Hollywood, as we know it, has been around for roughly 100 years now; and over time, there have been certain decades that have been dominated by certain genres, like the 1950’s with Westerns and the 1980’s with action movies. We are now in 2017, though, which is an entirely different era. And for the past decade, the movie industry has made boat loads of money off of superhero movies, which focus solely on heroes and villains with special gifts and powers from popular comic books. DC and Marvel are the biggest comic book publishers in the world and have been bitter rivals for over 60 years. Although the debate still rages on as regards to who produces the best comics, everyone agrees that Marvel has given the world better movies.
In 2008, Marvel released Iron Man, which turned out to be a massive success, much to the company’s surprise. Thanks to that success, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was born. So far, the MCU consists of 24 confirmed movies, all of which are a part of the same over arching story, and when you combine the earnings of those movies with other Marvel films that take place in separate universes, you have a company whose feature length products have made billions of dollars. Like every movie, Marvel movies contain certain moments that can only be truly enjoyed and observed when the movie is paused at the right time, and since we are talking about superhero movies that are based on characters with a lot of history, there are many such moments; and the purpose of this list is to show you 15 of the most paused moments in Marvel’s movies.
15. The S.H.I.E.L.D. Hot Spots In Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2 was the first sequel of the MCU, and aside from the facts that the villain was incredibly forgettable and that the entire movie was basically a prelude to S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers, it was still very much watchable. In the movie, we see Stark meet with Nick Fury at a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, where he proposes The Avengers Initiative to him. Then, there is a screen on full display in the room, and when you pause to look at it, you could see glimpses of Marvel’s future plans. The screen shows a map of the world, and on it, there are certain regions circled. These regions are what S.H.I.E.L.D. classifies as hot spots because of the interesting people and secret organizations/societies that live there. One of those hot spots is in Africa, which is the home of Black Panther, who will have his own movie released next year, while another spot is in the Antarctic which is the home of Prince Namor, who may or may not still get his own movie in the future.
14. The Ten Rings In Ant-Man
The first Iron Man was a fantastic movie, and for a good part of it, Tony Stark had to deal with being held captive by a terrorist organization known as The Ten Rings, which is supposed to be led by the villain known as The Mandarin. Now, in Iron Man 3, a lot of people left the theater upset and disappointed because The Mandarin that they were promised in the trailers turned out to be fake. But Marvel managed to rectify that somewhat by releasing one shot in which the fake Mandarin admits that the villain does, in fact, exist. No matter whether we ever see Iron Man fight him on the big screen or not, one thing is for sure; The Ten Rings are still very much active because in Ant-Man, when you pause the movie during the scene in which Paul Rudd tries to steal another suit, one of the men he has to fight is sporting a Ten Rings tattoo on his neck.
13. The Incredible Hulk’s Inclusion In The MCU
We all know that there are some movies that feature Marvel characters which have absolutely nothing to do with the cinematic universe. One of those movies was the atrocious 2003 film, Hulk. In 2008, Marvel took another crack at the big green hero and released The Incredible Hulk, starring Edward Norton. For a time, there were those who questioned whether or not that movie was a part of the MCU, despite the fact that Tony Stark appeared during an end credits scene. The reason for that is because Mark Ruffalo became the new Hulk years later. Well, the movie is indeed canon, and aside from the Stark cameo, there is one other part that proves it—a canister with a nameplate on it that reads “Dr. Reinstein,” which can only be seen if you pause the screen perfectly. For those who do not know who Dr. Reinstein is, he is the doctor who injected Captain America with the Super Soldier Serum in The First Avenger.
12. Getting A Look At Avengers HQ In The Avengers
In 2012, audiences were given The Avengers, which is still considered by many to be the best movie in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe to this day. The entire movie had little things in it that made comic book fans smile. One of those things came at the end of the movie, when Tony Stark is busy looking at the blueprints of his tower, which had recently suffered significant damage during the battle with Loki and his alien army. At the start of the movie, the tower is known as Stark Tower. So when the blueprints briefly appeared onscreen, people thought that Tony was just looking at how to fix his building. However, if you pause the scene, the picture tells a slightly different story. The blueprints are in fact for Avengers Tower, and based on the smaller blueprints that are also in the scene, the building also includes specialized rooms for each member of the Avengers team.
