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Top 10 Superhero Movie Plot Twists

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden

These are some super twists! From Black Panther to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, WatchMojo is counting down the most unexpected plot developments and revelations from superhero films.

Special thanks to our users bobbylashley18 & Tyson Turner for suggesting this idea! https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Superhero%20Movie%20Plot%20Twists


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Script written by Garrett Alden

Top 10 Superhero Movie Plot Twists

These are some super twists! Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Superhero Movie Plot Twists.

For this list, we’ll be going over unexpected plot developments and revelations from superhero films. We’re excluding animated plot twists, as well as plot developments that may have caught audience members by surprise (such as the conclusion to “Avengers: Infinity War”), but were still built up to. Also, as we’ll be discussing major plot points, there will be spoilers ahead.

#10: King T’Chaka Killed Erik Killmonger’s Father

“Black Panther” (2018)

Erik “Killmonger” Stevens is the antagonist of “Black Panther,” and he’s slowly revealed throughout the film to be a master criminal with a connection to Wakanda; the secret African country ruled by the titular hero. However, it comes as a surprise when the previous king, T’Chaka, is revealed to have killed his brother and Erik’s father, N’Jobu, while protecting one of his men. This leaves the young Killmonger orphaned and resentful, yet still desiring the home he never knew. T’Chaka being in the wrong and Killmonger more in the right definitely threw us for a loop.

#9: The Mandarin Isn’t Real

“Iron Man 3” (2013)

Speaking of Marvel antagonists, the Mandarin is a mysterious and charismatic terrorist who executes an apparent series of bombings and even destroys the house of Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. After tracking down the villain, Stark confronts him in Miami – only to discover that the man the world believes to be the Mandarin is actually just an English actor, who believes he’s only playing a character. The real Mandarin is a man named Aldrich Killian, who is out for revenge against Stark. This twist upset many hardcore fans, as it seemingly turned Iron Man’s nemesis into a joke. That being said, there’s no denying it was unexpected.

#8: Ozymandias’ Masterplan, and It’s Already Too Late

“Watchmen” (2009)

An apparent plot to kill off former vigilantes puts masked superhero Rorschach on the trail of a vast conspiracy during the height of an alternate Cold War. He and former ally Nite Owl's investigation reveals their friend Adrien Veidt (a.k.a. Ozymandias) to have orchestrated a plan to use the nuclear superhuman Dr. Manhattan as a scapegoat for the destruction of several major cities around the world. This would thereby unite the USSR and the USA against a common enemy, and theoretically create world peace. Ozymandias also reveals during his confrontation with them that he’s already put his plan into motion – avoiding a typical villain blunder.

#7: The Vulture Is Liz Allen’s Father

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017)
Through his efforts to become a successful superhero, Spider-Man crosses Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. the Vulture; a criminal determined to steal powerful technology to sell to the highest bidder. All the while, Peter Parker tries balancing his life as a superhero with school, including asking his crush Liz Allen to homecoming. Peter’s two lives collide unexpectedly when he goes to pick Liz up for the dance… only to find the Vulture answering the door. Toomes’ true identity comes out of left field – despite being foreshadowed with his mention of a daughter earlier in the film – and leads to some great scenes between hero and villain.

#6: Ego Killed Star-Lord’s Mother

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017)

Peter Quill – a.k.a. Star-Lord and leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy – is finally reunited with his mysterious father in this film. While at first weirded out about him literally being a planet, Ego proves to be most everything Peter was looking for in a dad. However, Ego’s plans for galactic expansion and domination put a damper on things – though by this time, he’s already brainwashed Peter. Star-Lord snaps out of it, though, when Ego reveals that he intentionally gave Peter’s mother a tumor to prevent himself from halting his plan out of love for her. As her death was a defining moment for him, Quill is understandably pissed.

#5: Ares’ True Identity

“Wonder Woman” (2017)

Set during the First World War, “Wonder Woman” sees Diana of Themyscira throw herself into the conflict in an attempt to stop Ares, the god of war, with a magic, god-killing sword. Along the way, she and pilot Steve Trevor are aided by the peace-seeking Sir Patrick Morgan in getting into the Western Front to find the man they believe to be the god stirring up humanity’s lust for battle. However, they discover Ares is Sir Patrick himself, when he turns up to confront Diana. Although the revelation that Diana is in fact a god – and therefore the God Killer – is also a surprise, this one takes the cake.

#4: Elijah Price Is a Villain

“Unbreakable” (2000)

David Dunn is a man who discovers he has extreme durability and strength after a train accident leaves him as the only survivor. Under the guidance of comic book art dealer Elijah Price, David explores his abilities. These also include knowing someone’s crimes through touch, which he uses to find and defeat criminals. When he finally shakes hands with Price, though, David discovers Price orchestrated his train accident – as well as many other disasters – all with the goal of finding a superhuman like those in comic books. This twist casts the film and Elijah’s relationship with David in a new light, making him a villain worthy of a comic book nickname.

#3: Henri Ducard Is Ra’s Al Ghul

“Batman Begins” (2005)

After leaving Gotham, Bruce Wayne is trained by Ra’s Al Ghul’s League of Shadows. Though he and his teacher, Henri Ducard, have a philosophical disagreement leading to the destruction of their school, Bruce still saves Ducard’s life. Later, after establishing himself as Batman, Bruce is surprised when a party guest offers to introduce him to Ra’s Al Ghul, whom he believed to be dead. However, it’s Ducard himself who’s revealed to be the real Ra’s Al Ghul. While we considered choosing the revelation of Ra’s’ daughter Talia’s identity, this is arguably several twists in one.

#2: Bucky Killed Tony’s Parents

“Captain America: Civil War” (2016)

The Winter Soldier, better known as Bucky Barnes, is the best friend of Captain America who was brainwashed and trained to be an assassin by Hydra. Although the revelation of his true identity is a shocking one, a far more troubling twist occurs in the third “Captain America” film. During the final confrontation with the villain, Zemo, he reveals to Tony Stark that Bucky was the man who killed Stark’s parents. The twist is a fantastic one, as we still don’t see it coming despite being set up earlier in the film, and places Cap and Iron Man against each other for a heartbreaking confrontation.

#1: S.H.I.E.L.D. Is Hydra

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014)

The second “Captain America” film is full of twists and turns straight out of a spy thriller, but arguably its best occurs when the conspiracy Cap has been chasing down is discovered to have been orchestrated by none other than remnants of his old WWII enemies: Hydra. The Nazi splinter group has been growing inside of S.H.I.E.L.D. like a cancer for decades, biding their time to seize control. While our previous entry had plenty of buildup and surprise, this twist is great for its sheer shock factor, and has ripple effects throughout the MCU.

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