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Top 10 Favorite Comic Book Movie Performances

Comic Book movies have been around for several years and have given us iconic performances, from the heroes to supporting characters and villains. Here are my top ten favorite performances in comic book movies. This was a tough list due to so many iconic performances throughout the years that I’ve enjoyed.

10. Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman

We’ve got a lot of great Catwoman performances, but the best remains Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle, also known as Catwoman in Batman Returns. Pfeiffer’s transformation as Catwoman in Batman Returns is still one of my favorite moments in a comic book movie. She portrays Selina Kyle as a meek secretary to Christopher Walken’s character Max Shreck, and goes on a revenge quest against him. During this, she falls in love with Bruce Wayne. Pfeiffer’s chemistry with Michael Keaton worked so well. Overall, this performance is still one of the best in a comic book movie.

9. Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man

All three Spider-Man actors have done a terrific job playing Peter Parker, also known as Spider-Man. Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland each brought something unique with their versions of the character/ However, Tobey Maguire remains the king of Spider-Man actors. He portrays Peter Parker so well, capturing the nerdiness and awkwardness of the character, and his Spider-Man has a great balance of being quirky when needed and serious when things get serious.. He adapts to being a mentor and the mature Spider-Man in Spider-Man: No Way Home, especially when helping Tom Holland’s Spider-Man deal with Aunt May’s death and wanting revenge on Green Goblin.

8. Tom Hiddleston as Loki

Tom Hiddleston as Loki is one of the most iconic performances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Loki starts as a villain who wants to be King of Asgard. As the series progresses, he turns into an anti-hero who helps Thor stop Hela and tries to protect Thor from Thanos before meeting his end in Avengers: Infinity War. Hiddleston adds a lot of humor and wit to the God of Mischief, delivering his dialogue so well. He also delivers the heart and emotion of betrayal, anger, and hurt Loki faces throughout the series. Hiddleston continues his great performance as Loki in the Disney + series Loki.

7. Christopher Reeve as Superman

Over forty years later, Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman remains one of the best comic book movie performances. Superman from 1978 broke ground for superhero movies and remains one of the best superhero movies ever made. Reeves embodies Superman and what he stands for. While Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace are among the worst superhero movies ever, Christopher Reeve manages to still be terrific as Superman. Reeves took his portrayal of Superman seriously, even basing his performance off legendary actor Cary Grant from Grant’s performance in Bringing Up Baby. Reeve portrayed Superman and Clark differently so well, making Superman confident and Clark Kent bumbling and nervous.

6. J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson

The best performance for a supporting role in a comic book movie is, without a doubt, J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man movies. Simmons portrays Jameson perfectly, from his quick line delivery to humorous and over-the-top phrases in claiming Spider-Man is a menace. Jameson provides a lot of comedic relief in the original Spider-Man trilogy, and twenty years later, audiences still find his scenes to be the funniest. Simmons is so great and iconic that he came back to play the MCU version of Jameson in Spider-Man: Far From Home and Spider-Man: No Way Home.

5. Willem Dafoe as Green Goblin

One of the best villain performances is Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin. Dafoe portrays different sides of this character. He captures the arrogance and greed of Norman Osborn well. He captures the soft and more caring side of Norman Osborn well. He portrays the craziness and evil of the Green Goblin perfectly. In his return to Spider-Man: No Way Home, Dafoe made sure he got to perform the stunts, having a lot of fun doing them. Without his goblin mask, we saw Dafoe’s crazy facial reactions when portraying the Green Goblin and he didn’t disappoint. Dafoe showed that after nineteen years, he still got it.

4. Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool is the most hilarious comic book movie performance ever. After the disaster that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine that butchered Deadpool’s character, Reynolds got another chance in the 2016 movie Deadpool. It helped that Reynolds was heavily involved in the movie. He did not disappoint, pulling off Deadpool’s fourth-wall-breaking humor well. While Deadpool’s style might not be for everyone, fans were happy Deadpool was done right. Reynolds proved he was perfect as Deadpool in Deadpool 2, continuing to entertain audiences. When Fox was being brought by Disney, many fans, including myself, were worried Reynolds would no longer play Deadpool after Deadpool 2. Luckily, Kevin Feige kept Reynolds on for the MCU and fans will get to see Ryan Reynolds return as Deadpool in Deadpool & Wolverine. The trailers show Reynolds will continue to give a strong portrayal of the Merc with a Mouth.

3. Heath Ledger as Joker

Easily the best villain performance in a comic book movie is Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight. This casting announcement was originally met with a mixed response. Ledger proved his doubters wrong in his performance, which was his last before his death in January 2008. Ledger played a Joker who was menacing, sinister, clever, and the perfect agent of chaos. I still get chills during his “Why so Serious” speech. Ledger’s performance was so incredible that he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor posthumously. Nearly sixteen years later, no villain performance in a comic book movie has topped Ledger’s Joker.

2. Robert Downey Jr. As Iron Man

Tony Stark/Iron Man has one of the best story arcs of any movie character. From a reckless playboy billionaire in the 2008 Iron Man to the man who saved the universe for his family in Avengers: Endgame, Tony Stark had some of the best character development we have seen from a comic book movie character. Robert Downey Jr. Portrays this character so well, from his hilarious lines to suffering from PTSD to leading the Avengers in many moments. He goes from an arrogant man to someone who loves and cares for his friends, teammates, and family, even mentoring a young Spider-Man. While Tony Stark’s story in the MCU is over, fans continue to love Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man.

1. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

The best comic book performance remains Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Since 2000, Jackman’s version of Wolverine has entertained audiences. His performance is so iconic that he managed to get his trilogy of solo Wolverine movies within the X-Men series. Even in a bad movie, like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Jackman brings his A-game. The character arc of Wolverine is one of my favorites in comic book movies. We see Jackman’s Wolverine grow and deal with tragedies and pain. Jackman not only nails Wolverine’s seriousness and rage but also his humor. Wolverine’s death in Logan remains the most emotional death in a comic book movie. Jackman’s return in Deadpool & Wolverine is highly anticipated, with Jackman finally wearing the iconic Wolverine costume.

What are your favorite comic book movie performances? Let us know in the comments below.

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