Property review: Black Panther

Marvel Studios, 2018

Black, powerful,beautiful

Seeing your people represented on the silver screen when you are a person of color means quite a bit. Seeing them do important things and be decent human beings means quite a bit more. Seeing them as royalty and enjoying prosperity means everything.

Written well and superbly acted, Black Panther has the difficult job of being a lot of things to a lot of people and it succeeds. Even with the heavy topics of race and what it means to be black in the world, there are light moments. Black Panther isn’t without humor and it’s deftly mixed in with the right balance. How it achieved this balance is important because it has quite a few stories to tell in a short amount of time.

When Black Panther was announced, the most we knew about T’Challa was from the comics: He was the ruler of Wakanda — a prosperous black nation in Africa that was hidden from the rest of the world — and that he was married to Storm of the X-Men. Also, he was on a quest of revenge for the death of his father T’Chaka, which occurred in Captain America: Civil War. That’s about it. But then something wonderous happened: Marvel started talking about T’Challa’s origin story and why it was important to get it out there. And that push began one of the greatest runs ever for a comic book property.

Black Panther is so layered with different concepts that it’s hard to not go down the rabbit hole too deep. Black Panther starts out with the re-introduction of T’Challa some months after the death of T’Chaka and T’Challa’s ascent to the throne of Wakanda. In swift order we are introduced to Okoye, Shuri and the advanced nature of Wakanda, thanks to the infinite supply of vibranium. T’Challa’s day-to-day struggle to rule Wakanda alongside its other clans, keep the nation safe from the outside world and get involved in the world’s affairs is just one of the layers and that’s swiftly peeled back to show that everything on the surface is just that: Surface material for the more pressing concept of just what it means to be black and free.

The introduction of Erik Killmonger is one of the next layers down. Killmonger represents the rest of the black experience: hurt, angry, bitter and wanting something more in life than to be stereotyped and abandoned by the world at large. Killmonger’s story is the result of what happens when we as black people are not uplifted and left at the mercy of an unforgiving system of oppression and what happens when we don’t help our own who are downtrodden and hurting. And though that struggle is simplified here for the general masses, it still speaks to the heart of America’s past and present in terms of race.

On a deeper level, there is the concept of what it means to be a leader and a man. T’Challa’s development from Civil War to Black Panther is so detailed that it feels like we knew nothing about him before Black Panther. And this is the same with the rest of the characters: No one is left out of the development process and every character’s motivations are addressed in painstaking detail. And with that development comes a wealth of standout characters. Shuri, Okoye, W’Kabi and Nakia are wonderful characters that add depth to T’Challa’s life and story. And the true scene-stealing addition is M’Baku, leader of the Jabari tribe. Making a memorable entrance early in the film, M’Baku manages to strike a defiant yet relatable chord in his quest to have his part of the Wakandian pie recognized for its might and resiliency.

And what a pie Wakanda is. From the opening sequence of T’Challa returning home from an important mission to the ending sequence showing the Wakandian sunset, the nation of free and prosperous black folk is a beauty. Everything that we imagine the motherland to be in its natural beauty and wonderment was and is a sight to behold in the fictional nation’s depiction. Wakanda is beautiful, lush and vibrant with an Afropunk futuristic vibe that we have only seen glimpses of in the real world through the pages of magazines.

Black Panther meant a lot of things to a lot of people when it hit the screen. Its sequel is poised to bring the same type of magic as well. With the show put on by director Ryan Coogler in Black Panther, we can only wish that our return to Wakanda is just as fun and important as our first go around. Wakanda forever.

How we grade

Acting: 10

Story: 10

Like the comics?: 9.5

Overall grade: 9.8

HOW WE GRADE
We score the prop­er­ties in three cat­e­gories: Cast­ing (or voice act­ing in cases of ani­mated), plot and sim­i­lar­i­ties to its source mate­r­ial. Each cat­e­gory receives points out of the max­i­mum of 10 per cat­e­gory and 30 over­all. The per­cent­age is the final score.

Strip Talk #26: The DC universe could learn some lessons from Marvel

The DC Universe is at a crossroads I guess you could say. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has enjoyed unparalleled success, the DCU has all but died an ignominious death. Suicide Squad: flop. Batman vs. Superman: flop. Superman: flop. Justice League: flop. Aside from Wonder Woman, the Dark Knight trilogy and Aquaman, the DCU hasn’t been able to touch the prosperity of the MCU. There are reasons for this, but to keep this short, I’ll name just a few.

