The Marvel Cinematic Universe added its 22nd film with "Avengers: Endgame" this week, assembling its cast of superheroes and taking over the box-office.
Where does it rank among the roster of Marvel's best?
We've updated our rankings to include "Endgame," gathering the opinions of three Tulsa World Scene staff members — Michael Smith, Jimmie Tramel and Sara Stephenson — and three members of the World's "Prairie Nerds" podcast team: James Royal, Anna Codutti and Chris Moore.
Some decisions were surprising, from the group naming three of Marvel's first four flicks among the six worst that the studio has produced to falling out of love with Tony Stark a long time ago.
Here's how we separated the best from the worst, starting with the least heroic.
No. 21: 'Thor: The Dark World' (2013)
A forgettable story (the Aether? the Convergence?), an ugly-looking film, and Thor not having any fun. Marvel movies usually have it all; this one had it all wrong.
Judge's comment: "They wasted Christopher Eccleston, a phenomenal actor, and they forgot what makes Chris Hemsworth such a great Thor is the witty, cocky moments he gives the character. There isn’t a single memorable scene in (it)." — James Royal
No. 20: 'The Incredible Hulk' (2008)
It's the one with Edward Norton playing Bruce Banner/the Hulk, but it's also the Marvel movie that people least associate with the MCU because Marvel moved on with the character.
Judge's comment: "It was truly a bad movie. Marvel has a formula for success, and this movie was a failed experiment on the way to that formula." — Royal
No. 19: 'Iron Man 2' (2010)
The anticipation for this first Marvel sequel was enormous, and so was the let-down with Tony Stark battling himself and alcohol, and the military, and Mickey Rourke for some reason we can't remember.
Judge's comment: "Tony Stark isn't really supposed to be easy to like, and it got harder to like him during that much screen time. Watching the suits battle gets old, too — it's hard to make fights dynamic. And the villains never really clicked in the sequels, which were just just forgettable." — Anna Codutti
No. 18: 'Ant-Man and Wasp' (2018)
From one of the favorite origins stories to one of the worst sequels, the panel appreciated the expanded role of Evangeline Lilly's character as the Wasp, but not much else.
Judge's comment: "It was really slow and boring. They focused too much on science and technology and not enough on the characters or the story." — Sara Stephenson
No. 17: 'Iron Man 3' (2013)
A massive hit and often entertaining, it was the biggest at the box-office of the non-team films for five years until "Black Panther." But elements including the villain and a twist in the narrative still rankle some fans, especially comic-book lovers.
Judge's comment: "This was a low point. Bad villain, bad spin of a highly anticipated villain and honestly Tony Stark was rarely in the suit. As a former Prairie Nerd once said: This could have been (called) Jarvis: The Movie." — Chris Moore
No. 16: 'Thor' (2011)
The Norse god of thunder and his hammer come down from Asgard to Earth, where the fish-out-of-water Thor falls in love with a scientist and helps to set up the first "Avengers" movie.
Judge's comment: "Great cast, solid laughs, and I'm a sucker for both mythology and science. In addition to the complex dynamic we love watching between brothers Thor and Loki, this film has strong female characters: a fighter and a scientist. For me, it checks all the boxes for Marvel magic." — Codutti
No. 15: 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' (2015)
The public in general gets more excited for the "Avengers" movies, and that makes the expectations that much higher. This movie in which Tony Stark first divided the heroes is the lowest-ranked of the team-up movies.
Judge's comment: "As much fun as the first movie was, this one just wasn’t. It had moments (like the party scene with Thor’s hammer), but they were few. It felt like (director) Joss Whedon had lost the love that was so clear in the first 'Avengers' film." — Royal
No. 14: 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' (2017)
Tom Holland made for a solid, young version of Peter Parker and his alter-ego, but the panel found it to be a middling first feature for this reboot, which was a big hit, especially with younger audiences.
Judge's comment: "There have been so many Spider-Man movies with different actors but none has depicted the characters of both Spider-Man and Peter Parker as well as Tom Holland." — Stephenson
Chuck Zlotnick/Columbia Pictures
No. 13: 'Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2' (2017)
This ragged band of heroes returned for another amusing adventure in which everyone was dealing with personal issues, and especially with Star-Lord finding his father. The panel's decision: This was not as entertaining as the first movie.
Judge's comment: "'Guardians of the Galaxy' was just more pure fun than most Marvel movies. I know it's tough to be the same and different simultaneously, but the sequel left me a little flat, except when scene-stealing Baby Groot was around." — Jimmie Tramel
No. 12: 'Doctor Strange' (2016)
Marvel brought magic to its movies with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the egotistical neurosurgeon whose near-death accident leads him into the world of mystical arts and other corners of the Marvel universe.
Judge's comment: "I am weary of the too-long climactic battle in many superhero films. We know the good guy is going to win. So, how fast can we wrap this up....? I thought 'Doctor Strange' (was) inventive in finding a way to flummox the bad guy." — Tramel
No. 11: 'Captain Marvel' (2019)
Marvel took its time introducing a female hero to lead one of its adventures, but it made a movie that connected with audiences at the box-office, won over by Oscar-winner Brie Larson and her massive powers.
