Superhero movies are pretty much designed to make you suspend your disbelief. After all, it's difficult to “believe a man can fly” if your head is spinning about the physics of the whole thing. However, even superhero movies are bound by certain restraints: audiences expect characters that behave with a certain internal logic, and plots that don't leave you scratching your head and arguing with your friends long after the credits roll. Unfortunately, despite the fact that we're living in the golden age of superhero movies, it seems like each new DC movie has stupider and stupider plot holes.
Sometimes, these plot holes break our suspension of disbelief entirely, casually portraying the impossible as easy until the spell is broken entirely. Other times, it is the characters themselves that are broken, using powers they don't have (we're looking at you, Flash) or doing the exact opposite of what they claim to believe (that means you, Lex Luthor). If you're willing to navigate more than a few spoilers, there's a hilarious world of DC movie plot holes waiting for you to discover.
You won't need a utility belt or a Mother Box—just check out our awesome guide to 15 Biggest Plot Holes in DC Movies!
15 The Suicide Squad Is Hired Just to Walk Waller Upstairs
When you think about the Suicide Squad's mission, chances are that you think about their dramatic confrontation with Enchantress. This forms the climax of the film, and it also provides a nice arc for the characters. We see them go from being coerced into service to voluntarily choosing to save the world. However, this wasn't their actual mission: what they are sent to do is to extract a priority target from the affected city, and in an interesting plot twist, that priority target ends up being Amanda Waller herself.
What does extracting her mean? Well... they walk her up the stairs to a waiting helicopter. That is literally it: they do not have to help the helicopter land, fight monsters in the stairwell; they just escort Waller upstairs.
The truth is that Waller could have walked up those stairs on her own. If she felt in danger and needed an escort, she was surrounded by agents she ended up simply killing, anyway. And if her helicopter pilot hadn't inexplicably flown low between the buildings instead of safely flying away, she could have escaped without the Skwad ever leaving prison!
14 That's Not How You Turn Back Time - Superman
The gold standard for modern superhero film plot holes was established by the very first modern superhero movie. In the first Superman movie, we see the unthinkable happen near the end of the film: Lois Lane had died. A grief-stricken Superman decided he would undo this terrible event, and he proceeded to fly around fast enough to spin the Earth backwards. Somehow, this managed to turn back time, and he was able to save Lois Lane and provide the film with a happy ending.
As you probably know, spinning really fast doesn't make you travel in time. If it did, your kid brother would have spun himself into a hundred different time periods by now. In reality, Superman rotating the Earth backwards at that speed would have terrible effects: we're talking massive sudden climate change, giant tidal waves, buildings being torn from their foundations, and a massive death toll.
Completely ignoring every rule of science and causality, though, is what makes this one of the most famous DC movie plot holes ever.
13 The Suicide Squad Is Completely Underpowered
One of the biggest plot holes in Suicide Squad has to do with the reasoning behind creating the Skwad in the first place. We see Amanda Waller reluctantly convincing various governmental and military forces that they need to be ready, as the next superhuman to visit Earth might not be benevolent and share America's values like Superman. This seems reasonable, and it's not unlike Batman's own paranoid reasoning in Batman v Superman that they must be prepared for the eventuality of Superman turning against them.
However, the squad that Waller picks is absolutely no match for someone like, say, General Zod. Most of them are armed with weapons like bullets, boomerangs, and baseball bats, all of which would harmlessly bounce off of Zod's skin. In fact, her initial team makeup only includes two metahumans, Enchantress and El Diablo, and they almost immediately lose Enchantress.
Waller is either lying about the intent of the team or she deliberately picked the worst people she could for this task!
12 Everyone Should Know Who Superman Is - Man of Steel
After a series of misadventures with Zod and the other Kryptonians, Man of Steel ends with Superman reaffirming his secret identity. Lois helps him blend in as Clark Kent (complete with glasses and a job as a reporter), and we see him thwart the military's efforts to discover his secret identity by taking down a satellite. Here's the thing, though: by the end of that movie, plenty of people should know who he is!
There are plenty of context clues, of course. The aliens end up landing right at the Kent farm, in search of Clark and the ship that brought him to Earth. Speaking of that ship, the government ends up using it in conjunction with Superman to fight Zod. Could none of the government satellites see Superman flying it from the Kent farm to the Air Force base?
Also, no one follows up on Lois' initial investigations into Clark Kent, including scenes where she calls Superman “Clark” in front of law enforcement? And no conspiracy theory buffs piece the story she leaks together?
It's impossible that no one figures out his secret identity except ace reporter Lois, especially when he decides to go work alongside many ace reporters!
11 How Does Bruce Return to Gotham? - The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises was a movie that disappointed many people, and it didn't help that it followed on the heels of The Dark Knight, one of the best superhero movies ever.
