Usually, there is always a happy ending in most of the comic book storylines. But it is not possible to do the same in movies. People easily get emotionally attached to certain superheroes. This is the reason the filmmakers try to give an emotional ending to those characters and storylines. This makes the audience remember that character for a lifetime. The same has happened in Marvel and DC comics adaptations. Somewhere this has also helped the films to get more positive reviews and also earn billions at the box office at the same time. Here are 10 comic book movies without happy endings.
1. Batman trades his reputation to save Harvey Dent – The Dark Knight
Batman’s place in the world was questioned in The Dark Knight. He later concludes that Gotham City doesn’t need him anymore. So Batman sacrifices his pedestal for covering up the once-heroic Harvey Dent. Harvey dies since the villainous Two-Face and exposing his murder spree can undo his crusade against the city’s underworld and prove Joker right. So Batman frames himself for Dent’s crimes. The film ends with Batman on the run along with Bruce’s personal and Batman-consumed life in ruins.
2. Ozymandias is proven right – Watchmen
Watchmen ended with hero-turned-villain Ozymandias proven right. He can see death and destruction waiting for humanity. So he frames his previous ally, Doctor Manhattan for global attacks that kill many people. So Ozymandias achieves world peace by genocide. The Watchmen, except Rorschach vote to keep Ozymandias; machinations a secret. Rorschach’s humanity then emerges when he dies while defending the truth. Watchmen’s heroes could have stopped the nuclear annihilation. But it costs many lives along with their fractured friendships and self-worth.
3. Logan finally dies – Logan
Hugh Jackman said that Logan would be his final appearance as Wolverine. But maybe no one expected that he would die in the film. Logan had gone through a lot of pain since he was injected with Adamantium. Now in Logan, he finally gets relieved of all the pain when he gets heavily injured while saving Laura and her friends. Hugh Jackman made his debut as Wolverine in the first X-Men movie. Now reports say that Disney+ is developing a reboot of the Wolverine. But maybe audiences don’t wish to see any other actor playing the role since Hugh Jackman was perfect in his part.
4. Steve Rogers becomes a man out of time – Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America became MCU’s heart and inspiration in his cinematic debut. He stopped Red Skull from ending the world. But in exchange, he got frozen in the Arctic and woke up in the future, almost after a century. He tries his best to adjust himself to modern-day settings. But somewhere he is still not satisfied with his ending in The First Avenger. All of his friends and other close people have passed away when he was frozen. The world now he knows has forgotten the history and his closest people are gone now.
5. The death of Superman – Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
Just like Logan, maybe DCEU fans didn’t expect that Superman would die at the end of Batman V Superman. He was hated by humanity along with Bruce Wayne in the film. But still, he chooses to save Earth from the monster unleashed by Lex Luthor. Superman kills the monster with the Kryptonite spear but bends up losing his life when the monster stabs him at the same time. The sad part here is that people realize Superman’s truth after his death. His death inspires Bruce Wayne to form a team to save Earth from evil forces.
6. The Avengers broke – Captain America: Civil War
The Avengers were seen united in 2012’s The Avengers. They tried to help each other in the best way possible. But Sokovia Accords broke their unity in Captain America: Civil War. Tony Stark wanted to sign Sokovia Accords since he created Ultron and that led to the destruction of Sokovia. Steve Rogers was against it since the document could have treated them as criminals. Later in the movie, James Rhodes was paralyzed after being mistakenly shot by Vision, Steve Rogers was branded a criminal and the Avengers started to hate Tony.
7. The Avengers lose and half of the life in the universe get disintegrated – Avengers: Infinity War
The Avengers were seen winning two battles in the first two Avengers movies. But the same did not happen in Avengers: Infinity War. Thanos was a Mad Titan and probably the strongest villain ever encountered by the Avengers. So he was easily able to defeat the Avengers. He then used the Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half of the life in the universe. What made the audience emotional here was that scene where Peter Parker says to Tony Stark that he is not feeling good and then disintegrates. All of the events were then undone in Avengers: Endgame.
8. Batman and Catwoman lose their chance at normalcy – Batman Returns
Bruce Wayne questioned his need for Batman in the initial few Batman movies. He was able to see his life beyond the cape and cowl through Selina Kyle. She also hides behind the Catwoman’s identity. Bruce then sees a future where he can live normally but this is short-lived. He is unable to reform Selina. She kills Max Shreck and this leaves Batman devastated. Batman saves Gotham and Catwoman survives. But they lose that one person with whom they had the closest connection. Bruce then resigns himself to Batman’s darkness and solitude.
9. No one can escape Sin City – Sin City
Among four short stories, three of them end on a grim note in Sin City. A true cop takes his own life, an anti-hero is executed on false charges and a deadly human kills his strangely alluring client. The titular city is shown as a hopeless hellhole. The characters dream to escape or make more out of life. But Basin City ensures to crush these hopes at every opportunity. It doesn’t matter how heroic or noble someone’s actions and motives are. But everyone loses everything in Sin City.
10. Star Lord’s father makes the ultimate sacrifice – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
After searching for many years, Yondu finally gets what he has been looking for. To get Star-Lord out of Ego’s planet, Yondu gives his adopted son the only available space suit and dies in the void of space. Peter tries to save him but he fails. Yondu dies shortly after Ego. So Peter loses his two fathers in one day. Ego was Peter’s father in his dreams but Yondu was his real father. Although belated, Yondu gets recognized and embraced by the Ravagers and the Guardians.
So these are all the Comic Book Movies Without Happy Endings