The decade is coming to a close, and at this time of the year, we usually reflect on the industry as a whole. The 2010s, in particular, has seen a renaissance in the superhero genre, and there are now more comic-based TV shows than ever before!
There’s been some fantastic additions to the genre and some terrible attempts to create a show that could live up to the likes of the best of this list. Here are 5 of the worst and 5 of the best superhero TV shows that came out in the last decade.
10 WORST: IRON FIST
Iron Fist was one of the first attempts to bring some kind of mysticism into the Netflix Marvel world. We’d already had some fantastic series from this venture between the two companies, and this was the final show leading into the big crossover event.
Unfortunately, the first season of the show was a disaster, and the second wasn’t a huge step up. The action seriously let down a character that’s supposed to be portrayed as a master of martial arts, and the performances were poor at best. Plus, we never saw the dragon!
9 BEST: AGENTS OF SHIELD
Agents of Shield started out as one of the worst superhero TV shows and certainly didn’t bode well for wider Marvel series. However, as the show developed, it continued to pick up momentum. After introducing the Inhumans, it went from strength to strength.
From exploring LMDs, Hydra, and deep space, to introducing Ghost Rider and the Patriot, this show really didn’t hold back on the comic concepts it wanted to include. It’s a lot of fun to watch, and it’s such a shame that it’s coming to an end.
8 WORST: INHUMANS
There was so much hope for the superhero show that had been set up so beautifully by Agents of Shield. After nearly becoming a movie, Inhumans arrived on IMAX and on ABC with a pretty stellar cast. But the problems arose so quickly.
The sets were dull, the writing was of the worst quality, and the characters were ridiculously confusing. There’s so much that needs to be fixed about that show, but it completely killed any hope of seeing the Inhuman royal family again on the screen within this decade.
7 BEST: DAREDEVIL
While we’ve looked at the worst of the Marvel Netflix show, we also need to look at the absolute best. Daredevil was the series that kicked all of this off, and the casting of Charlie Cox was truly inspired. In fact, it’s said that Kevin Feige is such a fan that he wants to include the character in a future MCU project.
Of course, the wider supporting cast was also fantastic, with key characters like Elektra, Bullseye, and of course the Kingpin, being added to the series. There’s so much more to do with this character that it’s a shame it was canceled.
6 WORST: POWERS
Powers is actually a Marvel comic series, although the show was not advertised as such. The idea for the show was a world of relative normality that happened to feature a few people with powers that co-exist alongside regular citizens.
The series lasted two seasons but just didn’t present anything interesting enough to survive against some of the heavyweights in the industry. There was nothing innovative or particularly fun about the show, and it’s amazing it got commissioned at all.
5 BEST: LEGION
The mind-bending stories of Legion redefined what a comic book show could be. Taking huge psychological concepts, crazy visuals and great storytelling, this series managed to bring in a whole new audience, as it pitched itself a genuine premium television.
The ideas throughout this show were truly bizarre which is what made it so unique. The character of David went on such a complex journey, from hero to villain, and the meta nature of the writing elevated it to a whole new level.
4 WORST: THE TOMORROW PEOPLE
Greg Berlanti is the mastermind behind so many of DC’s TV shows, including the Arrowverse, however he has had some flops in the past, actually on the CW. This series was supposed to be a rival of an old British show, which didn’t have a huge audience.
The series is essentially a different take on mutants, with the people with powers a set of humans with gifts that have been granted to them due to being further down the evolutionary scale. The rip-off didn’t last very long and has since been forgotten about.
3 BEST: WATCHMEN
Watchmen is still going and yet it’s already on this list as one of the best superhero shows on TV. There’s nothing quite like this series and it is a real sequel to the original comic, much better than anything else DC has put out as an attempt to follow up on the classic.
HBO has knocked this out of the park with the casting, imagery and all the sci-fi concepts they have woven into this narrative. From the history of vigilantes in this world, the masked cops and the return of major characters, what’s not to love about this comic book drama?
2 WORST: HEROES REBORN
The original Heroes is a pretty beloved series. When Heroes Reborn was announced therefore fans were happy to see a return to this universe. The basic premise is that normal people suddenly start developing powers and therefore begin to struggle with them.
The series wasn’t nearly as compelling as the original version though. The characters weren’t overly easy to get behind, and the show itself was poorly advertised. The ‘mini-series’ certainly was short, as it only lasted 13 episodes, with a couple of webisodes to wrap it up.
1 BEST: THE BOYS
Amazon put out The Boys quite recently, but it’s taken the world by storm and introduced new fans to the genre. This isn’t a typical superhero story, but something quite different from what we normally see. In fact, it’s not really about the heroes at all.
The heroes in this world are dangerous and reckless, and someone has to hold them to account. This produces the Boys, who have been damaged in some way by the ‘heroics’ or these supers. It’s fun, touching, absolutely crazy, featuring some strong performances from veteran actors.
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