However, this film hit all of the familiar superhero beats like clockwork, including the hero facing impossible odds. This occurs when Batman is beaten and broken by Bane and then thrown into the same hole on the other side of the world, where Bane was once imprisoned. Eventually, Batman (minus his costumes, gadgets, vehicles, etc.) manages to escape imprisonment, and the next time we see him, he has returned to Gotham City.
This makes no sense whatsoever. Batman was hundreds of miles away, and he had no money or gear. He would have had to fly back to Gotham , but there is no explanation for where he would find a plane or pay for passage. And even if he could get on a plane and get to Gotham, Bane and his men have the city on lockdown, threatening to detonate a bomb if anyone tries to come in. They have all the bridges blocked, so how Batman returned remains a mystery wrapped in a plot hole.
10 The Lanterns Could Have Killed Parallax Ages Ago - Green Lantern
The Green Lantern movie made a lot of mistakes, and one of them was arguably starting with the most powerful Lantern foe, Parallax. In the comics, this was the force that infiltrated Hal Jordan's mind and turned him into a mass, cosmic killer. In the movie, he is mostly just a super-powerful alien being (and former Guardian) who feeds on fear and consumes people. When he threatens Earth, Hal Jordan alone musters up the willpower, strength, and terrible CGI to send the monstrous alien into the sun, which kills it.
In terms of solving problems, this is pretty believable— if you were a powerful space cop, you'd probably throw a lot of your problems into the sun, too. However, it seems to be a pretty big plot hole that other Lanterns had not killed it long ago.
The movie makes it seem like all the Corps could've done was imprison Parallax on an alien planet in a “lost sector” from which he inevitable escaped. However, if one relatively new Lantern can just push the thing into the sun, why couldn't a bunch of Lanterns (there are 3600 of them) team up and do that years ago?
9 Fists Don't Heal Broken Backs - The Dark Knight Rises
The other big plot hole of Dark Knight Rises also occurs while Batman is imprisoned. In a nice homage to the original “Knightfall” storyline of the comics, Bane has broken Batman over his knee, breaking his back. Considering the athleticism required to escape the hole he is in, Batman knows he will need to have his body mended. So, the world's smartest man comes up with a great plan: he is going to have a fellow prisoner punch his back until he heals.
You've probably already figured this out, but having a broken back punched repeatedly while you hang from a rope is not actually a good way to fix it. In fact, if such an injury could be completely fixed at all, it would require a combination of state-of-the-art surgery and months of recovery.
In the comics that this movie is loosely based on, Bruce Wayne had both of these things. In the movie, he gets punched until his back is better, does some push-ups, and he's out of there... which is crazy, even for a movie where we root for a violent bat-themed cosplayer!
8 Hong Kong's Really Chill Airspace - The Dark Knight
Compared to many of the movies on this list, Dark Knight is a pretty tight film. Once you accept that this weird detective noir movie has bat people and killer clowns in it, the movie is pretty well-plotted and believable. One scene, though, is a big plot hole: when Batman decides to bring Lau from Hong Kong back to Gotham City, his dramatic plan involves hooking himself and Lau to a plane flying by over his building, and then they escape the country.
In the 21st century, this is actually one of the most unbelievable plot points of all time: was Hong Kong completely cool with a foreign plane in their airspace for no reason? Or, let's say Bruce stole the plane or bribed someone for it - it's still pretty easy to trace which plane was involved with an attack on a super-wealthy corporation.
Ultimately, that plane would have been forced or shot down long before it got to Gotham!
7 This Boomerang Shouldn't Come Back - Suicide Squad
To put it mildly, Suicide Squad was a movie that had too many characters in it. The end result is that anyone not named Deadshot, Harley, Flag, or El Diablo barely got any dialogue or character development. One such character is Captain Boomerang, whose sole character traits are magically finding beer cars, crushing on Katana, and wanting to escape. Eventually, Flag surrenders the device that would allow him to kill the inmates if they escape, and Boomerang immediately runs away.
However, in literally the next scene, Boomerang has rejoined the squad as they go to dramatically confront The Enchantress. There is no dialogue, transition, or explanation for why Boomerang would go from gleefully escaping the bar to walking towards almost certain death.
It's a shame because not only would more dialogue have made this character less of a caricature, but it would have eliminated this plot hole from the movie as well!
6 That Microwave Emitter Should Have Killed Everybody - Batman Begins
As fun as Batman Begins was, it pretty much set the standard for convoluted villain plans. The big scheme involved the Scarecrow dumping a bunch of his fear toxin into Gotham's water supply. Then, Ra's al Ghul will use a special Wayne Tech microwave emitter to turn the fear-infested water airborne. The idea is to let Gotham City's fear-crazed citizens destroy themselves so that the city can one day start anew.
There is one very big problem at the heart of this crazy plan: the role of the microwave emitter is to vaporize the water, and Ra's puts it on a train so it can evaporate water as it goes. However, Gotham's citizens, like the rest of the world, have bodies that are made of about 60% water. The same microwave emitter that is designed to evaporate all of this water should be straight up murdering everyone it comes near.
