In the current era of The Avengers and Batman Vs. Superman, it’s impossible to be a fan of the comic-book genre and not have a well-considered argument to the question, “Who’s the Most Powerful Superhero?” Superman, of course, is the most obvious answer in any superpower battle-royale debate, but there are strong and more interesting claims to be made for the others, too. (Except Hawkeye. Sorry, guy.)
In Hollywood offices, there are similar conversations going on all the time about their own legion of superheroes, those famous actors and actresses who can open a movie in New York, Nebraska, and Nepal, whether it be a romance, an action-adventure, or a raunchy comedy. But with more and more of the industry now tilted towards Comic-Con-approved tent-pole pictures, the pecking order for actors today is heavily weighted by his or her ability to land a major role in a superhero franchise. It is the lifeblood of a long and prosperous career. For example, playing Batman not only elevated Christian Bale to the Hollywood A-list — positioning the indie actor for other major studio movie roles — but his enhanced financial security allowed him to continue to gamble on the eclectic roles he preferred in the first place, in movies like The Fighter and Rescue Dawn.
When the right actor gets the right superhero role, it becomes virtually impossible to separate the artist from the character. The cape becomes part of their public persona, one that can help or hinder their other on-screen roles. But what happens when Hollywood’s heroes are stripped of their superpowers? That is to say, what is Robert Downey Jr. without Tony Stark’s armor? What is Hugh Jackman when his Wolverine claws are clipped? Do we still pay to see their movies, or do we give them the cold-shoulder, like old-school Lois Lane used to give old-school Clark Kent? Who is the most powerful superstar when they’re nothing more or less than their Hollywood alter ego?
After looking at the actors and actresses who are major players in current comic-book franchises, we examined their recent box-office and critical reputation when they’re not in costume, and then ranked them in order to see who really flies the highest and has the biggest muscles in the movie universe. READ FULL STORY