Live Action Superheroes: Past Vs Present


The live-action superheroes have evolved in a wild manner since they were first attempted in the 1940s. We wonder whether, after 70 odd years from now, people will look back and mock at us, considering our modern-day superheroes to be goofy and childish as some of the past versions make us feel.

1. Spider-Man


Although a lot of people believe that Spidey’s first live-action portrayal was the impressive Japanese version from 1978, but, they tend to overlook his random educational appearances I the iconic kids show The Electric Company.

2. Aquaman

Jason Momoa is the first colored superhero in DCEU, and his Polynesian origins enhanced the live-action portrayal of Aquaman.

3. Batman

Despite the disastrous first outing of Joel Schumacher and George Clooney, they were set to be back with another film titled during the 90s titled Batman Triumphant which according to rumors was going to cast Nicolas Cage as Scarecrow and Madonna as Harley Quinn. Fortunately, it didn’t happen, and the next Batman film was the 2005 movie Batman Begins.

4. Thor

Chris Hemsworth had to ultimately compete with his own brother, Liam for the role of Thor in Marvel Cinematic Universe. Chris hadn’t made to the final four during casting (however, his brother Liam stayed in contention). However, Chris managed to get a second chance while working on The Cabin In The Woods; a film produced and written by Jos Whedon, the director of the first two Avengers films. Whedon called up Thor director Kenneth Branagh and convinced him to give another chance to Chris.

5. The Flash

Grant Gustin initially appeared in a couple of Arrow episodes before The Flash pilot was greenlit. In case the show had not been a big success, The CW was ready to give Barry Allen a repeat role on Arrow. The Flash has had crossover events with other The CW DC shows Arrow and Supergirl, and the latter brought together the former co-stars of Glee, Grant Gustin, and Melissa Benoist.

6. Superman

Kirk Alyn was the first on-screen live-action Superman way back in 1948; it is the actor Ray Middleton who had played the character in a live performance during the 1939 World’s Fair. The video of the performance is available on YouTube.

7. Daredevil and Black Widow

This one bends things a little since the Daredevil, and Black Widow team from 1970 didn’t progress beyond the photo shoot, but, it was way too hilarious to imagine how they would have been. Angela Bowie, ex-wife of the late star David Bowie, owned the rights to the Marvel characters for a year, but, her TV show concept was rejected due to issues with cost and limitations of special effects back then.

8. Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman had a few experimental runs before debuting successfully on TV, and Lynda Carter played the titular role. Before that the Wonder Woman versions included a portrayal of the superheroine as the fantasy alter-ego of a normal lady (played by Linda Harrison and Elle Wood Walker in a 1967 TV show pilot) and Cathy Lee Crosby’s portrayal wherein she was a non-super powered assistant of a government agent.

9. Captain America

Back in 1990, Captain America was the first and last feature movie before The First Avenger released in 2011. The earlier film featured Steve Rogers (played by Matt Salinger), who for inexplicable reasons wore wax ears on the outside of his costume. We think they would have been better off if they had cut some ear holes.

10. Supergirl

You can take a look at Melissa Benoist’s first shot at playing a superhero as Wallflower/Woman Fierce in a superhero-themed episode of Glee.

11. The Incredible Hulk

Back in 1978, Lou Ferrigno became the first actor play a live-action Hulk, and he happened to be the only actor to play Hulk, all the way until the arrival of CGI enabled the 2003 Hulk by Ang Lee where Eric Bana played the role of Banner. Ferrigno also voiced a few samples to create the Hulk’s roar for the 2012 film, The Avengers.

Credits: dorkly