The Arrowverse has been around for quite some time and over the years we've had the opportunity to experience live-action versions of many of our favorite heroes and villains. And while the appearance of some comic book characters that appeared in the Arrowverse was taken straight from the comics, others did not receive the same treatment. Sometimes, the original costume just isn't the right fit for television and changes must be made. Other times, however, the actor who plays the character doesn't have the same appearance as the comic book character. While change doesn't necessarily have to be bad, it is oftentimes not well received.
Nevertheless, with outstanding performances from actors who look pretty much nothing like the comic book character, the Arrowverse has proved that it's not all about the looks. Sure comic book accuracy is important in certain cases, but most of the time it's not a deal-breaker. With regards to Oliver's goatee, opinions are divided. While some think that the goatee is what makes Oliver Queen, others don't seem to care all that much. But Oliver's not the only character who looks different on screen, so let's take a look at the 18 Arrowverse characters that look nothing like they should.
18 MALCOLM MERLYN
Although Malcolm Merlyn has lost some of his initial appeal in the latter seasons of Arrow, he still remains one of the best Arrowverse villains. Unfortunately, his latest death will apparently be final. For five years, the character was portrayed by John Barrowman who did an awesome job and is one of the main reasons Malcolm Merlyn was such a success.
And while Barrowman does share some physical traits with his comic book counterpart, like dark hair and blue eyes, he lacked the character’s signature hairdo and goatee. Much like the show got rid of Oliver’s goatee, they opted to do the same with Merlyn and give him a more traditional haircut too. In this case, we don’t mind the change, since Merlyn would probably be too flashy for Arrow with the Wolverine-like hairstyle.
17 AMANDA WALLER
In season four, Arrow said goodbye to Amanda Waller. The leader of A.R.G.U.S. and Task Force X was killed during Shadowspire’s hostile takeover of the A.R.G.U.S. headquarters after she refused to give the terrorists the Rubicon codes. Waller was far from being anyone’s favorite on the show, however, her involvement in the story did open a lot of possibilities.
The character was very well portrayed by Cynthia Addai-Robinson, even though the actress didn’t share all that much with her comic book counterpart. Especially, if we’re talking about the pre-Flashpoint version of the character. One could say that the Arrowverse version of the character is a much "hotter" take on the character. And even though Waller has been through quite the makeover in the New 52, Addia-Robinson still doesn't quite look the part because of the haircut.
16 DAMIEN DARHK
The Arrowverse just can’t get enough of Damien Darhk. The character first appeared in the fourth season of Arrow, but it turned out his magic wasn’t fit for the grounded appeal of the show. But the writers weren’t done with Darhk just yet and they turned him into one of the villains of the second season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
Darhk was much better received on Legends of Tomorrow and it seems like he will be playing a big part in the show’s third season as well. Damien Darhk is portrayed by Neal McDonough who just happens to have nothing in common with his comic book counterpart. Unlike the Darhk from the comics, McDonough doesn’t have curly brown hair nor the baby face the character is pretty much famous for. Still, McDonough makes a pretty good Damien Darhk, despite the physical differences.
KaraMel shippers rejoiced when we found out that Mon-El will be returning in Supergirl season three after his sacrifice at the end of season two. However, the joy was short-lived as we soon discovered that during the time he was away Mon-El traveled to the future and got married. And we’re curios to see where this takes Mon-El and whether he'll become a hero too.
In the comics, the Daxamite Lar Gand, aka Mon-El, was inspired by Superboy to become a superhero. In fact, it was Superboy who named him Mon-El. But aside from having a very different background story, the Arrowverse version of the character is a far cry from his comic book counterpart when it comes to appearance too. Unlike Chris Wood who plays Mon-El, the comic book character has raven-black hair which, when combined with his piercing blue eyes, make him look like Superman.
14 ROY HARPER
Roy Harper, aka Arsenal, is coming back to Arrow. On December 13th, it was officially confirmed that Colton Haynes will be returning to Arrow for a short story arc when the show comes back in January 2018. We’re very excited to see Arsenal back in action and we’re kind of hoping his short stay gets extended.
Colton Haynes did an excellent job as Roy Harper and majority of the fans were sad to see him go. Haynes portrayed the mischievous and the heroic aspects of the characters perfectly, he had great chemistry with the rest of Team Arrow and especially with Thea. He was so awesome that no one even cared that Haynes doesn’t quite look like the Roy Harper from the comics, who is depicted with red hair.
