For every great animated adaptation of superhero comics, there are iconic voice actors who give life to our favorite heroes. We all love Kevin Conroy as Batman or Michael Rosenbaum as The Flash. Every now and then, when DC or Marvel makes an animated adaptation, they sometimes try for a bit more star power. Because of that, there are quite a few celebrities who have voiced superheroes, some you might not have even noticed. DC is definitely the king of animation when it comes to superheroes, but both major publishers have had their fair share of celebrity voice actors.
From TV shows to animated features, and even video games, there have been some pretty famous faces behind some equally famous superheroes. Sometimes, the celebrity is so good as the character, you don’t even recognize it’s a famous actor! The celebrities who have voiced superheroes come from all corners of pop culture, and from various eras of film and TV. Some of these celebrities might not all be on the A-list, but they’re famous in their own right. And with that, here is CBR’s list of celebrities you NEVER knew voiced superheroes.
16. DONALD GLOVER (MILES MORALES)
Comedian, writer, rapper and actor, Donald Glover’s first major role was in Dan Harmon’s cult-hit sitcom, Community. Due to his popularity, prior to the casting of Andrew Garfield, the internet petitioned to have Glover play Spider-Man in the Sony reboot. The campaign gained a lot of ground, but ultimately garnered no results. Well, there was one thing we got out of it, the creation of Miles Morales.
Ultimate Spider-Man writer Brian Michael Bendis was inspired by both Glover and former president Barack Obama to introduce a new Spider-Man who was mixed-race. Bendis created the character to sell the idea that anyone could be Spider-Man, no matter your race or ethnicity. The “Donald for Spider-Man” campaign came full circle when Donald Glover voiced the character in his first appearance on the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon.
15. ALAN TUDYK (THE FLASH, GREEN ARROW, SUPERMAN)
Alan Tudyk is one of the most prominent voice actors in… well, everything. The one-time Firefly star has done voices for TV, film and video games. While we all know Tudyk provided the voice (and motion capture) for K-2SO in Rogue One, that wasn’t his only geeky voice role. On top of voicing the Candy King in Wreck-It-Ralph, Tudyk has voiced three DC superheroes, much like his Firefly costar, Adam Baldwin.
In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Tudyk played The Flash in two episodes of the zany superhero cartoon. Around the same time, he provided the voice for Green Arrow on Young Justice, also playing two villains, Psimon and Captain Cold. A few years later, Tudyk moved up the superhero ladder and played Superman in Justice League: War.
14. JONAH HILL (GREEN LANTERN)
This is definitely one you might not know about if you didn’t catch it. In The Lego Movie, we were treated to a, for lack of a better term, “extended Lego multiverse,” where characters from all kinds of Warner Brothers properties showed up. Among them were many DC superheroes, specifically Batman, with some short appearances by Superman and Green Lantern. So, who voiced GL? Why, none other than Jonah Hill.
It’s such a strange choice to cast a historically comedic film actor to voice Hal Jordan, but the film makes it work. Not only is Green Lantern’s Lego look based on the flopped film, but he is also shown to be an annoying nuisance to the likes of Superman. With that in mind, Hill’s casting makes a whole lot of sense. Hill also reprised his role for The Lego Batman Movie.
13. RON PERLMAN (ORION)
We all know Perlman for his role as Hellboy, both in the films and the animated adaptations, and as Slade on Teen Titans, but that’s just the beginning of his long voiceover career. Not only did he voice The Hulk in the short-lived 1995 Fantastic Four cartoon, he’s also voiced Clayface in the DCAU. Perlman’s most heroic role also comes from the DCAU as Orion, biological son of Darkseid, and adopted son of Highfather.
Perlman voiced the character in both the original Justice League animated series, and the followup series, Justice League Unlimited. Though he wasn’t the first to voice the character — it was Steve Sandor in Superman: The Animated Series — Perlman brought a lot of serious gruff to the role, which is why he was so good in the episode “Flash and Substance,” where he somewhat serves as a foil for Michael Rosenbaum’s Flash.
12. ROSARIO DAWSON (WONDER WOMAN & BATGIRL)
Funny that Rosario Dawson’s first big role was Josie and the Pussycats, a comic book movie, since she would eventually go on to star in several other comic book adaptations. Not only was she in Sin City and its sequel, she also voiced Artemis in the Wonder Woman animated film and is currently known as Claire Temple in Marvel’s Netflix series. However, Dawson has also voiced two of the biggest DC heroes, Wonder Woman and Batgirl.
