Prison Break Actors in The CW's Arrowverse
Updated: Jun 21
Prison Break needs no introduction! But if you didn't have a life at the time, the story goes: Michael Scofield infiltrates Fox River Prison to break out his older brother Lincoln Burrows after he is wrongly incarcerated and about to be executed on deaths row. The series was incredibly popular during the 2000s and for its complex conspiracy storyline, compelling cast and thrills.
It seems though the popularity of the series has lead to many of the actors from the series to make appearances within many DC Comic projects most notably CW's Arrowverse. So here's a list of your favourite Prison Break-er's as they suit up!
Prison Break: Michael Scofield
In the Prison Break series Michael Scofield is a genius architect who goes above and beyond to break his older brother out of prison. Known for being the smart brother and better at thinking of strategies rather than punch his way through problems. One of his most lovable but exploitable aspects is his inability to allow others to suffer or die if he could stop it. His need to help others and tendency to blame himself for all the wrong he does paints how much of moral character he is.
DC: Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold (Earth 1, Earth-X)
During Flash season 1, we are introduced to his first non-metahuman villain. A crook of the name Leonard Snart who cares for nothing but stealing valuables for fun, money and prefers a bit of a challenge. Being foiled by Flash only motivates Snart to steal the Cold gun. A gun that fires Cold Plasma to a point were the atoms can't move, effective at stopping something that always moves fast. Snart share Scofield's smart guy aspects being an amazing strategist and always planning ahead. The biggest difference is Snart has no problem killing. In fact he murders the arms dealer that gave him the Cold Gun just because he knows about it. Leonard Snart perfectly embodies the cold dark character that Michael Scofield isn't. However he does become heroic during his time on Legends of Tomorrow and even states in one episode that this isn't his first Prison Break. We see what you did there CW!
Prison Break: Lincoln Burrows
Scofield's older brother Lincoln is better known as Linc the Sink. Because he'd attack you with anything but the kitchen sink allegedly... The Prison Break series revolves around him being wrongly accused for a crime that he didn't commit and is set to be executed. Being the tough one of the two brothers, Lincoln is better known for pushing his weight around and if necessary, beating enemies senseless. However he has a heart of gold especially for his son, brother and closest friends and much like his brother he does not like killing. But will do so if needed. Its a simple tough guy, smart guy pairing with the two main characters who contrast perfectly.
DC: Mick Rory aka Heatwave
In the comics, Captain Cold is known for his opposite partner in crime Heatwave. A violent pyromaniac. What could go wrong with that team up? It's no surprise that with Miller as Cold, Purcell is brought on as his hot tempered pyromaniac partner. The difference between the two is literally like Fire and Ice. Cold being cool headed and calculated if not down right cold. Heatwave is more on the bad tempered side and hot blooded usually wanting to burn his way through problems. Initially Cold and Heatwave are the bad heroes among the Legends but whilst Cold mellows out Heatwave stills prefers being a crook over a hero which leads to tension between the two. Despite this Heatwave has become a true hero and one of the longest mainstays among the cast alongside White Canary and Atom.
Prison Break: Theodore Bagwell
Introduced in the first series of Prison Break is probably one of the most popular but despicable villains of TV ever. Theodore Bagwell aka T-Bag is the most iconic character of Prison Break after the Brothers. He is a depraved Bisexual paedophile who immediately becomes the type of character audiences want to see dead but surprisingly becomes popular, even helpful to the heroes in the series despite the constant backstabbing on both sides and the fact know one can stand him. Hats off the Robert Knepper for bringing such a creepy icon to life. In fact this character was only intended to be minor but Knepper's performance kept him on longer and added more depth beyond just the prison's vile rapist and racist.
DC: William Tockman aka Clock-King
Meeting Clock-King in Arrow may have surprised many. Since most of Robert Knepper's fans are used to seeing him play a vile prisoner like T-Bag. As William Tockman as Clock-King he is everything T-Bag is not. He is a calculated planner, timing his robberies and thefts to the exact second so that he and his minions can get away with their crimes just by timing each and every moment to the right second. He reappears in Flash as the Police Force are taking him into prison near his home. It is revealed that William's reasons for turning to crime was actually to save his sister. Tockman's sister suffers from Cystic Fibrosis which he spends his money for her treatment, what more heartwarming is how Tockman is dying from MacGregor's Syndrome and only using his money for his sister's healthcare. His sister dies after he is arrested and unable to fund her healthcare. At this point Tockman no longer cares about returning to crime and most likely remain incarcerated.
Prison Break: John Abruzzi
Italian American mafia boss John Abruzzi becomes one of the more reliable allies of Michael Schofield and Lincoln Burrows in the first series of Prison Break. Being the one to organise the Fox River group into the Prison Industries and the one with the mafia connections to try and get them a getaway plane. John Abruzzi is ruthless and capable of at least dealing with T-Bag for Michael when issues usually arise. Like cutting off T-Bag's hand when the group fail to break the handcuffs holding him and Michael together. However his only stake at escaping the prison is Michael's false promise of giving him the location of a grass named Fibonacci, in fact it is this obsession with revenge that eventually leads to his downfall.
