HomeDCEvery Superman Actor Ranked From Worst To Best

    Every Superman Actor Ranked From Worst To Best

    Superman instantly became a famous icon ever since the character’s debut in ‘Action Comics‘ #1 back in 1938. From laser vision, flawless hair, chiseled physique, and super strength along with a full-time job of not only saving the planet but also reporting, Superman has solidified a special place in the hearts of the comic book reader.

    Nothing is more exciting than witnessing the iconic character coming to life. Over the years numerous talented actors have embodied the role of the Kryptonian hero and each is special and unique than the other. From Nicholas Cage to Christopher Reeve, here is the list of actors who brought the legendary Kryptonian hero to life. 

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    9. Kirk Alyn: ‘Superman’ (1948-1950)

    Kirk Alyn
    Kirk Alyn

    The original Superman is the early pioneer of the silver screen hero, and is sadly at the bottom of the list, not because of his acting skills, but due to the poor execution of the character due to lack of technology. With the given technology, Kirk Alyn’s performance was admirable and the suit was altered for his physic. Alyn had a bewitching old Hollywood voice that was also perfect for the role. But due to their stiff and forceful movements, he looked more like a puppet than a hero. Additionally, the dialogue felt extremely scripted and was not convincing.

    8. Nicholas Cage: ‘The Flash’ (2023)

    Kirk Alyn
    Nicholas Cage

    Nicolas Cage’s Superman made a surprise appearance in the Warner Bros’ ‘The Flash’ starring Ezra Miller in the titular role. The film marked the return of numerous iconic characters like  Keaton as Batman, and also Christopher Reve’s character made an appearance. This original Superman was meant to star in the scrapped 1998 movie ‘Superman Lives’, but Cage finally got the chance to put on the suit, unfortunately for a brief cameo. Cage’s version seemed to be a joke because he was only called up to fight a giant spider and did not seem to have any dialogue. The fans were pretty disappointed with this immature take on Cage’s version of Superman.

    7. Dean Cain: ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’ (1993-1997)

    Dean Cain

    Dean Cain was a part of ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’ and is the friendliest of all the Superman. Apart from his costume, Cain gave out a sitcom dad vibe and a very causal portrayal of Superman. He has some serious moments that contrast well with his more lighthearted personality. He’s not as mature and worldly as some other entries on this list, and he sometimes seems less like a hero and more like a next-door neighbor. 

    6. Brandon Routh: ‘Superman Returns’ (2006)

    Brandon Routh
    Brandon Routh

    The only thing admirable about Brandon Routh’s version of Superman is his power-packed action sequence. Routh’s version of Superman sets him apart from others because of his darker take on the character. Of all the actors who have played Superman, Routh’s version is the least respectful, as he invades Lois’ privacy by investigating her desk and also listening in on her home without her consent. His disguise as Clark Kent looks genuine as Routh becomes a different person. 

    5. George Reeves: ‘Adventures Of Superman’ (1952-1958)

    George Reeves
    George Reeves

    Reeves is the classic Superman star, who perfectly captured the noir side in ‘The Adventures of Superman’. Reeves was natural and charming and was able to connect with his character. In 1959, Reeves mysteriously died from a single gunshot wound and Ben Affleck took up the mantle of the neo-noir Kryptonian hero, continuing the legacy left behind by George Reeves. 

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    4. Tom Welling: ‘Smallville’ (2001-2011)

    Tom Welling

    Tom Welling’s version of Superman showed a rather vulnerable side of the Kryptonian hero. It portrays a younger, human side of Superman as he discovers his powers and how to use them. It takes the audience through the journey of the superhero from being naive to forming a deeper connection with Lois Lane, family, and friends. The series finale did a wonderful job of capturing the old Hollywood feel of the original Superman shows, and the ending is often revered as one of the most satisfying in TV history.

    3. Henry Cavill: ‘Man of Steel’, ‘Batman V Superman’, ‘Justice League’, ‘Black Adam’ (2013-2022)

    Henry Cavill
    Henry Cavill

    Hands down, Henry Cavill is a fan-favorite Superman star. Cavill’s version balances between humble, kind, and courageous Superman, who established authority in front of the government as well. Cavill embodied the role loyally but unfortunately, DCEU never gave him the importance. The scripts felt like they never understood the worth of the Kryptonian hero, making him grittier and more cynical than the character is traditionally portrayed. After a promising performance as Man of Steel, the character just felt out of the loop. While fans were excited about his return in ‘Black Adam’, James Gunn revealed that Cavill would not continue in the part.

    2. Tyler Hoechlin: ‘Supergirl’, ‘Superman & Lois’ (2016-2024)

    Tyler Hoechlin as Superman in the series
    Tyler Hoechlin as the Kryptonian hero in the series

    Tyler Hoechlin wowed audiences with his version of Superman in ‘Supergirl’ and was given his own spin-off series, ‘Superman & Lois’. Along with Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane, the series follows the legacy of the legendary superhero and the Daily Planet’s best reporter as they return to Smallville with their sons Jonathan and Jordan. The series redefined the Superman story for the 21st century and has become a hope for fans of the character who were disappointed by his big-screen appearance.

    1. Christopher Reeve: ‘Superman’, ‘Superman II’, ‘Superman III’, ‘Superman IV: The Quest for Peace’ (1978-1987)

    Christopher Reeve
    Christopher Reeve

    He made the audience believe that man could fly. Christopher Reeve established a mark that forever will be used to compare the different versions of Superman played by various actors. Christopher Reeve played the Kryptonian hero in three follow-up films and recently was brought back using CGI in ‘The Flash’. The Superman actor offers the ultimate take on the character as he is sweet, considerate, and undeniably helpful. He also used his X-ray vision to screen Lois Lane for lung cancer, Reeve does a wonderful job of showing us a hero who’s a man of the people. He’s both humble and self-assured when performing heroic feats.

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    Khevna Shah
    Khevna Shah
    Khevna Shah is a content know-it-all, working as an Entertainment Writer for First Curiosity. When she's not forensic-analyzing new movies and shows, she's probably out there with her camera. Approach her with your fan theories, and you've got yourself a friend for life. She aspires to be a professional content critic someday.

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