Dawson was chosen as the new voice of Wonder Woman after Justice League: War, where the character was voiced by Michelle Monaghan. Dawson took over in Throne of Atlantis and has voiced the character in every New 52 animated adaptation since. The actress also provided the voice for Batgirl in The Lego Batman Movie, playing a very different Barbara Gordon.
11. NORMAN REEDUS (THE PUNISHER)
Norman Reedus is known by most for his portrayal of Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead, but he’s had a pretty extensive career in film. The actor has even had a previous comic book movie role, playing Scud in Blade II. Prior to The Walking Dead, Reedus was perhaps best known for his starring role in The Boondocks Saints, a cult-hit crime film. It seems like Reedus plays a lot of dudes with weapons, doesn’t he? Guess it makes sense that he voiced The Punisher then.
In the Marvel anime film, Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, Reedus portrayed Frank Castle. Though the film focuses on Iron Man, Black Widow and The Punisher show up, the latter playing a bit of a bigger role. After stopping a weapons deal, The Punisher teams up with Iron Man in order to discover the identity of Technovore.
10. ROB LOWE (CAPTAIN MARVEL)
Rob Lowe has has quite the extensive filmography, everything from his teen idol roles to playing JFK and even TV sitcoms. There’s not much he hasn’t done, and he definitely has his fair share of voice work. One of his most recent voice roles was as the main character in Comedy Central’s short-lived animated series Moonbeam City. Interestingly, Lowe also starred as one of DC’s biggest superheroes.
In Young Justice, Lowe voiced Captain Marvel! Though the actor only played the 12-year-old in an adult superhero body for his first two appearances, his portrayal was spot-on. Young Justice’s Captain Marvel talks and acts a lot like a kid pretending to be an adult, and Lowe really brings that aspect to life. Sadly, he didn’t come back for the character’s later appearances.
9. CHANNING TATUM (SUPERMAN)
Known for starring in Magic Mike and the G.I. Joe films, Channing Tatum has most recently had roles in The Hateful Eight and Hail, Caesar. Tatum also has a role in the upcoming Kingsman: The Golden Circle, so he’s no stranger to comic book movies. However, Kingsman isn’t the actor’s first comic book role, since he voiced a famous superhero prior to it.
In a similar fashion to his 21 Jump Street costar, Channing Tatum also played an iconic hero in The Lego Movie. Tatum voiced Superman for a few brief appearances, reprising the role for The Lego Batman Movie. Most of Superman’s appearances are used to show how annoyed he is by a lame and overeager Green Lantern, and in Lego Batman, he is a jock-ish hero who excludes Batman from his Justice League party. What a super-jerk.
8. NEIL PATRICK HARRIS (SPIDER-MAN, THE FLASH & NIGHTWING)
Neil Patrick Harris is no stranger to voiceover work, and he’s quite the superhero show veteran. Harris has done voices on everything from Captain Planet, Static Shock and even Justice League. On top of these, NPH has also played Music Meister on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. To make things even more impressive, Harris has also voiced three fan-favorite heroes: Spider-Man, The Flash and Nightwing.
NPH was cast as Spider-Man in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, a CGI cartoon that picked up after the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie. Later, he played The Flash in Justice League: The New Frontier, alongside Lawless and MacLachlan. In another DC animated adaptation, NPH voiced everyone’s favorite grown-up sidekick, Nightwing in Batman: Under The Red Hood.
7. JUDGE REINHOLD (NEGATIVE MAN)
Okay, so maybe Judge Reinhold isn’t the BIGGEST celebrity, but he’s definitely remembered for his many famous roles in memorable and beloved ’80s movies. Some of his most memorable roles are Fast Times at Ridgmont High, Gremlins and Beverly Hills Cop. While Reinhold isn’t in much these days, back in 2005, he had a role in the Teen Titans animated series.
In the two-part episode “Homecoming,” Beast Boy is reunited with his former team/family, The Doom Patrol. Among their ranks are Mento, Elasti-Girl, Robot Man and, of course, Negative Man, whom Reinhold voices. Reinhold brings a sullen, sarcastic and, well, negative, performance to Negative Man, fitting the character perfectly. Though it wasn’t obvious at first, fans were delighted to see the ’80s star was behind Negative Man’s first animated appearance.
6. WIL WHEATON (AQUALAD, COSMIC BOY & BLUE BEETLE)
Supernerd and overall lovable guy Will Wheaton has a rather impressive career (or should we say careers) in geek-related media. He is of course best known for playing Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation and since then has gone on to have roles in various staples of pop culture. Amongst his many roles, Wheaton has also done a lot of voice work, three of them being DC superheroes.
