These Movie Characters Nailed the Iconic Superhero Landing Pose

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The superhero landing — made famous by the Merc with a Mouth, the term identifies one of the most powerful entrances a hero can make in pop culture. Most instances of the superhero landing involve jumping from great heights, while others add flips, throws, and acrobatic feats into the mix. Regardless, the landing itself is what matters most: when the hero finally hits the ground, the entire crowd seems to tremble in the impact.

Countless actors have taken the superhero landing and made it even better, especially with the rising popularity of superhero movies. Everyone adds their own flavor to it, but some characters have a particular way of capturing the essence of the move. From the finesse of a spider to the imposing strength of a panther, here are 9 movie characters who straight up nailed the superhero landing pose.

Related: Iconic Moments of the MCU’s Infinity Saga




angel-dust-deadpool
20th Century Fox

It’s been around for decades, but Deadpool secured its place in modern vernacular thanks to this scene. In the first Deadpool movie, Wade Wilson teams up with Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead to take down Francis, a psychotic mutant who kidnapped his girlfriend and also thinks ‘Ajax’ is an acceptable villain name (you know, like the dish soap). When it’s time to face off, Francis sends out Angel Dust, another villainous mutant with the power of impossible super strength. Angel jumps from the top of a building and punches into the ground, taking a knee and glaring up at her opponents as she rises. Make no mistake: her landing is beautiful and the speed and impact make her seem genuinely heavy, but it’s Deadpool’s commentary that brings it all together. Though his crew is about to fight her, he makes a huge deal and even applauds Angel when she lands. The juxtaposition is just plain fun.


8 Iron Man in Iron Man 2


iron-man-2
Marvel Studios

The superhero landing is only one part of a crucial heroic skill: making an entrance. Half of being a hero is knowing how to get people to like and trust you, so charisma plays a major role in any hero’s career. If there’s any modern superhero who knows how to make an entrance and plays charisma with the talent of a concert pianist, it’s Tony Stark.

The beginning of Iron Man 2 shows Tony flying through the sky in his iconic suit, and we’re treated to a few minutes of amazing aerial stunts before he finally lands in the Stark Expo. It’s not enough to bust through the ceiling into the convention — Tony lands on stage, surrounded by fireworks, dancers and the American flag flying proudly behind him. All of this is happening to ACDC’s “Shoot to Thrill,” and the entire scene is a celebration. The fact that Tony also executes a perfect superhero landing is the icing on the cake.


7 Superman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice


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Warner Bros.

Ben Affleck’s Batman is a pleasure to watch on the silver screen. He’s brooding and intelligent, and he puts a fantastic perspective on Bruce Wayne’s need to feel like he’s more; without the bat suit, he feels powerless. This rugged hero has seen humanity in some of its most gruesome moments, and it shows in his imposing, sometimes terrifying presence.

This is what makes his duel with Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice so enthralling. Superman is a beacon of justice and purity, but he isn’t scared of Batman in the slightest. When the two finally square off, Kal-El is hovering in the dark, almost invisible to the naked eye; rain pours around the two supers, and he pummels into the ground with enough might to startle an entire city block. The flash of lightning as he lands makes him feel otherworldly, and the atmosphere beautifully captures his attitude toward Bruce. It’s a classic superhero landing performed by a classic superhero, but the lens through which we see it is twisted and eerily foreboding.


6 Spider-Man Team-Up in Spider-Man: No Way Home


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Sony / Marvel Studios

Fans spent months speculating whether the other Spider-Men would make an appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and it almost felt surreal to finally see them together in the film. The three play off each other’s personalities like real brothers, and watching them do their thing exemplified how different each actor’s take on Spider-Man is.

When the trio is ready to execute their master plan against their nemeses, what we see is nothing more than a heart-swelling display of web-slinging awesomeness. The Spideys take to the air, throwing webs to swing off buildings and even each other before landing on Lady Liberty’s head, one at a time. Each Spider-Man adds his own twist to the landing, and Tom Holland seals it all in with the iconic one-handed superhero pose.


