10 Best CBM Ciffhangers

10 Best CBM Ciffhangers

Ah, cliffhangers. They drive us to see sequels. And what of CBM's? Well, they have some of the best. Here are my personal top 10 CBM cliffhangers.

Marvel is notable for it’s post credits scenes, but many other CBM’s have had cliffhangers and hints at the end. What are the top 10? Let’s see.

Now that’s worth a look

This set it up. This truly set up Captain America and the Avengers. While not the best post credits scene from Marvel, it still deserves recognition for giving us a good look at the Cosmic Cube, and for practically revealing Loki as the villain for the Avengers. But what truly makes this scene better is the pacing, and the revelations. We already got a glimpse of a hyper-cube in Iron Man 2. Now, after Thor, we see the Cosmic Cube, and we instantly know this is gonna start something huge. And if that wasn’t enough, we get Loki at the end. Good move Marvel. Good move.

The Mad Titan
The Avengers

You thought this was gonna be higher up, didn’t you? Didn’t you? Admit it, you thought this was gonna be in the top three. Honestly, I loved this post credits scene. To court death. The Mad Titan himself, Thanos, at the end, and how he’s been pulling the strings. But in the big picture, it only makes things confusing. Joss Whedon wants a smaller story for Avengers 2. And we all know that when Thanos is involved, things are gonna be HUGE. So that’s a no for Avengers 2. So where does Marvel plan to put him? Avengers 3? Guardians of the Galaxy? Would GotG mean the end for Thanos, if Ultron and the Masters of Evil are to be included? Would Ultron be used specifically for Ant-Man? While this is a great post-credits scene, and cliffhanger, I just don’t find it helpful to the fans, and only makes us wonder about Marvel’s future, and if they made the right choice.

#8: In my father’s footsteps
Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2 is highly regarded as one of the best superhero movies ever made. In fact, some would place it in the top 3! If Marvel Studios hadn’t been made, and Chris Nolan wasn’t born. But this movie still has one fantastic cliffhanger. After learning that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, Harry starts hallucinating (again) and breaks a mirror, revealing the Green Goblin’s lair. The scene ends as Harry walks towards his father’s mask. This could have been one of the greatest things ever, but as Sam Raimi lost creative control, Harry became an amnesiac snowboarder defeated by a single web.

The Cat and the Bat
Batman Returns

This would have been fantastic. The Penguin is dead, Max Shrek is dead, and Bruce Wayne has just picked up a stray cat from a Gotham alleyway. As he gets into his limo, Alfred points out the Bat-signal in the sky. Pan up, and we see Catwoman, looking up at the symbol in the sky. This would have been fantastic if Tim Burton had directed the next Batman film. Catwoman would have been in it, with The Riddler, or another villain. It would have been AMAZING! Sadly, Tim Burton was replaced as director of the next Batman film. Maybe in some alternate reality, people would be happy. But this is still one great cliffhanger, reminding us that Catwoman is still alive, and looking for Batman.

Sinestro’s might!
Green Lantern

Sinestro, by far, was the best part of Green Lantern. Now, he was a Green Lantern for the whole movie, but... there was a post-credits scene, which shows Sinestro finding the recently forged yellow ring, and puts it on. His Green Lantern outfit becomes yellow, with the Sinestro Corps symbol. I’m hoping for a Green Lantern sequel, because it was set up so perfectly. To see the Sinestro Corps War on the big screen would be a thing of beauty. If done right, that is.

Call me Magneto
X-Men First Class

X-Men First Class was great movie. James McAvoy as Charles Xavier was fantastic, but what really sold the movie was Michael Fassbender as Magneto. It truly is about his journy, from boy, to man, to friend, to teacher, to killer. And by the end of the movie, he has fully embraced the idea that humanity hates his kind, and will do anything to get rid of them. So, in a post credits scene, Erik frees Emma Frost from the government’s clutches, in full Magneto garb. What does he say?
“Call me... Magneto.”
The only reason this isn’t higher up is that we all know Magneto’s ultimate fate. While still a cliffhanger, it doesn’t give hints to much, except that he’s forming the Brotherhood of Mutants.

