Top 10 Epic Superhero Introductions
VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis
Written by Ryan Woods
The most memorable first appearances in superhero movies! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Best superhero introductions. But what will take the top spot on our list? Nightcrawler's attack on the the white house in the X-Men Sequel, Starlord's dance number in Guardians of the Galaxy, or Batman showing off his crime fighting prowess in Tim Burton's Batman? Watch to find out!
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These are the entrances worthy of a superhero. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Superhero Introductions.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the most awe-inspiring scenes that introduce superheroes in feature films. We will be paying particular attention to scenes that capture the essence of a superhero’s style, abilities and attitude, as well as introductions that encapsulate the tone and feel of the films they are a part of.
#10: Iron Man
He is Iron Man. Tony Stark's transformation from billionaire businessman to full fledged superhero may not have been as obvious to him as it was to audiences back in 2008, but as soon as we see the classic grey metal suit stomping around the cave we know that Iron Man has been born. Improvised, shoddy, and far from stylish, his Mark I armor might be a piece of junk compared to all of his other suits, but it certainly got the job done. Iron Man's first appearance saw him bulldozing though the terrorists with ease until his stylish exit and less than graceful landing that, luckily for Stark, nobody else saw.
“Iron Man” (2008)
#9: Wonder Woman
After seeing Diana Prince rub shoulders with Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent throughout “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” it was only a matter of time before her more well-known persona appeared to help the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel kick some ass. Arguably the most show-stealing entrance in the entire film, complete with her own exhilarating theme music, Wonder Woman saves Batman from certain death at the hands of Doomsday and immediately establishes herself as a force to be reckoned with. Deflecting the monster’s heat vision with her indestructible shield and repelling him with a clash of her iconic silver bracelets, Wonder Woman instantly proves her courage, skill, and power in this awesome introduction.
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016)
What better way to begin a vampire film than a blood-soaked rave followed by a bloodbath? After realizing he has been duped into attending a party for thirsty bloodsuckers, a terrified man flees for his life before falling at the feet of the day-walking vampire slayer, Blade. So intimidating that he brings an entire horde of vampires to what’s virtually an utter standstill, Blade wastes no time in making use of his extensive anti-vampire arsenal and martial arts techniques to lay the smackdown on his undead adversaries. Played with an undeniable charisma by Wesley Snipes, Blade’s introduction set the tone for the franchise and made a relatively obscure Marvel superhero into a household name.
One of the more unique ones on this list, Robocop’s introduction is conveyed through an extensive period of time that shows the development of his transformation from a bullet-riddled corpse into a nearly indestructible walking weapon. Initially shown through first-person glimpses of his programming by corporate scientists, we get our first glimpse of RoboCop in action at a police station shooting range where his Auto-9 semi-automatic clearly makes him stand out among his colleagues. Obliterating the targets with ease, RoboCop then displays traces of his lingering humanity by doing his trademark gun twirl, which lets the audience know he still possesses a human spirit beneath the state-of-the-art machinery keeping him alive.
Taking a page from classic horror movie tropes, Batman’s introduction in Christopher Nolan’s reboot of the franchise showed audiences just how scary the Dark Knight can be. Initially picking off the dealers from the shadows to enhance their terror, Batman eventually reveals himself to the gang of thugs and proceeds to bludgeon them into submission in a dizzying onslaught, which leaves none standing. As crime boss Carmine Falcone fearfully loads his shotgun to defend himself from the black-clad phantom, he gets a much more up close and personal meet-and-greet with Gotham’s newest crime fighter via the sunroof of his limousine. A truly fear-eliciting scene, Christian Bale’s introduction as Batman captured the mystique of the character while also reinventing his legend.
“Batman Begins” (2005)
Although we also could have gone with Spidey’s comedic introduction in 2002’s “Spider-Man,” his debut in “Captain America: Civil War” is simply amazing. After we first meet Tom Holland as Peter Parker, he is conspicuous by his absence from the film’s epic airport showdown… until Iron Man finally runs out of patience. Confiscating Captain America’s shield and binding him in his signature webbing in the blink of an eye, we are treated to his newly designed costume complete with comic-inspired eyes in a breathtaking sequence which many fans of the MCU probably thought they would never see. Combining a dazzling sense of wonder with Spidey’s classic sense of humor, this was a spectacular re-introduction to Spider-Man on the big screen.
“Captain America: Civil War” (2016)
A prime example of building suspense towards a huge payoff, the first major motion picture introduction of Superman is a magnificent cinematic achievement. When a freak accident threatens to plunge Lois Lane and her news crew to their deaths, Clark Kent decides it is time for the world to get their first glimpse of Superman. As John Williams’ iconic score builds to an incredible crescendo, Clark rips open his shirt to reveal the “S” known around the world and becomes the Man of Steel. Not only managing to rescue Lois, but also stopping the falling helicopter from crashing onto the stunned onlookers below, Superman’s public debut remains a thing of beauty that still gives audiences goosebumps to this day.
Reintroducing mainstream audiences to the Dark Knight decades after the campy TV show, Tim Burton unleashed a darker version of Batman, which was more faithful to his original incarnation in the late ‘80s. Descending from the shadows like a demon, Batman terrifies a pair of muggers who are fresh from robbing a lost family on Gotham’s sullied streets. After eliminating one thief with a kick that sends him crashing through a wall, Batman trips up the second and hangs him over a ledge before introducing himself to his horrified prey. An iconic entrance dripping with Gothic atmosphere, this introduction to Michael Keaton as Batman was the nail in the coffin of premature detractors who argued he was miscast as the Caped Crusader.
An introduction notable for its rapid shift in tone alone, Star-Lord’s first appearance in “Guardians of the Galaxy” arguably sums up the nature of the entire film itself in just one scene. Beginning with an ominous orchestral score on the desolate planet of Morag, Star-Lord enters an ancient ruin in search of a mysterious orb. Upon locating his destination, he casually removes his mask, turns on his Sony Walkman to Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love,” and begins a solo dance routine. Exemplifying the film’s mixture of sci-fi, humor, and music, Star-Lord’s introduction is as much a primer to the film as a whole as it is to his own character.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
“Captain America: Civil War” (2016)
The show-stealing scene from the second entry into the “X-Men” film franchise, Nightcrawler’s silver-screen debut was an unforgettable spectacle that showcased just how cool teleportation can be. Emerging from a crowd of tourists paying a visit to the White House, the mind-controlled mutant’s cover is blown by his prehensile tail and he quickly takes a less subtle approach to gaining access to the Oval Office. Fighting his way through waves of Secret Service with ease, Nightcrawler’s superhuman agility, teleportation, and terrifying appearance help him single-handedly dismantle the President’s last line of defense. Luckily for his intended target, a Secret Serviceman manages to hit Nightcrawler with a grazing shot that snaps him out of his trance and prompts his escape.