  1. The director carousel is too much. There are too many names involved in projects and there are too many of the same names popping up that shouldn’t. Brett Ratner. Seriously? Zak Penn? Joss Whedon? With the exception of Penn, all of these directors are problematic in their own right, and Ratner is an absolute joke who managed to somehow screw up X-Men: The Last Stand so terribly a whole new movie was done to counteract it.
  2. Despite having recognizable characters, DC doesn’t know what to do with them. Superman is the most obvious out of them all, mostly because they don’t seem to know how to write Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Batman is second given the number of different actors to play him. The Green Lantern should have been easy to write, but that flopped a decade ago and they haven’t returned to him since.
  3. Consistency isn’t in DC’s wheelhouse. All of their movies suffer from some type of inconsistency, whether it’s writing the overall plot or character motivation. DCU cannot seem to get it together when it comes to establishing and staying with a character over the course of more than one movie.

With the myriad issues surrounding the DC Universe, it’s a wonder there are films in the pipeline, but there are. Shazam is shaping up, there will be a sequel to Wonder Woman and Aquaman performed reasonably well to probably warrant a sequel as well. However, there have been other downturns: Henry Cavill is out as Superman as is Ben Affleck as Batman. Jared Leto’s Joker was panned but Joaquin Phoenix may be able to rescue the character.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but I’m imploring the DC Universe loreholders to take notes on Marvel’s Phase Three and pay attention to how a comic book film should be done. It’s made Marvel buckets of money over the past 10 years. Obviously, someone over there has created the Super Soldier Serum of Movie Success and succeeded in perfecting it.

Lyndsey Hicks is editor-in-chief of Gaming Insurrection. She can be reached by email at lyndseyh@gaminginsurrection.com

Strip Talk #25: Black Panther film is needed, necessary now

Needed. Necessary. Now. Black Panther’s release was all of this and more in a time when melanated super heroes on the big screen are far and few in between.

Why was the ensemble tale so necessary? While little children can throw a stone in any direction and hit any number of white superheroes, the number of black superheroes is small. In mainstream comic book movies, at most there are: War Machine, Storm, Cyborg and Falcon. That’s it. That is, until T’Challa and his nation of advanced progress hit the scene.

The presence of the almost entirely black cast was sorely needed. The presence of a capable black director was needed. Seeing positive images of black folks was needed. Why? Because it’s about time that black folks were shown as human, beautiful, smart and good people. It’s long overdue, but the thrill of seeing a black man run his nation and do the right thing when given a choice never gets old.

And why now? Because for the positive side of black superheroes to do well in this climate, it was nothing short of genius and a miracle. Now is the time for the conversations surrounding representation and diversity, and Black Panther is the perfect vehicle. Now is the time for black folks to rise above negative stereotypes and look at how we are perceived, point to Black Panther — a fictional character aside — and say, “We are more than capable of bringing in box office dollars and, most importantly, we are human and here to stay. We have a seat at the table.”

Wakanda forever.

Lyndsey Hicks is editor-in-chief of Gaming Insurrection. She can be reached by email at lyndseyh@gaminginsurrection.com

Marvel character highlight #23: Pyslocke

Name: Elizabeth Braddock

Alias: Betsy, Betts, Kwannon, Lady Mandarin, Captain Britain, Lady Briton, Death

Affiliation: X-Men, Captain Britain Corps, X-Force, S.T.R.I.K.E., Extinction Team, the Mandarin, Sisterhood of Mutants, Exiles, Hand, Hellfire Club, Horsemen of the Apocalypse, X.S.E.

Special abilities: Psylocke is an Omega-level mutant who has the ability to generate psionic weapons with her mind. She is a near-Omega-level telepath who can use telekinesis, telepathy precognition and teleportation. She is capable of generating shields and flight.

