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Why Gabriel From Mission: Impossible 7 Looks So Familiar To DC Universe Fans

It was a rough ride to the multiplex for Tom Cruise's latest addition to the "Mission: Impossible" franchise. But according to the film's Rotten Tomatoes scores, most critics and moviegoers agree "Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One" was well worth the wait. It currently ranks as the second highest-rated "Mission: Impossible" flick on Rotten Tomatoes, with some fans claiming it the best the franchise has delivered. 

That is largely the result of the work of franchise headliner Cruise and the various supporting players who've continued to keep him company in the Impossible Mission realm over the years. But it's undoubtedly also the result of "Dead Reckoning Part One" introducing a chilling new baddie for Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his IMF team to face off against. Said villain is known only as Gabriel. He's as bad as bad gets in the world of "Mission: Impossible," and he's made all the more memorable by the menacing performance of Esai Morales. 

And yes, that actor looks familiar to fans of the DC Universe, as Morales made some seriously bloody waves during his "Titans" Season 2 run as the deadly and duplicitous Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke). Sadly, Morales' "Titans" tenure came to a pretty definitive end in Season 2. Even still, his scene-stealing work in the role ensures fans will not forget the character.

Esai Morales has been a Hollywood regular for a few decades now

While Esai Morales' days playing Deathstroke are clearly at an end, his Gabriel managed to survive the harrowing action of "Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One." So, fans can expect Morales to reprise the character when "Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part Two" makes its way to theaters. 

While those roles arguably rank among the biggest of Morales' career, they're far from his first stake at the big time. Morales has been earning raves for his work for several decades now. Those reviews date back to his breakout role playing nefarious gang leader Paco Moreno opposite Sean Penn in the 1983 drama "Bad Boys." A few years later, Morales was earning career-best notes for his performance as Richie Valens' half-brother Bob Morales in "La Bamba." While that film launched Lou Diamond Phillips' career into the 1980s stratosphere, it also proved a springboard for Morales, with the actor delivering equally notable turns in film and television projects of all sizes in the ensuing decades.

The 2000s proved particularly fruitful for Morales, who claimed a major role in the beloved procedural "NYPD Blue," appeared in Richard Linklater's "Fast Food Nation," and scored parts on small screen hits like "Burn Notice," "Jericho," and "CSI: Miami." He's since turned up for multi-episode arcs on "Criminal Minds," "Chicago P.D.," "Blue Bloods," and "How to Get Away With Murder." But, it's safe to say one of his most well-known roles of late was that of sharp-tongued Cartel heavy Del on Netflix's smash hit crime saga, "Ozark."