Comics have been taking television by storm in recent years. The craze got its start back in the 2012 – 2013 TV season when the DC series Arrow premiered on The CW. Now, as of 2015 – 2016, no less than nine superhero series from both Marvel and DC hit the airwaves. Some of those shows have shared universes while others have completely stood alone. There have been skills, superpowers, magic, time travel, and impossible abilities activated. No two of the superhero series have been the same, but there is one thing that they have all had in common: insane plot twists. So, in honor of the end of the superhero TV season, here is a breakdown of the 15 most insane moments from comic shows.
15. Clayface's Jim Gordon Transformation (Gotham)
Gotham overall got a lot crazier in Season 2 as new and bizarre villains seemed to emerge every week. New bad guy Hugo Strange upped the crazy ante when he started resurrecting the dead, but it wasn’t until he enlisted a man called Clayface to impersonate Jim that things at Indian Hill really started to get weird. Strange used a monstrous-looking contraption to make a model of Jim's face for Clayface to copy and…wear. Clayface took Jim’s place among the good guys at the GCPD, and it wasn’t until his face began to shift that they figured out that Jim wasn’t Jim.
14. The Punisher's Origin Story (Daredevil)
Season 2 of Daredevil on Netflix (opens in new tab) introduced a bunch of new characters, and the highlight had to be Frank Castle, also known as the Punisher. After he was kidnapped, tortured, and ultimately rescued by Daredevil, Frank sat in the graveyard where his family has been buried and told Daredevil the story of why he took on the mission to kill the criminals of Hell’s Kitchen. Jon Bernthal’s performance was spellbinding as Frank reflected on his love for his daughter and explained the meaning behind “One batch, two batch, penny and dime” phrase. The Punisher suddenly became the most nuanced and compelling character of the show, and it was positively insane.
13. Daisy's S.H.I.E.L.D. Base Demolition (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
The second half of Season 3 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was all about Inhumans and how S.H.I.E.L.D. should deal with the new variable of people with powers. There were good guys with powers, bad guys with powers, and a parasitic supervillain called Hive who had the ability to infest Inhumans and bend them to his will with only a single touch. During an attack gone wrong, Hive got his hand on Daisy. After a big “Whodunnit?” at the S.H.I.E.L.D. base to figure out which Inhuman agent was affected, Daisy revealed that she was the one… by using her earthquake powers to destroy the base hangar before they could lock it down.
12. Peggy's Huge Fall (Agent Carter)
Season 2 of Agent Carter took Peggy into some seriously uncharted territory as she had to find a way to stop Whitney Frost from getting her hands on more Zero Matter. Whitney’s Zero Matter spread to Peggy while they battled, and Peggy had to get away ASAP or risk permanent damage. Unfortunately, “getting away” involved falling over a ledge and landing on her back a floor below with a long piece of rebar stabbing in her back and through her torso. It was a big a “Holy crap!” moment that needed a rewind to confirm that it actually really happened.
11. The Death of Proto-Joker Jerome (Gotham)
Gotham has always played fast and loose with traditional Batman stories. Still, it came as a surprise when Season 1 introduced a character named Jerome Valeska who could really only be an early template for the Joker. He had the creepy grin and maniacal laughter to rank as one of the best live action Jokers ever. Then, he was unceremoniously killed by Theo Galavan early in Season 2. The death was unexpected enough, but the final scene in which citizens of Gotham were seemingly infected by Jerome’s legacy of crazy and began to commit Joker-esque crimes was bonkers.
10. Central City's Destruction (Arrow/The Flash)
The second crossover extravaganza between Arrow and The Flash raised the stakes of the entire universe when it introduced immortal Vandal Savage, whose quest to murder Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall put him in the path of Oliver Queen and Barry Allen. The foursome concocted a scheme to take down Savage, but their plan immediately went south when Carter and Kendra were killed. Vandal Savage then set his sights on Barry and Oliver, and only Barry was fast enough to escape his wrath. Oliver was almost immediately incinerated, and the rest of Central City soon followed as Barry raced to survive. Luckily, he went fast enough to go back in time, but seeing the Green Arrow die and a city destroyed was a huge shock.
9. The Escape From Maveth (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
The midseason finale of Season 3 of Agents of S.H.I.E..L.D. featured Fitz and Coulson on the planet Maveth in a mission to stop Hive from reaching Earth. Fitz also intended to save Jemma’s pal Will and Coulson had his eye on vengeance against Ward, so plans unraveled pretty quickly. Just as the portal opened to take everybody back to Earth, Fitz discovered that Will was actually Hive in Will’s body and Coulson decided that vengeance was way more satisfying than justice. Fitz seemed to stop Hive and Coulson caved Ward’s chest in with his robot hand, and they escaped with their lives. Unbeknownst to them, however, Hive moved to Ward’s corpse and made it off Maveth as well.