13 PATTY SPIVOT
Patty Spivot’s run on The Flash was sadly cut too short. After only ten episodes, Patty decided to leave Central City and we haven’t seen her since. Although we always knew that Barry and Iris was meant to be endgame (for better or for worse) we kind of enjoyed Barry and Patty’s cuteness. Unfortunately, Patty will remain one of Arrowverse’s wasted characters.
Barry’s ex-girlfriend and former Central City Detective, Patty Spivot, was played by Shantel VanSanten. And while we loved VanSanten performance as Patty, we have to point out that appearance-wise she didn’t have much in common with the comic book character. Unlike the Shantel VanSanten who has long brown hair, the Patty from the comics has short blond hair, blue eyes and she wears glasses.
12 HARTLEY RATHAWAY
Last time we saw Hartley Rathaway in "Flash Back" he was literally a changed man. When Barry altered the timeline, Hartley became a much better person. He was on good terms with his parents and he even helped out Team Flash occasionally, while in the previous timeline, Hartley had all but adopted his villain alter ego Pied Piper.
The Flash’s Hartley Rathaway is played by Andy Mientus. Originally, Mientus audition for the role of Barry Allen, but didn’t get it. However, since he made a good impression he was offered the role Hartley Rathaway instead. But one look at the comic book character will tell you that Mientus doesn’t quite fit the bill. The Hartley from the comics has red hair and a goatee. Mientus, on the other hand, has brown hair and we can't even picture him with any facial hair.
11 OLIVER QUEEN
Just like Grant Gustin pretty much set the bar for Barry Allen, Stephen Amell has forever defined Oliver Queen. If the DCEU ever does decide to bring Green Arrow into the fold, Arrowverse fans will probably have a hard time getting used to a new face, just like with the Flash. Not because Stephen Amell has the perfect look for Oliver Queen but because after all these years he's essentially become the character.
As for physical appearance, while Amell does embody some of the traits we associate with the Emerald Archer, he does lack a certain pivotal feature -- the goatee. Although a goatee-less version of Oliver already appeared on Smallville, the Arrowverse version of the character has sparked a lot of discussion. But with or without the goatee, one thing is certain, Amell's Oliver is much better looking than his comic book counterpart.
10 RALPH DIBNY
When Ralph Dibny first appeared on the fourth season of The Flash we didn’t know how to feel about his unique personality. But now that we’ve had some time to get to know him we can honestly say that we’re glad he’s now part of Team Flash. According to Andrew Kreisberg, Ralph Dibny was introduced in season four to bring freshness to the show and he’s here to stay.
In the comics, Ralph Dibny, aka the Elongated Man, shares a rich history with Barry Allen, so his introduction was bound to happen at some point. However, the Ralph from the comics has a very different appearance than the one we met on The Flash. Unlike the actor who portrays him, Hartley Sawyer who has brown hair and brown eyes, the comic book character is a redhead with bright blue eyes.
9 WARNER ZYTLE
The Arrowverse tries to incorporate a great number of comic book characters into their stories. Naturally, not every character turns out to be a glowing success. The villain Count Vertigo had two different adaptations on Arrow. The first being an original take on the character with Seth Gable as Cecil Adams, aka the Count. And the second was the Warner Zytle version of the character with slight alterations.
Aside from seriously nerfing Count Vertigo, Arrow also cast an actor that didn’t look like the comic book version in any way. Portrayed by Peter Stomare, Arrow’s Count Vertigo didn’t look anything like his comic book counterpart, which when combined with the fact that he didn't have any superpowers, made Count Vertigo a rather underwhelming and forgettable villain.
8 BARRY ALLEN
The controversy over Ezra Miller’s casting in the role of Barry Allen was mostly based on the fact that the dark-haired brown-eyed Miller looks essentially nothing like the Barry Allen from the comics. However, Miller is not the only actor to receive backlash for taking on the role of Barry Allen. When Grant Gustin was cast as Barry Allen in the CW’s The Flash, fans were quick to point out that Gustin doesn't quite look the part.
The Barry Allen we all know and love from the comics has traditionally been depicted with blond hair and blue eyes, something Gustin most certainly doesn’t have. On top of that, the Barry Allen from the comics has always been more muscular than his Arrowverse counterpart. Nevertheless, Gustin’s outstanding portrayal of the Scarlet Speedster has earned him the fan’s acceptance and love.
7 LENA LUTHOR
In season two premiere of Supergirl we were introduced to Lex's little sister, Lena Luthor. Ever since her first appearance, the fans have been discussing whether she will be a friend or foe. Thus far, Lena has proven to be a friend to Kara and an ally to Supergirl and we’re hoping it stays this way. As many other fans of the show, we’ve grown quite fond of Lena. Besides, it’s nice that Kara has a best friend, other than her sister.
