From the surprise hit we found in Ant-Man to the shocking finale of Agents of SHIELD, 2015 was a strong year for Marvel.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has matured a bit since it hit a fever pitch with the first Avengers film, 2015 still produced some quality entertainment for the company’s fans. The year had its misses, but it also had some major hits that served up some unexpected surprises and quite a bit of fan service to those who’ve followed the comics for years. Looking back at the best of the year can help us prepare for what’s coming in 2016; with that in mind, here are the top Marvel moments of 2015.
#6 – The Entire 1st Season of Agent Carter
It’s hard to believe that season 1 of Agent Carter aired in 2015, even though season 2 is ready to debut in just a few weeks. The limited series was a major step forward in Marvel TV, focusing on a single story across its episodes and avoiding some of the week-to-week problems that some fans have with Agents of SHIELD. The series also brought fan favorites Hayley Atwell and Dominic Cooper back to the screen as Peggy Carter and Howard Stark, respectively. The series as a whole is one of the top Marvel moments of 2015 because of its storytelling technique and the look it gives us into the history of the MCU.
#5 – The Terrigen Mist, Agents of SHIELD
There were a few key moments in Agents of SHIELD that rank among the top Marvel moments of 2015.
The first major AoS moment came early in season 3, when Lash appeared and began hunting the Inhumans. It wasn’t just Lash’s quest that was important, though; the show pulled a major turn in not only avoiding making Lash the big bad of the season but also revealing his secret identity to be a character that the team knew intimately.
The second big Marvel moment on Agents of SHIELD came in the season 3 mid-season finale. Rounding out an already impressive story arc, the finale saw former agent and Hydra operative Grant Ward killed after a fight with Coulson. The way that he died was shocking, and the possession of his body by the Inhuman death entity at the end of the episode set up the next part of the season perfectly.
But the biggest, and our pick for the #7 Marvel moment of 2015, occurred way back in the final arc of season 2, when the show not only unveiled the Terrigen crystals of the Marvel universe but also unleashed them on an unsuspecting world in a release that mirrors the Terrigen Mist that has changed the world of the comics. This story arc also saw Skye revealed as a character from the comics, gaining her powers as Quake due to Inhuman genes that were unlocked by the Terrigen. No other event has had such a big impact on Marvel’s TV shows this year.
#4 – Hawkeye’s Family Life, Avengers: Age of Ultron
A lot of fans found themselves a bit disappointed in Age of Ultron, but that doesn’t mean that it was without its positive moments. The appearance of the Barton family farm in the film was one of the biggest reveals of the movie, and earns a mention among the top Marvel moments of 2015.
In previous Marvel movies, Hawkeye took a disappointingly secondary role to pretty much everyone else on the screen. Even actor Jeremy Renner was disappointed with how his character played out in the original Avengers. This was made up for in Age of Ultron, however, where the “normal” character on the team was revealed to be one of the more complex characters in the Avengers roster. A hidden family, combined with his pep talk and acknowledgement that he was the ordinary one in extraordinary circumstances, made him a shining star in a film featuring a giant green monster, killer robots, a god, a super soldier and a man in a flying metal suit.
#3 – Ant-Man Faces Falcon, Ant-Man
Many fans expected Ant-Man to be horrible, especially given that the long-gestating project saw its original creator depart shortly before filming was slated to begin. Instead, the movie was very well received and earned its place among the better films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It used humor and action together, creating a Scott Lang that was fairly accurate to the comics and showing that Ant-Man is both as ridiculous as one would expect and capable of being a true hero on par with the other Avengers.
The big moment in the film that falls among the top Marvel moments of 2015 would have to be the fight with Falcon, however. Not only was it Ant-Man’s big test as a major hero, but it was funny without crossing the line into ridiculous. The scene not only set the stage for Lang’s inclusion in Captain America: Civil War, but it also stole the spotlight from the fight against Darren Cross at the end of the movie.
#2 – The Hallway Fight Scene, Daredevil Season 1
There was a lot of hype surrounding Daredevil before it debuted on Netflix, and some were left wondering if the show could really live up to it. In the end, fans were largely impressed by the show and its look at a much darker part of the MCU than we’ve seen in movies or on cable TV. There were a lot of great moments in the show, but one scene in particular earns a spot as one of the top Marvel moments of 2015.
Early in the season, Daredevil is searching for a missing boy. This leads to a fight scene that was filmed as a continuous single-camera take, showing us the hallway where Daredevil fought thug after thug in his attempt to rescue the boy. He’s obviously injured, obviously exhausted and knows that he can’t quit. Even with everything that comes later in the series, this one scene was one of the most talked-about parts of the season when it premiered.
All of Jessica’s Faceoffs with Kilgrave, Jessica Jones Season 1
The most recent entry in the MCU was probably also one of Marvel’s most daring, dealing with complex issues such as rape and how absolute power can corrupt an individual to the point that they can’t tell right from wrong. Jessica’s story arc with Kilgrave is definitely one of the top Marvel moments of 2015 because it covers ground that one wouldn’t really expect from Marvel.
The end of the season parallels Man of Steel in some ways, but pulls it off much better; as the story between Jessica and Kilgrave continues, we see Jessica’s slow realization that there isn’t any stopping Kilgrave. He can do good things, but only if he has a selfish reason to do so. He completely lacks a moral compass, and there was no way to stop him other than to stop him for good.