10 Great Actors Who've Played Multiple Comic Book Characters in Film, Part II

10 Great Actors Who've Played Multiple Comic Book Characters in Film, Part II

Have you noticed some actors working on both sides of the Comic Book Neutral Zone? More and more actors including A-list players are chasing after beloved roles in our realm of CBM's. Hit the Jump for Part II of this Feature series.


Part I of this series was wildly popular and raised a lot of curiosity from many of you about many other actors. Many of you also added commentary about  a variety of other actors that have indeed been utilized in a variety of other CBM films. A few of these I think might surprise you in terms of how much work in our world of CBM's they have actually accomplished. 

The list is still based on Comic Book Adaptations or Films that have had Comics existing for some time prior to the portrayal. I hope you enjoy this one as much as you enjoyed Part I. Part III will be published next week.


Eva Green

This amazing actress has been in more CBM's than most realize. Most of us simply think about the straight forward 300: Rise of an Empire and Her role in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, releasing this coming week. Look a little close at her body of work, not just her gorgeous body, and you'll find some of her other roles are solid works in CBM's as well.


 Vanessa Ive's, Clarisse de Dreux-Soubise & Angelique Bouchard 

Recently on Showtime the first season of Eva Green's Penny Dreadful aired with amazing success and brought a wonderful and terrifyingly interesting old school set of horror classic stories & comics, called Ito the small screen. Playing Vanessa Ives and combining a large amount of Horror lore into one cohesive series. Produced with a combined British-American studio for both Showtime here in the states and Sky in England, the series has characters hailing from Stoker's fable to Dorian Gray himself (played by Reeve Carney).

Clarisse de Dreux-Soubise is a character from the ever popular French series Arsene Lupin. Many of you should recognize the name 'Lupin'. Yes, it's that Lupin, Lupin III (Lupin the 3rd). From Manga, Short Stories, Comics and French film and series. Lupin has been in popular media for some time. Some Americans recognize this property as "Case Closed".

Angelique Bouchard is an interesting and enigmatic character from Dark Shadows that is as beautiful as she is powerful, it's unfortunate that film bored many of us to tears. But for those of us that remember the original film series in the 60's with the comics starting in 1971, it may be more about nostalgia than anything else. The movie is odd but is worth being given a look. Unless you prefer the old school material and would rather watch it instead.



Ava & Vesper Lynd

This weekend (finally) we get the long awaited sequel to Sin City, with A Dame to Kill For with Eva in a darker and more brooding character than we've seen so far. Even if Artemisia was somewhat Dark and Brooding, she was more a warrior than a woman - despite the amazingly tantalizing and equally terrifying sex scene in that film.

When researching all of her roles and looking into her part as the love that shaped James Bonds' womanizing for the rest of his character growth in Flemings spy universe.

Vesper Lynd is an interesting character that has appeared in various comic strips for Casino Royale during the late 50's. While the Jame's Bond films are not Comic Book Movies, we can argue that Vesper Lynd has interpretations from the strips as well as the old films. Although thankfully we didn't get the ridiculously stupid joke film that was the original Casino Royale in Eva's Vesper.


Idris Elba
idris_1 Heimdall, Moreau  & Roque

A highly sought after British actor in the US, Idris Elba made headlines when Marvel announced Heimdall would be played by a black actor as opposed to a white one. Something the fandom exploded over, some of whom had arguments more racially charged as opposed to the simple arguments about the source material not being adhered. Arguments immediately silenced when Thor was released. I still argue that his sword has a hilt shaped similarly to Surtur's blade. But that's me. 

Idris was wasted, unfortunately, in Ghost Rider: Spirits of Vengeance. But he was among the highlights. It's hard for him to play throw away characters in a film poorly (even if the character isn't a throw away). His turn to being Roque from the Losers to life was also a fun character to watch, among the rest of his cast in that film.

He just may be the next Green Lantern with a turn as John Stewart. The internet has been a buzz with rumors of this, mostly based on fancasting. While nothing has actually been stated, other than speculative editorials and random conjecture from the twitterverse, regarding Idris and John Stewart, I'm sure the bulk of the fandom would love to see him take on the role. 

While his character is not in a comic book for his role in Prometheus (yet) there are comic books for Aliens, Predator and Alien vs. Predator. There will be a Prometheus series releasing this year, September 10th, 2014.


Carla Gugino

Lucille, Kelor, Sally Jupiter / Silk Spectre & Laura

Carla Gugino is a fan favorite in all forms of nerd fandom, not just comic books. She has graced our CBM screens with her lovely visage, nude or otherwise, very recently with a variety of interesting characters. From a picture perfect Silk Spectre to a luscious and troubled Lucille. Most recently lending her vocal talents to the AI Kelor in Man of Steel. 

