10 Best Depictions Of Superman In Movies And TV Shows, According To Reddit

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Finally, Superman returns to the big screen after Henry Cavill’s cameo at the end of black adam, and fans couldn’t be more excited. However, while many have been waiting for his return for quite some time, there has never been a lack of time without Superman in movies or TV. Just in 2022, there have also been Superman and Lois season 2, DC League of Super Pets, young justiceand Batman and Superman: The Battle of the Super Sons – same Titans introduced him in a way in the Season 4 premiere.


Since he’s been a mainstay in entertainment since his introduction in 1938, many iconic actors have portrayed the Man of Steel in movies and television. As such, there’s an eternal debate over who the definitive Superman is, with fans of all ages standing firmly behind every portrayal. From Christopher Reeve to Henry Cavill, Redditors have expressed which actor they prefer as their ideal Superman, citing how several of them aptly nail his mannerisms in the comics.

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Christopher Reeve (1978-87)

The most prolific opinion among fans is that Christopher Reeve gives the best performance as Superman in the four films in which he wore the cape. Superman246o1 wrote, “with all due respect to the other actors, it’s not even close.” He’s a legend among movie and comic book fans with his tenure as Superman truly establishing comic book movies as viable and popular forms of entertainment, paving the way for their dominance today.

It marked the perfect balance between Clark Kent and Superman, creating such a strong dichotomy between his two characters that it’s partly believable that no one ever sees them as the same person. As such, Christopher Reeve is synonymous with Superman in many people’s eyes.

Henry Cavill (2013 – Present)

Of course, Henry Cavill has received a lot of love and appreciation online. Many fans appreciate the darker tone and strength that Cavill’s portrayals showcased. Fortunately, there will be more opportunities to see him shine now than black adam correctly proved some theories about how Superman would return to the DCU. After more than a decade, Steel man finally gets a real sequel – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was no longer a Justice League precursor.

While Reeve’s Superman emulates the classic virtue and hope that Superman is known for, Cavill “gives Superman a deep sense of moral complexity and emotional nuance not seen since the DC animated universe,” as the said LeaderVladimir1993. This gives his Superman a more developed path to becoming the symbol of hope and justice that he is in the comics.

Tyler Hoechlin (2016 – Present)

Although it was originally planned to be an expansion of the Arrowverse, Superman and Lois is its own special thing. In just two seasons so far, Tyler Hoechlin’s portrayal of Superman has become hugely popular because it focuses on him as a father, something most other projects lack. With the inclusion of Jon and Jordan Kent and other important Superman characters like Steel or Morgan Edge, Superman and Lois is what many consider a perfect adaptation of Superman.

Reboot422 thinks Hoechlin is “the best because he’s the most specific about how the character is in the comics. He also feels like a character with a personality,” claiming that other depictions are stark caricatures. It’s another case of nailing the distinct personalities of Clark Kent and Superman, but in a way all its own.

Tim Daly (1996-2012)

While his live-action depictions get a lot of attention, Superman has an extremely long history in animation. Most would recognize Superman: The Animated Series, one of DC’s best animated shows, and Tim Daly as the definitive Superman for voicing him there. For many who grew up with Superman: The Animated SeriesTim Daly is the voice they hear when they think of Superman or read the comics.

Adutitorrent says it perfectly, writing, “There’s something so deep in Tim Daly’s voice that makes him say he’s Superman better than anyone who took the role.” It’s certainly high praise, and it’s been enthusiastically backed by many fans on Reddit. Daly has returned periodically to voice Superman again since the anime series ended, so maybe he’ll do it again in the future.

George Newbern (2001-19)

The other great voice that many will associate with animated Superman is George Newbern. He succeeded Tim Daly in voicing it for Justice League and Justice League Unlimited and even did it again for the Injustice video games. Many fans are hoping for a third game, and as such, they want Newbern back.

As with Daly, other fans like serapius say, “George Newbern is the voice I hear every time I read Superman’s lines in any comic.” The way Newbern was able to act out his speeches and dialogue throughout the animated series, and how it differed in other portrayals outside of the DCAU, really showed how perfectly suited he was for the role.

George Reeves (1951-58)

Before George Newbern or Christopher Reeve, there was one actor who could claim the title of the people’s Superman, George Reeves. He wasn’t the first person to play it on TV – that would be Kirk Alyn – but George Reeves did it the longest until Christopher Reeve. For his time wearing the cape and spandex, he deserves more recognition.

Redditor stasw said, “Playing Superman back then would have been a career low point, but he gave it his all and is one of the most talented actors on this list.” If not for George Reeves in The Adventures of Superman expanding the character’s popularity and place in entertainment and culture, there would have been no opportunity for Christopher Reeve.

Brandon Routh (2006, 2019)

While most actors had multiple plans to polish their portrayals, Brandon Routh actually only got one hit in 2006 with The Return of Superman. While not particularly well-liked, there’s still a lot to appreciate about Routh’s performance. DashSatan wrote: “I think Routh did a fantastic impression of Reeve. That’s what they were looking for in this movie.

It had the energy to emulate Christopher Reeve’s tenure, and if it were better refined, it could have had its own trilogy. Nonetheless, he found more success years later as another DC hero, the Atom in the Arrowverse – although he also reprized the role of Superman in 2019 for their Crisis on Infinite Earths crossing.

Dean Cain (1993-97)

Before Superman and Loisthere was Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman starring Dean Cain as the capped wonder. This series mostly swapped what had become the norm for Superman, as Clark Kent is a costume that Kal-El puts on instead of having Superman as his public disguise.

OneStopChop said: “His Clark ended up being what he was, while Superman was ‘what he could do’ so his Superman was a lot stiffer and not as fun as Reeve’s, but I find his Clark more fun to watch, mostly because of his banter with Lois, it’s this connection to Lois that made Dean Cain’s portrayal stand out in the eyes of many fans.

Tom Welling (2001-11, 2019)

Tom Welling spent a decade playing Clark Kent on his original series, Smallville, and although he didn’t take the Superman name, he’s still considered one of the best. Hulkzilla0 said, “For all intents and purposes, I’d say Tom Welling is the best live-action portrayal of the character.” Without the burden of the cape, Welling’s Clark Kent is the most detailed of the bunch.

According to fans, Smallville is still one of Superman’s best shows, so Welling certainly deserves his status of giving one of Superman’s best performances. It really wouldn’t be a contest if he had the chance to really be Superman afterwards. Smallville concluded.

Gerard Christophe (1989-1992)

Smallville was the second live show to focus on Superman’s origins with super boy from 1988 to 1992. In the first season, John Newton played the young hero, but in season 2, Gerard Christopher took over. Although this period has been overshadowed by other larger and more prolonged performances, Gerard Christopher still has his own dedicated group of fans.

FreakOrUnique26 wrote, “Gerard Christopher is one of the most underrated Superman actors in my opinion. He was a true likeness to the character in every way, his appearance and character. He took down the clumsy Clark Kent and was a heroic hunky Superboy with values. Although he won’t get the recognition of others like Christopher Reeves or Henry Cavill, Gerard Christopher is still the definitive Superman for many fans.

NEXT: 10 Best Reddit Fan Theories For A Man Of Steel Sequel

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