We all love a good comic book movie – and apparently now more than ever. After the latest wave of Marvel universe movies, we can see that cinema-goers still love this genre and aren’t ready to let the box office figures start to drop yet. From the patriotic Captain America, to sarcastic Iron Man, to the fourth-wall-breaking Merc with a Mouth that is Deadpool, Marvel have plenty of characters we’re happy to pay to see for the foreseeable future.
And it’s not just them. Batman and Superman are still duking it out in the DC Comics corner, while Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men also remain fan favorites, whether it is Patrick Stewart or James McAvoy who leads them. Spiderman may have seen a slight fall from grace in recent installments, but you can be sure he will be back – and Star Wars has recently gone full circle from movie to comic book to movie again.
But with all of these interlinking universes there are a lot of room for errors, especially when it comes to making the backstory work in a coherent way across every character. When you throw in stunts, CGI, and huge casts, it almost becomes inevitable that a few mistakes will be made. Here are some that you never even noticed – despite the fact that they were staring you right in the face! You won’t be able to watch these comic book movies the same way again once you realize exactly how much they got wrong.
20. The Avengers – Guns Blazing
No one in the Avengers actually knows how to use their weapons. Want proof? Just look at how the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents hold their M4 carbines. They put the buttstock under their armpits, when really they would be shouldering them if they were trained at all. This makes the sights line up with their eyes and gives better stability. Likewise, Agent Coulson clearly doesn’t know what’s going on – he points his experimental rifle at Loki with the scope mounted backwards. With skills like that, it’s a wonder there are any good guys left by the end of the film.
19. The Avengers: Age of Ultron – Under the Sea
Ulysses Klaue is an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Apparently he didn’t even try to educate himself on his greatest fear, supposedly the cuttlefish. He describes it as a “Deep sea fish, they make lights, disco lights to hypnotize their prey….”. Sorry, Ulysses, but you are actually describing an anglerfish there. Cuttlefish use venom to paralyses their prey, after sneaking up on them with the use of camouflage. You may recognize the kind of fish he really means from Finding Nemo, as Marlin and Dory go up against one in the film. When making a deep statement, know your facts first.
18. Captain America: The First Avenger – Vibrating Shield
Cap’s shield is apparently “completely vibration absorbent”, or so we are told early on. They even make a point of demonstrating this fact by having Peggy shoot at it. Later on throughout the film – and all of Captain America’s other appearances – the shield stubbornly continues to make clanging noises whenever it is struck by something else. Here’s the thing, science fans – noise is made by vibration. If it absorbs all vibrations, it shouldn’t make any sound when it glances off stuff. The stuff might make a noise, but definitely not the shield itself. Stick to your own facts, Marvel team!
17. Hydra’s Symbol
Have you ever noticed the symbol which is used to represent Hydra? It looks kind of like an octopus, with lots of arms coming out of a skull instead of a head. Which… doesn’t really make sense, considering that the hydra was a mythical beast with lots of heads and the normal amount of arms. So, the opposite of this, really. Someone within that evil organisation really failed to do their research. Or maybe they were just trying to avoid getting mixed up with a certain Bond villain of some years past. Either way, “hydra” probably wasn’t the term they were looking for.
16. Deadpool – Oxygen Levels
There’s a chilling scene in Deadpool in which Ajax tortures our hero, Wade Wilson, by lowering ‘the oxygen concentration in the air to the exact point you feel like you’re suffocating.’ We hate to ruin an evil plan, but sorry, Ajax, that just won’t work. It’s only a high concentration of carbon dioxide in your blood that makes you feel like you are suffocating. When you suffocate on other gases, like helium or argon, you don’t get that sensation at all and do not even feel the urge to breathe in. So it probably wasn’t as bad as it looked.