In her early career when she was much younger she played a small role on the TV series ALF

Technically ALF was a TV series prior to Marvel releasing a comic book based on the show, but I'm giving it a nod. *Tips hat*



Jeff Bridges

Kevin Flynn & Clu

Jeff Bridges is one of the coolest actors to play roles in Science Fiction and Comic Book Movies. He inspired an entire generation with Tron and continues to do so in virtually every film he makes. Even if some of the more recent ones are a bit weirder. Tons of comics for Tron have existed over the years, even if Tron came first, the comics existed for some time prior to Tron: Legacy releasing. 

Technically speaking Flynn and Clu are not comic book characters that Tron and Tron: Legacy are based on. There are comics based on them from the films. But I guess I'm splitting hairs, so I'm leaving Flynn and Clu included.


Obediah Stane (Iron Monger) & Roycephus "Roy" Pulsipher

Iron Man in 2008 was a massive step forward for CBM's. While Spider-Man and Blade paved the way for a resurgence. Iron Man set a new gold standard for individual character outings for Marvel. It also heralded the birth of the MCU. Who was to be the first villain? None other than Jeff Bridges playing Obediah Stane and eventually becoming the Iron Monger. 

In his most recent CBM he played a character from a very obscure and nearly independent in scale Comic Book from Dark Horse, R.I.P.D., he played Roy, a dead gunslinging Marshall from the 1800's who now works for, essentially, heaven. The film bombed, but had its fun moments. If anything it was a buddy-cop film with heavy similarities to MIB. I wrote a piece on the film if you are not familiar with the title. 

I'm sure someone might say, "What about The Big Lebowski!" No there is no comic for The Big Lebowski but there is a "Comic That Never Happened" feel free to read up on that at your leisure. 



Zoe Saldana

Gamora, Aisha al-Fadhil & Uhura

Zoe Saldana has been finding increased success in her career as of late. She's been playing a variety of cool CBM characters and her career in our realm of comics has only just begun. From her recent outing as the Most Dangerous Assassin in the Universe, adopted daughter to and trained by Thanos. Zoe's role as Gamora was a pleasure to see come to life on the screen. Even if her fight scenes were extremely lacking from this critics opinion. I have yet to decide if I was writing a review or a "Top 10 List" for Guardians but one will be coming soon enough. 

She also played an excellent seductress in Aisha in The Losers, while not her best outing in any of her films, it was fun to watch her trade blows with Jeffrey Dean Morgan.


There are thousands of Star Trek comic books and while Star Trek Into Darkness is not based on a comic there are prequel comics for the title, even though Box Office Mojo does not list the film as a comic book adaptation (Rightly so!) I will include Uhura on this list, although it may open up a can of worms as we open up the actors on that film for possible later use on my other lists. We'll see where this goes, it might just be humorous.


Jim Carry

The Mask, Colonel Stars and Stripes & The Riddler

Jim Carrey holds a special place in my heart. I grew up on all of his work, starting from In Living Color, to all of his quirky and seldom serious films (The Number 23, ...Spotless Ming. Etc.). His portrayal of characters is so intense you can swear he is those characters and they indeed are real. His take on The Mask was a fantastic ride through campyness, even if the Mask has some dark undertones. 

All of us have our opinions on all of Batman's outings into film. Batman Forever is not free from those criticisms. Mine are usually that Carrey single-handedly made that film worthwhile. Even if he was awfully campy, he was so joyful to watch on the screen in costume and derby. I, as I imagine many of you, still use the phrase "Joygasm!"

His most recent outing as Col. Stars and Stripes was also so enjoyable to watch it aided in Kick-Ass 2 becoming a decent film. Because most of the wow factor was blown in the first film due to Chloe Moretz, the second film had only a few things to offer. But it had split opinions among fans and critics. Feel free to read the review I had for the film.

I'm not including Ace Ventura even though there is a comic, it's based on the animated TV series that followed the films. It is hilarious to read. But that's if you like Ave Ventura to begin with. 



Jeffrey Dean Morgan

The Comedian, Jeb Turnbull (Jonah Hex), Clay, John Winchester, Xindi Reptilian (Enterprise)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan has an incredible amount of presence on screen in all of his roles. Sadly we didn't get to see enough of him on Watchmen, even if his role was almost a frame-by-frame picture perfect interpretation of the Alan Moore graphic novel. His portrayal of the Comedian was simply awesome.


We saw him again as Clay in The Losers along side Idris Elba, Chris Evans & Zoe Saldana. Hopfully we'll get to see him reprise the role in the future. Prior to his outings in these Comic-turned-films. Fans all over the US enjoyed his success as John Winchester in Supernatural. The show is currently about to be in its 10th season. Various comics have been released chronicling their battle with evil forces. I'll place John Winchester in here because the comic has existed long enough alongside the series that it makes sense.


