When tallying up the count of MCU characters who lost limbs, one can only come to one real conclusion: there’s an awful lot of them. This is, as it turns out, an intentional reference to another famous fictional character who lost an arm - Luke Skywalker. As Kevin Feige once explained to CinemaBlend:
I’m obsessed with Star Wars - and it didn’t start out as intentional, but it became intentional, including that beat that you referenced. It sort of happens in every Star Wars movie, but I was sort of looking at it, "Okay, is Phase Two our Empire Strikes Back?" Not really, but tonally, things are a little different. Somebody gets their arm cut off in every Phase Two movie. Every single one.
Feige is right about the lost limbs of Phase Two, but the amputations didn’t stop there. They’ve continued well into Phase Three and Phase Four, and will presumably carry on until neither the MCU nor Star Wars are popular - or, in other words, forever.
Alligator Loki Elects To Bite Off President Loki’s HandPhoto: Loki/Disney+
When President Loki arrives at the Loki Bunker in the Void with a squadron of Loki variants in order to challenge some other Loki variants for Void supremacy, it’s all very confusing - and then doubly so once the betrayals inevitably start.
In the midst of the ensuing chaos, Alligator Loki seizes the opportunity and chomps on President Loki’s arm, coming away with his entire right hand. President Loki screams, is thrown head-first into a popcorn machine, and is then not seen onscreen again for the remainder of Loki’s first season.Ouch?
Bucky Barnes First Loses An Arm In WWI
When Bucky Barnes falls from a high-speed train while attempting to apprehend Arnim Zola in Captain America: The First Avenger, he miraculously survives the plunge, losing only his left arm in the impact - along with his personal freedom when Hydra finds him days later and transforms him into the Winter Soldier.
In order to maintain dramatic tension, the actual results of the fall aren’t depicted onscreen until Bucky’s return is confirmed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and by that point, he’s already been fitted with a state-of-the-art prosthetic and well-versed in using it to lethal effect.Ouch?
Ultron Accidentally Pulls Off Ulysses Klaue’s Strong Arm
While trying to alternately intimidate and "influence" Ulysses Klaue into providing him with Vibranium in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the titular robotic menace drops a one-liner of “Keep your friends rich and your enemies rich and wait to find out which is which” that Klaue instantly recognizes as an old Tony Stark quote.
Incensed at being compared to his creator, Ultron grabs Klaue’s left arm in a vise grip and then angrily hacks at it with his own metallic hand, ripping the arm mid-bicep and leaving Klaue in a state of shock. Ultron’s subsequent claims of it being accidental are difficult to believe.
By his next onscreen appearance, Klaue would be outfitted with a high-tech sonic prosthetic.Ouch?
Professor Hulk Permanently Withers His Arm By Using The Nano-Gauntlet
Bruce Banner, in the guise of Professor Hulk, bravely declares in Avengers: Endgame that he’s the only one capable of wielding the Nano-Gauntlet without perishing, and he’s correct - but he also comes close to being fatally wrong. The Hulk’s snap restores half of the universe to life, but it also subjects his body to the full force of six Infinity Stones, instantly withering his right arm all the way up to his shoulder.
Despite his strong healing factor, the damage appears to be permanent - and probably could have been a lot worse if Tony Stark weren’t on hand with a cryogenic spray. Still, it’s a sacrifice the Hulk was clearly prepared to make, and then some.Ouch?