Wheaton’s first heroic voice role was as Aqualad in the Teen Titans animated series, premiering in the episode “Deep Six,” in which the titans meet the sea-dweller. Then, in 2007’s Legion of Super Heroes cartoon, Wheaton voiced the original leader of the Legion, Cosmic Boy. Wheaton’s most recent superhero voice role was as the Silver Age Blue Beetle, Ted Kord, on Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
5. ADAM BALDWIN (SUPERMAN, HAL JORDAN & METAMORPHO)
Lots of actors and voice actors have portrayed the man of steel over the many years he’s been in film and animation. In the 2007 animated movie Superman: Doomsday, which was adapted from The Death of Superman, Adam Baldwin provided the voice for the man of steel. Adam Baldwin is most well known for his role as Jayne Cobb on Firefly and to some for his role in Chuck.
Baldwin portrayed a strong and heroic Superman in Doomsday, which was received rather well by critics and fans alike. This wasn’t Baldwin’s only superhero voice role, however, since he also cameoed as Hal Jordan in the Justice League animated series. This wasn’t his last role either, since the Firefly star also voiced Metamorpho on the short-lived Beware the Batman.
4. LUCY LAWLESS (WONDER WOMAN)
Wonder Woman and Xena: Warrior Princess are, if not identical, bearers of very similar stories. Of course, that doesn’t mean Xena wasn’t in every way awesome or badass, which is why it made so much sense to cast the star of Xena, Lucy Lawless, as Wonder Woman. Lawless portrayed the Amazon princess in the 2008 DC animated movie, Justice League: The New Frontier.
In New Frontier, Lawless portrays the perfect Wonder Woman, essentially having trained for the role by playing Xena all those years. Not to make light of Xena — it was just a great moment to have one iconic warrior princess voice another iconic warrior princess. The film is also beloved by fans, both for its adaptation of Darwyn Cook’s style and its stellar voice cast. Currently, Lawless portrays Ruby on Ash Vs. Evil Dead.
3. PETER WELLER (BATMAN)
Perhaps one of the most influential action sci-fi films of all time is Robocop. The original 1987 film was a commentary on propaganda, gentrification, capitalism, authoritarianism and corruption within city government and law enforcement. The film centered around Alex Murphy, a cop who was shot down and turned into a cybernetic cop who is manipulated by the company who rebuilt him. The titular character is played by Peter Weller.
Of course, many pop culture geeks already know all of this, but what they might not know is that Peter Weller has also done some voice work, most notably as Batman in the animated adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns. Weller portrays an old, grumpy, tired and gritty Batman who comes out of retirement after realizing Gotham needs him once more. The gruff-voiced actor was a perfect cast for this dark and weathered Bruce Wayne.
2. KYLE MACLACHLAN (SUPERMAN)
Kyle Maclachlan has quite the all-over-the-place acting history and is best known for his role as Special Agent Dale Cooper in the cult TV series, Twin Peaks. Twin Peaks was created by David Lynch, not the only time the two have worked together. Aside from his most famous role, MacLachlan has also had roles on Desperate Housewives, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and, funnily enough, the sketch comedy series, Portlandia, where he played the mayor of Portland.
If his all-over-the-place filmography tells us anything, MacLachlan has quite the range, and he’s shown some incredible acting chops, especially in his voice role as Superman in Justice League: The New Frontier. MacLachlan perfectly portrays a Superman who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders.
1. MARK HAMILL (WOLVERINE)
We know what you’re thinking, “What? When did Luke Skywalker voice Wolverine?” Yes, it’s a bit of a surprise. Though Hamill is no stranger to voice acting, especially in superhero adaptations, since he’s the voice of The Joker and has even played the Hobgoblin, Solomon Grundy, The Trickster (whom he played on the original Flash tv series), Red Skull, The Spectre and swamp thing. That’s an impressive and rather nerdy list!
So, where does Wolverine fit in? Where you’d least expect it: in a video game! In the video game adaptation for X-Men 2, titled Wolverines Revenge, Hamill played everyone’s favorite gruff and tough, adamantium-clawed mutant. The funniest part of this strange entry in Hamill’s filmography is that Hugh Jackman’s likeness was still used for the box art. So basically, there exists a video game where The Joker’s voice comes out of Hugh Jackman’s face.
Which other celebrity actors have done superhero voice work? Help us complete our list in the comments!
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