Judge's comment: "Brie Larson is a treasure. Her acting, especially alongside the incredible Ben Mendelsohn as the street-savvy shapeshifting alien, elevated the typical superhero origin story. Also, girl power galore. The dogfight scene with Maria Rambeau and Minn-Erva was breathtaking." — Codutti
No. 10: 'Captain America: The First Avenger' (2011)
Our introduction to Steve Rogers during World War II was a heartwarming turn for Chris Evans, and introductions to Peggy Carter and Howard Stark, as well as a great villain in the Red Skull, made this old-school entertainment.
Judge's comment: "(This) felt like the origin of origins for superheroes in Marvel. We had a hero who was physically weak, but was never afraid to try and be in the fight." — Moore
No. 9: 'Ant-Man' (2015)
The panel surprised by ranking Paul Rudd's Marvel debut higher than a half-dozen other heroes' origin stories. But it was a very fun premise, and it was both witty (Rudd and Michael Pena especially) and inventive.
Judge's comment: "I think this movie surprised a lot of people because everyone expected it to bomb. But Paul Rudd did a great job of making this character fun and a real hero." — Stephenson
No. 8: 'Captain America: Civil War' (2016)
In a hero-stuffed story that felt like an "Avengers" movie, government intervention in the world of superheroes drew a line in the sand between Cap and Iron Man and split the allegiances of others in interesting ways.
Judge's comment: "The debut of Spider-Man was huge for me, and like the first 'Avengers' movie, this one had a lot of great moments with the heroes playing off each other." — Royal
No. 7: 'Thor: Ragnarok' (2017)
Who knew a "Thor" movie could be this much fun? Apparently Taika Waititi, an indie filmmaker Marvel trusted with making something unique. He saw Thor and Hulk and Loki and he saw mythology meets comedy meets adventure. We're all better for it.
Judge's comment: "'Ragnarok' was a realization for Marvel. ... They put Thor in a quest-type story and injected a lot of humor into it. ... It is far and above better than the first two outings." — Moore
No. 6: 'Iron Man' (2008)
It all began with Robert Downey Jr. playing a playboy/technology genius who was hardly the star of Marvel Comics, but who created the first superstar of Marvel at the movies. He made us laugh, he made science cool and he established the Marvel brand.
Judge's comment: "'I am Iron Man.' That film was a glorious journey from an Afghan cave to a jaw-dropping press conference. A flawed, cocky hero who cracks wise and is dangerously smart. ... (It) set the perfect tone for the MCU to continue with." — Anna Codutti
No. 5: "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018)
The third "Avengers" team-up found the team fighting the mighty Thanos, and it was an entertainment-packed thrill-ride that came to an ending that was both shocking and controversial: a cliffhanger that leads to "Endgame."
Judge's comment: "It felt like an obligation to rank it high because it was such an ambitious project with so many characters. I liked it, but I still feel like it's premature to judge it because it's only halftime. When bad guys win, how do audiences feel when walking out of the theater?"— Tramel
No. 4: 'The Avengers' (2012)
We got the sometimes uneven origins stories for Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Hulk out of the way, and then Marvel teamed them up to save the world for the first time. True synergy: The whole was greater than the sum of its parts.
Judge's comment: "It was just a fun movie for the fans, who finally got to see all these characters together on the screen. And It wasn’t a movie trying to be something it wasn’t with some deeper, darker meaning." — James Royal
No. 3: 'Black Panther' (2018)
A financially bold choice by Marvel — a $200 million budget for a film with a virtually all-black cast — paid off with great art (one of 2018's best films), a great lesson in diversity and great entertainment. It won three Oscars.
Judge's comment: "Ryan Coogler made a big statement on race and politics. ... With setting, you had a country in Africa that was portrayed as the richest, most prosperous in the world. For characters, you had hairstyles (and) clothing that showcased it being a place that was untouched by Western society, and for dialogue, you felt a lot of pent-up anger from black society on how they are treated, even today." — Chris Moore
No. 2: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' (2014)
There was concern when Marvel went back into its catalog of titles and chose this outer-space oddity with Chris Pratt joined by a green girl, a raccoon and a tree on a giant adventure. Then the flat-out fun movie was released to universal acclaim.
Judge's comment: "This movie had it all — action, heart and especially humor. It's the most fun of all the movies and it's one you can watch over and over and it never gets old. Plus, you can't beat the dynamic between Rocket and Groot." — Sara Stephenson
No. 1: 'Captain America: Winter Soldier' (2014)
Marvel's most wrapped-in-the-flag hero shook up the MCU with a paranoid, trust-no-one, 1970s-style thriller that saw him battling S.H.I.E.L.D. and his boyhood friend, Bucky Barnes. The Russo Brothers earned the right to make three more Marvel movies with this winner, including "Endgame."
Judge's comment: "(It) had a great story and it just so happened to be a superhero film. ... Want to separate yourself from the pack? Give me a story." — Jimmie Tramel