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15 Ugly Comic Book Characters Who Turned Dreamy On-Screen

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15 Ugly Comic Book Characters Who Turned Dreamy On-Screen

It’s far from controversial to say that hot actors and actresses bring in viewers. Look at the biggest movies and TV shows, and it’s clear that almost every single one of them is populated with very attractive people. So, when Hollywood decides to adapt some of our favorite comic book series for films and TV, they’re probably going to hire these same beautiful people to star. However, not every comic book character is beautiful. Sure, the big characters like Captain America, Batman and Wonder Woman are all drawn to be supermodels, but there are tons of characters that are brought to life in live-action that are drawn to be… less than attractive.

RELATED: Looks Could Kill: 15 Villains Who Weaponize Beauty

However, for some of these ugly characters, Hollywood still decides to cast someone attractive. Many times, this includes hiring someone significantly younger than their comic book counterpart. Other instances include taking a character that’s badly scarred and just forgetting that aspect of the character in favor of hiring someone who is beautiful. And sometimes, it’s taking a character with tentacles for arms and an eye-patch, and just making them look really hot in black leather. Because that happened…


Negasonic Teenage Warhead Comics vs On Screen

When Ellie Phimister, aka Negasonic Teenage Warhead, was first seen in New X-Men #115, she was shown as this extremely pale mutant with long, dark hair and a long, flowing black dress. Frankly, she looks dead. Ironically enough, she dies in the attack on Genosha in that same issue. But since this is comic books, she’s resurrected and used again and again throughout the years.

When the filmmakers behind Deadpool wanted to have a young sidekick for the titular hero, they saw the name Negasonic Teenage Warhead. They worked out a deal so that they could ditch her whole story and psychic powers to use her in a new way in the film. The result is the beautiful Brianna Hildebrand taking the role, as a goth teen mutant with explosive powers. Since Hildebrand’s version became hugely popular, recent Negasonic incarnations more resemble the movie version and not the original comic book appearances.


Ego Comics vs On Screen

Ego, the Living Planet, is one of Jack Kirby’s most unique creations. Fascinated by the universe, Kirby decided to explore the idea of a sentient planet. After his first appearance in 1966’s Thor #132, Ego was featured in storylines throughout the decades. He’s primarily seen as a planet with glowing eyes and a goatee. Yep, a planet with facial hair.

So, when James Gunn and Marvel Studios decided to bring Ego to the big screen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, they knew that having a massive, talking planet probably wouldn’t be the best idea. They went with the premise that Ego would be able to create humanoid beings that would be able to interact with our beloved Guardians. Therefore, by default, since they cast a living, breathing human to portray the character, Ego automatically became more attractive. It doesn’t hurt that they cast the ruggedly handsome Kurt Russell, though.


Baron Zemo Comics vs On Screen

Fans of Baron Zemo were probably very confused by his appearance in Captain America: Civil War. The supervillain had previously been seen primarily in his signature purple hood. In fact, his face is hardly ever shown, given that it’s horribly scarred and disfigured. That purple-hooded version of Zemo is the character that Marvel fans have grown to love and fear.

That’s why it was such a shock to see Daniel Brühl play the villain in the film. There were no scars to be seen on his face, and definitely no purple hood. The character was evil, sure, but his similarity to the comic book Zemo began and ended with the name only. Many fans were let down that the hooded villain was just a very attractive puppet-master.


Aunt May Comics vs On Screen

Everyone loves Aunt May. She’s Peter Parker’s defacto mother and voice of reason. She’s loveable and kind. May is the reason that Peter Parker can never tell the world he’s Spider-Man because he just can’t risk his adorable Aunt’s life. And yes, she’s old — that, of course, doesn’t make her automatically unattractive, but until recently, in the comics, she’s always shown to be wrinkled, hunched over; basically she is the personification of a homely elderly person.

Marisa Tomei is not old. She’s not wrinkled. She doesn’t look like she’ll die at any moment. She’s gorgeous. When Tomei was announced as May in Spider-Man: Homecoming, fans didn’t know what to think. Is it okay to be attracted to Aunt May? Is this even something we should be asking? Marvel Studios seems to think so, as creators made a point of playing with that idea throughout her two appearances on screen. Whether she’s being hit on by Tony Stark or a random waiter in a restaurant, the modern Aunt May is now a sex symbol.