11. The Clash In Civil War
Last year, Marvel released Captain America: Civil War, which essentially pitted two factions of the Avengers against one another. And although the movie bothered some people because of the lack of serious consequences, it was a pretty good movie. Although it did not look that way, Tony Stark and Cap did come out of the movie as friends. But prior to the movie’s final scene, the two did find themselves fighting each other more than once. In their final confrontation, Stark is on a mission to kill Cap’s friend after he learns that he was the one who killed his parents. The fight gets pretty heated, with quite possibly the best part being when Cap uses his shield to block the beams from Stark’s suit. What makes this moment so good is the fact that if you pause it at the right spot, you get a perfect recreation of the iconic shot from the Civil War story in the comics, much to the delight of comic fans.
10. Civil War’s Connection To Arrested Development
With this entry, we return to Civil War, a movie which not only featured virtually every hero we had already seen before, but which also introduced Black Panther and Spider-Man, who were both making their long-awaited debuts in the MCU. In the movie, we eventually get to see Cap’s team have a face-off against Iron Man’s team at an airport, where a very entertaining battle takes place, resulting in the destruction of a variety of different vehicles. At one point, we get a glimpse of a vehicle that many people likely never noticed, a vehicle that pays homage to the sitcom Arrested Development. The vehicle in question is predominately white and blue in color, with some red stripe. It is because of Civil War’s directors that this homage made it into the movie because the Russo brothers’ resume also includes directorial credits on several episodes of the popular comedy series.
9. The Original Mystique In X-Men: First Class
At one point, Marvel was actually on the verge of bankruptcy, which is why they decided to sell the movie rights of several of their popular franchises, like the X-Men, a move that they currently regret. Now, it is true that the X-men movies are not connected to the MCU in any way, but that does not mean that they do not have their own moments that deserve recognition. One of those moments came in X-Men: First Class. The scene in question features the mutant Mystique, played by Jennifer Lawrence. During that scene, Magneto tells her that she looks better in her natural form, and while Mystique shapeshifts, if you pause the movie quick enough, you can clearly see actress, Rebecca Romijn. This is actually pretty significant because the people in charge of the film added the actress as a thank you because prior to Lawrence, it was Romijn who wore the blue body paint to play Mystique in the original X-Men trilogy.
8. Cap’s Shield In Iron Man
No matter what it is, every great thing has a beginning, which sort of makes sense seeing as everything in existence needs to start from somewhere. And in the case of the MCU, it all began because of the huge success of 2008’s Iron Man. When the movie first came out, there was actually no plan to make a massive cinematic universe, which is why there were several Easter Eggs placed into it, with one of them being the iconic shield used by Captain America. At one point in the movie, Tony Stark is putting on his armor, and when you pause at the right time, you can see Cap’s nearly complete shield resting on the table behind him. This is actually a cool moment because it showed that Cap did, in fact, exist in that world before the idea of a cinematic universe came into being, one in which the shield was made by Stark’s own father.
7. Thor’s Very Brief Appearance In The Incredible Hulk
This November, audiences will get to see Thor: Ragnarok, which will see Chris Hemsworth’s character on a new planet where he will end up fighting Mark Ruffalo/Hulk at one point. This will not be the first time that we see the Norse god take on the big green guy onscreen, as the two first fought each other back in 2012 in The Avengers. But what many people do not know is that was not the first time the two were onscreen alongside each other. As mentioned earlier, 2008’s Incredible Hulk is indeed part of the MCU, and at one point in the movie, Hulk finds himself roaring at a thunderstorm while hiding out in a mountain range. When Thor was cast out of Asgard by his father, it caused a thunderstorm on Earth, the same storm that occurs in Hulk’s solo movie. And when you pause the movie at the perfect time, you can actually see something (Thor) falling from the sky.
6. Howard The Duck In Guardians Of The Galaxy
In 2014, Marvel went out on a limb and released The Guardians of the Galaxy, which turned out to be a great move because the movie turned out to be that summer’s biggest movie. The movie was so popular that a sequel was announced almost immediately; a sequel that not only outperformed the original but which also brought back a character that appeared in the first movie after the credits for just a few seconds. During the end credits scene of the first Guardians, The Collector can do nothing but look around at his destroyed museum, which is where we see Howard the Duck, a Marvel superhero who has been around since 1973. People were surprised to see him in the end credits. But in reality, they should not have been because the talking duck appeared in the movie prior to that scene. When the Guardians first visit The Collector, you can actually see Howard sitting in his display case if you pause the movie at the right spot.