Background: Psylocke started life as the daughter of Otherworld resident Dr. James Braddock, who fathered three children on Earth. She grew up with latent mutant powers as a telepath, which were unlocked after a battle at Braddock Manor with Dr. Synne. After this, Psylocke became a model and encountered S.T.R.I.K.E, the British version of S.H.I.E.L.D. Through them, she learned to harness her powers and strengthen herself. She later became a version of her brother’s superpowered identity, Captain Britain. While using this identity, the villain known as Slaymaster beat and blinded her. She regained her eyesight when villains Mojo and Spiral abducted her and gave her cybernetic eyes. With these eyes, she was used to spy on the X-Men for Mojo. After the defeat of Mojo, the Morlocks were massacred by the Marauders and she helped those who survived. After the battle to avenge the Morlocks, Psylocke was invited to join the X-Men in a full-time capacity and she accepted. In her later adventures with the X-Men, she was forcibly switched from her body to assassin Kwannon’s body by Kwannon’s lover, crime lord Mats’uo Tsurayaba. Kwannon, in Psylocke’s original body calling herself Revanche, then developed the Legacy Virus and died. Psylocke has remained in Kwannon’s body. She has battled the Crimson Dawn and gained new powers, such as the ability to fuse with the shadows and travel with them. Through contact with Jean Grey, her powers were magnified on a cosmic level to reach Omega status.

Relationships: Brian Braddock (Captain Britain), brother; James Braddock Jr., brother; Warren Worthington III (Angel/Archangel), lover; Nathan Christopher Summers (Cable), lover; Tom Lennox, lover; Agent Michael (alias), lover; Neal Shaara (Thunderbird), lover; Victor Creed (Sabretooth), lover; Fantomex, lover; Cluster, lover.

First Versus appearance: Marvel vs. Capcom (character assist)

Appearances in other media: X-Men II: The Fall of the Mutants (video game), X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse (video game), X-Men 2: Clone Wars (video game), X-Men: Children of the Atom (video game), Marvel Super Heroes (video game), Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (video game), X-Men: Mutant Academy 2 (video game), X-Men: Next Dimension (video game), X-Men Legends (video game), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (video game), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (video game), Marvel Super Hero Squad Online (video game), Marvel: Avengers Alliance (video game), Lego Marvel Super Heroes (video game), Marvel Heroes (video game), Marvel: War of Heroes (video game), Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign (video game), X-Men: Battle of the Atom (video game), X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse (video game), X-Men: The Last Stand (film), X-Men: Apocalypse (film), X-Men: The Animated Series (television), Wolverine and the X-Men (television)

Top 5 on The Strip: Animated superhero cartoons

Batman animated series

1. Batman: The Animated Series

The standard bearer for modern superhero cartoons, Batman: The Animated Series was gritty, dark and fresh off the success of Batman Returns. It’s well-drawn with a neat art deco style and the voice acting set the standard for future series. If you weren’t watching this every day after school, you missed out. Immediately go back and watch this from beginning to end.

Teen Titans

2. Teen Titans

Teen Titans took a different tack when talking about Robin’s squad of heroes. It’s a great look at the younger superheroes of the DC universe in a group that still stands today. Featuring Robin, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg and Beast Boy, the show focuses on the group being young superheroes while also being teenagers with typical teenager problems. The voice work is fantastic and the animation is top-notch as well.

tmnt 1987 series

3. TMNT (1987 series)

We’re well-known TMNT fans here at GI and that love stems from the old black-and-white comics as well as the original animated series. That series, with its ’80s attitude and charm, managed to get us into the Turtles to start and paved the way for the juggernaut that was and still is the Turtles franchise. Outstanding voicework — featuring the likes of Jim Cummings and the late James Avery — make it one of the best ’80s animated series and a good introduction to the TMNT universe at large.

X-men fox animated

4. X-Men: The Animated Series

Aside from the classic theme, X-Men: The Animated Series featured a stellar voice cast and stories that mostly stayed faithful to the comics. At the time of its 1992 inception, this was unheard of in comic properties translated to TV. X-Men established several characters as favorites: Storm, Wolverine, Professor X, Jean Grey, Cable, Bishop, Gambit and Jubilee. It was so great that incarnations of the characters featured in the show have been used in multiple video game properties since.

spiderman-1994

5.  Spider-Man (Fox)

Another great Fox animated series, Spider-Man was a fantastic showcase of the web-crawler’s style and storylines. It featured quite a few of Peter Parker’s rogues gallery and touched on a lot of his story arcs with accuracy and maturity not usually seen in comic book shows. As with X-Men: The Animated Series, Spider-Man had great voice acting that carried over into video games produced thereafter, such as the Marvel Versus series.