Was it a sacrifice?

The dam was broken, and water was rushing towards theBlackbird. Going against orders, Jean Grey walked out, and telekinetically stopped the rapids. the Blackbird takes off, leaving Jean to be engulfed. We see the X-Men visit the President, and tell them of what happened. But is this the end? No. In one final scene, we see the lake again, and the faint shape of a bird in the lake’s water. This was the perfect set up for the Phoenix Saga, one of Marvel’s best stories. However, Brian Singer dropped out of X-3. Although, we are lucky to get some form of the Phoenix Force story done in film. This is one of the best cliffhangers, just because of how perfectly well done it is. It shows that we don’t need a post-credits scene to build massive hype.

He gave us a signal!
Batman (89)

This could be the best cliffhanger ever, literally, EVER. While not technically a cliffhanger, I would call it that. We’ve seen Batman go through so much over the corse of the movie, but at the end, when Harvey Dent delivers a speech, and Commissioner Gordon unveils the Bat-signal to the public, it gives me goosebumps. As he turns it on, we see Batman watch from a rooftop, and that picture is just beautiful. As I said before, we saw Batman go through so much, but by the end, you know that he’s far from being finished. And that’s just the way it should be.

A taste for the theatrical
Batman Begins

This was the perfect way to end Batman Begins. How do you close a film like this? With the perfect set-up. The Joker. And Chris Nolan delivered. In my opinion, this was the best of the cliffhangers in Nolan’s Bat-films. And the way Gary Oldman delivers the line:
“A taste for the theatrical. Like you.”
Oh man, that’s perfect. Especially the quick insertion of:
“Like you.”
When I saw Batman Begins in theaters before the Dark Knight Rises, I could hear a little ‘squeee’ from the audience during this scene. And it deserves a squeee, even after being watched countless times. (47)

Iron Man
The Avengers Initiative

You knew it was gonna be this. It was either the Avengers Initiative, or John Blake’s finding the Batcave. But ultimately, Iron Man takes the cake. From Robert Downy Jr’s fantastic line, to Samuel L Jackson’s appearance, to the hint at the Avengers, to it being Marvel's first post-credits scene, to it showing how much SHIELD can do, to it hinting at a much larger, shared universe, to the freaking Avengers! This was too perfect. I heard gasps, and screams of joy, to silence from the audience in theaters. I loved this. It’s probably the best of Marvel's post credits scene’s, and by far the most notable. It’s just the best cliffhanger in a comic book movie. Period.

Honorable mentions:

Weapon XI (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
Not included because it didn’t hint at anything bigger going on, only one character’s survival.
John Blake rises (The Dark Knight Rises)
Not included because we would never know what happens next, plus it’s a multi-ending.
Man in the shadows (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Not included because it gives no hint to anything we don’t already know.
We found it (Iron Man 2)
Not included because we all knew it was a matter of time before Thor showed up.
Who’s we? (The Incredible Hulk
Not included because it hints at the Avengers, something Iron Man already did.

Until next time,
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Member Since 6/30/2011
Filed Under "Fan Fic" 9/16/2012
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Supes17 - 9/16/2012, 11:13 AM
I think that the ending of TDK should have been in the list as well
Supes17 - 9/16/2012, 11:13 AM
Nice list btw
GoILL - 9/16/2012, 11:19 AM
Pretty good list.
CaptainDC - 9/16/2012, 11:28 AM
Good, creative article. Like your choices as well
BrowniesExplode - 9/16/2012, 11:50 AM
The green lantern one made no since
marvel72 - 9/16/2012, 11:59 AM
1st the avengers(thanos)
2nd iron man(the avengers initiative)
3rd batman begins(playing card)
BooYah - 9/16/2012, 12:10 PM
My favorites are the X-Men 2 ending and the Batman Begins ending.
BrowniesExplode - 9/16/2012, 1:23 PM
But iron man post credit scene had me screaming
OriginalGuardiansPlease - 9/16/2012, 2:35 PM
The news were posted on Friday already and nobody caught wind of it however i spoke with Jim Starlin at the montreal comic con and i asked him if he knew what movie(s) Thanos would appear in and he said both Guardians of the galaxy and avengers 2. Further details here:

Tainted87 - 9/16/2012, 3:35 PM
GL and Thor didn't make a whole lot of sense.