DC: Werner Zytle aka Count Vertigo II
Within the arrowverse series we get introduced to an Americanised Count Vertigo who is portrayed as a drug kingpin of sorts. After he is killed by Arrow. Werner Zytle takes his places as the new drug king pin Count Vertigo II. However Zytle is by far a more capable fighter, aside from his modified Vertigo drug working like a hallucinogenic fear toxin (Much like Gotham's Scarescrow). Zytle is also a lethal and skilled hand to hand fighter and martial artist especially using pressure points to quickly disable his opponent and uses Vertigo laced darts too. While he definitely held his own as a decent Arrow villain. He does not return in the series.
Prison Break: James Whistler
During the later seasons of prison break, Michael finds himself needed to break out another prisoner of the name James Whistler. Despite using Chris Vance's natural British accent, James is apparently an Australian (bet the Aussie viewers cringed as much as us British). Regardless of the wrong accent. James becomes somewhat of a problematic ally due to neither sides trusting one another and also Michael having no clue what James endgame is. Whistler fits as more of as a reason to fit the prison break title to the story but after that he revealed to be a company agent looking to whistle blow on the company that imprisoned Burrows in the first place. Though his inability to trust Michael and the others initially whilst trying to maintain his cover as a member of the company makes sense consider what happens to the vast majority of the characters in the series.
Chris Vance is yet another Heroic Prison Break character that shows up as a villain in the CW Arrowverse as well. This time he portrays Non an evil Kryptonian and also Supergirl's uncle by marriage. Unlike the comics version who is a former scientist that was lobotomised into being General Zod's silent henchman, here he is perfectly capable of speech and is actually feels that taking over earth and ruling it is the perfect solution as he feels the human race doesn't take care of their planet and are too distracted by menial things in life to do anything about it. Naturally he comes across as a stuck up entitled conqueror type who feels justified in agreeing to genocide the human race (though he was initially against it).
Prison Break: Wyatt Matthewson
Many of you guys may forget about Wyatt Matthewson. In prison break season 4 he appears as the company's new hitman. A 6'4" African American who is even more ruthless and effective than his predecessors Bill Kim and Paul Kellerman. When tracking the main characters he manages to kill Roland (one of their allies) and then Alex Mahone's son which leads to Mahone to torture Wyatt and kill him to avenge his son and trick Wyatt's boss General Krantz into believing that Wyatt had successfully assassinated the main characters.
DC: Jefferson Pierce aka Black Lightning
So whilst many of the Prison Break Heroes end up playing Villains for CW. Cress Williams does the opposite portraying a Villain in prison break to the leading hero of Black Lightning. Jefferson Pierce is a loving father and headteacher at a school during the day. But come at night he is the lightning powered vigilante Black Lightning. Black Lightning had joined the rest of the CWverse during crisis on infinite earths where he assisted the Flash and is now part of the new rebooted reality.
Prison Break: Sheba
Prison Break was resurrected for a fifth season with it revealing that Michael Scofield is still alive and under the alias of Kaniel Outis. He is found by his brother and friends to be incarcerated in Ogygia Prison in Sana'a, Yemen. Once Lincoln and C-Note arrive in Yemen. They find an ally in Sheba a local Yemeni woman who assists them but also wishes to escape from Yemen due to the increasingly unstable civil war. She ends up in a relationship with Lincoln by the end of the series tho it is not clear how long this will last considering Lincoln's relationship with Sofia had ended too.
Inbar Lavi also appears as a DC character too and technically a CW Arrowverse character if you combine the Earths from the Crisis crossover. Inbar Lavi reappears in the series Lucifer as Eve. Controversially portraying the first woman of humanity as a former lover of the devil. This could be based off the DC comics Lucifer much like the series. Lucifer appears in a cameo scene during Crisis on Infinite Earths where John Constantine requests his help to find Green Arrow. It seem to be that Lucifer is fully aware of the multiverse and has tangoed with John before. Whilst it is a rare example of Middle Eastern actress playing a character from an Abrahamic story. Ironically her son Cain is portrayed by Tom Welling who is white and also appears as a cameo during Crisis on Infinite Earths as he reprises his role as SmallVille's equivalent of Superman.
Not relevant to the CW DC Arrowverse. We have Frank Grillo who appeared as the Lawyer Nick Savrin in Season one Prison Break. He also appears in the MCU as Brock Rumlow aka CrossBones. One of the few prison break actors to go into the MCU. Interestingly enough like most of the Prison Break Heroes, he is playing a super-villain.
Final mention is William Fichtner who played Agent Alex Mahone in Prison Break from Season 2 to Season 4 also appeared in superhero film. Though this one likely flew over everyone's head as he makes a quick cameo appearance as the bank manager in the Christpher Nolan film The Dark Knight.
Are there any other Prison Break actors you wanna see play a Super Hero?