It's rare for a single actor to portray more than one comic book character. When it does happen — like with Chris Evans (Human Torch, Captain America), Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern, Deadpool) and Ben Affleck (Daredevil, Batman) — it becomes major headline news.
But one actor has portrayed a half-dozen of these roles over the past two decades, and most people don't even know his name: #NealMcDonough.
In the CW's #Arrowverse, McDonough plays the evil #DamienDarhk starting in #Arrow Season 4. He was considered one of the best parts of a very poor season, and fans loved him so much that the character returned in DC's #LegendsOfTomorrow for Season 2. As Darhk, McDonough finds the right balance of hammy and terrifying that makes it all work; he does a damn good job portraying a truly threatening villain but also has a lot of fun with it, and steals the scene whenever he shows up.
It's awesome that McDonough is finally getting the recognition that he deserves. You may recognize him as "that dude from Minority Report," but you're likely unaware that he's been playing comic book characters since the 1990s. Let's start all the way from the beginning:
1. Bruce Banner (The Incredible Hulk)
After playing the villain Firebrand in one episode of the Iron Man animated series, McDonough graduated to a leading man as Dr. Bruce Banner — alongside Lou Ferrigno as Hulk — in the animated series The Incredible Hulk. To this day, McDonough remains my favorite portrayal of the character. He was a nice guy, but he had this smartass attitude that I feel like Mark Ruffalo's version borrowed from.
McDonough played Banner from 1996 to the end of the series in 1997, and then went on to reprise this role in the 2005 video game The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. I'd personally love to see McDonough return in some kind of animated movie.
2. Green Arrow (DC Showcase: Green Arrow)
An entry that is short (but oh-so-sweet) is in the 2010 animated short film about everyone's favorite emerald archer, the Green Arrow. Neal McDonough portrayed Oliver Queen to a T: the cockiness, the iron will and even the serious moments are all handled perfectly by McDonough — and for such a short film, I have to give him props.
It's a shame this was his only outing as Oliver Queen, because I would have loved to see a full animated series with this cast. Oh well, he'll at least get to return to the world of Green Arrow in the future.
3. Timothy 'Dum Dum' Dugan (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
In a live-action appearance, McDonough returned to Marvel for the origin story of the Star-Spangled Man With A Plan in Captain America: The First Avenger. McDonough played the character Dum Dum Dugan, a member of Captain America's Howling Commandos — and yet again, he nailed the role. He was funny, he was badass, he was loyal, and he had the killer mustache. Outstanding job, McDonough.
It was also great to see McDonough return to this role in both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter.
4. The Flash (Injustice Series)
In 2013 McDonough played the Fastest Man Alive, Barry Allen, in Netherrealm's Injustice: Gods Among Us as a version of the Flash who worked for the tyrant Superman but betrayed him — and the Regime — to join Batman's Insurgency. While Flash didn't have a large role in the first game, he was a highlight due to his arc, and Neal McDonough yet again performed very well.
My only issue is that I wish McDonough had a bigger role, because after awhile I forgot Flash was even in the story — but once he made his return, he was great. However, after a recent trailer for Injustice 2, it seems like Neal McDonough will be returning. And since he was on the first poster as well, I think we can expect a larger role from the favorite character of creator Ed Boon.
5. Deadshot (Batman: Assault On Arkham)
Before Will Smith brought the character to life in Suicide Squad, the Arkham Universe got its own animated movie about Task Force X with Neal McDonough voicing Deadshot. He's the main character who carries the film, which means McDonough needed to pull this off — and he did, portraying just how likable of a criminal Floyd Lawton really is.
So what's next for Neal McDonough? Whether it's Marvel, DC or something totally different, I'll just be looking forward to whatever project he's attached to, because he's earned a spot among legendary actors like Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as a master of comic book roles. McDonough always nails it and gives each character 100 percent.
No matter whether it's a minimal or leading role in a low-budget movie, TV series, video game or giant blockbuster, he's always a highlight who deserves to be more recognized.