Jimmy Olsen Comics vs On Screen

Throughout his life in comics, Jimmy Olsen has always been seen as Superman’s little pal. He’s young, dorky, and sometimes annoying. We won’t make any disparaging remarks against those with a ginger background, but his overall look was drawn in such a way that it is clear the artists didn’t think of him as any sort of heart-throb. Admittedly, his later incarnations have been slightly kinder in the comics.

Fast forward to 2017, and as you watch Supergirl on TV, you see that Jimmy Olsen is now James Olsen, played by Mehcad Brooks. Frankly, James Olsen is hot. He’s tall, suave, and looks like he’s ready to steal your girl at all times. And that smile! Also, they went the extra step to make sure everyone knows he’s a badass by giving him his own superhero alter-ego, Guardian.


Callisto Comics vs On Screen

Callisto is a bit of a deep pull from the X-Men mythos. Over the years, her look has changed quite a bit. In her first few appearances, she’s shown to have an eye-patch and scars. She’s not attractive, certainly not when compared against other mutants. She lives in a sewer and looks like she’d beat you up at a biker bar… which is admittedly pretty great. In her later appearances, and in Marvel’s Ultimate universe, she’s shown to have tentacles for arms, adding to her generally unattractive look.

X-Men: The Last Stand showcased a lot of mutants that were never seen on screen before. Callisto was one of these, that was given a pretty decent part in the film, but she didn’t look anything like the comic version. Portrayed by the gorgeous Dania Ramirez, Callisto replaces the eye-patch and scars with some tattoos and piercings — hardly an equal trade-off. Clearly, they wanted her to look badass, but definitely not ugly.


Alfred Comics vs On Screen

Alfred is one of the most recognizable characters in comics. In almost every version of the character, in print, he’s drawn to be an elderly butler, with thinning hair and a moustache. Normally, he’s just shown to be that stereotypical older English gentleman in his twilight years, and has appeared as such in fiction for decades.

When Alfred appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Jeremy Irons was in no way the Alfred we’ve come to know and love. While he is still slightly older, he’s nowhere near as ancient as the comic version. He has a full head of hair and an incredible sense of style. We wouldn’t go and say that he looks like a supermodel, but if you go just from the before and after, this version of Alfred is a downright silver fox.


Gazelle Comics vs On Screen

For many fans of Kingsman: The Secret Service, they probably would be shocked to know that it was based on a comic book, with the same name, from 2012. One of the more memorable characters from the film is Gazelle, the assassin with blades for legs. That character actually made their debut in the comic, but in a very different way. In the comic series, Gazelle is a man, with missing legs, but he is still an assassin.

In the film, however, Gazelle is gender-swapped and turned into a young woman, played by Sofia Boutella. While we can’t say that Gazelle is necessarily ugly in the comics, the film version has decidedly more visual kick. Boutella is a model and dancer, and she’s one of the Hollywood’s most sought-after actresses. In Kingsman, she is both stunning and savage.


Joan Punisher Comics vs On Screen

If you are a fan of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s early run on The Punisher, you probably are familiar with Joan. While Frank Castle stays in an apartment building in New York, he is surrounded by an eclectic group of neighbors. Joan is shown to be timid and homely. While she doesn’t have any scars or tentacles for arms, she’s never shown to be sexy in any way, either.

That idea of Joan is thrown out the window when you cast Rebecca Romijn to portray the character in the 2004 feature film. Even though they do try to make Romijn look a little bit like the Joan from the comics, she’s still the beautiful, ex-model that played Mystique. Speaking nothing of her talent, which is clearly noteworthy, even when she tries to play timid, Rebecca Romijn still looks… well, like Rebecca Romijn.


Lady Deathstrike Comics vs On Screen

Lady Deathstrike is one of Wolverine’s most feared villains. In her quest to destroy the mutant, she has taken on an adamantium skeleton of her own, as well as various cybernetic enhancements. Instead of the claws protruding from her fists, her fingers and nails are shown to be extremely long. Her arms, face, and other areas of her body are drawn to have wires and metal poking through. She’s definitely not a sexy villain.

