Ranking The 10 Best Cliffhangers In Marvel And DC Superhero Movies

Ranking The 10 Best Cliffhangers In Marvel And DC Superhero Movies

We all love a good cliffhanger, and they've been used to great effect in superhero movies over the years. Now, we rank our favourites from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Extended Universe, and beyond...

Feature Opinion
By JoshWilding - May 06, 2020 08:05 AM EST
Filed Under: Far From Home

When done properly, cliffhangers can serve as an effective way to enhance a story and get viewers excited about what comes next. Not many superhero movies have made use of them over the years, of course, but the few that have left a lasting impact which fans still talk about to this day. 

With that in mind, we're now taking a look through those we consider to be the ten best. 

From the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the DC Extended Universe, and even the Marvel and DC films set outside both, these were all amazing, and undeniably perfect cliffhangers. 

We're not just talking about post-credits scenes, either, as many of these movies also ended in a way that left moviegoers' jaws on the floor and anxious to see what comes next. So, to find out what came out on top, all you guys need to do is click the "Next" button below!

10. Ant-Man And The Wasp

By the time Ant-Man and The Wasp was released in theaters, we had already seen Avengers: Infinity War, and knew that many of Earth's Mightiest Heroes had been dusted by Thanos. However, the mid-credits scene still came as a surprise, as Marvel Studios ended things on a major cliffhanger. 

Not only was Scott Lang left trapped in the Quantum Realm with no way to escape, but when we returned to Earth, we learned that The Wasp, Hank Pym, and Janet Van Dyne had all vanished. 

That was shocking, but Ant-Man's fate really got fans wondering about what would happen next.

9. Justice League

After Joss Whedon butchered Justice League with his rewrites and reshoots, it's pretty obvious we're not getting a sequel for a very, very long time to come (if it's anything like Green Lantern, we could end up waiting upwards of a decade). That's a shame too, as the movie ended in a way which definitely left a lot of fans wanting more...albeit with someone else at the helm. 

As Deathstroke made his way to a yacht out at sea, he met with Lex Luthor who suggested forming a "League of our own." That's a nod to the Injustice League, and more than likely meant to set the stage for a Justice League vs. Injustice League movie of some sort one day. 

It's not going to happen, but there's no denying this was a perfect cliffhanger to set up a film like that.

8. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Look, we're not saying X-Men Origins: Wolverine was anything short of terrible, but there's one post-credits scene, in particular, which has definitely stuck with us (despite it being pretty dumb).

The reason for that is because it made for a decent cliffhanger, and in case you haven't realised, we're talking about Weapon XI's decapitated head waking up and saying "Shh!" to the audience. That was a blatant way of setting the stage for Deadpool to return after being transformed into a weapon by Stryker, and while it never paid off, it certainly got fans talking at the time. 

It may have been a cliffhanger only relating to a specific character, but it was an effective one. 

7. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Moving away from post-credits scenes for a second, we have to talk about Spider-Man: Homecoming's spectacular ending. After turning down Iron Man's offer of revealing his identity to the world and becoming an Avenger, Peter Parker returns home and dons the Stark Suit his mentor gifted him.

While it looked like the movie was setting the stage for a classic movie moment which would have seen the web-slinger don his mask and swing off into the distance, we instead see Aunt May arrive, realise that her newphew is Spider-Man, and shout "What the fu-" before the credits roll.

This was a massive cliffhanger, and one we spent two years wondering what the resolution would be!

6. Spider-Man 2

Sticking with the webbed warrior, Spider-Man 2 also boasted an ending which perfectly set the stage for Spider-Man 3 (a movie which sadly didn't end up doing it justice). We are, of course, talking about Harry Osborn discovering that his father, Norman, was the Green Goblin!

Vowing revenge on Peter Parker after learning that he was secretly Spider-Man, a shocked Harry came across his father's stash of weapons and held the Goblin Serum in his hand. 

The groundwork was laid for him to follow in his father's footsteps by becoming the new Green Goblin, but what followed was obviously a crushing disappointment. Instead of following the comic books, the threequel made Harry a weird goof who donned some snowboarding gear.