Lena is played by the British actress Katie McGrath, who’s doing an awesome job, however, when it comes to looking the part Katie doesn’t really have many similarities with the comic book character. In the comics, Lena Luthor has blond hair, which is a stark contrast to Katie’s raven-black hair. However, we think black hair suits her better.
6 IMRA ARDEEN
The seventh episode of season three of Supergirl brought some heartbreaking news to all the KaraMel shippers. Kara’s boyfriend Mon-El came back, but with a twist. What was seven months for Kara, was seven years for Mon-El who traveled to the future where he met his wife, Imra Ardeen. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because it should.
Imra Ardeen, aka Saturn Girl, is one of the most talented telepaths among a race of powerful mentalists and a founding member of the Legion of Superheroes. Imra hasn’t yet been referred to as Saturn Girl, but we did catch a Legion of Superheroes reference. And another thing that caught our eye is Imra’s new look. The comic book character has been depicted with blond hair, in contrast, actress Amy Jackson, who plays Imra on Supergirl, has black hair.
5 JESSE QUICK
It’s been a while since we last saw Jesse Quick on The Flash. Harry Wells’ daughter went to Earth-3 to fulfill her superhero destiny and basically disappeared from the map. Whether this is a behind the scenes issue or just what the writers decided was the best for the show is unknown. But whatever the case is, seems like Jesse Quick won’t be having a big role to play on The Flash.
That’s a real shame since Jesse Quick is kind of a big deal in the comics and to discard her this point seems like a waste. We’re hoping the show decides to bring Violett Beane back as Jesse Quick soon, because, while Beane may not have the right look for the part, she did prove that she has the chops. After all, performance is much more important than "looking the part."
4 MAGGIE SAWYER
Watching Supergirl’s third season we found ourselves repeating the words of Captain Jack Sparrow -- "stop blowing holes in my ship." Not only did the showrunners break up Kara and Mon-El, they also decided to do away with Sanders. After getting engaged at the end of previous season everything was looking up for Alex and Maggie, however irreconcilable differences have forced them to split up.
What this means for Floriana Lima’s character has yet to be seen. Will she move to a different city like she’s been known to do in the comics? We’ll have to wait and see. But this is clearly a very different version of the character since the dark-haired Floriana Lima looks pretty much nothing like the blond and blue-eyed Maggie from the comics. Not that we mind one bit.
3 LEONARD SNART
The infamous Flash rogue, Leonard Snart, aka Captain Cold, was introduced during Flash’s first season. Captain Cold started out as a villain but turned into a hero when he joined DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. When the character was killed off at the end of the first season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow the fans were crushed to have to say goodbye to a beloved character.
Although this version of Captain Cold was much different from the one we know from the comics, Wentworth Miller managed to win over the fans with his outstanding performance. Even if he didn’t quite look the part. The Captain Cold from the comics went through a radical makeover in the New 52, but Miller doesn’t really look like either version of the character.
2 JAMES OLSEN
Step aside Superman, the time has come for James Olsen to be the chick magnet. And we all have Supergirl to thank for making a bold casting decision. In the comics, Jimmy Olsen has been portrayed as the dorky companion to Clark Kent and somewhat of a "damsel in distress" to Superman. However, Supergirl's James Olsen is not only far from being distressed, he's actually become a hero himself.
But Jimmy's personality is not the only thing that changed in this adaptation of the character. It is pretty clear to anyone who can see, that Supergirl's James Olsen couldn't look more different form the comic book character if he tried. Unlike the redheaded, freckled, and sometimes a bit chubby character from the comics, Mehcad Brooks' James Olsen is tall and handsome. And yes, black. After so many live-action adaptations James Olsen has had, a change like this was a refreshment.
1 MISTER MXYZPTLK
Mister Mxyzptlk is the definition of a unique character. Distinguished by mischief rather than malice, Mister Mxyzptlk is a Fifth Dimension imp who used to terrorize DC's greatest hero, the Man of Steel. This trickster is characterized by his rather funny appearance, something that didn’t translate to the small screen when the character visited Supergirl.
The comic book version of the characters is very short, has curly white hair only at the bottom of his head and looks like a creature from a Disney fairy tale. The Mister Mxyzptlk we got to see on Supergirl looked the complete opposite of his comic book counterpart. However, in this case, we’re glad Supergirl decided to go with the ruggedly handsome Peter Gaidon, instead of an identical copy of the comic book elderly imp.