We’ve talked a lot about comic book movies recently, and while I’d like to say it’s because they’re so relevant to the contemporary cinematic landscape, it’s really because I’m just a big old nerd at heart. To be fair, though, there have been a lot of films based on comic books, and there are a lot more coming our way. So, while it would be nearly impossible to come up with a list of the top 10 best comic book movies (mostly because a new one comes out every two weeks and they keep getting better), I thought it would be easier to count down the best performances.
I was wrong. This was probably the hardest list I’ve ever had to come up with, simply because there have been so many amazing performances. Hollywood is finally taking comic books seriously, something we nerds were doing before it was cool (seriously, kids tried to beat me up because of it), and you’re seeing more and more high-caliber actors clamoring for roles as heroes and villains (check out Oscar winner Jamie Foxx as Elektro and Sir Anthony Hopkins as Odin). So, after hours of wrestling with the far-reaching consequences of my actions, I was finally able to whittle it down to 10 performances that were the best of the best. I’m sure there are plenty of you who will want to kill me for leaving someone out, but let me know in the comments. I’m down for a little open-minded debate.
10. Ron Pearlman (as Hellboy)
When it comes to the big red guy, no one could have done it better. Seriously, close your eyes right now and picture him. You’re seeing Pearlman, aren’t you? He’s played the part twice on the big screen and lent his voice to a few animated films, and he’s even advocating for a third installment. Pearlman embodies the devil-may-care attitude for which this character is known, but he also maintains the “mess with the demon and you’ll get the horns” vibe that is crucial for the part. After all, if a guy walked out decked out in red paint, you’d probably laugh at him. Pearlman kinda makes you piss yourself a little.
9. Clark Gregg (as Agent Phil Coulson)
What started as a bit character in Iron Man has become one of the most beloved characters in the Marvel movie universe. It takes a great actor to make someone who seems so small in the grand scheme of things become so significant. Hell, they couldn’t even kill him off for that long (he’s popping up in the S.H.I.E.L.D. series coming this fall). Gregg has secured his future with his performance as Coulson and has become a phenomenon because of it. He’s the little guy we can all root for, and has proven to be the heart of the Marvel movies since his debut. Long live Phil Coulson and long live Clark Gregg!