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Infinity War's Ending Was Shocking... When DC Did It First

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WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War

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The ending of Avengers: Infinity War is guaranteed to leave fans shocked and confused... at least until they realize that DC's Arrowverse pulled off the exact same twist back in 2015. The scale of the events may be separated by hundreds of millions of dollars, and dozens of characters and storylines - and Marvel's version will be seen, embraced, and speculated upon by millions more, for even longer.

But that doesn't change the fact that DC pulled off the twist long before fans even knew to worry that their Marvel heroes would be killed by Thanos (or even what Thanos was after). Television fans who watched The CW's crossover event will be able to spot the similarities on their own.

For those who only caught the Marvel version, or may have forgotten how Arrow and The Flash dropped fans' jaws by killing their entire casts, allow us to explain.

RELATED: The 40 Easter Eggs You Missed in Avengers: Infinity War

Before we get to the real cliffhanger endings and their near-mirror-versions of eachother, a bit of backstory. Just as important as the villain, the final battle, or the shocking twist is the larger studio plan before and after. And again, the similarity is a strange element.

For DC, it was a combination of Arrow and The Flash along with new heroes, taking on the sudden emergence of Vandal Savage (eventually adding Legends of Tomorrow to their connected universe). For Marvel, it's a culmination of nearly every Marvel property into one film, taking on the sudden emergence of Thanos (expected to bring Phase 3 of the MCU to a close, launching the next Phase of Marvel movies with Captain Marvel's help). But before we get there, plenty of heroes have to die.

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Enough build-up: let's get to the shocking twist that sees the villain win, the heroes die... and it all get reversed eventually.

How DC Pulled Off Their Shocking Twist

With the villain (Vandal) seeking "unstoppable" power, but requiring the woman he loves to attain it (Kendra), the heroes are outmatched, and forced to turn her over. But they ultimately come up with a plan to ambush him, and prevent his planned ascendance. Unfortunately, the chance for the heroes to attack in unison is sabotaged when one hero falters (Kendra), and the others fail to turn the villain's golden weapon against him... leading to the worst possible outcome.

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Vandal claims his coveted power, and unleashes its full might on not just the heroes, but the millions of citizens who surround them. In a blast of superheated energy, Oliver is turned to dust, soon followed by Laurel, Diggle, Felicity, Caitlin, Cisco... and everyone else in Central City. Thankfully, Oliver took Barry's place explaining that he must survive, since he is the only hero with the ability to prevent this disaster from ever having taken place. The deaths are hard to watch, but thanks to Barry's glimpse of the future, the audience knows this timeline can, and will be changed.

How Marvel Pulled Off Their Shocking Twist

With the villain (Thanos) seeking "unstoppable" power, but requiring the woman he loves to attain it (Gamora), the heroes are outmatched, and forced to turn her over. But they ultimately come up with a plan to ambush him, and prevent his planned ascendance. Unfortunately, the chance for the heroes to attack in unison is sabotaged when one hero falters (Star-Lord), and the others fail to turn the villain's golden weapon against him... leading to the worst possible outcome.

Thanos claims his coveted power, and unleashes its full might on not just the heroes, but the trillions of lifeforms who surround them. In a blast of supercharged cosmic energy, Bucky is turned to dust, soon followed by T'Challa, Groot, Wanda, Sam, Mantis, Drax... and half of everyone else in the universe. Thankfully, Doctor Strange took Tony Stark's explaining that he must survive, since he is the only hero with the ability to prevent this disaster from ever having taken place. The deaths are hard to watch, but thanks to Strange's glimpses of the future, the audience knows this timeline can, and will be changed.

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We'll wager that things will play out a bit differently in the film than the TV universe from here. For The CW, Flash got to fixing the timeline almost immediately. For Avengers 4, fans will have to wait to see how Tony Stark manages to undo Thanos's mass killing. In the meantime, all these heroes are definitely deader than the Arrowverse versions. That's just obvious.

MORE: Tom Holland Spoiled Infinity War's Ending For Fans

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