5. Fury’s Tombstone In The Winter Soldier
If The Avengers is regarded as the best Marvel movie, then The Winter Soldier is right behind it for second place because it was a superhero movie that focused primarily on spies and the ongoing battle between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra. Nick Fury is the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and he has been played by actor Samuel L. Jackson since the release of Iron Man 2, a role that Jackson has truly managed to make his own. In The Winter Soldier, we are led to believe that Fury was successfully assassinated, to the point that we are also briefly shown his tombstone. But if you go back and pause the movie when it shows the tombstone, you will see an interesting inscription. Under Fury’s name, it reads, “The path of the righteous man…” which is part of a Bible verse. But the words also happen to be part of a speech made by Jackson’s character in the classic ‘90s movie Pulp Fiction, which makes the words a cool nod to the actor.
4. The Infinity Gauntlet In Thor
Ever since The Avengers, we have known that Thanos was going to be the big threat that this current group of heroes would have to defeat, and thanks to the set pieces laid out throughout the movies, we know that Thanos will be using the Infinity Gauntlet. As far as gauntlets go, this one is by far the most powerful in the Marvel universe because it is used to hold all six of the Infinity Gems, which means that the wearer will essentially have the power of a god in his/her hand. Granted, the gauntlet will be far less overpowered in the movie than in the comics, but it will still be insanely powerful. And although we see Thanos put on the gauntlet during a mid credit scene at the end of Age of Ultron, we actually saw it much earlier. In 2011’s Thor, if you pause at the right time, you can see the Infinity Gauntlet in the halls of Odin’s Vault, and when you look at it, you can also see all the gems in it already.
3. The Black Widow Stunt Double
When Infinity War gets released next year, it will include every single hero we have seen up until now, those who lived anyway; and there is a lot of speculation that quite a few of the Avengers will not survive the battle with Thanos. One of the likely casualties may be Black Widow, who has been played by Scarlett Johansson since she first appeared in Iron Man 2 in 2010. The reason for this is that the character happens to be an ordinary human and also because the studio may not want to pay a ton to keep Scarjo in the MCU. In The Avengers, we got to see Black Widow in several action scenes, including one very early on in the movie that starts off with her tied to a chair, a scene which sees the character perform a front flip while in the chair. It should come as no surprise that a stunt double was used for that segment, and when you pause the movie at the right moment, you can clearly see that the person in the chair is a male stunt performer.
2. The Avengers In Action
2015 saw the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, which saw our group of heroes reunite in order to defeat an artificial intelligence bent on exterminating all human life in order to bring peace to the world. The movie went on to make well over $1 billion at the Box Office despite the fact that many people did not like it as much as the first installment, a claim that was fully justified as the villain and plot became flawed near the end. But as disliked as the movie is, it still provided audiences with one heck of an epic moment. The movie starts off with a sweet action sequence that shows the Avengers taking out a Hydra stronghold, and at one point in the fight, all six of our heroes can be seen in the same shot about to take out some bad guys. This shot was purposely shown in slow motion, probably because the studio knew that once people saw it, they would want to pause it at just the right moment in order to take in the greatness of the sequence.
1. The Thanos Reveal
There is no denying the fact that the high point of the MCU was The Avengers–as evidenced by the fact that virtually every movie since then has been compared to it–which is why Age of Ultron still leaves a bad taste in many people’s mouths. Aside from the great action scenes and character moments, The Avengers is truly memorable because of its mid credits scene, the one which briefly reveals Thanos for the very first time. This was actually a monumental moment for the MCU because it actually got Marvel fans super hyped, to the point that a few of the more hardcore fans teared up with excitement in the theater. Not only did that moment signal the course of the MCU, but it also showed just how great practical effects can be, as Thanos was not a CG character back then, just actor Damion Poitier in great makeup. It is because of how significant this scene was to Marvel as a whole that it is still likely the most paused moment of any MCU film.
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