Spoilers ahead! Beware.

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Alas, here we stand. Drenched to the nines in the saltiness of our popcorn (and political discomfort), eyes sore from the visual overload, and our excitement quenched as anticipations build and fall (for better or worse). We have finally made it to the end of the rocky road eventful extravaganza that is 2016. With every shortcoming and disheartening celebrity death came a plethora of comic book films. That’s something to take into consideration for an end-of-the-year pros and cons list, no? As of this moment, we, the nerds of the world, want to look back on all the highs this cinematic year brought forth. While some films struggled and others prevailed, it’s safe to say none were devoid of those little moments that shine through the bleak sludge or vibrant radiance. With that in mind, let’s dig in, shall we?

5. BEEBOP AND ROCKSTEADY- TMNT: OUT OF THE SHADOWS

Let’s be clear, TMNT 2 is a ridiculous film. So inherently ridiculous, that it’s almost amazing. Granted, there are many purists who derive enjoyment from the first film in the franchise, but because the second one improved, it enhanced the experience tenfold for everyone. TMNT 2 is a film so unabashedly unashamed of its roots that it embraces the absurdity to almost hilarious levels. Other comic book films would take a more realistic spin on characters and events deemed “too fantastic.” But, when it comes to beloved side villains, Beebop and Rocksteady, Paramount decided to go the full monty and convey the characters as they truly were meant to be: bumbling, imposing, disgusting trash punks. To look at these characters and not break out a huge smile at their bombastic entry to the big screen is almost a crime. Mohawk wearing pigs wearing 80’s visor wraps are back, baby.

READ: Best Anime of 2016: Sabrina Pyun’s Top 10

4. “DORMAMMU…MADE YA LOOK.”- DOCTOR STRANGE

Say what you will of Marvel’s psychedelic romp in the hay with the famed sorcerer; it still had a flood of entertainment to dish out. While many complained that the formula was all too familiar and the spectacle unable to make up for said problem, you cannot deny the wonderful thrill ride some scenes produced. Perhaps the most endearing of these is the climactic confrontation between the Sorcerer Supreme and his long-standing nemesis, Dormammu. In a clever employ of wit-dealing magic, Strange tricks the great being by throwing him into a proverbial (and literal) loop…of time. While somewhat rushed and tonally different in terms of the larger framework of the film, you cannot help but nod your head at the whimsical and thrilling fun this moment delivers. Classic Marvel at its finest.

 

3. CLEARING OUT THE TRASH- BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

Here we stand, confronted with the first attempt by the DCEU to make 2016 its opus year. We all know how this one turned out, don’t we? While the anticipation to Zack Snyder’s depressing ode to the pillars of the franchise’s bread-winning was beset by great upset, it was not without its moments of euphoria. One such moment that swims amongst a sea of bad decisions is one of the definitive moments of the film’s third act. Granted, it takes a great deal of time to get to this point, and an endless amount of meaningless twists and turns permeated it with a sense of “Eh, whatever.” But, upon return, who can say that they didn’t love seeing the Dark Knight tear his way through an entire warehouse floor of thugs with cathartic brutality? It is a moment of shocking violence that is so well-choreographed and tonally structured by hellish rage that it only earns itself to a sense of pure passion. If only the whole film just had this scene on repeat.

READ: The Best of DC Comics 2016 Part 1: The Top 5

2. EMPTYING THE CLIP- DEADPOOL

Boy howdy, did people love the sh** outta this film. Don’t deny it, you did too. We all did. How could you not? Not only does this film mark the Merc with the Mouth’s entry to the silver screen, but it did so with such gusto and pride that it left almost nothing to the imagination. Every facet of the foul-mouthed, insane, deranged, and hilarious vigilante was portrayed with such determination by Ryan Reynolds and director Tim Miller that fans were left wondering what Hollywood was thinking avoiding this adaptation in the first place. No other scene captures this fantastic depiction more than the film’s opening. In one single swoop, we are given a Deadpool that is not just very much in the flesh but almost literally plucked straight from the pages. How is this done, you ask? With nothing more than a viewing of senseless yet hysterical violence, I answer. Bliss.

1. AIRPORT EXTRAVAGANZA- CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

“Throw them all in. I’m serious, do it. Just put them all in.” You probably think that’s the ramblings of a chef at his wits end, making a stew with almost too much beef to handle. You’d also think the filmmakers behind CIVIL WAR had a similar dilemma fitting so many characters into one giant fight scene. Except, when they said that, they pulled up their britches and smiled with green tinted sunglasses, knowing what gold they’d struck in doing so. Is it enough to say that every fan across the world has dreamed of this exact moment? That when they finally witnessed the clashing of iron and vibranium (and even spiderwebs) on-screen, they would know comic book filmmaking has achieved a level unreachable by past standards? Attribute it to just how much work Marvel has accomplished over the years in developing their criss-cross and lavish world, for they deserve the medal of merit in peaking with this spectacle of incredible entertainment. No two characters were unrecognizable just as much as they were loved, and the scene was almost realistic in terms of the universe it populates. That, indubitably, is how you world-build, DC. Look to your peers ye mighty, and despair.

READ: 10 Characters We Want To See In Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite

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