Marvel character highlight #22: Iceman

Name: Robert Louis DrakeIceman - fix

Alias: Iceman, Bobby Drake, Frozen One, Frosty, Drake Roberts, Iceface, Iceheart

Affiliation: X-Men, X-Factor, Murder Circus, Excelsiors, The Twelve, Chosen, Defenders, Secret Defenders, Champions

Special abilities: Iceman is classified as an “omega-level mutant.” Iceman can lower his body temperature and generate intense cold from the atmosphere around him. With his body temperature lowered, he can produce ice structures, generate and fully control ice, and freeze  and unfreeze anything. He can manipulate ice on a cellular level, use thermal vision as well as generate clones and freeze the Earth and spread his consciousness throughout the ice on a global scale.

Background: Robert Drake lived a normal life until one day, as a teenager, he was on a date with a young woman when a bully from school attacked. He pointed his hand at the bully and the attacking boy was encased in a block of ice. A local mob heard of the incident and gathered to lynch Bobby. After being placed in jail to keep away from the mob, fellow founding X-Men member Scott Summers came to rescue him. He and Summers fought until Charles Xavier arrived to save both teens. He joined the team with other founding members Jean Grey, Warren Worthington III and Hank McCoy and battled early X-Men foes Magneto and Juggernaut. While on the team he further developed his powers and gained control of them. As a founding member of the X-Men, he was captured by the sentient island of Krakoa and was rescued by the next generation of the team. He later quit the X-Men and founded X-Factor with the other original members of the X-Men.

Relationships: Opal Tanaka (girlfriend); Annie Ghazikhanian (girlfriend); Lorna Dane (Polaris), girlfriend; Raven Darkholme (Mystique), girlfriend. Note: Robert Drake’s sexuality has been confirmed as gay.

First Versus appearance: X-Men: Children of the Atom

Appearances in other media: The Marvel Super Heroes (animated), Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (animated), X-Men: The Animated Series (animated), X-Men: Evolution (animated), Wolverine and the X-Men (animated), The Super Hero Squad Show (animated), X-Men (film), X2: X-Men United (film), X3: The Last Stand (film), X-Men: Days of Future Past (film), Fantastic Four (1997, video game), X-Men: Children of the Atom (video game), Marvel vs. Capcom (video game), Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (video game), X-Men Legends (video game), X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse (video game), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (video game), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (video game), Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (video game), Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (video game), X-Men: Destiny (video game), Marvel Super Hero Squad Online (video game), Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth (video game), Lego Marvel Super Heroes (video game), Marvel Heroes (video game)

Strip Talk #24: Get ready for the deluge of comic book movies

Lyndsey-2013-cutout-onlineThe deluge of comic book movies these days is like heaven-sent mana for a geek like myself. The sheer volume alone is overwhelming, and the majority of them happen to be good. I will properly confess that I wasn’t anticipating the quality of the majority, but it’s a welcome problem to have because it could always be worse.

If your name is Marvel, you have done extraordinarily well. Basically, everything they touch is gold. Captain America: Civil War was HUGE; we’re talking billions in box office receipts. Even the B-Team movies (i.e. the spinoffs) such as Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy have exceeded expectations and made buckets of money for the Marvel brand. So, we’re good here because just about everything about Phase III is going to translate into critical acclaim and financial windfall.

If your name is DC, you have some issues and we have concerns about you going forward. DC’s cinematic universe just can’t seem to get it right, whether it’s the poor characterization of Superman’s solo film, the tepid Batman vs. Superman or the silliness of Suicide Squad. It seems that DC is struggling to tell even the most basic stories about its legendary stable of heroes. Superman’s movies have been mostly miss since the ill-advised reboot attempt in 2006 with Superman Returns. Batman has been mostly good since the Christopher Nolan trilogy wrapped up with Dark Knight Rises, but there is yet another new face under the cowl — Ben Affleck — that’s going to have to carry major burdens. Suicide Squad has been hit or miss, with either enthusiastically great or horrible reviews. DC has got to get its act together if it’s serious about competing with the Marvel juggernaut in any way, shape or form.

