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.
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!
You’d be hard pressed to find a comics or cinema fan not aware of the highly anticipated Justice League film due this November. What many of these fans might not know is that this is actually the second attempt at adapting DC Comics premiere super team – with the feature-length pilot for a CBS Justice League of America TV series pre-dating it by a whole decade!
The reason why most people are oblivious when it comes to the Justice League pilot is simple: it never aired in the United States (although it did see the light of day on some international networks). The rationale behind the CBS executives’ decision to bury the pilot is even simpler: it’s… uh, not very good (like, at all).
Granted, superhero fans today are spoiled when it comes to big budget adaptations of their favorite characters on the big and small screens, but even so – the Justice League pilot is an especially lackluster affair, even by ‘90s network TV standards.
From costume shop-quality costumes through to its bizarre, quasi-mockumentary format (seriously!), it’s almost as if the creative team involved were trying to tick every box on the “awful comic book TV show” checklist.
Whilst the storytelling and technical faux paus on display in this 86 minute atrocity border on limitless, we’ve rounded up the most egregious missteps here in this list of the 15 Things The Justice League TV Pilot Got Wrong.
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” – at least, that’s the prevailing wisdom. If that’s the case, then it must count double for superheroes and their opponents, at least if Superman is anything to go by! Over the course of a nearly 80-year career fighting on the side of justice, the Man of Steel has set aside his differences with several members of his rogues gallery in service of the greater good.
Yes, occasionally situations arise where even Superman’s nigh-unbeatable abilities and powerful allies prove ill-equipped for the task at hand. It’s at moments like these that the Last Son of Krypton has to appeal to the angels of his enemies’ better natures – or more often than not, convince them that aiding him will also help them.
More often than not, Superman’s pitch to his enemies amounts to the threat of mutually assured destruction. If his antagonists won’t pitch in to take care of whatever menace has reared its head, the Man of Steel makes it very clear that nobody (including them) will live to see another sunrise.
As such, these alliances tend to be rather short-term arrangements, although that doesn’t make them any less notable. Indeed, as this list of 15 Times Superman Had To Team Up With His Villains makes clear, when the Big Blue Boy Scout joins forces with his enemies, fireworks are never far behind!
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.
In the world of comic books, sometimes having superpowers just isn’t enough. At times like these, superheroes and villains alike have to turn to superweapons to get the job done.
Interestingly, many of these superweapons are rarely (if ever) used to their true capacity. Sure, these crazy-powerful pieces of hardware have been responsible for saving the day or wreaking untold havoc cross the multiverses, but those pulling the trigger could have achieved so much more if they’d really let loose properly.
With that in mind, here’s a round-up of the 15 Comic Book Superweapons Never Used To Their Full Potential.