Top 10 Iconic Superhero Movie Endings



Top 10 Iconic Superhero Movie Endings

VOICE OVER: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Ricky Manson
Some ended with cliffhangers, others with closure, but all of them stayed with us long after the movie ended. For this list, we're looking at the most iconic superhero movie endings, from memorable final scenes in golden oldies like “Superman” (1978) and “Batman” (1989), to those in recent critical and commercial hits such as “The Incredibles” (2004), “Logan” (2017), and “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)! What's YOUR favorite superhero movie ending? Let us know in the comments!

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Script written by Ricky Manson

Top 10 Iconic Superhero Movie Endings

Top 10 Iconic Superhero Movie Endings

Be it cliffhangers or closures, not all superheroes end their journeys the same way. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 iconic superhero movie endings. For this list, we’re looking through the final scenes of the most critically and commercially successful superhero movies.

#10: “Batman” (1989)

Tim Burton’s foray into the beloved DC superhero ends with glorious triumph. The Joker's death signals the end of his crime spree in Gotham City, and Batman invites the citizens to call upon him for aid should they ever be threatened by villains again. Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Dent switch on the Bat-Signal for the first time as Batman watches it illuminate the night sky from a nearby rooftop. That iconic silhouette and Danny Elfman’s equally iconic theme close a film that helped reinvent the Caped Crusader for new audiences in a post Adam West fandom, setting a high bar against which other Batman adaptations to come would be measured.

#9: “The Incredibles” (2004)

Who’d have thought the makers of Toy Story could deliver one of the better superhero movies of this era? With the villainous Syndrome's plans thwarted, The Parr family attempt to take some time adjusting to a normal family life, with Dash competing in school sports and Violet finally connecting with her crush. Their peace is short-lived however as the appearance of new supervillain the Underminer serves as their next call to action, and the family don their masks in readiness to stand and fight crime together. Serving as appropriate closure to Bob’s midlife crisis, it also sets the stage for a follow-up, although audiences wouldn’t see it for another fourteen years.

#8: “Spider-Man” (2002)

It was important for the Web-Slinger’s silver screen debut to satisfy the patient fans, but just as important to resonate once the credits rolled. At his father's funeral, Harry Osborn swears vengeance on Spider-Man, whom he deems responsible for his father’s death. Things only get more complicated for Peter Parker as girl next door Mary Jane confesses her love for Peter, and he is forced to reject her out of fear his double life will keep her in peril. As he accepts that his loved ones will always be a liability, Peter commits to his role as New York’s defender and Sam Raimi’s classic ends with Web-head’s spectacular swing through the Manhattan skyline.

#7: “Superman” (1978)

Christopher Reeve’s first outing as the Man of Steel was instrumental in establishing the superhero genre. Initially, Superman is unsuccessful in saving his beloved Lois Lane from being buried alive, infuriating him into taking drastic action: In a physics-defying act even by Supes’ standards he flies into space, spinning the Earth backwards and actually managing to rewind time, allowing him to ensure Lois’ safety whilst also stopping Lex Luthor's warheads from causing catastrophe in the original superhero time heist. With Lex in jail and Lois alive it’s a job well done, and Superman flies exultantly through the sky as John Williams famous theme plays him out.

#6: “X-Men” (2000)

Foiled by the newly assembled super-group, mutant extremist Magneto fails in his scheme to mutate several world leaders on Ellis Island, and is subsequently incarcerated in a plastic prison to render his metal-bending powers useless. The more peaceful mutant Charles Xavier visits Magneto in his cell and the two former friends discuss the future of human-mutant relations over a game of chess, each man affirming his own commitment to his side of the cause. It’s an ending that’s even more poignant today, having seen the conflicts both past and future these two men will endure over the franchise’s following instalments.

#5: “Iron Man” (2008)

Secret identities be damned! In the aftermath of his fight atop Stark Industries with his crazed business partner Obadiah Stane, Tony Stark holds a press conference. In spite of suggestions from peace-keeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D to distance himself from the scuffle, Stark elects to tell the world he is Iron Man. As surprising as this trope-defying ending was to audiences, it paled in comparison to what came after the credits. Tony is visited at his home by S.H.I.E.L.D Director Nick Fury, who informs him he’s become part of a larger universe. He mentions something called the Avenger Initiative, kicking off the Marvel Cinematic Universe while simultaneously cementing the tradition of waiting through the credits for an extra sliver of movie.

#4: “Logan” (2017)

Whether we wanted to accept it or not, Hugh Jackman’s final time putting on the adamantium claws was always going to finish on a tearful goodbye. An aged and dying Logan is buried by his daughter Laura at the Canadian border following his sacrifice to save her and her friends from Xander Rice, the Reavers and his animalistic clone. Laura eulogizes her father with a monologue from the Western movie "Shane", paying tribute to a life of anguish and destruction that now finally rests. Before she departs, she turns the improvised cross marking the former X-Man’s grave sideways so that it resembles an X, and a seventeen year journey reaches its inevitable end.

#3: “Avengers: Endgame” (2019)

Talk about inevitable... As the final “Avengers” movie in the Infinity Saga, “Endgame” not only had to continue the story arc begun in “Infinity War”, but also wrap up the fates of several main characters. It ultimately succeeds with flying colors, thanks to the epic final battle, and poignant final scenes in which we bid farewell to many of our favorite characters. Iron Man’s funeral and Thor’s departure with the Guardians are fitting conclusions to their arcs, while Captain America gets the very last scene, finally finding the right partner for a dance.

#2: “The Dark Knight” (2008)

While the Joker technically loses this battle, the war for Gotham city is still raging at the end of this classic Batman flick, as the clown prince of crime successfully corrupts former District Attorney Harvey Dent into a duplicitous villain who dies in his quest for vengeance. Batman decides the only way to preserve Dent's image and keep the peace is to take the blame for Two-Face's crimes and so as a manhunt for Batman is issued, he flees the police and rides away into the night. While the end of Bruce Wayne’s journey is fully realised in the sequel, Commissioner Gordon’s characterization of Batman as “the hero Gotham deserves” still resonates as one of the most chilling depictions of the Caped Crusader to date.

#1: “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)

After teasing Thanos since the first Avengers film, Infinity War finally put him center stage as he completed his quest to fill his Infinity Gauntlet with Infinity Stones, and Infinity snap half the universe out of existence. While we fully expected Scarlet Witch or Thor to heroically save the day, our expectations turned to dust when a weezing Thanos insulted Thor’s aim and went ahead with his plans anyway. Our favorite Avengers were left fractured and dumbfounded as half their allies turned to dust, while Thanos retreated to the farm to enjoy his final vignette. While the snap was eventually reversed, audiences had to sit with this ending for a full year, letting the pain of this loss and its corresponding memes settle in.

The Dark Knight