5 Black Widow in Iron Man 2


black-widow-iron-man-2
Marvel Studios

One of the earliest instances of the superhero landing came from Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2, and she essentially set the standard for the many superheroes who would follow in her wake. Throughout the movie, Natasha plays the part of Natalie Rushman, the unassuming assistant working in Pepper’s stead after she’s promoted to CEO. Of course, audiences later got to see her in full Black Widow gear as she and Happy took down the goons holed up at Justin Hammer’s factory. Her superhero landing is brief and subtle — she jumps off a rolling cart and slides into the classic pose — but it was more than enough to make her one of the most iconic examples of the move.

Related: Explained: Why Did It Take So Long for a Woman-Led MCU Movie to Happen?

4 T’Challa in Black Panther


black-panther
Marvel Studios

T’Challa is truly a brilliant leader in Wakanda, and Black Panther showed us how valuable presentation is as a leader. This is super exemplified in the massive battle against W’Kabi’s army, where he uses the superhero landing as an attack — taking out two birds with one stone? It’s an ingenious way to incorporate this famous move and launch the assault on T’Challa’s part!

After leaping off a ship, T’Challa falls straight into a massive pocket of W’Kabi’s soldiers, and he executes a gorgeous superhero landing complete with extended claws on his free hand. At the moment of impact, he lets out a massive shockwave that sends everyone around him flying, and time slows around him to give viewers a chance to really enjoy the spectacle for what it is. This was an incredible cinematic choice, and the resulting scene is nothing less than splendid.


3 Captain America in Captain America: Civil War


captain-america-civil-war
Marvel Studios

When the world needed a hero, Steve Rogers volunteered for the part several times. He’s made nine appearances in the MCU, with almost half of them taking place in his own movies. Embodying hope, justice and valor for those around him, Cap has nailed the superhero landing many times on screen, though most notably in Captain America: Civil War. While they’re fantastically executed, he adds an unmistakable touch that takes the concept up a notch: his shield.

Captain America’s shield is a symbol of everything he stands for, and the sight is enough to leave audiences in awe any time it appears. He often uses it as a prop when he lands, sometimes after throwing it as a projectile. This, coupled with the more reserved, stout posture he holds in a superhero landing shows his mastery in making an impact.


2 Yelena Belova in Black Widow


yelena-belova-black-widow
Marvel Studios

Never to be outdone by her sister, Yelena Belova graces this list alongside Natasha Romanoff, the queen of the quintessential superhero landing. Interestingly, she makes fun of Natasha for this, questioning, in Black Widow, why she does “the thing she does with the hair flipping” when she fights. We’re then treated to Yelena’s rendition of the superhero landing, to which she laughs that her sister is a total poser (albeit a good one).

Later, Yelena accidentally nails the superhero landing for real during a mission. After climbing down from the ceiling, she flawlessly copies her sister’s pose, complete with the hair flip. Of course, she cringes and shakes it off, leaving audiences to believe she wished she hadn’t even done it.

1 Adam in The Adam Project


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Netflix

The Adam Project is a brand-new Netflix original movie starring several silver screen favorites, including Ryan Reynolds. Futuristic pilot Adam Reed travels back in time for a complex rescue mission, but he accidentally ends up in the wrong year with a younger version of himself. As the two grow closer and share their grief, young Adam starts picking up some of older Adam’s skills, including combat instincts.

At one point in the film, young Adam steps in to help older Adam during a fight. As he grabs his weapon, he makes a fantastic leap across the room and strikes a superhero landing. It’s crisp, clean and ticks all the boxes for a perfect score, but it’s the way he quietly whispers, “Superhero landing!” under his breath that brings the scene full circle. It’s a nod to Deadpool’s excitement over Angel Dust’s superhero landing, and it’s a welcome surprise for fans of the Deadpool films (or Ryan Reynolds in general).



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