02 Jun 2020 11:20 AM +00:00 UTC

Top 5 Actors Who Played 4 or More Live-Action Comic Book Characters

Playing a superhero can be an awesome gig for any actor. After all, it could mean more projects to work on if people truly love the comic book character you portray. However, it looks like some are just a little luckier than others. There are a few actors who managed to play more than just one character from the comics in live-action films or shows.

We already know that some actors have embodied at least two different comic book characters. For instance, Ben Affleck played Batman in Justice League after playing Daredevil in the ill-fated movie (he also played Superman actor George Reeves in Hollywoodland). But did you know that there are a few special actors who got to portray even more? Here are the top 5 actors who have appeared in four (or more) different live-action comic book movies and shows.

Disclaimer: This list focuses on live-action portrayals of comic book characters only. We're coming up with a separate list that's all about voice acting so stay tuned for that!

  1. Josh Brolin

    Would you believe that Josh Brolin has already played five different comic book characters in his long career? Although you probably know him as Thanos from the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, he has also portrayed the titular bounty hunter in 2010's Jonah Hex and the time-travelling Cable in Deadpool 2. However, these aren't the only comic book roles Brolin has played.

    Back in 2012, Brolin joined Men in Black 3 as the young Agent K, the character portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones opposite Will Smith. Later in 2014, he took over the role of Dwight in Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (the character was originally played by Clive Owen in the first movie).

    That's five different comic book characters in five separate movies where he was pretty much the lead or had a major supporting role. This is why Josh Brolin takes the top spot on our list.

  2. Jeffrey Dean Morgan

    Jeffrey Dean Morgan was meant to appear in comic book movies. He first played Edward Blake aka The Comedian in Zack Snyder's adaptation of Alan Moore's Watchmen before going on to headline the all-star cast of The Losers where he portrayed leader Clay. Morgan was then chosen to play the villainous Negan in AMC's The Walking Dead Season 7, a gig that has continued all the way to the current season.

    Morgan would later reunite with Snyder and appear as Thomas Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice although he was uncredited for the role. Interestingly, this isn't Morgan's first uncredited comic book movie cameo. He had previously popped up in 2010's Jonah Hex where he played Jonah's friend Jeb Turnbull. Sadly, these uncredited roles mean that he misses out on the top spot on our list.

  3. Chris Evans

    We already know and love Chris Evans as the All-American Good Boy Steve Rogers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But before we loved him as Captain America, Evans' first comic book role was in Fantastic Four where he portrayed the cocky and fun-loving Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch. But did you know that Evans played other comic book characters who didn't exactly play by the rules?

    In 2010, Evans portrayed two different characters who had a lot in common. He first appeared in the adaptation of Vertigo Comics The Losers where he played the team's hacker Jake Jensen. Later on the same year, Evans joined Brandon Routh in Scott Pilgrim vs The World where portrayed Lucas Lee, Ramona Flowers' second ex. We might also have to point out that he played Loki pretending to be Captain America in two separate MCU flicks but that still counts as playing Cap, right?

    I could have ranked Evans a little higher for Snowpiercer, which is actually based on a French graphic novel Le Transperceneige. However, his character Curtis Everett does not appear in the original novel. Additionally, Evans appeared in the sci-fi flick Push which came with a prequel comic book series but I can't really count that since the comics were based on the film itself and not vice versa. Nevertheless, the top spots go to Evans' co-stars in the MCU and The Losers.

  4. Ryan Reynolds

    There is little doubt that Deadpool is Ryan Reynolds' most well-known comic book character although his first version of Wade Wilson was rather disastrous in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He might even want you to forget he ever played Hal Jordan in that Green Lantern movie. On the other hand, these aren't Reynolds' only comic book movie roles.

    The first comic book character Reynolds played was actually vampire hunter Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity opposite Wesley Snipes. In addition to that, he later appeared in the live-action adaptation of Peter M. Lenkov's R.I.P.D., which also starred Jeff Bridges and Kevin Bacon.

    I would have wanted to rank Reynolds a little higher but the next three actors deserve the top spots since they played five different comic book characters (sort of). He gets fourth for the bad-ass sword action in two of his movies (Trinity and X-Men Origins).

  5. Brandon Routh

    Remember when Brandon Routh made it to the big time when he landed the role of Clark Kent in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns? He certainly didn't stop with just playing the Man of Steel. Routh has since portrayed three other comic book characters.

    Routh's second comic book movie was Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs The World, which is based on Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novel series. He played Clash at Demonhead bassist Todd Ingram, who also happened to be Ramona Flowers' third evil ex. Routh is also known for his portrayal of Ray Palmer aka The Atom in the CW Arrowverse show Legends of Tomorrow.

    Perhaps Routh's lesser-known comic book film is Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, which is based on the Italian comic book by Tiziano Sclavi. Sadly, it was a box office bomb that puts Routh on the bottom of our list.