Comic Book Movies Held Back By A Bad Plot Twist

Voting Rules
Vote up the plot twists that keep these movies from reaching their full potential.

These days, comic book movies are all the rage in Hollywood. They make billions at the box office and spawn massive franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so they're big business. They've got superpowers, explosions, bad comic relief characters, and everything else the people like. Lately, most comic book movies have been spectacular, while some have failed to miss the mark. One thing each comic book movie tries to do is add a little something to surprise the audience. This kind of thing either works really well, or it falls apart, detracting from what would otherwise be a perfect film. Plot twists have always been challenging to pull off well.

This list takes a look at all the comic book movies that were held back by a bad plot twist. To be clear, these aren't bad movies… well, not all of them. That said, the twists listed below weren't as good for the film as the people who made it probably thought at the time. As a result, these twists tend to be the one bad thing everyone remembers about these movies, and some of them are pretty lousy compared to the rest of the story. Take a look at the bad plot twists that held back comic book movies down, and if you find yourself agreeing with one or more of them, be sure to give them an upvote to see which plot twist held back its movie the most!

Seeing as every movie on here features a plot twist, consider this a SPOILER WARNING for every item on this list!

  • The Plot: The cinematic origin of Logan reveals his true name, James Howlett, and how he became the mutant known as Wolverine. He and his half-brother, Victor Creed, fought through the decades until the Vietnam War landed them at the feet of William Stryker's Team X. Stryker was the one who bonded Adamantium to James's skeleton, making him all but invincible, but there was a cost: his memories.

    The Twist: In the final battle scene of the film, James (with his memories and Adamantium intact) goes up against Weapon XI, who is none other than his former battle buddy, Wade Wilson (the guy who never shuts up). Wade sports a plethora of new superpowers and a closed-off mouth, making him quiet and dangerous.

    How It Held The Movie Back: As any Marvel fan will tell you, Wade Wilson is Deadpool. Other than this film, there is no depiction of Deadpool that even closely resembles Mutant XI. The so-called “Merc with a Mouth” had his mouth sealed off so he couldn't say anything, making this version of the character inexplicably antithetical. This twist didn't impact the film's plot, and it could have been entirely omitted. This twist ultimately led Ryan Reynolds to push Hollywood hard for a Deadpool feature film, so while it didn't do X-Men Origins: Wolverine any favors, at least it contributed to the development of a proper Deadpool film.

    122 votes
  • The Plot: Batman decides he needs to stop Superman by any means possible after the destruction of Metropolis in Man of Steel. The two finally trade blows as Batman boosts his body armor and weaponry to take on the Last Son of Krypton. As they tear one another apart, Lex Luthor's plan comes to fruition with the creation of Doomsday, forcing the two heroes to work together with an Amazonian woman to save the world from the new threat.

    The Twist: Just as Batman is about to take out Superman with a Kryptonite spear, the Man of Steel tells him to “save Martha,” which causes Batman to stop. Both heroes' mother's names are Martha, and this revelation helps Batman understand that, while Superman is Kryptonian, he isn't out of touch with humanity. The revelation helps Batman realize he'd become the thing he hated, helping him return to his own humanity, and all it took was a single name, “Martha.”

    How It Held The Movie Back: The Martha revelation brought the fight to a sudden end, and it let the heroes come to terms so they could fight Doomsday. While their conflict had to come to an end somehow, this much-derided scene could have been replaced with Doomsday's entrance. Had that happened, the end result would have been the same: Both heroes would have worked together to defeat Doomsday.

    102 votes
  • The Plot: When three Kryptonian criminals escape from the Phantom Zone, the only man who could stop them, Superman, is nowhere to be found. He's traded his heritage for the chance to love Lois, and he'll have to give up everything he wants to save the world from the worst threat it's ever seen: General Zod.

    The Twist: At the end of the movie, Clark kisses Lois passionately on the lips, but when they part, she no longer has any memory of Clark's secret, keeping his identity as Superman a secret once more.

    How It Held The Movie Back: Putting aside the fact that Superman never showed any sort of amnesia smooching powers before locking lips with Lois, the kiss does more than remove her knowledge of Superman. It undoes an entire movie of character development, reverting Lois to the same person she was when the film began. It undermines Lois's development into a more complex individual, and the franchise would likely have benefited from having to work with her knowledge intact.

    49 votes
  • The Plot: Tony Stark brazenly challenges the terrorist leader of the Ten Rings, a man known only as the Mandarin. The Mandarin is a ruthless mastermind capable of bombing anything and everything, and he holds the United States to account, threatening the world with his actions. After Stark's home is destroyed, he goes through hell battling explosive bad guys as he fights his way to the top so he can take down the leader and eliminate the threat once and for all.

    The Twist: Stark finally beats the bad guys down to find the lair of the Mandarin, but the man he finds turns out to be something he didn't expect. The Mandarin is really Trevor Slattery, a down-on-his-luck actor playing a part, while the real Mandarin turns out to have been Aldrich Killian all along.

    How It Held The Movie Back: Sir Ben Kingsley really brought it in his portrayal of the Mandarin, but as soon as he does a 180 and is revealed to be Trevor, the story begins to fall apart. Ultimately, it does make sense that Killian wanted to create a scapegoat for his illegal activities, but the whole thing felt a bit cheap and misleading to the audience. In the end, Iron Man 3 is still a great movie, but it would have been nice to see Kingsley play a bad guy like the Mandarin to the best of his abilities.

    102 votes
  • The Plot: Peter Parker investigates his parents' demise as a new supervillain arises to threaten New York City. Electro isn't the only bad guy he has to worry about, thanks to his best friend Harry Osborn's turn to villainy, which threatens Gwen Stacy and everything Peter loves.

    The Twist: In a deleted scene that didn't make it into the final cut of the film, Richard Parker, Peter's father, resurfaces at the end to upend his son's life.

    How It Held The Movie Back: The Parkers are deceased and have been since at least 1961 (in the comics). When they returned, they were decoys sent by the Chameleon, so this sudden reveal doesn't come from the comics. Peter's father is and should always remain dead, and while this scene didn't make it into the final cut, it still stands as a bad plot twist because it clearly outlines the intended direction for the unproduced sequels. It likely had an impact on the movie's narrative, and it should never have been introduced, deleted scene or not.

    53 votes
  • The Plot: Dr. Michael Morbius crosses ethical lines with the help of his friend, Dr. Martine Bancroft, to save his life and the lives of others afflicted with the same deadly disease. He unleashes a nightmare upon the world by transforming himself into a living vampire, but he's not the only threat. Another who was once close to him has taken the same “cure,” and Morbius must stop him at all costs or leave the world in the hands of a dangerous immortal monster.

    The Twist: Dr. Bancroft dies in the movie and asks Morbius to feed on her so he can stop the bad guy. It's later revealed that she was given the same serum when her eyes open, revealing that she, too, is a living vampire.

    How It Held The Movie Back: Martine's demise was the sacrifice that helped Morbius defeat Milo. She even tells him to make her death count for something, and he does. That's all washed away when her eyes open, which completely undoes the previous scene, and the reveal seems to have been thrown in for some sort of desperate attempt to score a sequel. Given the thrashing the movie has received, that's highly unlikely to happen, so the “Martine is alive” twist comes off as a cheap ploy that undoes a lot of character development.

    37 votes