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.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is known for its rabid fanbase, and part of what keeps these hardcore devotees onside is just how well Marvel Studios manages to work fan service moments into its films.
Traditionally, the term “fan service” – which refers to creators including moments designed specifically to please fans – is often used in a derogatory sense by pop culture aficionados, and not without cause.
When done poorly, these attempts to give fans exactly what they want can come across as forced and actually harm the narrative flow of a story. However, when done right, instances of fan service can actually enhance proceedings, creating memorable scenes that work in service to the wider plot and appeal to veteran fans and newbies alike.
Granted, the MCU hasn’t always gotten it right when it comes to fan service (for instance, the inclusion of Captain America’s shield in Iron Man 2 is glaring example of the studio trying too hard). But generally speaking, the films have a strong track record of working in shout-outs to the source material that add to (rather than detract from) the audience’s viewing pleasure.
With this in mind, we’ve assembled this rundown of the 15 Best Moments Of Fan Service In The MCU.
By now, we’ve all had a chance to see Logan, and it’s safe to say that for most fans and critics, the film serves as a great send-off for Hugh Jackman as he hangs up his claws after over decade and a half in the role.
There are several reasons for Logan’s success – including its smaller, more relatable scale and tighter focus on a small cast of characters – but without doubt a key reason why this Wolverine swansong soars is because it stands largely apart from the wider X-Men franchise.
Sure, it has links to earlier films in the series, but it also tends to gloss over (or even flat-out ignore) any aspects of the established canon that don’t fit with the story director James Mangold wants to tell, and in doing so, it reminds us that when it comes to storytelling versus continuity, the former is always more important than the latter.
Regardless of whether you’re a proud American or enthusiastic outsider (like me), it’s hard not to get excited by the patriotic spirit of Independence Day brought to life so vividly in films like The Patriot and, well… Independence Day.
Whilst both of those films – and many others – would make more than suitable subjects for review on this special occasion, I’d like to celebrate the 4 of July this year by taking a look back at a movie that practically oozes red, white and blue: Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger, released in cinemas five years ago this month.
While Captain America: Civil War doesn’t open in North America until this Friday, fans living in the UK (like yours truly) and other overseas markets have already attended screenings of the film, and the message to our friends in the US is this: guys, you’re in for a treat.
Yes, the general consensus from fans and critics alike seems to be that not only does Civil War excel as a sequel to 2011’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it also serves as a more satisfying follow up to TheAvengers than the mixed bag that was last year’s Age of Ultron.
Sure, it’s not without its flaws – it’s a little long at 147 minutes, and poor Daniel Brühl becomes the latest fine actor cast onto the rapidly growing pile of underwhelming Marvel big screen villains – but these are minor quibbles when compared with how much directors Anthony and Joe Russo nailed virtually every other aspect of the film.
With this in mind, join me now as I count down the top five reasons why Captain America: Civil War rocks as much (or more than) any other superhero film to date.
This month marks the arrival of yet another new (and hopefully regular) feature, Five Minutes With…, which will feature exclusive mini-interviews with the people behind the comic books, films, TV shows and novels we all devour on a daily basis.
For this maiden post, we’ll be catching up with comic book artist Patrick Zircher. Patrick is a veteran of the comics scene, first breaking into the industry in the late 1980s working for Eclipse Comics before going on to pencil and ink titles for industry heavyweights DC and Marvel from the 1990s onwards.