Sinestro has already had it spelled out to him that the yellow ring ain't gonna work for him - and Parallax is already soundly defeated - so.... with no precipitation, why would he want it?

Thor - I get taking Selvig into what is later revealed as the headquarters of Project Pegasus, but how (and why) is Loki controlling him, even subtly? And that bit was abandoned anyway.

My favorite is a toss-up between Jean's sacrifice and Fury's introduction.

Nah, it's Jean's sacrifice. I saw that movie 4 times in the theater.
BIGBMH - 9/16/2012, 5:08 PM
I would give the #1 spot to A taste for the theatrical. It's close though. That, Avengers Intiative, and In My Father's Footsteps all had me hyped like no other.
Tainted87 - 9/16/2012, 6:27 PM
This is going to sound silly, but using the word "theatrical" in that context, from at least four different characters in the trilogy, is a bit obnoxious.

And it isn't just "theatrical" or "theatricality", but let's say, in the Dark Knight, the term "playing it close to the chest" is used by Bruce and Harvey...

Took me a bit out of it, like it was a religious experience of a doctrine you don't believe in.
jessepostal - 9/16/2012, 9:33 PM
Spoiler!!! if your gonna have x3 up there it should be the after credit scene with prof x
ThunderKat - 9/16/2012, 9:50 PM
#3 wasn't a cliffhanger as much as a prelude to a sequel. He sees the signal while there are no direct threads to the sequel in terms of Joker living or a new threat on the horizon. I presume that's why the end of "Batman Begins" is much higher on the list.
AC1 - 9/17/2012, 5:51 AM
Quite a good list, but I'm perplexed as to how you could include Green Lantern on the list. That was one of the stupidest scenes in the entire film (and the film mostly consisted of exceptionally stupid scenes), because at that point Sinestro had absolutely no reason to use the yellow ring, the threat had already been neutralised, he knew there was no need for the ring, and he even said it himself. Then, he just decides "Ah, [frick] it, I'll put it on anyway, who gives a shit?"
It was pointless sequel baiting, and I really hope for WB/DC's sake that they reboot the hell out of Green Lantern, it's beyond saving.

The last scene of The Dark Knight should be on this list instead, that's one of the best endings in recent film in my opinion, let alone a CBM, it works perfectly as both the end of the story or as being open for a sequel (and obviously they chose the latter option).

Hell even the chess piece Magneto scene from X3 would be a better choice than Sinestro, I mean it's a crap film, but at least the Magneto scene made sense in the context of the film and seemed to set up something interesting for the future.
EdgyOutsider - 9/17/2012, 1:43 PM
I think that the Thanos reveal at the end of Avengers should have been number 1 because it leads to them potentionally leading up to doing a sequel with The Infinity Gauntlet as a film basis. It would be hard to pull off but I would love to see The Infinity Gauntlet storyline be translated to an Avengers sequel with of course Joss Whedon writing and directing.
Tainted87 - 9/17/2012, 3:31 PM
The trouble with Thanos... hehehehe... ok, the trouble with that cliffhanger (saves you the experience, trust me), is that NO ONE KNOWS WHO THANOS IS.

I get the purpose and all, but to the non-fan/non-reader audience, it makes as much sense as Ant-Man popping out of a pita at the Shawarma joint, growing to normal size, and saying: "sup" to the Avengers.
xRelentlessx - 9/17/2012, 9:31 PM
Your number 2 was my number 1 :)
comiccow6 - 9/18/2012, 3:43 AM
@Tainted, That would have been amazing.
thebearjew - 9/18/2012, 5:58 AM
wow! I didn't know about the green lantern post credits scene didn't stick around for that long but i think it's definatley worth making a sequel!
thebearjew - 9/18/2012, 6:04 AM
oh yeah john blake finding the batcave should be in the #1 slot it leaves us wandering so much but then again we know it is the end of it all :( so i guess its not really a cliff hanger

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