Admittedly, killing everyone also villainous, but if Ra's al Ghul just wanted mass murder, there are much easier ways to do it!
5 Lex unleashing Doomsday - Batman v Superman
Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor is one of the most divisive cinematic portrayals of a supervillain in history. Some people praised how he channeled what a modern Luthor might look like— a young CEO drunk with power, treating world conquest like just another Silicon Valley startup. Others thought that he seemed manic and confused, and that his performance was more like Joker than Luthor. One thing we can all agree on, though: his plans with Doomsday make no damn sense at all.
Throughout the entire movie, Luthor's motivation is his fear of Superman. Not just a fear of the man himself, but what he represents: that he might be a devil in disguise and use his alien strength and powers to take over the world.
In order to fight him, Luthor creates a Kryptonian monster named Doomsday and unleashes him. However, Doomsday is literally an out-of-control alien monster, and if Superman hadn't stopped him, he may have killed everyone on Earth. For someone afraid of aliens destroying humanity, Luthor was singlehandedly responsible for creating an alien monster that nearly destroyed humanity!
4 Zod Could Have Easily Killed that Family - Man of Steel
The most controversial moment of Man of Steel came near the end. Superman is forced to take part in a superhero version of the trolley problem. For those who skipped Philosophy class, the trolley problem asks you to imagine that a train is currently heading for five people. You can switch its course, but then it will kill one person. Do you decide that you will save five lives at the expense of one? Or do you refuse to take part in killing a single person yourself and let them die?
In Superman's case, Zod is threatening to kill a helpless family with his laser eyes. Superman very reluctantly snaps Zod's neck and kills him, as he sees this as the only way to save that family. While we can certainly debate the ethics of Superman's actions, one plot hole concerns Zod: if he really wanted to kill that family, he would just have to move his eyeballs a little bit over to fry them with his lasers.
The idea that Superman can control where his eyes point like he is holding a gun is utterly insane!
3 Batman's Car Chase Is Completely Pointless - Batman v Superman
While Ben Affleck gives a solid performance as both Bruce Wayne and Batman in Batman v Superman, many people felt like parts of his Batman performance were completely unlike Batman. This included all the killing: counting his weird dream of the future, we see Batman using guns, gadgets, and his car to kill up to twenty-one people in the movie. While this is pretty stupid on its own, the people he kills with his car are especially needless because that car chase should never have been in the movie.
The purpose of the dramatic car chase is for Batman to obtain the Kryptonite he needs to stop Superman. The chase is brought to a premature end by Superman himself, who tells Batman to give up on the vigilante business. Batman still ends up getting his Kryptonite offscreen by stealthily breaking in and stealing it.
The big question, though: why didn't he do this in the first place? Sneaking around and sticking to the shadows is Batman's whole deal, but his Plan A was to destroy half of Gotham in a messy car chase instead? It turns out that Batman's final victim was our suspension of disbelief during the movie!
2 Why Can Wonder Woman Kill Ares? - Wonder Woman
One of the trickiest elements of a superhero movie is giving the hero an opponent that is worthy of them. It would be lopsided for, say, Superman to fight the Joker, which is why he ends up tackling aliens, monsters, and, of course, Batman. For Wonder Woman's first solo movie, she was definitely given a worthy foe: Ares, the god of war.
In the film's climax, she ended up destroying him, granting humanity the ability to grow without Ares whispering destructive thoughts in their ears. She has fulfilled her legacy after finding out that it is she, and not her sword, that is actually the “God Killer.”
It makes for a cool, triumphant moment for moviegoers. It's very appropriate to see Wonder Woman, an ambassador of peace, triumph over the God of War. However, it's never really explained why Wonder Woman is able to kill Ares when Zeus himself could not.
After all, Wonder Woman can kill Ares because she was given that power by Zeus. Zeus himself seemingly had the power to kill Ares way back when, but for reasons we will never know, could not finish him, leaving the task for Wonder Woman.
1 Batman's dream makes no sense - Batman v Superman
Part of what made Batman v. Superman such an awkward mess of a movie was that it could not simply focus on telling a good story. Instead, Warner Bros., and their desire to make that sweet Avengers money meant that this movie had to cram as many Justice League cameos in as possible. One of the most striking cameos was The Flash, who seemed like he was traveling back from some dystopian future to warn Batman about Superman.
In and of itself, this is a cool cameo, and it's very much in line with what The Flash does in the comics. However, it seems like this was all a dream: Batman goes from having a vision of an apocalyptic future where Superman kills him to a vision of Flash traveling back in time, and only then does he truly wake up, back in the cave.
This means that either Flash was traveling into Batman's mind from the future (which makes little sense) or Batman was having visions of someone he has never met (which makes even less sense). Maybe Flash could travel back to the movie's premiere and explain what the hell is going on?
Got some DC movie plot holes we didn't cover? You can either go back in time and warn the writer in a dream or just sound off in our comments!