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Top 10 Darkest MCU Moments

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Thomas O'Connor

The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t all smiles and sunshine! From Guardians of the Galaxy to Infinity War, WatchMojo is counting down the scenes that explore the darker side of the MCU, when the bright colors and one-liners drop away and things get disturbing or downright depressing.

Special thanks to our users Shawn Mark & Gabriel Gomez for suggesting this idea! https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Darkest%20MCU%20Moments


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Script written by Thomas O'Connor

Top 10 Darkest MCU Moments

The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t all smiles and sunshine! Welcome to, and today we’re counting down the Top 10 Darkest MCU Moments.

For this list, we’re looking at scenes that explore the darker side of the MCU, when the bright colors and one-liners drop away and things get disturbing or downright depressing. Spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned.

#10: The Death of Quicksilver

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)

Being an Avenger is a dangerous job, and we’re frankly surprised that more members of the team haven’t bitten the bullet. In the second Avengers film, the group endures its first loss when the speedster Quicksilver goes down in his very first battle as an Avenger. Though he started out as a brash, hot-headed villain in the employ of Hydra and later Ultron, Pietro and his sister Wanda eventually saw the light and were convinced by Hawkeye to fight the good fight. Sadly, during the battle, Quicksilver sacrifices himself to save his new teammate, throwing himself in the path of enemy fire. No... we didn’t see it coming.

#9: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch Join Ultron

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)

Speaking of Quiksilver, how about the moment when he and his sister started hanging out with a bad robotic crowd? When the pair escape following the Avengers’ assault on a HYDRA base, they soon find themselves face-to-shiny-face with the A.I. villain. Though they just got through working for one villain, the twins are quick to align themselves with this one given the fact that their family was killed by a weapon manufactured by Stark Enterprises. We all know that the twins later saw the light, but their willingness to join up with a homicidal robot still makes for a bleak chapter in this story.

#8: Tony’s Vision

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)

It doesn’t get much darker than seeing Earth’s Mightiest Heroes battered and broken, and that’s exactly what Tony sees when the Scarlet Witch uses her mind control powers to get inside his head. When our heroes attack a secret HYDRA base, the villainous organization unleashes their secret weapons on the Avengers, leading to this frightening vision in which Tony sees his friends and teammates in ruins. It’s this vision that prompts him to use the Mind Stone to create Ultron, and to be honest, we can’t say we blame him. The sight of his friends dead and the Earth beset by an alien armada would be enough to put anyone on edge.

#7: Gamora's Death

"Avengers: Infinity War" (2018)

Throughout the first two Guardians films, we are reminded time and time again that Gamora is a daughter of Thanos. If you weren't reading the comics, it was easy to assume that Big Purple never had a real bond with his children, and was just using them for their fighting skills. Ultimately Thanos decides to sacrifice Gamora to retrieve the Soul Gem in "Avengers: Infinity War", and in this moment we see the most humanity the Mad Titan has ever shown; shedding tears for his daughter before throwing her over the cliff. The Marvel movies often depict death, but a parent murdering their beloved child isn't something we ever expected.

#6: Ravager Executions

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2” (2017)

There’s absolutely nothing pleasant about Taserface, the brutish Ravager who steals control of Yondu’s gang of space outlaws from the slightly more pleasant Yondu. But Taserface’s method of getting rid of those Ravagers still loyal to their previous boss is low even for him. While many of the crew have no problem accepting the recent change of management, a few of them remain committed to their former leader. Taserface responds to their loyalty with a one-way trip out the airlock in this scene, leaving the loyalists to die in the cold vacuum of space. Talk about a chilling moment.

#5: Disaster in Lagos

“Captain America: Civil War” (2016)

What starts as a fairly normal day fighting evil for the Avengers turns tragic when the villainous Crossbones detonates a suicide vest. It looks like Scarlet Witch has saved the day when she encases the scarred baddie in a telekinetic field and hurls him into the air, but the field collapses and the explosion kills a number of civilians in a nearby building. As we later learn, this included a group of Wakandan aid workers. While this definitely isn’t the first time that civilians have been caught in the crossfire of superhero battles, it’s still a somber reminder of the constant risk of innocent casualties when these throwdowns take place in populated areas.

#4: Tony’s Panic Attack

“Iron Man 3” (2013)

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious matter, and can prove to be debilitating for anyone who’s been through a traumatic event - even years later. While the heroes of the MCU make jumping headlong into danger look easy, this scene reminds us that even Iron Man is human at the end of the day. While relaxing with his best friend Rhodey, Tony’s PTSD from his near-death experience in “The Avengers” is triggered, leading to a massive panic attack that sends him staggering from the restaurant. It’s a moving scene, one that underscores the lasting psychological scars that people who undergo traumatic experiences are left with.

#3: Ego’s Revelation

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2” (2017)

Everything was going so well for Star Lord. He’d not only found his dad, but learned that he’s of ancient and powerful heritage too. Unfortunately, the other shoe drops when Peter’s father, Ego, reveals that it was he who caused Peter’s mother to die of a brain tumor. His reasoning for killing Meredith Quill is baffling, but not as baffling as him choosing this moment to tell his son about it. Prompting a response from Star Lord that only a living planet could NOT see coming, this reveal is a crushing blow to Quill - and he quickly responds with pure rage. Of course… Ego really shouldn’t have crushed his Walkman either.

#2: The Death of Howard and Maria Stark

“Captain America: Civil War” (2016)

Up until this moment, the damage done to the Avengers by the Sokovia Accords, and the subsequent falling out among the team, might conceivably have been fixed. But when Zemo reveals that it was Captain America’s friend Bucky who murdered Tony Stark’s parents, the schism between the two allies is completed. To make matters worse, Cap reveals that he knew it was Bucky all along. The ruthless way that Bucky dispatches the Starks is hard to watch, especially the fleeting moment of recognition when Howard realizes that his killer is his old World War 2 ally. The subsequent, emotionally charged fallout between Cap and Iron Man makes it even worse.

#1: The Snap

"Avengers: Infinity War" (2018)

This was the moment the Marvel Cinematic Universe out 'darked' DC's Extended Film Universe. After one final fake-out where we think Thor was able to swoop in and save the day, Thanos does what he promised, snaps his fingers and end half of all life. It was heartbreaking to see so many of our beloved heroes fade into dust while those that reminded could do nothing but watch in disbelief. The ultimate knife to the gut was Peter Parker's death, more drawn out than the rest as the teenager in well over his head clung to his father-figure Tony Stark begging not to be taken away. We all know that most-of, if not all the heroes will make a return, but Spider-Man's pleading as he faces death is going to haunt Marvel fans for the rest of their lives.


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