5 actors who nailed their roles (& 5 who fell short)
It all started with Arrow, a series about Oliver Queen returning home after being presumed dead and trying to save him from himself. From that show was born the Arrowverse, a universe of DC Comics-based television series spanning the lives of dozens of heroes and villains.
For the most part, everything has been cast incredibly well. Some of the characters portrayed in these shows are both historic and iconic, leaving the actors and actresses to fill these roles with intimidating large shoes to fill. Inevitably, some of them narrowly missed the mark, leaving fans unsure of the character, if not totally hating them. In these cases, the casting director could have done better.
ten SHORT TOMB: Hartley Sawyer as Ralph Dibny / Reclining Man
Ralph Dibny, aka the Reclining Man, was an unexpected addition to the Arrowverse, but a welcome one. He was originally killed by the particle accelerator explosion in Season 1 of Flash but came back to life thanks to the tampering with the Season 3 timeline.
Portrayed by Hartley Sawyer, the Arrowverse version of the character was not particularly convincing and came across as more of a used car salesman than a hero. Hartley was fired after Season 6 due to the overhaul of racist and misogynistic tweets.
9 NAILED IT: Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash
One of the most beloved comic book characters of all time is Barry Allen. As The Flash, Barry has established himself as an incredible hero who sacrificed himself to save all of reality. His return to the comics has been a huge deal.
Grant Gustin first appeared as Barry Allen in Season 2 of Arrow. He would continue to play in Flash as the titular character, becoming an integral part of the Arrowverse. Gustin has proven to be perfect for the role, successfully portraying every aspect of The Flash that makes him a fan favorite in the first place.
8 SHORT TOMB: Josh Segarra as Prometheus
This one is as much the fault of the series as of the actor. In the comics, Prometheus was a tough villain who gave himself massive buffs that allowed him to take on and defeat the entire Justice League. Again, he did it on his own.
At Arrow, Prometheus was nothing like his comic book alter ego. He was reduced to being yet another evil archer, one of a long line that Oliver Queen faced. Josh Segarra didn’t have much to work with, and he didn’t do much with what he was given.
7 NAILED IT: Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory / Heat Wave
The Flash has one of the best rogue galleries in all of comics. Naturally, that includes an impressive array of speedsters as well as some very weird and creative evil types. And some of them literally want to watch the world burn.
Dominic Purcell has been playing Heat Wave for years in a variety of Arrowverse series. He brings the right amount of menacing looks combined with reluctant hero demeanor to make him exactly as endearing as fans want him to be.
6 SHORT TOMB: Falk Hentschel as Carter Hall / Hawkman
Trying to sort the whole story of Hawkman out of the comics is extremely complicated. It’s not complicated X-Men, but it always gets very confusing. He constantly reincarnates, alongside the love of his many lives.
Falk Hentschel used to portray the Carter Hall version of Hawkman in the Arrowverse. His flat, wooden performance was devoid of any emotional connection to the character, which is probably why his version of the Hawkman never made a return.
5 NAILED: David Harewood as a Martian manhunter
When it comes to well-known DC heroes, names like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash are usually at the top of the list. But for many comic book readers, Martian Manhunter is the greatest of all time. His power set is unreal and he has an incredible story.
David Harewood secretly played the character for the first part of Super girl. The reveal of Martian Manhunter was a huge moment. Harewood did a remarkable job playing him, infusing the Manhunter with the perfect amount of wisdom and emotion to make him engaging.
4 SHORT TOMB: Casper Crump as Vandal Savage
Vandal Savage was an ancient caveman imbued with superhuman powers, heightened intelligence, and immortality. He was going to become one of DC Comics’ most menacing forces, in large part because of the fact that he never really seemed to go away.
Sadly, Casper Crump’s portrayal of the classic villain in the Arrowverse failed to capture everything that made him so compelling in the comics. Arrowverse Vandal Savage came across as more of a whiny, arrogant jerk than anything close to the Machiavellian evil genius.
3 NAILED: Melissa Benoist as Cara Danvers / Supergirl
Being Superman’s cousin is no easy task. This man is the tallest and most famous superhero in the world, and it’s almost impossible to try and live up to it. But Supergirl has always found a way, putting her life on the line to save her adopted home planet.
Melissa Benoist has been playing Supergirl for several years, in a series devoted to her adventures. Benoist did a great job balancing the heroes of Supergirl with the personal life of Cara Danvers.
2 FELL SHORT: Matt Nable as Ra’s Al Ghul
Batman has an incredibly complicated relationship with Ra’s al Ghul. The leader of the League of Assassins wants Batman to succeed him, but the Caped Crusader has no interest in that. In the Arrowverse, Ra’s al Ghul has become a Arrow villain, with Green Arrow filling out Batman in their stories.
Matt Nable’s take on the character lacked all the seriousness Ra should have had. Worse yet, fans got closer to Liam Neeson reprising the character, in which he played Batman begins. Knowing what was missed only made matters worse.
1 NAILED: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen / Green Arrow
The whole Arrowverse revolves around Oliver Queen’s journey as he became Green Arrow. He was the first hero of the character universe and the one who established a web of interwoven stories.
Until the character’s death, Stephen Amell absolutely nailed every aspect of Oliver Queen and her personal story. It’s hard to imagine someone else playing the part and doing it too. Without Amell, there would be no Arrow let alone an Arrowverse.
NEXT: Arrowverse: 10 Characters Who Came Closest To Death But Who Survived
TMNT: 10 best versions of turtles, ranked
About the Author