If I had decided to put this list together 10 years ago, I wouldn't have had much material to choose from! There were a few X-Men and a couple of Spider-Man movies to use, some '80s and '90s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Incredible Hulks, but nothing like what Batman Begins ushered in back 2005. Batman, Superman, Captain America, Black Widow, they've all seriously gotten their asses handed to them numerous times since then. And we've had to sit through every scene, shifting uncomfortably in our seats or putting our heads in our hands.
Starting in 2006, there have been some really gruesome scenes where villains have cleaned the floor with our favorite superheroes. Here are 9 of the worst beatdowns of our favorite superheroes in movie history.
9. Superman Returns – Lex & His Henchmen Vs. Superman
The moment Lex's thugs grab Superman by the head and drag him around screaming is a part that is still hard to watch. Not sure why I can handle the throwing, punching, and krypto-stabbing of Superman, but have a problem with the dragging scene. Either way, it makes for an extremely painful-to-watch scene.
8. The Dark Knight Rises – Bane Vs. Batman
This was a terrible idea from the start, Batman taking on Bane. But he does it anyway, and you just know something bad is going to happen. Those who have read a few comics know that it wasn't the first time, nor would it be the last, that Batman was bested by Bane, but for those who haven't, the scene is, well...pretty brutal.
Bane breaking (or dislocating, whatevs) Batman's back with that cringe-inducing crack...that was pretty nasty to watch.
7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Gwen Stacy's Head Vs. The Ground
I actually missed this iconic moment the first time I watched the movie. I knew she died, but I figured she just snapped her neck or something. Months later, the scene's on YouTube, and then I get to re-watch it and hear that gut-wrenching thud. Awful, especially when it's followed up by Peter's heartbreaking screams.
6. Spider-Man 3 – Harry Osborn Vs. Emo Peter Parker
Watching Peter with his emo hairdo and bad dancing was almost (but not quite) enough to ruin this movie for me, but to see him and his best friend Harry kicking each other's asses was visually impressive and depressing all at the same time. The final scene of the fight where Peter throws the Pumpkin Bomb back at Harry, causing it to explode in his face, was the by far the worst moment of this painful scene. I mean hell, Harry ended up looking like this:
5. Steve Rogers Vs. Rude Moviegoer
Pre-Super Soldier Serum Steve Rogers should have known better and kept his skinny mouth shut, but seeing him get pummeled in the alley was still pretty painful. Still, I guess that he wouldn't be the man who was meant to become Captain America if he backed down from bullies, now would he?
4. The Incredible Hulk Vs. Gravity
If you were there for the superhero movies of the late '70s and all of the '80s, you got to witness some pretty awesome stuff. Batman, Superman, Supergirl...and they led into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 1990 and beyond. It was GREAT time. I was and still am a huge fan of The Incredible Hulk series, and the three movies it spawned. What always pained me was the "death" scene in "The Death of the Incredible Hulk" episode, where the Hulk falls from an exploding airplane. We all know now that that's bunk, seeing how he's fallen from way higher since and survived. But that scene, and then the scene from 2008's The Incredible Hulk where he falls from the chopper, just brought back all those feels.
The original (horrible quality, I know) is above and the 2008 movie clip is below:
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) – Raphael Vs. Shredder
How can you take a guy whose four childhood heroes are huge mutant turtles, and damn near make him cry? No, not make a movie where the turtles are really butt-ugly (though that almost does the trick). You can get Shredder to fight Raphael and freaking CRACK HIS SHELL. With his metal FOOT.
No, really, don't ever do that to me again.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) – Raphael Vs. The Foot Clan
Apparently, I just really hate seeing Raphael get beaten up. In the 1990s we got to see the first time Raphael almost get killed by the bad guys, when they beat the shell out of him on the roof, then throw him through the skylight into April's apartment. I really thought for a second that he bought the farm!
Get it? Because they took him to a farm...yep.
1. Man of Steel – Superman Vs. Zod
I know, I know. Zod had it coming, and no, Superman didn't really kill those people when he snapped Zod's neck.
And yes, I know Superman has killed before. It seems to happen to Zod a lot, in particular!
But seeing him all broken up because he had to kill? Right up there with seeing Superman getting dragged, kicking and screaming in Superman Returns. Holy crap, it was depressing!
Let's watch something uplifting, like Superman and Lois Lane straight up murdering Zod and Ursa. And dumbass Non falling and killing his own fool self.
Shoot some of your most painful superhero movie moments at me in the comments!