It’s been awhile since we compiled a list of the greatest comic book movie actors of all time. With summer 2012 being the biggest summer ever for comic book movies, we decided it was time to revisit the list. We tried to take into consideration an actors entire body of work rather than just an individual performance. That being said, there is one actor who even though he only played a particular character once, his performance was so incredible and defining for the character that it would have been a crime to leave him off the list.
5. Hugh Jackman – While X-Men Origins: Wolverine might have been a little bit of a disappointment, Hugh Jackman has truly defined the character of Wolverine in his various X-Men movie appearances. We also have a feeling that the best might be yet to come when The Wolverine is released in theaters next summer.
4. Christian Bale – There have been good Batmans (Michael Keaton) and bad Batmans (George Clooney), but there has only been one perfect Batman. Christian Bale has left his signature mark on the Batman, creating a Dark Knight that will be hard to replace. It’s sad that he has hung up the cape and cowl for good, but at least he gave us three excellent Batman movies.
3. Christopher Reeve – When we look at how far comic book movies have come today, we have to pay respect to the actor who helped launch it all. If Superman the Movie had flopped back in 1978, who knows if Hollywood would have ever made another comic book movie. Fortunately, Superman the Movie didn’t flop, and Christopher Reeve made the world believe that a man can fly. 2. Heath Ledger – He only played a role in one comic book movie, but oh, what a role. When Heath Ledger was originally cast as The Joker many wondered how he could play the role, but after his performance now many wonder how anyone else can ever play the role again. It was not only the best acting performance in a comic book movie but one of the best acting performances of all time.
1. Robert Downey Jr. – Why is Robert Downey Jr. #1? It was a tough call to rank him above Heath Ledger’s Oscar winning performance as The Joker, but Robert Downey Jr. has done more for comic book movies than possible any actor in history. His portrayal of Tony Stark in the first Iron Man movie was really a keystone in launching the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Iron Man 2 might have gotten mixed reviews, Robert Downey Jr. roared back with The Avengers. Iron Man 3 looks like it could be the biggest movie of 2013.The other great thing about Robert Downey Jr. is that he gets out there and promotes Iron Man to its core audience. While some actors might be stand-offish when it comes to appearing at Comic-Con, Robert Downey Jr. dances his way into the show. Comic book fans love Robert Downey Jr. and that is why he is #1.