekith looking to use the Aether and the event known as the Convergence to turn the universe dark and bring his race back to prominence. This prompted Thor into action and resulted in an epic final battle which spanned across several realms.
The Convergence caused portals to open across the nine realms (including portals to and from Midgard, Asgard, Jotunheim and Muspelheim) and Thor, Loki, Jane Foster, Erik Selvig, Darcy Lewis and Ian Boothby using their combined might and intelligence to stop it. Loki “dies” killing Kurse and Thor fends off the Infinity Stone-powered Malekith for long enough for the scientists to transport him to Svartelheim, where he is killed under the crushing force of his own massive ship.
7. Superman & The Military Vs Zod & The Kryptonians (Man of Steel)
Man of Steel saw the arrival on Earth of General Zod and his Kryptonian cronies. Their purpose was to seek out planets that Kryptonians had previously colonised and, having realised Clark Kent (Kal-El) was on Earth, they wanted him handed over to them before they terraformed the Earth to make it more like Krypton.
This resulted in an epic final battle between Earth’s military forces, Kent AKA Superman and General Zod’s forces. Superman defeats Zod’s underlings and destroys the terraforming World Engine, while the military launch an attack on Zod’s ship and, ultimately, Superman defeats Zod himself by snapping his neck. All of this was taking place while Earth was being partially terraformed, making it a very time-sensitive fight that kept audiences on the edge of their seats.
6. The X-Men Vs Magneto & Sentinels (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
X-Men: Days of Future Past saw Wolverine sent back in time to prevent Bolivar Trask – creator of the Sentinels – from being assassinated, as it had resulted in a war between mutants and humans that saw the Sentinels killing mutants in their thousands.
It was never going to be that simple, however, and the clawed hero encountered various other mutants from that time – including Magneto, who commandeered a fleet of Sentinels when they were being unveiled, resulting in an epic final battle. Magneto dropped the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium around the White House as a barricade and intended to attack, but Wolverine and Beast intercepted, causing Magneto to set the Sentinels on them. However, just as Magneto was going to kill President Nixon, Mystique – disguised as the President – shot him with a plastic gun, incapacitating him and ending the fight. Given that Mystique didn’t kill Trask – and actually appeared to save him – the anti-mutant Sentinel program was cancelled.
5. Hellboy, Liz, Abe & Krauss Vs Prince Nuada & The Golden Army (Hellboy II: The Golden Army)
The second Hellboy movie saw the emergence of Prince Nuada – the son of the elven ruler King Balor. Nuada wanted to declare war on humanity and he wanted to use the legendary Golden Army – a magically created army of metal soldiers – to do so.
At the end of the movie, Nuada awakened the army by donning the magical crown that controlled them, having been confronted by Hellboy and his allies – Liz Sherman, Abe Sapien and Johann Krauss. Having realised that the army was essentially indestructible whilst indulging in an epic battle with them, Hellboy challenged Nuada for the crown – something he had to accept and something which temporarily stopped the Golden Army from attacking – and the two fought until Hellboy defeated him, but spared his life. Nuada would die anyway, however, when his sister – with whom he shared a life-force – killed herself to kill him. Liz then melted the crown to deactivate the Golden Army completely.
4. X-Men Vs The Brotherhood (X-Men: The Last Stand)
Probably the biggest battle in terms of the number of super-powered characters and the number of different powers and abilities involved, the climax of X-Men: The Last Stand was totally epic. It pitted a small team of X-Men against Magneto’s army of mutants – known as the Brotherhood – as the heroes attempted to stop the villains from getting to the young mutant whose DNA was being to used to create a mutant “cure.”
Taking place on Alcatraz Island – after Magneto had spectacularly moved the Golden Gate Bridge as a means to get there – Wolverine, Storm, Beast, Kitty Pride, Iceman, Colossus and, belatedly, Angel stand up to Magneto’s huge group and defeat them. Beast injects Magneto with the cure, leaving him powerless, and Wolverine is forced to kill Jean Grey before she kills everyone else.
3. The Avengers Vs Ultron & Drones (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Avengers: Age of Ultron saw the inadvertent creation of the titular robotic villain, when the artificial intelligence within the Chitauri sceptre’s Infinity Stone activated Tony Stark’s global defence program. Upon awakening, Ultron vowed to eradicate humanity to make the world a better place, attacking the Avengers in their headquarters.
Ultimately, this resulted in a final battle that saw Ultron and his thousands of drones taking on the Avengers in Sokovia – with the country suspended high above the clouds, as Ultron had developed a machine that would enable him to slam it into the Earth, killing every living being. Thor and Tony Stark ultimately destroy the machine and blast the land mass to pieces, preventing it from doing too much damage and, having also saved the country’s citizens, every last one of Ultron’s drones – and Ultron himself – are defeated by the heroes.
2. Guardians Of The Galaxy, Nova Corps & Ravagers Vs Ronan, Nebula & Sakaarans (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Guardians of the Galaxy saw the evil Kree warrior Ronan getting his hands on the Infinity Stone known as the Orb and attempting to use its power to wreak havoc around the universe. With Thanos’ adopted daughter Nebula and an army of Sakaaran soldiers at his side, he is confronted by the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Nova Corps and the Ravagers in a joint attempt to stop him.
The Guardians of the Galaxy board his ship, while the Nova Corps form a shield of aircraft around him and the Ravagers attack from their own ships. Ronan uses the Infinity Stone to destroy the Nova Corps shield, Gamora defeats Nebula in hand-to-hand combat and the Guardians fight through the Sakaaran forces to confront Ronan, resulting in a ground confrontation in which the misfit heroes commandeer the Infinity Stone and use it to destroy the villain.
1. The Avengers Vs Loki & The Chitauri (The Avengers)
The epic Avengers movie was the culmination of Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which saw the titular team coming together after years of setting the whole thing up. They came together to collectively face the threat of Thor’s adopted brother Loki, who was hell-bent on conquering the Earth – on behalf of the Mad Titan Thanos – using an alien army known as the Chitauri.
The final battle took place in New York, with each Avenger getting their moment in the spotlight, and saw Chitauri ground soldiers being assisted by giant Leviathans in their plight. Ultimately, the army was defeated when Iron Man sent a nuclear missile through the portal the invaders came through, which destroyed their mothership and made them all fall to the ground dead.