For your consideration in May’s Hall of Fame nominations, please allow me to draw your attention to a gentleman that will be forever known for not one, but two seminal DC-related performances. In addition to being the definitive voice of the animated portrayal of The Flash in Justice League The Animated Series, he has also, in this author’s opinion, given the very best live action portrayal of Lex Luthor, which he did for several seasons in the iconic TV series Smallville. It is of course, fanboy favourite Michael Rosenbaum!!
Born in Oceanside, New York in 1972 and raised in Newburgh, Indiana, he graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in theatre arts and moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. After securing parts in successful films such as Urban Legend and Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil, his biggest game when he was cast in the pilot episode of Smallville in 2001, playing the legendary role of Lex Luthor. This role was to last for 7 seasons, before he left the show for pastures new, only to return in 2011 for the 2 hour series finale, reprising his role to devastating effect!
I think Rosenbaum’s portrayal of Luthor is the very best of any live action attempt. Whilst Hackman, Spacey and Eisenberg all did great work with very distinct takes on the character, this version had all the required elements. A combination of charm, menace, charisma, vulnerability and darkness really gave viewers of the show a multi-layered performance to enjoy. This Luthor started off as a fairly good-hearted man, and very subtly began his descent into evil through his own tragic circumstances that set him on his dark path, coupled with the corrupting influence of his father Lionel Luthor, played with evil intent by the great John Glover. I think this Luthor was a sympathetic character to many too, as we saw “behind the curtain” with the character for the first time, rather than him showing up to serve as an adversary for Clark. A quite brilliant performance, which was rewarded with a Saturn Award.
The other reason I nominate Michael Rosenbaum is for his fantastic portrayal of Wally West/The Flash in the amazing animated series Justice League/Justice League Unlimited. His version of The Flash had just the right of fun to it, as he always seemed to serve as the comic relief on the show, never being short of a wisecrack during an apocalyptic-level tussle with a variety of world-conquering villains. In a show that was often overcrowded with an ever-changing roster of JLA members, this character was one of the core constants that always featured heavily. Viewers knew they were in for a fun ride when this version of the Scarlet Speedster entered the fray!
In addition to these two main entries on his resume, Rosenbaum has remained a key player in the DC voice-acting world. He has played characters in Batman Beyond, Static Shock, Batman: The Brave and The Bold and Teen Titans. Also, he gave a nice vocal performance as Johnny Charisma in the hit video game Arkham Knight, unquestionably the greatest DC-oriented video game of all time!!!!
It is a must that Michael Rosenbaum gets his spot in the DC World Hall of Fame……get voting!!!!