If you’re not named either DC or Marvel and you’re producing a comic property, chances are you’re the X-Men or Wolverine. Fox handles the X-Men and it shows immediately that they’re not Marvel (despite being a Marvel property in ink). While First Class and Days of Future Past were wonderful and a great restoration of the X-Men name from the horrific days of Last Stand, the more recent Apocalypse nearly destroyed the goodwill that the franchise has managed to earn back. Poor pacing and character development of prominent X-Men such as Storm and Psylocke does not endear the series to anyone looking to see the merry band of mutants make a comeback. While Deadpool did extremely well for Fox, it’s hard to see where they’re going after this except for more X-Men/Wolverine and more Deadpool.

I’m all for the gaggle of movies expected to release in the next months to few years. By the time you read this, Doctor Strange and Thor: Ragnarok will have been released and we still have on the horizon Wonder Woman, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Justice League, Avengers Infinity War, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Shazam, The Flash, Aquaman, Justice League 2, Cyborg, Green Lantern Corps, Spider-Man: Homecoming, an Old Man Logan/Wolverine final movie, Ant Man and the Wasp, and several TV properties such as Luke Cage, and future seasons of Jessica Jones, Arrow, the Flash, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Cloak and Dagger and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If that doesn’t keep you busy and informed on comic adaptations, you’re missing quite a bit.

You can’t escape the prevalence of comic books in cinema, especially now that the mainstream public at large is invested in either Marvel or DC and second-tier characters like Groot are household names. You know you’ve jumped into mainstream consciousness when the bandwagon fans are sympathizing with the Winter Soldier without knowing his background and up-to-date biography. But it’s not really for the bandwagoneers, is it? It’s more for us, the comic book faithful who won’t turn down a movie about a superhero because, well, superheroes. I don’t know about you, but I’m about to be a little kid on Christmas morning once again.

Lyndsey Hicks is editor-in-chief of Gaming Insurrection. She can be reached by email at editor@gaminginsurrection.com

Top 5 on The Strip: Best X-Men arcs

God Loves Man Kills

1. God Loves, Man Kills

The mutant struggle against one of the X-Men’s most human protagonists is a tragic tale of self hate and bigotry. It’s easily one of the most sorrowful tales of the lengths homosapiens will go to in their efforts to eradicate mutantkind. William Stryker is the leader of the anti-mutant movement and stops at nothing to punish mutants in the eyes of other humans and the media.

Days of Future Past

2. Days of Future Past

One of the more recent X-Men movies, Days of Future Past shows what would happen if the Sentinels, mutant-hunting robots, took over North America and eventually the world. It’s a good look at the effects of a singular event affecting multiple realities.

Onslaught

3. Onslaught

If Professor Charles Xavier were to lose himself in the cause of fighting mutant hate and believed in the goals of his nemesis Magneto, Onslaught would be the result. The merged consciousness of two of the greatest minds in mutancy does not equal a good being and what becomes the genesis of Xavier giving up the fight even temporarily.

Messiah Complex

4. Messiah Complex

A child born with the possibility to save mutants in their darkest hour makes up the Messiah Complex storyline. Although it’s centered on a child with the name Summers, it’s interesting to see what happens when Cable – a known battle-hardened warrior – becomes slightly more human when he’s tasked with protecting a child.

Age of Apocalypse

5. Age of Apocalypse

One of the largest stories ever to come to the X-Men fold, the Age of Apocalypse is the focal point for a lot of changes in the X-Men universe, and, Marvel at large. Apocalypse manages to take over North America and kill numerous important mutants in the process. The fallout continues to rankle some storylines today.

Marvel character highlight #21: Venom

Name: Edward Charles Allan Brockvenom

Aliases: Toxin, Venom, Lethal Protector, 998th, Anti-Venom, White Venom

Affiliation: Agent Venom, Savage Six, Sinister Six, The Revengers, former partner of Vengeance, Spider-Man, Scarlet Spider, F.E.A.S.T.

Special abilities: Because of the bonding of an alien symbiote (that once partnered with Spider-Man/Peter Parker), as Toxin, Brock has the same basic abilities as Spider-Man. He can stick to walls, can change his identity and has unlimited webbing, environmental camouflaging, quick-healing abilities and superhuman tracking strength in which he can track anyone — not just other symbiotes — as long as he has something to begin from. As Venom, he has the same abilities such as superhuman strength, durability, stamina, speed, agility, reflexes, genetic memory, offspring detection, spider sense, webbing generation and immunity to Spider-Man’s spider sense.

