The Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, is more than just an excuse to watch the best Marvel Comics characters pummel each other and amuse audiences with their hilarious one-liners. These films also carry serious emotional and dramatic weight, and some MCU films are much darker than their witty dialogue and flashy special effects suggest.

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In the end, every MCU film is an uplifting tale of hope, courage, and heroism in the face of darkness, and none of these films have a truly somber or somber tone. Even so, certain entries in the MCU have particularly dark themes such as guilt, the agony of grief, betrayal, and more. Which MCU titles really deliver the darkness, either overt or subtle?

10 Thor: The Dark World depicts Frigga’s tragic downfall

Even if it’s 2013 Thor: The Dark World Being one of the weaker MCU films, it still packs an emotional punch, especially when it comes to the hero himself, the mighty Thor. All is not well in the realm of Asgard as the vengeful Dark Elves are back to vengefully ravage the place and Thor’s family will be caught in the crossfire.

Thor endured the heartbreaking death of his mother Frigga at the hands of the Dark Elves, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, half of Asgard soon lay in ruins, and Thor thought he was helpless in the face of such carnage. However, he ended up defeating Malekith.

9 Captain America: Civil War – Friend vs. Friend

Captain America: Civil War is one of several dark MCU films in which no matter what happens, someone will be unhappy and hurt. In this case several people. Unable to fully control himself, the brainwashed Bucky Barnes bombed this meeting in Vienna, resulting in the death of King T’Chaka, but that’s just the beginning of the troubles that will haunt Marvel’s heroes.

Black Panther/T’Chall mourned the loss and the carnage didn’t end there. Captain America himself became a wanted outlaw for defending Bucky, and the Avengers team was, Iron Man feared, torn apart by the escalating fighting. When Thanos arrived, the team was in bad shape.

8th Black Panther showed a bitter power struggle

Black Panther is another tragic MCU story where misery will ensue no matter which side wins. There was no way for T’Challa to find a quick and easy solution to all of his problems, and he would have to make difficult decisions and sacrifices one way or another.

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In this film, T’Challa had to face his nemesis Erik Killmonger, who was brutal but not entirely unjust in his actions, and T’Challa almost felt sorry for killing him in their final battle for Wakanda. As if that wasn’t enough, T’Challa was soon at odds with the ghosts of his predecessors over the role that Wakanda should play in the world.

7 Spider-Man: No Way Home ended bleakly for the Parkers

Cheerful Peter Parker is, for the most part, a fun-loving and amusing MCU hero, and his movies don’t seem all that grim on the surface. However, No way home got pretty dark in the second half as May Parker lost her life and Peter went into a berserk rage to avenge her.

Spider-Man has achieved his ultimate victory, but at a great cost. He needed his ally, Doctor Stephen Strange, to erase all memories of him and that meant Peter lost his relationship with Ned Leeds, MJ and everyone else he had ever known. In the end, Peter still acted as Spider-Man, but Spidey was all alone.

6 Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness featured a distressed mother and many deaths

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the second standalone film for the hero Doctor Strange, and a truly bizarre adventure awaits. Strange’s new girlfriend, America Chavez, is hunted down and the villain turns out to be Strange’s own friend and ally, Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch.

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Wanda was desperate to be reunited with her two sons WandaVision, and she showed the dark depths of her character by slaughtering anyone who got in her way. Wanda even wiped out all of the Illuminati only for her quest to fail. And while Doctor Strange was able to stop Wanda, he had to connect to some very dark magic that seems to have changed him a lot.

5 Iron Man 3 was Tony Stark at his darkest point

Iron Man 3 was the third and final Iron Man solo film, and in this film, Tony Stark is having a really tough time, even compared to his hardships iron man 2. In this third film, Tony must face the threat of Aldrich Killian, or the fake Mandarin who seems to have all the cards in this fight.

Tony Stark lost his entire home on the California coast and he also suffered from PTSD as a result of the brutal New York City battle in 2012 The Avengers. This film shows the psychological difficulties Tony has been struggling with since becoming Iron Man, which is not often seen in superhero films.

4 Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2 gets really dark at times

That Guardians of the Galaxy Movies are crazy, fun adventures in space, but the second Vol 2, will be much darker than the first with its serious drama and numerous deaths. Killing Ronan the Accuser wasn’t a big deal, but defeating Ego the living planet is a tragic affair for Peter Quill.

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Peter had to face the horrifying truth that his heavenly father, Ego, had killed his mother and shortly thereafter lost his unofficial foster father, Yondu Udonta, who sacrificed himself to save Peter. There’s also drama between foster sisters Gamora and Nebula to add to the darkness.

3 Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a tragic story

Some of the most tragic MCU stories pit it friend against friend, which means they feel bad about hurting or killing the loser no matter who wins. This applies in particular in the case of The Winter Soldierwhere Captain America goes rogue to fight his old friend Bucky and desperately finds a way to redeem him.

Additionally, this film features a HYDRA takeover of SHIELD, and Cap and Nick Fury clash over the heavily armed Helicarriers SHIELD intends to use to enforce the peace. It is indeed a dark and somber sub-theme where even the good guys go too far to achieve their goals.

2 Thor: Ragnoarok is darker than it looks

As well as Guardian Vol. 2the colorful movie Thor: Rangnarok is a lot darker than it seems, although it has an endless sense of humor for the first hour or so. Despite the film’s many jokes, Thor: Ragnarok is a heartbreaking tale that involves the death of Odin, the low point of Thor’s heroic career, and the fall of Asgard himself.

Thor and his friends defeated Hela, but that victory meant little. Surtur destroyed Asgard, and then the massive ship of Thanos intercepted the fleeing Asgardian fleet, guaranteeing the Asgardians’ downfall. There’s also a dark subplot about the embittered, wayward Valkyrie, who drinks to drown the pain of losing all her warrior sisters to Hela.

1 In Avengers: Infinity War, the villain wins

The main factor that defines 2018 Avengers: Infinity War Such a dark movie is the fact that Thanos, the main villain, actually wins. Thanos brutalizes the Avengers, claiming all six Infinity Stones, then wiping out half of all life. The film ends on this frighteningly dark note.

But that’s not all. Infinite War also shows Vision being killed twice, Thanos killing Loki in front of Thor’s eyes, Doctor Strange’s torture and even revealing to Eitri that Thanos wiped out all the dwarves of Nidavellir. This movie also shows Thanos reluctantly sacrificing Gamora to get the Soul Stone, a really dark moment.

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