That all changed when X2 came out in theaters. Portrayed by Kelly Hu, Lady Deathstrike loses the cybernetic enhancements and long, bony fingers. Instead she is drop dead gorgeous, with adamantium nails that extend out when she’s ready to fight. And since there aren’t any cybernetics at play, when she isn’t using her claws, she just looks like Kelly Hu in black leather, which is never a bad thing.


Tallulah Black Comics vs On Screen

We’re sorry to do this, but we need to talk about the Jonah Hex film from 2010. Particularly, we need to talk about Tallulah Black. For those that aren’t aware of the film (lucky you!) or the Jonah Hex comics, Tallulah Black is a bounty hunter who is horribly scarred and missing an eye. She’s a badass, for sure, but never seen as a drop dead gorgeous woman.

When they cast an actress to portray Tallulah Black in the Jonah Hex feature film, they decided to go in a different direction with the character. Instead of being a badass bounty hunter, she’s a prostitute played by Megan Fox. As you might imagine, with Fox in the role, the filmmakers didn’t give her scars or a missing eye. They left her in dresses with strategic tears and lots of cleavage, and turned her into a love interest. However, no amount of Megan Fox sex appeal could save the film.


Archie Comics vs Riverdale TV Series

The two biggest reasons the cast of Riverdale is on this list are the characters of Ms. Grundy and Jughead. In the comics, Ms. Grundy is the kids’ teacher, who is an older lady. She wears old lady clothes, and has an old-lady hairdo. On Riverdale, Ms. Grundy is significantly younger, absolutely beautiful and has sexual relationships with multiple kids in her class.

The other character that doesn’t resemble the comic is Jughead. In the comics, Jughead is a goofy-looking, lanky guy who wears a crown on his head. He isn’t ugly, per se, but is not classically hot, either. Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead in Riverdale, is a sex symbol. Netflix even released a video of him eating a burger in a sexual way. He’s a bigger heartthrob than Archie, who is no slouch himself with his 6-pack abs. They even made his crown a part of how attractive he is, by making it a beanie that he wears to make himself more mysterious.


James Gordon Comics vs On Screen

Commissioner Gordon is pretty much everyone’s dad. He’s a burly, middle-aged man with a large bushy mustache. Gordon doesn’t find himself in the center of huge martial arts fights, instead he sticks to the back and uses his gun when necessary. Basically, he’s just not going to be on the top of many Sexiest Cop lists.

Well, leave it to Gotham to change that. In the prequel/Elseworlds TV series, Gordon is a young detective that is played by Ben McKenzie. Before McKenzie played Gordon, he was best known for being one of the sexy people in The O.C. This is a man that oozes sex appeal, and he brings that to a character that has never been sexy. Gone are the silly mustache and gray hair. Enter young, buff Gordon.


Frigga Comics vs On Screen

In the Thor comics, Frigga is very similar in age to Odin. They both look like elder gods with their long white hair. While Odin has been shown to be a capable warrior, even in his older age, Frigga has unfortunately stayed on the sidelines, in a more traditional motherly role. She’s never been shown in anything form-fitting. Instead, we mainly see her in long, flowy dresses. Honestly, she comes from the same mold as an Aunt May.

In the Thor movies, Frigga is played by Rene Russo. Let’s be real, Rene Russo is gorgeous. She looks incredible, and far different than the Frigga of the comics, at least before her portrayal (she has since become decidedly more badass). Her dresses are slinkier and form-fitting in the films and is allowed to have her moments of being a badass. Russo just brings a sexiness and strength that was never really seen in the comics, just by being her.


Dr Doom Comics vs On Screen

Many non-comic book readers would probably have a hard time telling you the history of Doctor Doom. One thing’s for sure, though — they could tell you what he looks like. His remarkable, robotic costume is remarkable, while under that mask sits a disfigured face that he never shows to anyone.

As the Green Goblin in the first Spider-Man film taught us, a villain in a full-face mask doesn’t always work. So, for the 2005 Fantastic Four film, the filmmakers decided to leave the mask off for most of the movie. Instead, we get actor Julian McMahon, with his chiseled jawline and great hair rivaling any other leading man, mask-less for most of the film. Sure, they try to “ugly” him up by showing metal coming through his face, but even then, he still looks handsome. A hot Doctor Doom just doesn’t work.

Which other homely heroes and villains got hot in their movie adaptations? Let us know in the comments!

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