Remembering When Captain America Fell on That Grenade – and Created the Soul of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 by Evan Saathoff
(Welcome to Great Moments in MCU History, where we fondly recall great little bits that made us fall in love with the MCU.)
After all these years, it’s fun to look back at early Marvel Cinematic Universe efforts. They’re all so quaint in retrospect, so tiny. Thor loses his hammer and has to fight a big metal guy who breathes fire. (Yes, I know he’s called the Destroyer, but he destroys little more than a block of New Mexico’s smallest town). Tony Stark makes his suit, flies around a bit, and has to fight a slower, chunkier Iron Man. Hulk fights some army guys on a college campus and then has to fight an uglier Hulk.
But we didn’t fall in love with them for their bombastic, non-stop action. Early Marvel films succeeded – allowing bigger Marvel films to mature – due to their casting, their wit, their heart and their willingness to get a little weird with it. This was the age of Nolan’s Batman films, after all. It took guts to make a colorful, pop-Shakespearean Thor film filled with Dutch angles.
Heart is front and center in the first great MCU moment I’d like to discuss: the famous grenade scene from Captain America: The First Avenger.