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.
- 198 VOTES
Phil Coulson Saves His Agents By Grabbing A Deadly Terrigen Crystal - And Then Alphonso Mackenzie Saves Coulson By Axing Off His HandPhoto: Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D./ABC
Though they’ve scarcely made a memorable impact in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far, Inhumans play a major role in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., for better or for worse. The same Terrigen Crystals that grant Inhumans their powers are deadly to ordinary humans, a trait that leads to no shortage of drama and tragedy in the series’ second season - especially when the agents come into conflict with a hostile group of Inhumans.
During a skirmish with the teleporting Gordon, the resurrected Phil Coulson and his team manage to eke out a win, but as he perishes, Gordon drops a Terrigen Crystal to the ground - which, if it were to burst, would result in the quick demise of everyone in the room. Coulson bravely dives out and grabs the crystal before it can drop, an act that would have resulted in his own demise if not for the quick thinking of Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie, who chops off Coulson’s left hand with an ax before the effects of the crystal can spread.
Coulson is later outfitted with a state-of-the-art prosthetic, complete with exactly the sort of S.H.I.E.L.D. gadgets that keep him wide-eyed and giddy.Ouch?
- 2200 VOTES
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?
- 3178 VOTES
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?
- 4148 VOTES
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?