Comic book superheroes have long conquered other mediums. One look at the list of the highest-grossing movies of all time suffices to know that superhero stories make for good cinema, and audiences are here for it. In this golden age of television, TV producers and screenwriters have also been tapping into the storytelling potential of infamous and lesser-known superheroes alike. So, here are our top picks of superhero TV shows worth binge-watching.
Let’s kick off this list with perhaps the most obvious contender for best superhero TV show out there, which is paradoxical enough for a show this controversial. Released on Amazon Prime Video in 2019, The Boys quickly became the benchmark for gritty superhero storytelling. Set in a universe dominated by an all-powerful corporation managing superheroes that are little more than self-serving, self-obsessed, and overtly corrupt individuals, the show doesn’t shy away from the ruggedness of its subject matter.
Maybe The Boys isn’t your best bet if you’re uncomfortable with bloody action sequences and coarse dark humour. But with acting so good it spawned too many hilarious memes to count – I’m looking at you, Homelander – and some of the most memorable superhero scenes ever, this incisive show about antiheroes we all love to hate sits comfortably at the top of this list.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has landed on television with varying success. Despite being heavily advertised on Disney Plus, shows like Miss Marvel, Loki, and Moon Knight all struggled to keep viewers invested. Strangely enough, though, Marvel had seemingly found a winning formula with its past shows released on another streaming giant. Years later, Netflix’s take on the blind vigilante of Hell’s Kitchen still feels like the perfect TV adaptation.
With its pulpy style and edgy writing, Daredevil explores the moral dilemmas shaking Matt Murdoch in gripping fashion. Strong supporting characters add even more weight to the overall story, not to mention a portrayal of supervillain Winston Fisk for the ages that made the MCU bring Kingpin back in the Hawkeye series. Charlie Cox also appeared on Disney Plus’s She-Hulk, teasing his upcoming return in the Daredevil: Born Again series. But something tells me this reboot will have a hard time matching the excellence of its forerunner.
Let’s give animated shows some well-deserved credit with this clever adaptation of the eponymous comic book penned by Robert Kirkman. With Kirkman running the show, there’s no surprise why Invincible remains so faithful to its source material. And the result is arguably leagues ahead of your average superhero story. Sure, bombastic action set pieces were enough to hook me in.
But this mature show shines when it tackles the complexity of its human components. This character-centric show’s narrative carries actual emotional weight, bringing a nuanced perspective to the heavy toll that superpowers impose on the protagonists. With superb animation to boot, Invincible is a must-watch in my book.
The Flash started as a spin-off to CW’s Arrow, but this superhero show quickly stood on its own. The series’ first season was an unmitigated critical success while managing to appeal to comic fans and newcomers thanks to its light atmosphere. If not a stellar show through and through, this fun adaptation likely rekindled the interest in this iconic DC character.
Barry Allen’s story has even influenced the gaming world, with top iGaming platforms like Vegas Slots Online bringing the nerdy speedster to life with titles like The Flash and The Flash Velocity. There are many more superhero-themed games to come from renowned software developers such as Playtech and NextGen Gaming. Even better, all the games are compatible with mobile devices. Gamers can play them for free on the go while they wait for the next cinematic iteration of The Flash to hit screens in just over a week.
The Umbrella Academy
I’m wrapping up this list with another TV adaptation of a niche comic book. This Netflix original tells the story of seven gifted children born simultaneously all around the world before being adopted by an eccentric billionaire leveraging their unique super-abilities to create a superhero team, The Umbrella Academy.
Fast-forward to the present day, and the imploded family reluctantly reunites after the passing of their adoptive father. But the reappearance of one of their missing siblings forces them to come together to face impending doom. Boasting three seasons of outrageous humour, colourful characters, and tightly-written time-travel mysteries, The Umbrella Academy will deliver us long-awaited answers in its upcoming fourth and final season.