15. Iron Man (All Movies) – Alive or Dead?
Breaking news: Iron Man might actually be dead. How many times do we see Iron Man slam into a hard surface, normally the floor or a wall, without taking any physical damage? He is protected by his armour, which is a lovely theory but actually totally against the laws of physics. Actually, this kind of tight-fitting suit wouldn’t help him at all. It all stems from a bit of a misunderstanding: we tend to think that the hard surface damages you, but it’s actually caused by your rapid deceleration. If he had lots of padding in his suit, that would help. Skin-tight armour would just result in Iron Man soup.
14. Iron Man – Heroes in Heels
Here’s one for the ladies, who probably notice this in far too many movies to count. Isn’t it crazy how superheroines somehow manage to run, jump, fight, and balance in high heels without any problems? Even Pepper is no exception to this rule, despite the fact that her only superpower is putting up with Tony Stark. She runs across a grated floor while wearing platform stilettos, but never catches her heels. In reality, she would have got her heel stuck and tripped almost instantly. At the very least she should have taken them off and then started running, but then that would just be far too unglamorous for Hollywood. Unless she secretly has her own superpowers.
13. Iron Man 2 – Armor & Reactor
The major plot point of Iron Man’s second outing is that Tony Stark really didn’t plan ahead when putting palladium in his chest piece, as it turns out that it’s pretty toxic and is slowly killing him. But if he doesn’t have this arc reactor, he can’t control the armor and he’s not Iron Man. Except that Rhodes also has a suit, and it runs from a reactor which doesn’t have to be implanted in his chest. So… Iron Man could still be Iron Man, he just has to use a non-toxic battery and then use the arc reactor elsewhere in the suit. Case solved. No movie. Stark’s not as smart as he looks.
12. Iron Man 3 – Hair Loss
One of the big things in this movie is the Extremis injections, which cause you to regenerate things like body parts after they get lost. Well, fine, but there’s this little detail about hair growing back too. If it gets lost or burnt off, it grows right back into the same styling as before. Which is crazy, because hair is actually dead when it leaves the skin, meaning that you can’t exactly regenerate it. In other words, yes, the hair might grow back – but not into a matching stylish haircut. It should be very short and close to the scalp, if there at all.
11. Spider-Man – Copyright Issues
Mr. Jameson likes the name “Green Goblin” so much, he wants to keep it. He’s quoted as saying “Call the Patent Office, I want to copyright that name.”. Unfortunately, this just shows us that he’s nothing more than an ignorant hack, because he’s getting himself very much mixed up about this. The PTO (Patent and Trademark Office) deals only in Patents and Trademarks, as its name suggests. Meanwhile, the Copyright Office is the one you want for copyrights. It’s so obvious it barely even merits an explanation. He won’t get too far with copyrighting anything if he doesn’t go to the right office.
10. Spider-Man 2 – Pizza Delivery
It’s a good thing that Peter Parker has a side gig as a superhero, because he’s not much good for anything else. He can’t even get it right as a pizza delivery boy, as evidence by one of the scenes in this film. When he leaves the pizzeria, he is clearly instructed by his boss to deliver the “deep dish pizzas” to their waiting customers. But when he gets to the balcony and the pizza boxes are opened, look closely. They are actually thin crust pizzas. Poor Peter Parker can’t even deliver a pizza right. No wonder his movies keep flopping.
9. The Amazing Spider-Man – Gwen Has a Secret
Apparently Gwen Stacy should be recovering in hospital at the end of this movie, unless she has a super secret of her own. She hides in the Oscorp lab after setting off the fire system, which causes the doors to shut on her as a firefighting agent was released. Now, there are two agents this could possibly be. If it’s CO2, Gwen ends up suffocating due to the lack of breathable air in the room. If it’s Halon, she will suffer nerve damage and possible asphyxiation if she stays under its effects for too long. Doesn’t sound like such a great ending, even if she does manage to make it out alive.