Background: Eddie Brock grew up in an unloving home with his father, who blamed him for the death of Eddie’s mother during childbirth. Brock began to exhibit signs of his future sociopathic life during this time, making up stories to gain attention and move ahead in life. Brock began working at the Daily Globe newspaper as a reporter and got married to Ann Weying. During his career in journalism, Brock excelled but was eventually fired after he was made into a joke by unmasking the wrong man as the villain known as Sin Eater. Brock summarily lost his job and his wife divorced him. As he was humiliated by Spider-Man, Brock saw the superhero as the source of his problems in life and developed an intense hatred for Spider-Man.

As he was contemplating suicide in a cathedral one day, Spider-Man was battling his recently acquired alien symbiote. In an effort to defeat the alien life form, Spider-Man used sonic waves from the church’s bells to sever the bond between himself and the suit. As the suit separated, it was drawn to the nearest life force, which was Brock. Brock had become a vessel of pure hate and enmity toward Spider-Man, and the alien was drawn to and fueled by this hatred. Brock had also recently learned that he had adrenal cancer, which caused his emotions to destabilize.

With the bonding of Brock and the symbiote complete (Brock completely bonded mentally and physically with the symbiote; Spider-Man did not), he learned Spider-Man’s secret identity and went on to wage all-out war against Parker and his loved ones. Despite his penchant for seeking the destruction of Spider-Man, there have been periods of truce and calm between the natural foes. Others have taken up the mantel of Venom as well, and Brock has since changed his name to Anti-Venom and most recently Toxin.

Relationships: Ann Weying (She-Venom), ex-wife; Jenna Cole (friend); Peter Parker (Spider-Man), alien symbiote father spawn; Cletus Kasady (Carnage), alien symbiote father spawn; Beck Underwood (ex-girlfriend)

First Versus game appearance: Marvel vs. Capcom

Appearances in other media: Spider-Man (animated series), Spider-Man Unlimited (animated series), Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (animated series), Ultimate Spider-Man (animated series), Spider-Man 3 (film), The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin (video game), Maximum Carnage (video game), Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety (video game), Spider-Man (1995 and 2000, video game), Ultimate Spider-Man (video game), Marvel vs. Capcom (video game), Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (video game), Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (video game), Spider-Man 3 (video game), Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (video game), Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (video game), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (video game), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (video game), Marvel Super Hero Squad Online (video game), Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth (video game), Marvel Heroes (video game), Lego Marvel Super Heroes (video game), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (video game), Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (video game)

Top 5 on The Strip: Comic book roles with multiple actors

Batman

1. Batman
The Dark Knight has long been a friend of the big and small screen. Five actors have stepped into the dual role of Bruce Wayne and Batman: Adam West in the 1966 television show, Michael Keaton in 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns, Val Kilmer in 1995’s Batman Forever, George Clooney in 1997’s Batman and Robin, and Christian Bale in the Dark Knight trilogy of films from 2005 to 2012.

Superman animated

2. Superman
At least six men have played the iconic superhero in television and film roles. Starting with George Reeves in 1951, the role was then taken the big screen by Christopher Reeve in four films from 1978 to 1987, then television by Dean Cain in 1993 and Tom Wellington in 2001, and back to film by Brandon Routh in 2006 and Henry Cavill in 2013.

Spider-Man animated series

3. Spider-Man
There have only been two actors to suit up as the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler: Tobey Macguire for three outings in 2002, 2004 and 2007; and Andrew Garfield in two films in 2012 and 2014.

Joker-Animated Series

4. The Joker
Batman’s arch nemesis has only appeared three times but each time has been memorable, film or television. Caesar Romero originated the role of the maniacal clown prince of crime with the television version of Batman also starring Adam West. Jack Nicholson took over the role opposite Michael Keaton in 1989’s Batman, Mark Hamill has voiced the Joker for Batman: The Animated Series and Heath Ledger posthumously won an Oscar for his portrayal in The Dark Knight.

Hulk animated

5. The Hulk
Four actors have portrayed the unstable Dr. Bruce Banner and his counterpart, the Incredible Hulk. Bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno played the Hulk while Bill Bixby played the good doctor in the live action television version first. Hulk moved to the silver screen and was first portrayed by Eric Bana, then Ed Norton and finally, Mark Ruffalo.