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Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Filmed More Comic Book Projects Than You Probably Realize

The pop culture landscape is made up of numerous fandoms these days, as new TV series and film franchises continue to develop and grow their audiences. One actor who has made a notable name for himself by appearing in many different beloved franchises is Jeffrey Dean Morgan, a big and small screen performer who has crossed numerous genres — including action, sci-fi, horror, and more — as his filmography has grown over the years.

One interesting thing to note about Morgan's career is the sheer number of comic book and graphic novel adaptations that he has appeared in throughout his time in Hollywood. In fact, this hasn't slowed down, as it was recently announced that Morgan will also appear in Season 4 of Amazon's "The Boys," reuniting him with his former "Supernatural" collaborator Eric Kripke. Given this announcement, it's worth taking a look back to examine the sheer number of comic book adaptations that Morgan has appeared in over the years.

He played The Comedian in Zack Snyder's Watchmen

One of Jeffrey Dean Morgan's earliest graphic novel adaptations also happens to be one of the most highly-anticipated films of the sort to ever hit the big screen. Specifically, he appeared as Edward Blake, aka The Comedian, in Zack Snyder's 2009 film "Watchmen." An adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel of the same name, the film is set in an alternate version of 1985 and follows a group of vigilantes as they work to untangle the mystery of Blake's murder at the beginning of the story and unweave a conspiracy that will eventually leave millions dead.

Prior to taking on the role, Morgan was (by his own admission) only familiar with "Watchmen" in passing. However, the actor revealed (via Collider) that in his preparation to appear in "Watchmen," both he and his father became major fans of the source material. Morgan said, "I knew of the comic, I had read parts of it, I had never read the whole thing, and then obviously before I went and met with Zack I read it and now I've probably read the thing like twenty times. My dad has become a huge fan, he'd never heard of it and he's a big fan of the genre, and he's now read the thing about three hundred times. So when I have questions about anything I call him up and he'll kinda cue me in on what's happening."

He starred as Clay in The Losers

Following his turn as The Comedian in "Watchmen," Jeffrey Dean Morgan then went on to take on the role of Frank Clay in the 2010 film "The Losers." Directed by Sylvain White, the film is an adaptation of the similarly-titled graphic novel series from Vertigo. The film follows a group of black-ops soldiers led by Clay, who comes out of hiding to battle against their former CIA handler after being betrayed while on a deadly mission.

One notable element of Frank Clay is that he is arguably one of the lesser-known comic book characters that Morgan has portrayed. As it turns out, this helped the actor bring his own spin to the character and not feel constrained to what was originally on the page. Discussing this freedom in an interview tied to the film's release (per Collider), Morgan said, "This guy has a real, actually much better sense of humor than the Comedian did. He's not nihilistic. It's completely different. This is much lighter. A much lighter load for me. There's also kind of room for me to interpret this as a project where, in 'Watchmen,' you had to — look, I was playing the Comedian in the most revered comic book ever written. I was confined to that. In this, I could fine-tune a lot of what I thought Frank Clay is and get to play with it a lot more."

He played Jeb Turnbull in Jonah Hex

"The Losers" was not the only 2010 comic book adaptation that Jeffrey Dean Morgan appeared in. In fact, Morgan was also in "Jonah Hex," a film adaptation of the titular, scarred DC anti-hero. The film stars Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex, a bounty hunter who possesses the ability to speak to the dead. In the film, Morgan portrays Jeb Turnbull, the best friend of Jonah Hex, and the son of Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), the central antagonist of the story. Jeb's death is what kicks off the events of the story when Hex refuses to burn down a hospital and is forced to kill his best friend when he pulls a gun on him.

In addition to Morgan, Brolin, and Malkovich, the film also includes supporting turns from actors like Will Arnett, Megan Fox, and Michael Fassbender. Unlike his leading role in "The Losers," Morgan's role as Jeb Turnbull in "Jonah Hex" is relatively minor. In fact, he is not even directly credited for the role. Ultimately, the film proved to be a box office failure, earning roughly $10.9 million (via Box Office Mojo) against a $47 million budget. That said, "Jonah Hex" wasn't the last time Morgan appeared in a film adaptation of the DC canon.

He reunited with Zack Snyder to play Thomas Wayne in Batman v Superman

In 2016, Jeffrey Dean Morgan once again teamed up with Zack Snyder for a long-awaited comic book moment. Instead of the adaptation of "Watchmen," this time it was the first-ever big screen fight between Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." He appears in the film's opening credits as Thomas Wayne, the ill-fated father of Bruce Wayne who is gunned down in Crime Alley alongside Martha Wayne (Lauren Cohan).

Jeffrey Dean Morgan's brief performance as Thomas Wayne (coupled with the presence of The Flash in the DCEU) has led many fans to theorize that he could one day play the "Flashpoint" version of Batman. This take on Batman is an alternate version in which Bruce Wayne is killed in Crime Alley, leading Thomas to take on the mantle and become a deadlier, gun-wielding version of Batman. Addressing the prospect of one day playing "Flashpoint" Thomas Wayne in 2021 (via CinePOP), the actor said, "Look, the top of my list has always been Batman. That's always been my favorite super hero and talking about Flashpoint has been very fun. I get asked about it a lot. I love the story of Flashpoint. Who knows? Who knows with DC? Who knows how these franchises work? I suppose I probably have a two or three year window and then I'm gonna be too old."

He took on the role of Negan in The Walking Dead

Jeffrey Dean Morgan has played heroes and villains alike throughout his career in Hollywood, and few of his villainous turns has proven quite as charismatic and controversial as his performance as Negan on "The Walking Dead." Introduced during the Season 6 finale of the beloved AMC series, the bat-wielding Negan's first encounter with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group of survivors was a slight twist on Robert Kirkman's graphic novel series, with Negan murdering both Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) in a cliffhanger that paid off in the Season 7 premiere.

Over the course of Negan's tenure on "The Walking Dead," he slowly transforms from a full-blown villain into a somewhat redeemed anti-hero. However, Negan has arguably never been fully redeemed, and he has even mocked the death of Glenn as recently as Season 11. This character moment proved incredibly controversial among many fans, and even Morgan himself reportedly fought against Negan invoking the late Glenn in the series. In a recent interview (per Entertainment Weekly), Morgan said, "I fought it! That's the one line that I immediately called [showrunner Angela Kang] and I was like, 'I can't say it. I can't f****** bring up Glenn's name here.' And I was like, 'Any goodwill that Negan has gotten on his side is going to go out the window the minute I say Glenn.'"