Another Top 10 Controversial Moments in Superhero Movies



Another Top 10 Controversial Moments in Superhero Movies

Script written by Garrett Alden

These scenes had fans up in arms. From Batman: The Killing Joke, to Justice League, to Thor: Ragnarok, these superhero movies stirred the pot in one way or another. WatchMojo ranks another top controversial moments in superhero movies.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks:
Special thanks to our user DaveVsTheWorld for suggesting this idea!
Script written by Garrett Alden

Another Top 10 Controversial Moments in Superhero Movies

So many heroes, so much drama. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for Another Top 10 Controversial Moments in Superhero Movies.

For this list, we’ll be looking at even more moments in superhero flicks that either deviated from the source material or were poorly received by fans and critics in their own right. If you don’t see a moment that you think should be on here, be sure to check out out our first video on the topic!

#10: Behold: Jokes

“Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)

The third “Thor” film features a marked departure in tone from the previous two installments in the series, with brighter colors, more action, and a greater emphasis on humor. However, there are those who feel that the last of these is to the film’s detriment. The jokes are so frequent that they tend to interrupt or distract from touching scenes, as well as action set pieces, cutting the tension or emotional resonance of the moments. “Thor: Ragnarok” is a fun and funny film, but admittedly, with a little tweaking, it could have been more impactful.

#9: Superman’s Fake Mouth

“Justice League” (2017)

Speaking of things that could’ve used some tweaking… ”Justice League” was plagued by issues behind the scenes, but the most obvious symptom of this… was Superman’s mouth. The film required extensive reshoots, but unfortunately, actor Henry Cavill was contracted for another movie by that time, and Paramount insisted that he keep the facial hair. The effects team was therefore forced to make the ‘stache “disappear,” causing Superman’s mouth to look creepy and/or inhuman in many shots. The internet subsequently had a field day with this. The fact that the film wasn’t delayed to make his mouth, and other effects, look better also ties into rumors that Warner Bros. executives rushed the film out to keep their bonuses.

#8: Bane’s Death

“The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)

Bane is a much loved member of Batman’s rogues gallery and his major role in the third part of “The Dark Knight” trilogy was largely a success for the villain. He proved himself to be a formidable and imposing figure, even in Nolan’s more grounded Gotham. Unfortunately, the movie’s conclusion undermined much of what had succeeded earlier in the film. Firstly, Bane is revealed to not be the mastermind behind the film’s events, instead working for Talia al Ghul; robbing his character of his famed intelligence. But more significantly, after a final confrontation with Batman, Bane is unceremoniously shot by Catwoman, which many felt was a poor conclusion to the villain’s life.

#7: Elevator Improv Beatbox

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2014)

The premise of this long running franchise has always been odd, but it always made sense in its own wonderfully weird way. Unfortunately, the 2014 live-action film felt tonally off. One of the more controversial and memorable scenes in the first film of the reboot sees the four teenage turtles, led by Michelangelo, begin beatboxing while riding in an elevator. Although some felt the scene adds some levity to the film and is in keeping with their characters (given that they’re teenagers), others felt the scene was random and forced. Even the “Ninja Turtles” cartoon at the time took a shot at the offending scene.

#6: The Prologue / Bat Sex

“Batman: The Killing Joke” (2016)

The opening 20 minutes or so of this comic book adaptation features an expanded emphasis on Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl. During the course of the events depicted, Barbara is shown kissing Bruce Wayne/Batman and it’s implied she has sex with him. Besides not being accurate with “The Killing Joke” comic, swaths of fans felt this was antithetical to the father-daughter relationship the characters shared and... just plain gross, since Barbara is also Batman’s friend Commissioner Gordon’s daughter. Of course, a bat-cestual relationship wouldn’t be the worst controversy to plague the Dark Knight in 2016 – more on that later.

#5: Endangering Civilians

“Man of Steel” (2013)

We covered the controversial climax of Superman’s fight with Zod in “Man of Steel” in our original list, but the majority of the film proved divisive as well. After Kal-El manages to foil Zod’s plans, the Kryptonian general engages Supes in a desperate battle through Metropolis, causing widespread destruction in their wake and endangering, if not outright killing, a huge number of people in process. A lot of viewers felt that Superman should and would have done more to protect the citizens of the city, like trying to lead Zod away or at least minimize the destruction.

#4: Cloudy with a Chance of Galactus

“Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” (2007)

The “Fantastic Four” films don’t have the best track record thus far, and one of the most egregious errors in judgment by the folks behind the scenes was to turn Galactus, the massive, world devouring conqueror into a massive, world devouring… cloud. We get that Galactus may be a little hard to realize onscreen, but at the very least they could have made the cloud resemble his face or given any sort of indication that said cloud is an intelligent one. As it is, the 2007 film took an iconic villain and turned him into a literal cosmic disaster.

#3: Emo Peter

“Spider-Man 3” (2007)

There are a number of aspects from Sam Raimi’s third “Spider-Man” film that were poorly received by fans, from the overabundance of villains, to practically everything about Venom. But we’d argue that the most contentious part of the film is the “dark” turn taken by Peter Parker upon being bonded with the alien symbiote. Everything about this direction, from the emo haircut and that discount “Saturday Night Fever” sequence to the awful dance club scene is sure to make anyone watching cringe. People weren’t upset that Peter went dark, just that he went full dork while he was at it.

#2: Superman Reversing Time

“Superman” (1978)

Since it’s arguably the first major modern superhero movie, this bit of controversy from “Superman” is more an issue in retrospect than at the time of release, though there are probably some fans who balked even then. During the film’s climax, Superman, distraught at Lois Lane’s death, flies above the Earth and moves around it so fast that the Earth spins backwards; reversing time and allowing him to save her. First of all, this is something that was invented purely for the film. But more importantly – that’s not how time or planetary rotation works! The moment has its fans though, and it’s certainly an iconic one.

#1: “Save Martha”

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016)

…Yup. The matchup between the world’s two biggest superheroes proved incredibly divisive, and although Batman killing people was also rather contentious, the most controversial moment occurs during the climax of their titular battle. It’s when, as Batman is poised to stab him, Superman asks that he save his mother, Martha. Coincidentally, Bruce Wayne’s mother is also named Martha, causing the Dark Knight to have second thoughts about killing the man “with the power to wipe out the entire human race.” While some believe that the moment did a good job of making Batman realize that the two of them are not so different, many felt it was poorly handled and just plain laughable.