10(ish) Actors Who Best Portrayed Comic Heroes: Part 1
After watching the third trailer for Batman v Superman. Foremost on my mind was analyzing Ben Affleck as Batman. I’m starting to feel a bit better about it. Mainly because he looks so damn cool in the costume. As Bruce Wayne, However? Not so much.
Let s take a look at some of my favorite picks for actors who nailed their roles as comic book heroes. I had to really dig deep and think. Who really sticks out? Who comes to mind right away? Perhaps after Cap 3 and Batman V Superman, this list will change. I can only hope.
For the mean time. Let’s begin!
10. Jackie Earle Haley – Rorschach ( Watchmen)
2009’s Watchmen film was based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons critically acclaimed comic series Watchmen. The movie was a mixed bag. Fans, generally appreciated it. The general public found it a bit to convoluted and overlong. Perhaps a bit to “weird” for mainstream audiences. One thing that was not disputed was Jackie Earle Haley’s portrayal of the disturbed anti hero, Rorschach. Picture Batman meets The Question, with a dash of Punisher. A pretty messed up individual that was also equally fascinating to watch. Jackie Earle Hayley brought his complexities to life and added a layer of empathy that wasn’t as apparent in the comic. He even looked like Rorschach, when unmasked. I still prefer Alan Moore’s voice when he narrated Rorschach’s journal entries.
9. Hugo Weaving – V ( V For Vendetta)
Another Alan Moore adaptation. This film fared a bit better with audiences. The dystopic movie proved to be extremely memorable thanks to it’s star vigilante. ” V” was excellently played by Hugo Weaving, who was cast late on the project. He nailed it. Yes, it had a great script, but it wasn’t an easy character to play. Most people wouldn’t even realize that the man who played Agent Smith was even in it. You don’t see Hugo Weaving’s face at all throughout the whole movie. He had to act with his body and with his voice. He even lost the use of his eyes. Often, an actors most powerful tool. Even without these tools, he manged to win over the audience and make the character come alive. He gave him an air of mystery without making him feel creepy. You could tell that this was a man who had suffered and was genuine in his cause. Not bitter but righteous.
8. Patrick Stewart – Professor X ( X-men films)
I remember reading a Wizard magazine ( Comic fan mag) back when I was a kid in 1995 , that did a fan cast of the X-men. The first guy on that list was Patrick Stewart to play Professor X. At the time, famous for playing Captain Picard on ” Star Trek: The Next Generation”. A character that needed to showcase leadership, respect, nobility, smarts and compassion. Sounds like Professor X to me. It didn’t hurt that Patrick Stewart was also a classically trained actor. When he was actually cast in 1999 I was thrilled but it was such an obvious choice. Ir really couldn’t see anyone else playing the role. I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would disagree with his casting. Not every X-men movie was great but he sure was. In fact, I wish there was more of him in the films. Particularity X-men 3. Ahem…
7. Anne Hathoway – Catwoman ( The Dark Knight Rises)
Not really known for her acting chops at the time of her casting led me to be very worried when I heard the news. I wasn’t very familiar with her work and after ” Dark Knight”, expectations were high. Upon watching the first trailer, my concerns were more eased. Upon watching the film, they were gone. She pulled off Catwoman with suprising versatility. She knew she would have to play many characters within a character. Catwoman is a good person but a flawed one. Not to be fully trusted. A con artist when needed. Anne Hathoway also worked her ass off to get in shape and deliver some great action sequences. If not for Tom Hardy’s Bane, her’s may have been the stand out performance.
6. Christopher Reeve – Superman ( Superman 1,2,3 & 4)
Reeve is definitely an actor that is tied to his character. You think of Christoper Reeve and you think of Superman. For better or worse, It’s just that simple. Even artist, Gary Frank draws Superman in his likeness, to this day! Christopher Reeve always brought believably to the role. I remember hearing that when he auditioned for the role, amongst many, he was the only one that didn’t look silly in the costume. He just stood there and it worked. When watching his films I remember thinking about how kind he seemed and how he truly wanted to help others. It left an impression on me for sure. As much as I like Henry Cavil, it’s hard to get over Christoper Reeve. No matter how dated or cheesy his Superman was, I think most people think back to him and smile.
Stay tuned for part 2!