Whenever there is a new adaptation of a fan favourite, the comparisons come out… and Superman has had A LOT of adaptations, new imaginings and explorations! So then, the debate has become which of the lot is the BEST…
I have my list, and I know that some of you Superman fans out there will disagree with my placements, but I’m going to share my order with you anyway. If you disagree, we’ll have to fight it out in the comments! So here they are, the movie and television Superman’s in order of what I think are the BEST to LEAST (which doesn’t mean they’re bad, just not as good).
ONE – Dean Cain (Lois and Clark)
Dean’s version of Superman is the ULTIMATE for me. He and Lois had a fun, challenging dynamic that stretched them both, while ribbing each other and never letting the other go beyond the best of what they could achieve. His Clark Kent was always fun to watch spar with Lois, deal with being a reporter and living his life while hiding the powers he has. I also fully believe that EVERYONE who knew Clark and had seen Superman would have realised they were the same person.
I LOVE this show, and I think that Dean Cain is the best Superman of all time… no apologies!
TWO – Christopher Reeve (Superman 1980s Movies)
I actually love these movies. There’s something about Christopher’s portrayal of Superman that felt so confident in who he was. He had an authority when he was Superman, that he withheld when playing Clark Kent. The relationship with Lois wasn’t quite as engrossing, but it was still played really well and I liked it. The way that Christopher Reeve varied the Clark Kent into a lot more of a bumbling and very mild mannered person, I do actually believe that NOBODY around him would have put together that he was Superman. They wouldn’t have even looked at him that way.
THREE – Tom Welling (Smallville)
After Lois and Clark, Smallville is my favourite Superman show or movie. I did put Christopher in front of Tom, but only because in Smallville, Clark is still becoming Superman and figuring out his powers and life. He’s a GREAT Superman, and I loved seeing him grow into his powers and life fighting things that aren’t always explainable. The relationship with Lex Luther in this show was also one of my Favourite parts of the show. It was totally different than any other iteration, and I think Michael did a fabulous job in this role! Because we don’t really see Clark as Superman until the very last episode, I can’t give a proper judgement on wether people would have realised he was really Superman. What I can say is that I do believe ANYONE who was close to Clark and was paying attention to the fact that he was always disappearing and then mysterious things would happen when he was missing….. they’d figure it out.
FOUR – Henry Cavill (Superman 2000s Movies)
I quite liked Henry as Superman. When he stepped into the role, it had been a while since I had seen someone put on the cape, and I think he was a good choice. He was a calm version of Superman. Cool and collected, with an heir of knowing just how powerful he was. We didn’t see too much of him as Clark Kent in these movies, more so of just the hero side. I missed Clark a little, I’m not going to lie. But, when he was Clark, I do think that EVERYONE around him could figure it out. His variance of personality was basically non existent.
FIVE – George Reeves (Adventures of Superman TV Show)
I have never seen The Adventures of Superman. Ever. So why is this one so far up on my list then? Good question. George Reeves guest starred on an episode of I Love Lucy as Superman for Little Ricky’s birthday party. It was hilarious, and I loved him when he came on the show. There was something about his appearance – and though he was playing himself as the actor, he was being Superman for the kids and the rescue of Lucy from the ledge outside the window (long story, go watch the episode – it’s funny).
SIX – Tyler Hoechlin (Supergirl)
I actually really enjoy Supergirl as a show. When they decided to actually bring in an actor for Superman to guest on an episode, I didn’t mind another face. I knew Tyler from Seventh Heaven, and to be honest his character was a bit of a dick. But, I put that aside and tried really hard to see him as anything else… it didn’t work very well but occasionally I saw the Superman rather than the teenage player who destroyed the heart of little Ruthie (again, long story go watch the show).
SEVEN – Brandon Routh (Superman Returns)
Okay, here we are at the bottom of my list. I hope Brandon (or the Brandon Routh lovers out there) won’t be too disappointed that this is where he landed. I watched the Superman Returns movie and found it really out of place in the Superman world. It was kind of a new movie, kind of not. He only did the one (that I know of) as Superman, and apart from the film not being written very well and only okay… I don’t like Brandon as an actor. No offence, and actually my reasoning is really dumb. The first thing I saw him act in, he was a good guy who turned bad slowly – the BETRAYAL! So anything I see him in, I just don’t like. So sorry dude, but nah.
There’s probably more, and I didn’t count any of the animated voices that have donned the cape, but there they are. My list of how Superman stacks up against… well, Superman. Alright, fight to the death in the comments about your favs!
See You in the Adventures!