I'll also nod to the Xindi Reptilian he played on Enterprise and while we know Star Trek comics have existed since the 70's there haven't been any comics with the Xindi Reptilians in them (that I can find going through my own long boxes); if there are please link them in comments, but I'll still mention it in a nod *tips hat*.

Also to note, while Sliders was a comic book after the series; Morgan's character in the show, Sid, appearing in one episode is not enough to state this is a CBM crossover. I also expect that someone may consider his role in Dillinger and Capone of any merit because Jack Dillinger appeared in Action Comics, among others as well. It. I'm not going to consider it...this is called hyperactively covering ones arse, in this case my cute Cuban arse. No you can't pinch it (Maybe)!



Brandon Routh

Clark Kent / Superman / Kal-El, Dylan Dog & Todd Ingram

Routh has had some interesting success and failures in CBM's, while he looked the part in Superman Returns, the film was doomed from its inception dating all the way back to when it was intended to be a Kevin Smith scripted film with Brainiac as its intended villain. Eventually to almost cast Nicholas Cage as Big Blue. Eventually Tim Burton would walk away and years later it would become the film Routh was cast into. 

His role as Dylan Dog, while entertaining and comical, was a flop and Scott Pilgrim while being a cult favorite wasn't well received universally either. The audience didn't seem to know fully what they were watching as it wasn't really marketed to its fans, but a large and general mainstream audience that more-than-likely thought this was a film interpretation of and for gamers. 

Brandon did do some voices in The Batman series but we're not focusing on animated works for this article. But a few folks mentioned it many times over in comments on the first part of this feature series, so I'm giving a nod to his work in that series. *tips hat*



Geoffrey Rush

Tomar-Re & Casanova Frankenstein

Geoffrey Rush is an enigmatic actor usually in films with amazingly complex characters and Oscar Award winning casts. But for two separate outings he took on the mantle of a comic book character.

I will be the first to admit that Mystery Men was a bad movie, bad by all standards of the word. However, Rush made that movie somewhat enjoyable. I can't use the arguments I bring to the table that a great villain makes the hero. That's not what is going on in this film. It's a cult favorite now and easily one can look back on it and remember some of the more interesting aspects of this otherwise crappy CBM. Here's another way to look at it. Tell yourself it's an episode of The Tick, without the Tick or Arthur appearing and you may end up enjoying it. Presuming you like The Tick that is.

Green Lantern as most understand was a failed film. However, there were aspects of it that were so good most of us wish it would be rebooted with a few of those elements brought back. If Cage can get a second outing as Ghost Rider, we can get Rush as Tomar-Re and Mark Strong returning as Sinestro!



Ray Stevenson

Volstagg, Frank Castle / The Punisher & Firefly

I've been enjoying Ray Stevenson's career since I first saw him in the HBO series, Rome, as Titus Pulo. He has so much charisma, loyalty and honor playing this character; I almost want to switch on Rome and watch it just as I describe it.
Stevensons Volstagg was interesting to get used to at first because he wasn't really the right size for the boisterously large and loud character. Stevensons personality and previous roles matched the mighty Volstagg however and he grew on me as the film progressed. Thor 2: The Dark World is my favorite MCU film next to Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier. We got to see Ray shine some more as Volstagg in that film.

Sadly his turn as the Punisher was destined to fail horribly. Even though I've debated how the Punisher would function in a live action outing, thinking in retrospect that I have to agree with the CBM community. Punisher would indeed be very Batman-like in his level of planning and detail oriented contingency; however, I still stand by my reasoning why all three of the Punisher films have failed and how we need the next incarnation to be a combination of those three. Stevenson's take on the role was extremely robotic, I've used the description "Terminator-like" and while that was interesting in some aspects of the film. It became repetitive and boring without character development or emotional content to truly attach the audience to the character or care at all about the supporting cast of characters. 


Similarly to a few of the others listed, GI JOE has had a variety of comics published over the years, while the current films are not adaptations of those comics we can include his character here because Firefly existed in those comics long before the films were made. Stevensons version of Firefly was interesting and almost stole the film alongside the Rocks enormous presence. 


Did you enjoy this Feature? Did you hate it? Did I miss something? Hopefully it gave you something entertaining to read. For some it might have taught you something interesting. I want to hear from you! Join the conversation, hit me up here or on any of my social media.

Comment, share, pin, tweet! As always, go ahead and send tingles in my naughty bits by clicking the giant red thumb. Yes I just asked you to diddle me by proxy!

 By @EmanuelFCamacho



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