Poll Position: Greatest Character Portrayals In Comic Book Movies

The right casting choice can elevate a movie to the next level. Even a bad film can be salvaged by an outstanding performance by one of the cast. And whilst though it is somewhat of a new genre in terms of the history of cinema, the comic book movie genre is a good example of this. Finding the right actor to portray a long established and beloved character is a difficult task, so when it happens, it can be magical. So this week we're going to decide who the best casting choice in the history of comic book movies was. We are looking at any actor to portray a character who originated in a comic book. The film does not have to be a Superhero movie, any film adapted from a comic book property will count.

As per usual, I've given you 10 to start and you can add your own. Please remember that when you add your own entry add them with the actors name and the name of the character they portrayed, along with the movie/ movie series in which they are acting.

JR19759

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10 Responses to Poll Position: Greatest Character Portrayals In Comic Book Movies

  1. William A. Peterson

    You forgot one! I’m not adding it, because, lets face it, Robert Downey, Junior IS Iron Man, so nobody else has a chance… 😉

    However, when you rewrite the character of Nicholas Fury to BE Samuel (M@th#rf*cking) L. (Motheerf*cking) Jackson, he should certainly deserve a mention, if not automatically qualify for Honorable Mention.

    Christopher Reeves (all IMHO) can be awarded third place in a VERY tightly packed contest, and some of the others can be awarded the Deluxe home version of our game… 😉

  2. I literally can’t choose. I want to vote for them all, so I’m excluding myself from voting. :/

  3. Someone misspelled Steven Rogers/Captain America

  4. Nick Hentschel

    I added in Jack Nicholson’s Joker form 1989 (or tried to): his performance was generally considered to be a highlight of the movie, and paved the way for Mark Hamill (the best) and for Heath Ledger.

    Christopher Reeve will always be the greatest, and has a saintly reputation, besides, which amkes it impossible to say anything against him. I also credited Robert Downey, because his very timely performance (inspired by his own life), was the foundation for the wider MCU; he’s largely carried that series on his back.

    I might also consider Tobey Maguire’s Spidey (still pretty good), and Michelle’s Pfeiffer’s Catwoman (one of the defining action roles of the 1990’s).

  5. The Atomic Punk

    Sorry to disagree, Nick. Jack Nicholson’s Joker was Jack Nicholson being Jack Nicholson in clown make-up. Michael Keaton gave a surprising performance as Batman. Mark Hammill’s voice acting is exactly how I hear the Joker’s voice when I read the comics. Heath Ledger’s performance was epic.

    100% agree with Willy Pete that Robert Downey, Jr. is Iron Man. Having lived Tony Stark’s lifestyle himself prepared Downey Jr. well for the role. Also, he was a great choice to launch the MCU.

    And so many great choices on the list. The superhero genre has gained a lot of respect in Tinsel Town. Except for Watchmen which could have been a million times better. Zack Snyder should be banned from directing superhero movies. He got lucky with 300.

    On that note, Jackie Earle Haley’s Rorschach almost saved the much-maligned Watchmen. He was just this ball of rage. His intensity separated him from the others who seemed more interested in the catering than acting. I don’t blame them, though. Zack Snyder couldn’t motivate a fish to swim.

  6. You know your performance is good when the CREATOR of Iron Man Stan Lee says Robert Downey Jr’s performance is exactly what he thinks of when he envisions Tony Stark as a character.

  7. Nick Hentschel

    The Atomic Punk:
    Sorry to disagree, Nick.Jack Nicholson’s Joker was Jack Nicholson being Jack Nicholson in clown make-up.

    Too little, too late: I’ve already cast my vote. 😉

    Regardless of your opinion, Nicholson’s performance was raved about at the time, a topic of constant discussion. I even remember him being called, “the ultimate Joker,” by John Tesh on ET (for what THAT’S worth), describing him as having upstaged the lead character. In contrast, people took more time to appreciate Keaton’s performance (rather like Harrison Ford vs. Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive, a few years later). Overall, Nicholson was considered to have set the bar for the subsequent villains in the series.
    That point was the main reason for my vote: the performance was important and influential. Because, no offense, that’s just how it was.

  8. Hmm, nobody has brought up Chris Evans’ portrayal of Steve Rogers. The fact that Marvel was more willing to do Iron Man, Hulk (twice!), and even Thor before risking it all on a Captain America movie should say it all. You can’t have an Avengers film without Captain America (ironically enough, since the character was not a founding member), and that was the end-goal for the Iron Man movies. Chris Evans took a character, the portrayal of which was no doubt the easiest-ever to screw up, and he made him real.

    RDJ’s Tony Stark is, without a doubt, an indispensable performance within the MCU. I believe that all the characters of the MCU could have been cast (Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, etc – the whole lot) with any number of other actors or actresses and been just as good (and maybe even better). But I believe there are only two people whose character portrayals that the MCU could not do without. Those two are Chris Evans’ Rogers and RDJ’s Stark.

  9. Was I the only one who wasn’t surprised that Keaton’s Batman was absolutely stellar? I didn’t like the direction he and the writers took with Bruce Wayne, but I liked his Batman better than any other. And yeah, Nicholson was all right. Crazy is so much easier to portray, though. I wasn’t so impressed.

  10. Herr D:
    Was I the only one who wasn’t surprised that Keaton’s Batman was absolutely stellar? I didn’t like the direction he and the writers took with Bruce Wayne, but I liked his Batman better than any other. And yeah, Nicholson was all right. Crazy is so much easier to portray, though. I wasn’t so impressed.

    He’s certainly better than TELLMEWHEREHARVEYDENTISJOKER! WHARISHE!? in the Dark Knight Trilogy. Not a fan of the whole killing people on purpose thing though that Keaton’s Batman did. That being said, his portrayal was still a better Batman to me because of the dark tones those movies had.