8. Batman Begins – Shoddy New Reporting
It looks like Gotham City should be begging a certain Clark Kent to come work for their local papers. In the newspaper article which covers Wayne Manor burning down, there are a huge amount of errors. These are factual (suggesting that 4 generations of Waynes have lived there, when Alfred maintains it is 6); grammatical (capitalization in the wrong places); and spelling-related (suggesting that Wayne will “loose” millions thanks to the fire). That is very poor attention to detail indeed, journalists and editors of Gotham! It could certainly be time to take a few tips from the gentlemen over in Metropolis.
7. The Dark Knight – Green Screen Mishap
When the Joker does his famous pencil trick scene, watch out for a little hint that not everything is as it appears. The television monitor which holds Lau’s footage looks legit, but pay attention to the table when the Joker slams his pencil down. You can clearly see a green reflection coming from the monitor! This is because it was originally green screened, with the footage of Lau added in post. Watch out for green reflections like these in other movies for tell-tale signs of digital alterations that didn’t quite cover every angle. Clearly the editors missed this one!
6. The Dark Knight – Exposed Face
Yes, sorry, The Dark Knight fans – you missed another one! This one is all about Harvey Dent, a modern miracle of medicine. You see, even though his cheek muscles and teeth have been exposed, he is still able to talk the same way that he used to. In reality, even talking at all or making himself understood would be a tough task. Not only that, but his left eye, exposed as it is, still moves and allows him to see easily! Needless to say, if this was a real case, he would have one useless eye sitting in its socket. Not to mention the agonizing pain of trying to move any part of his face at all.
5. The Dark Knight Rises – Wall Street Shenanigans
Quick question: what happens when your credit card gets stolen? You call the bank and cancel it right away, of course. If you’re lucky, you will also be able to claim back any money that the thief spent in the meantime. The Batman universe asks us to expect that Wall Street has no such security in place. Even though a terrorist hacked into the Stock Exchange, they still allowed all trading on that day to go ahead without calling any of it into question. Not even the trade that the terrorists themselves made. Not even when they could see quite easily that Wayne himself was not there.
4. Man of Steel – Tornado Alley
Hands up those who live in Kansas! Anyone from “Tornado Alley” knows that a bridge or an overpass would be a no-go zone in a tornado, because of the fact that funneling effects can make winds even stronger and suck people out to a violent death. Not only that, but the debris fields make them less than a safe place anyway. Jonathan Kent would of course know this just as well as any other citizen, so telling people to hide under a nearby underpass basically computes to him telling them to go their deaths. Not as much of a nice guy as he looks.
3. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – No Recognition
Here’s another example of a fictional universe expecting us to believe that our heroes are stupid instead of just explaining things a little more sensibly. On one side we have Clark Kent, a journalist who works for a major news corporation and covers events on a grand scale – and is also obviously going to be exposed to the news on a daily basis. Then on the other side we have resourceful and news-worthy billionaire Bruce Wayne, a headline grabber who has been thinking about Superman for 2 years and reading articles about him. And yet, neither of them recognize one another when they meet.
2. X-Men: First Class – A Case of Paraplegia
Great news, everyone – Professor X isn’t really paralyzed! You see, when he gets shot at the end of this movie, we can clearly see that he is supposed to have been wounded at the base of his spine. That means it missed the spinal cord entirely, and wouldn’t have possibly resulted in paraplegia! Hurray! If the filmmakers wanted to paralyze him, then they should have made sure that he was shot between the shoulder blades. That’s where the nerves are that will do all of the damage. Maybe he just uses the wheelchair to make sure he gets the best parking spots?
1. X-Men: Days of Future Past (and every other time-shifting movie) – Time Idiosyncrasies
Unfortunately, here’s what happens when movies try to go back in time: they get things wrong. Days of Future Past isn’t the only movie to do this – in fact, it isn’t the only movie on this list. The whole Captain America franchise is also riddled with anachronisms. It can be anything from the music you hear, to the weapons used by soldiers and police, even down to the phrases that are used – they just didn’t exist at the time the movie is set. It gets even more complicated when timelines entwine, as errors in continuity often result in dates and ages going awry – just when was Bucky born, anyway? Go by the movies and you won’t find a cohesive answer!