Yeah, that happened.
Best bring this up early. Catwoman is not only the worst film in the entire DC movie canon, but is also the worst film in the entire superhero movie canon. Even Elektra manages to be the bottom end of mediocre compared to this Halle berry-fronted Razzie hoover with its vile Anne Summers costume design.
This is the only example of the entirety of a film in this list, and that’s just to emphasise that no matter how rubbish you think The Dark Knight Rises is, it’s got nothing on this turd.
2. Green Lantern’s big green race car
Green Lantern at its best was merely as bad as a particularly dull comic, but at its worst was an inane, insulting cartoon.
Its many crimes include flinging Phantom Menace-levels of CGI alien space chickens at its audience, keeping alive the proud tradition of Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer when it came to turning a classic villain into a fog bank, and thinking a tired mid-Nineties-style origin story with traditional hero wins by learning how to hero harder arc would pass muster in the multiplex the same year as X-Men: First Class and Thor.
That’s all fairly lame, but nothing is as truly instantly dumb as Ryan Reynolds’ Hal Jordan summoning a big green race car in the futile hope that this would impress the film’s target audience of seven year-old boys.
3. Bane’s stupid voice in The Dark Knight Rises
It was resoundingly mocked when it was in the trailer, and despite alleged attempts to improve Tom Hardy’s clarity in post-production, Bane’s silly voice still undercut whatever gravitas Christopher Nolan was trying to rinse out of his borderline offensive mess of anti-Occupy rhetoric, reductive female set-dressing and meaningless fan-baiting ‘twists’ on the canon.
The Dark Knight Rises was long, ugly and pretentious, but its true legacy is a man with a gasmask who sounds funny.
That’s sad, isn’t it?
4. Arrow’s glistening shirtless marketing
It’s The CW, so relationships come in triangles and men come shirtless, that’s a given, but for Season Two of the network’s SciFiNow-approved Green Arrow adaptation, they fed EVERYONE’s shirt into the shredder to create the most homoerotic ad campaign since the throbbing pectorals of 300.
There’s nothing wrong with a spot of homoeroticism, obviously; it’s just that this doesn’t really have any connection to the show. It’s mainly just Stephen Amell that busts out of his shirt at every opportunity for some pull-ups.
The truth is that Arrow is far too sincere and on-the-nose to even have subtext, let alone homoerotic subtext. Even John Barrowman struggled to make it mucky, and he makes silence suggestive.
5. Man Of Steel’s General Zod neck snap
This has been written about a great length elsewhere on this site, and it’s pretty telling that apologists for the sterile disaster porn of Man Of Steel are forced to cite a grab-bag of obscure, unrelated issues of Action Comics from the Fifties to explain how there’s nothing out of character about the very icon of comic-book heroism snapping the neck of General Zod.
Sorry guys, Man Of Steel was not without its redeeming qualities (mainly Russell Crowe riding a dragonfly), but this scene was the crowning obscenity in a Superman film that truly loathed Superman.
6. Joe Schumacher’s Bat-nipples in Batman & Robin
Batman & Robin is loads of fun.
Seriously, it feels more like a comic-book than The Dark Knight Rises by a significant order of magnitude, and unlike Arrow, where the homoeroticism is largely a product of the marketing department dropping too many cans of Relentless at 3am and cackling wildly, it’s pretty camp throughout.
However, this is a minority opinion, and Joel Shuchmacher’s second Bat-flick is held up as a particular nadir for the character, and the suiting up sequence, with its powerful crotch shots and thrusting Bat-nipples, is a perfect example why nobody should ever be allowed anywhere near this franchise without being forced to read Year One, The Dark Knight Returns and The Long Halloween.
There may be a test afterwards, so take notes.
Along with the knowingly/shriekingly camp tone, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr Freeze is another delirious highlight, but we’re flying so hard in the fact of consensus with Batman & Robin that we just have to accept that anyone else reading this hates the movie, despises ice-puns and started beating themselves in the temple when he led that wonderful singalong.
It was FABULOUS. NO, YOU SHUT UP.
8. Smallville cheating us out of Superman
After ten years of Clarke Kent learning how to be a hero, Smallville’s tenth and final season promised up the moneyshot we’d all been waiting for – its key art showing the shadow of the Man of Steel splayed out behind him, the showrunners promised us pay-off, and then he’s given the costume.
Come the finale though and… nothing. Seriously blue balls for Big Blue, and that will never be forgiven.
9. Bat-fleck in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
Come on, now.
Ben Affleck is now a proven commodity (watch Argo and The Town, then come back), but somehow comic geeks won’t ever be able to get past Daredevil. Marvel fans wept tears of joy when he was cast in Batman V Superman, delighted that they had fobbed off one of their own low-points onto their ancient enemy, and DC fans just wept.
Obviously he’ll be brilliant, but it’s great fun reminding everyone of Gigli.
10. Wonder Woman being reduced to a cameo
This is pretty shameful, and that’s why it’s coming last – for emphasis.
It’s not that Marvel are a shining beacon of opportunity, but while they’ve at least turned Black Widow into a credible protagonist following her dreary introduction in Iron Man 2, as well as peppering the MCU with the capable and competent likes of Lady Sif and Jane Foster in Thor: The Dark World and Pepper Potts in Iron Man 3, DC will be introducing their most iconic female character (along with their African-American Justice Leaguer, Cyborg) in a glorified cameo.
Not only that, but Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman debut is being written by David S Goyer, who recently shocked fandom with his misogynistic screed against She-Hulk.
It’s not surprising, then, that The Dark Knight Rises, Man Of Steel and The Dark Knight barely scraped through the Bechedel Test off the back of one perfunctory exchange each, while Batman Begins totally failed.