8. Vandal Savage's Takedown (Legends of Tomorrow)
Vandal Savage survived the Flarrow crossover to become the main villain in Legends of Tomorrow Season 1, and Rip Hunter’s band of misfits spent sixteen episodes trying to figure out how to take him down for good. Finally, they discovered that they needed to kill three versions of Vandal Savage at different points in the timeline if they wanted to stop him from destroying the world as it was. Heatwave burnt one Vandal Savage to a crisp, Sara snapped the neck of another Vandal Savage, and Kendra and Rip teamed up to kill the last Vandal Savage. It was a triple death that took a toll, but it ended Savage for good.
When Havenrock Went Bye Bye (Arrow)
Damien Darhk spent most of Season 4 of Arrow thwarting Oliver and Co. with his magic, but he took a major technological turn in the final episodes. He stole the ARGUS Rubicon protocol so that he could take control nuclear arsenals all over the world. His first attempt at destroying the planet via nuclear apocalypse was stopped by a hacking teamup of Felicity Smoak and her dad, but one nuke got through. Although Felicity was able to divert the bomb away from the millions of people in Monument Point, tens of thousands were killed in the town of Havenrock. Arrow dropped a nuclear bomb, and it was huge.
6. Martian Manhunter vs. Supergirl (Supergirl)
Kara Danvers was the sunniest superhero on television for most of the first season of Supergirl, but she took a turn for the nasty when she was affected by Red Kryptonite. She changed from happy hero to temperamental villainess, and it was actually pretty fun to watch. The citizens of National City didn’t have too much fun, however, and the DEO had to pull out all the stops to end Supergirl's reign of terror. Ultimately, Martian Manhunter had to shed his alter ego of Hank Henshaw to save Alex Danvers, which was enough to stop Kara but got him arrested by his own unit.
5. The Death of Kilgrave (Jessica Jones)
Jessica Jones debuted one of the scariest villains of all comic television this season named Kilgrave. He had the ability to compel others to do whatever he told them, and he used that ability to steal and rape and murder to his heart’s content. Kilgrave had Jessica under his constant control for a long time, and it was only when she gained an immunity to his powers that she escaped. Eventually, she and her BFF Trish figured out a way to get close to Kilgrave without being controlled. Then, Jessica totally snapped his neck and killed him. Not many comic shows are bold enough to kill off supervillains right away, and it was awesome to see Jessica do what needed to be done.
4. Barry's Decision To Save His Mom (The Flash)
The last few episodes of Season 2 of The Flash put Barry through a physical and emotional wringer, and he was lucky to emerge from his final showdown with Zoom alive. The rest of the population of the world is not so lucky, considering what Barry did next. Overwhelmed with grief at the murder of his father, Barry broke approximately a bajillion rules about time travel, went back in time, and stopped his mother from being killed by Reverse-Flash. He changed his own timeline in a big way, and very bad things are likely on the way for Season 3.
3. Team Arrow's Capture (Arrow)
The midseason finale was arguably the biggest episode of Season 4 of Arrow. Oliver finally paid for his public opposition to Damien Darhk when Darhk and the forces of H.I.V.E. kidnapped Felicity, Diggle, and Thea and locked them in a chamber that would gas the life out of them. In order to get them back, Oliver had to give himself up, Laurel had to show up as Black Canary to use her Canary Cry to break the walls of the chamber, and Malcolm had to wear Oliver’s leathers to play the part of the Green Arrow. The good guys won that battle, but the victory came at the cost of Felicity and Oliver’s limo being shot to shreds in the final moments.
2. When Zoom Broke Barry (The Flash)
Good guys can never beat their bad guys early in TV seasons, but Barry took losing to a whole new low in his first major showdown against Zoom in Season 2 of The Flash. Barry proved that he was definitely not the fastest man alive when Zoom easily beat the stuffing out of him, broke his back, and dragged him all around Central City to show the citizens that their hero had fallen. It was a violent, ugly, and epic way to raise the stakes about Zoom.
1. The Punisher's Prison Fight (Daredevil)
Daredevil has managed some mind-blowing action sequences, and the most insane of Season 2 was the Punisher’s slaughter in the prison. Season 1 big bad Wilson Fisk set Frank Castle up to die by locking him in a prison block and unleashing a crew of murderous thugs on him. Instead of dying, Frank took out every single one of the other inmates with everything from bare fists to wooden stakes. He was unstoppable. A deep stab from a shiv ‘twas but a flesh wound, and the scene was capped off perfectly when a whole squad of guards in riot gear showed up to stop the fray, only to find just Frank alive in the middle of a floor covered with corpses.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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