Everybody loves a movie tough guy or gal – powerful characters with a reputation for being able to win virtually any fight. Yet a surprising number of these iconic fighters have actually lost almost as many battles as they’ve won (at least based on what we see on screen).
Of course, a large part of this is down to the way that films work. In order for a story to be compelling, our heroes need to struggle – and even occasionally lose! – despite their incredible martial prowess. Similarly, in most instances, villains need to be defeated before the credits roll – which means that they are predestined to be second best, no matter how many times they’ve beaten the hero throughout the story.
That’s why most movie powerhouses earn their street cred by mowing down unfortunate redshirts, only to end up on the wrong end of a brutal beatdown when faced by an opponent at least as skilled as they are: because they’re really only as good at fighting as the story needs them to be at any given moment.
But even taking into account the mechanics of storytelling, you’d be amazed by just how patchy the win-loss record for some of cinema’s most well-known heavy hitters really is.
Don’t believe us? Then check out this list of 15 ‘Tough’ Movie Characters Who Always Get Defeated – we promise you: you won’t believe who made the cut!
Given comics is a largely serialized medium, it’s not surprising that its history is filled with brilliant – and not-so-brilliant! – plot twists. After all, what better way to entice readers to read the next chapter than with an earth-shattering last page cliffhanger that leaves them thinking “How are they ever gonna resolve this?!”
There’s also few things more rewarding as a fan than seeing a meticulously crafted – and cleverly hidden – plot twist come to fruition. It’s the thrill of being surprised, combined with the satisfaction of knowing that the writer involved has played fair by providing ample little hints in the lead up to the big reveal.
Of course, some comic book plot twists are better executed than others. Indeed, more than a few have fallen flat, often because they either made no sense, or actively damaged decades worth of stories that proceeded them.
In instances like these, it sometimes seems like the twist was designed more from a shock value point of view, rather than as a payoff designed to enrich past and future adventures. Still, regardless of whether a major comic book reveal was outstanding or underwhelming, they’re almost always memorable.
With this in mind, we’ve taken a look back at 20 of comic’s biggest narrative surprises, in order to round up this list of the 10 Best (And 10 Worst) Comic Book Plot Twists of all time.
Cliffhanger endings have been keeping movie audiences on the edge of their seats since virtually the dawn of cinema. Not to be confused with stand alone films containing ambiguous, “open” endings, this storytelling device sees films draw to a close without a true resolution, but rather with the promise of more events to come.
First popularized in serials of the 1920s and 1930s – famous for the “To be continued” text that rounded each instalment – cliffhangers have long proven divisive among cinemagoers. After all, by their nature, cliffhanger endings typically prevent a film from having a truly satisfying conclusion.
How can they, when they’re designed to build anticipation for a follow-up movie containing the story’s actual finale? Even so, when done well, cliffhangers can be a thrilling way to wrap up a film, dramatically raising the stakes even as they surprise viewers with shocking revelations and happenings.
As cinema history is filled to the brim with famous – and infamous! – cliffhanger endings, we’ve pulled together this list of 10 Amazing Movie Cliffhangers (And 5 That Are Terrible) for your reading pleasure.
Superman has been around for almost 80 years, which is more than enough time to develop a rogues gallery filled to the brim with outlandish villains. Over nearly eight decades spent fighting for truth, justice and the American Way, the Man of Steel has faced off against some genuinely bizarre foes – enemies who make baddies like Lex Luthor, Brainiac, or General Zod look positively restrained by comparison.
What makes these anti-social nogoodniks stand apart from their peers? Well, some of them are noteworthy thanks to the wacky nature of their origin stories or underlying concept. Others stand out owing to their off-the-wall power set or eccentric aesthetic. And then there’s those who have managed to tick all of these boxes, pushing the envelope of what it means to be a “bad guy” and rising to the forefront of truly outrageous supervillainy.
Whilst there are numerous examples of unusual antagonists from the Last Son of Krypton’s crimefighting career to chose from – seriously, the Silver Age of comics alone is a goldmine! – as always, a select few are worthy of special recognition. That’s why we’ve pulled together this list of the 15 Craziest Superman Villainsof all time, ranked for your consideration!
Believe it or not, Batman Returnshas been out for 25 years. Tim Burton’s follow-up to his original Batman film pitted Michael Keaton’s Dark Knight against the dastardly schemes of the Penguin (Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), and was the third highest grossing film of 1992.
Whereas Burton toned down his distinctive style somewhat the first time around, Batman Returns represents the director well and truly cutting loose. The end result is a movie that’s even more visually impressive than its predecessor, and a story that’s darker and quirkier than any Batman adventure to date. It received mostly positive reviews from critics, however Burton’s approach to the source material divided fans (a debate which still rages even now on online message boards!).
Regardless of whether you love it or hate it, Batman Returns is an undeniably iconic piece of cinema, and its journey to the big screen (and what followed after) is a fascinating one.
Indeed, there’s plenty of interesting factoids surrounding the film’s production – ranging from outlandish early scripts through to crazy planned spin-offs. Of these, we’ve boiled it down to only the very best trivia, and present for your enjoyment 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Batman Returns.
Once again, we’re going to return to the world of comics, this time to highlight the brilliance of Fiona Staples, a phenomenal artist who has broken through the “boys club” culture of the industry in order to rise to the very top of her field.