Best Marvel Comics Television Series
A geek reveals his list of the best Marvel Comics television series.
Marvel Comics is, and always will be, one of my favorite businesses of all time. They are literally in the industry of telling stories, giving us heroes to look up to, and just creating amazing works of art involving great plots, incredible characters, and twists at every pace.
We all know Marvel heroes—the X-Men, X-Force, Daredevil, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man... the list goes on and on. These heroes inspired through comics and through movies, so is it really that shocking that television show producers ended up picking up comic book heroes for their new shows?
The best Marvel Comics television series aren't just TV shows. They're an inspiration for all us geeks who wish we could be heroes and make a difference to us. Here are my picks for beginners in this genre of television show, and why you'll love them.
Daredevil has become one of Marvel Comics' greatest new hero hits in recent years, and it's easy to see why. He's blind, but he never lets that impede his ability to kick butt. But, enough about the hero; let's talk about why his show is one of the best Marvel Comics television shows ever made.
Fans of the comic book series will notice that this show sticks to the comic book plots religiously and that it delivers no-nonsense, straight up action without cheesiness, hokey lines, or (God forbid) bad acting. That alone sets it apart from most other comic book TV shows out there, but it gets so much better.
What we really love about Daredevil is that it seems so oddly realistic. The titular character is not like other heroes who just "somehow" have a massive fortress that they can just lounge around in when they aren't fighting crime. Rather, he's a lawyer during the day—and it's brought up occasionally in the show.
But, lawyerness aside, Daredevil really does bring a huge amount of excitement and action into every show. The acting is superb, the plots make sense, and the characters really do make us fall in love with them.
It's gritty, some of its plotlines taking a darker turn, and it's visually exciting, and at the same time, doesn't come off as over-produced or cheesy. It's such a popular show, it's gotten a 98% rating on RottenTomatoes, and even sparked a spinoff which we'll talk about next.
Daredevil's runaway success sparked yet another one of the best Marvel Comics television series currently on air. Jessica Jones follows the story of Jessica Jones, a former superheroine who decided that she still wanted to fight crime as a detective.
Much like with Daredevil, the series Jessica Jones really works to bring in as much realism as possible. It shows her struggles at rebooting her life, it shows her getting hurt, it also even goes so far as to show her dealing with a pretty terrible case of PTSD.
Marvel Comics really nailed what being a superhero probably will do to a person in Jessica Jones, and seeing her going back into the fray makes us really feel inspired to do better in our own lives.
Also, Krysten Ritter's performance as Jessica Jones is spectacular. You will feel her in every show.
This is one of the few Marvel TV shows that really was canceled too early. Agent Carter follows the life of Captain America's first love, Peggy Carter, as she deals with the loss of her ex and works to become America's biggest agent against the Germans.
She's a strong woman who has super spy skills, and ol' Uncle Sam also gave her superpowers. The end result is a riveting television show that has raw emotions, great fight scenes, and shows that girls can be just as strong as guys.
For women and men who love a strong female role model, incredibly beautiful 40s scenery, and just a slight hint of steampunk accents in their television series, this will be one of the best Marvel Comics television series to watch—if you haven't already.
The Incredible Hulk
This 70s television series was one of the earlier shows to air featuring a Marvel Comics character that wasn't Spider-Man. Old as it is, it's still gotten modern critical acclaim for the way that they show Bruce Banner's transformation into the Hulk.
While many shows of the time would just show glamorous scenes of a hero just saving the day without any personal struggles being mentioned onscreen, The Incredible Hulk went above and beyond to show Banner as a quiet, conflicted person who struggled with his superhero identity.
It was that new twist in writing that makes this one of the best comic book shows of all time. Its legacy is undeniable, especially when you look at later series like Jessica Jones. Had it not been for the realistic and emotional sides of The Incredible Hulk, many of the best Marvel Comics television series on this list wouldn't have been made the way they were.
Perhaps one of the newest Marvel superheroes on this list is Luke Cage, a hoodie-rockin', hip hop lovin' superhero who hails from New York City. (Oh, he also goes by Power Man.) The new Luke Cage series, which only recently aired on Netflix, is definitely doing him justice and bringing him well-deserved fans.
Really, though, a series like Luke Cage has been long overdue.
For reasons unbeknownst to me, it seems like a lot of television producers haven't noticed how many fans of hip hop also tend to be avid comic book readers. Luke Cage brings hip hop culture to the forefront without making it forced and also has moments that make us question the way society views people of all backgrounds.
If you're a fan of shows that bring hip hop elements, slick fight scenes, and hyperrealistic dialogue, you're going to become a huge fan of Luke Cage. It's one of the best Marvel Comics television series by far—especially when you think about how many new trails it's blazing.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
We couldn't have a list of the best Marvel Comics television series ever made without involving Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Do we really have to even say anything? It features all tons of mentions of famous mutants, supervillains, and Marvel Universe plotlines. That alone makes it a huge must-watch series for most comic book fans.
However, the team alone isn't just what makes this such a good show. It's got great dialogue and incredible special effects. Moreover, it has one of the best world-building examples in all of television. This means that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will immerse you in the world of superheroes and give you a full taste of what it's like to be around the federal agents themselves.
Characters are rich, the cinematography rivals what you'd see in movies, and the fanbase can tell you that they really know how to make superhero-based television series cool for everyone. It's a win-win.
In Legion, a psychiatric patient is stuck in a mental ward for strange visions and voices... only to find out that he isn't crazy—he's a mutant. The entire story unfolds piece by piece, letting people learn more about who Dan Stevens is, why he's one of the biggest pieces in a mutant war, and what he has to do to save himself.
Legion is definitely one of the first shows to be honest about what it'd be like to find out you're a mutant. Could you imagine waking up being psychic one day, and complaining about all the voices in your head? It would probably get you landed in a psychiatric ward, too.
Dan Stevens is one of the lesser-known characters in the Marvel universe, but we're willing to bet that this isn't the case for too much longer. His face off with the Shadow King was amazing in Season 1, and we're willing to bet that Legion will only get better in the upcoming seasons.
In terms of writing and adding mystery to a plot, Legion definitely scores as one of the best Marvel Comics television series to currently hit networks.
This one's a bit personal for me because it's such a huge part of my childhood. Though this is the only cartoon that made this list, it also is, by far, one of the best Marvel Comics television series to ever air. Made in 1992 through 1997, X-Men was an animated series that followed the lives of the biggest mutants in Xavier's league.
Unlike most other cartoons based on superheroes, X-Men was dramatic and dark—but still child-friendly enough to end up on children's programming. It had love triangles, kidnappings, and some pretty gruesome fight scenes as well.
Some might say it's outdated, but I'm not of that school of thought at all. The costumes the characters wore were delightfully 80s and 90s in style, but the truth is that it just adds to the charm of the series.
It's nostalgia, but even when you watch this show today, it's hard not to adore the storylines and the way they portray life as a mutant.