5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier featured not one, but two great cliffhangers. These came courtesy of post-credits scenes which set up both Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.

The first revealed that despite HYDRA's defeat, Baron Von Strucker's experiments continued and that with the use of an Infinity Stone, he had given "The Twins" superpowers. Of course, comic book fans instantly recognised them both as Quicksilver and his sister, the Scarlet Witch. 

In the second scene, there's a strong hint that despite his time as The Winter Soldier, Bucky has finally started remembering his past, a tease which definitely got us massively excited for the future.

4. Iron Man

Secret identities don't really exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that was a conscious decision on Marvel Studios' part. However, it wasn't until Iron Man's closing moments that became clear. 

Despite initially claiming that Iron Man is his bodyguard (a story which sounded particularly silly in the real-world), Tony Stark decides to do away with all that, and instead tells the world: "I am Iron Man." It was a legit shocker which set the tone for this shared world, and left us hanging.

Of course, equally as notable a cliffhanger was Nick Fury confronting Tony and telling him about the Avengers Initiative, a truly unforgettable stinger which created the MCU as we now know it. 

3. The Dark Knight

Batman Begins sort of had a cliffhanger ending when Jim Gordon told the Caped Crusader about a criminal leaving a "Joker" playing card at the scenes of his crimes, but it was The Dark Knight that really delivered an Empire Strikes Back-style cliffhanger in Christopher Nolan's trilogy of films. 

With the Clown Prince of Crime defeated, but Two-Face dead, Batman decides he must take the blame for the fall of Harvey Dent in order to preserve his memory and keep Gotham City safe. 

As the movie ended, he ran into the darkness with the police in hot pursuit, a wanted criminal. It was a completely unexpected move, and one which left us all wondering about the hero's future. 

2. Spider-Man: Far From Home

This one very nearly earned the top spot, because it's without a doubt the best post-credits scenes we've ever seen from Marvel Studios. However, this isn't a ranking of our favourite stingers, so it narrowly misses out. As cliffhangers go, though, you can't deny that this was simply amazing. 

We weren't sure what to expect when Spider-Man drops MJ off in the middle of the Big Apple after taking her for a ride through the city, but as a news report starts, it's clear something is up.

The first surprise comes when J.K. Simmons reprises the role of J. Jonah Jameson, and while him sharing that video of Mysterio framing Spidey for his murder would have been a huge cliffhanger in its own right, even bigger is the fact TheDailyBugle.net Editor also reveals that Spider-Man is Peter Parker!

1. Avengers: Infinity War

It really doesn't get better than this, right? Just as it was beginning to look like Thanos would be defeated at the last second by Thor (a standard ending for most superhero movies), we realised that the God of Thunder really should have gone for the head when he attacked the Mad Titan. 

After he snapped his fingers, we watched as heroes like Spider-Man, Groot, Bucky, Star-Lord, and Doctor Strange all faded away into dust; The Avengers had been defeated, and Thanos retreated to a new planet where he sat down and watched the sun rise over a "grateful" universe.

With that, the movie ended, and we were left on the edge of our seats for an entire year...

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tmp3 - 5/6/2020, 8:33 AM
The Dark Knight didn't have a cliffhanger. It has a pretty definitive ending.
ThorArms - 5/6/2020, 11:07 AM
@tmp3 - yeah but he's on the run and it just made you want to see the sequel ASAP after watching, at least for me
Nebula - 5/6/2020, 8:38 AM
Says something when the post-credits scene is infinitely better than the movie that preceded it. cough cough AMATW
OmegaDaGrodd - 5/6/2020, 9:01 AM
Most of these are not cliffhangers, but I'd say the best ones are:

Far From Home
Infinity War
Spider-Man 2

It's a bit of a cheat code to use Marvel's post credit scenes since most are not really directly related to the movie itself, but FFH takes the top spot because it not only ends on a crazy cliffhanger, but also shows a really amazing tease for Phase 4 that really cast a new light on so much of Far From Home's narrative
ThorArms - 5/6/2020, 11:06 AM
For me it was Spider Man 2, X2, TDK and infinity War....I remember I could not WAIT to see the sequels to all these after seeing them in theaters
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