As you binge-watch Marvel films to get ready for Spider-Man: Far From Home, don’t miss the incredible opportunities for meaningful dialogue with your kids about the heroic themes we encounter in every movie. Here are 22 talking points and conversation questions – one for each of the 22 MCU films, numbered in the order in which they were released. And if you want to see which movies are appropriate for your kids and their ages, check out iMOM’s Movie Monitor section.
Obviously, there are spoilers ahead.
1. Iron Man
Why do you think we love redemption stories? What’s so compelling about someone who is completely self-centered suddenly turning their life around and trying to help others?
2. Incredible Hulk
What makes you angry? Is it ever ok to be angry? If so, when? How can we learn to channel our anger constructively?
3. Iron Man 2
What is Whiplash’s motivation for wanting to destroy Tony Stark? Is revenge ever justified? How should we handle it when people hurt us?
How does Thor’s arrogance impact him and those around him? What changes that enable Thor to become the hero/king he was intended to be? Why might humility be better than arrogance, even when you’re extremely talented?
5. Captain America
What makes Steve the ‘right person’ to be Captian America? What character traits does he have? Why are those traits desirable?
6. The Avengers
Why do you think we are so compelled by movies that center on a hero’s willingness to sacrifice him or her – self? What is it about that story that moves us? Do you know any real-life examples of that kind of selflessness?
7. Iron Man 3
What is more important to Iron Man as a hero, the suit or Tony himself? Can you think of any real-life examples of people whose ingenuity enabled them to make a tremendous impact on the world?
8. Thor: The Dark World
Is Loki good or evil? What makes someone trustworthy? Is it wise to give someone who has betrayed your trust in the past a second chance?
9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
What makes someone a good friend? Does Steve go too far in his commitment to Bucky? Why or why not?
10. Guardians of the Galaxy
How does Peter’s past influence the kind of adult he is? Why do you think there are some people who have a difficult past and it makes them stronger, while others have a difficult past and it makes them bitter?
11. The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Ultron believes that humanity is doomed. Why does he think that? Are there things that threaten humans? What can we do to combat them?
We generally think of heroes as big and strong. In what way is Ant-Man’s ability to be small a gift? Do we overlook certain gifts in people because they aren’t obvious? What do you think your gifts are?
13. Captain America: Civil War
When we are unable to forgive it destroys relationships.When we are unable to forgive it destroys relationships. Tony’s bitterness about his parents’ murder is understandable but causes infighting among those who are tasked with working together to save the world. Why is bitterness so destructive?
14. Doctor Strange
For Doctor Strange, the beginning of his journey to being a powerful hero is a devastating loss. How does that loss shape him as he becomes a hero? Are painful experiences always negative?
15. Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2
How do you think the writers of this film want us to think about what constitutes family? What do you think makes a family?
16. Spiderman: Homecoming
How do you see Peter struggle with his new-found powers? What would it be like if you suddenly had superpowers? What would you use them for? Why?
17. Thor: Ragnarok
Thor has to battle Hela and her armies without his trusty hammer, Mjolnir. What resources does he have to rely on? What does he learn about himself in the process?
18. Black Panther
What differentiates T’Challa and Killmonger as leaders? What motivates them? What is their leadership ‘style’? Who is the better leader?
19. Avengers: Infinity War
Does good always win? Does evil ever seem to triumph? What about Peter Quill’s response enabled evil to win?
20. Ant Man & Wasp
Why is it important to feel like you can trust someone? What does it take to regain the trust that has been lost? Has anyone ever lost your trust? Were they able to get it back? Why or why not?
21. Captain Marvel
How important is our past? What would it be like if you had no idea who you were or where you came from? How does knowing that stuff shape you? Would your past affect you even if you couldn’t remember it? Why or why not?
22. Avengers: Endgame
How does Tony Stark’s response to Thanos differ from Quill’s in Infinity War? What is the end result? Why do the filmmakers think that self-sacrifice is the key but self-preservation is not? What do you think about that?
Want some stories about real-life heroes to discuss with your kids? Check this out!
Sound off: Which Marvel character is your favorite? Why? What are the traits that make him or her a hero to look up to?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Which superhero is your favorite and why?”