Join me for a quick rundown of the 6 top superhero shows on TV right now – in no particular order!
Now showing season two on Netflix, DAREDEVIL is a show that goes from strength to strength. Intensely character-driven, we barely even got a glimpse of Daredevil’s costume for the first season. Therein lies the potency of DAREDEVIL’s formula: it’s a comic book show, for people who don’t really like comic books. Just as likely to explore Matt Murdoch’s difficulties with balancing his work life with his nocturnal activities, as it is to pitch the next plotline wherein Daredevil must save Hell’s Kitchen, DAREDEVIL is great stuff. Season two’s introduction of the Punisher was a great decision.
JESSICA JONES (Netflix)
So, this one isn’t exactly news, but I couldn’t do a rundown of superhero shows without including Jessica Jones. Like Daredevil, JONES is low of the superhero antics and high on the drama, but once again excellent writing and some career-defining performances (especially from David Tenant!) really make this show. If you haven’t already started on JESSICA JONES, then set by a weekend and binge-watch it: the series is really that good. We’re promised a new direction for series two, which is coming soon.
And, of course, LUKE CAGE is also on the horizon. I’m just going to leave this here…
When SUPERGIRL was first revealed, and the early clips made it onto the internet, the show was universally panned. In hindsight, those criticisms were misplaced and unfair. SUPERGIRL is the almost exact opposite of JESSICA JONES and DAREDEVIL – light, at times frothy, but also very good fun. The show does a great job of walking the line between campy and drama, whilst exploring many of the “classic” comic book storylines from Supergirl’s past. Well-casted and bright, the show is sufficiently different the other DC Universe offerings to justify its existence.
ARROW (The CW)
ARROW is now in its fourth season, and over the years the character has developed. We’ve seen Oliver McQueen go from being a dark, brooding and violent assassin to a beacon of hope for Starling City: the tone of the early episodes being markedly different from those of late. The storylines continue to expand on the DC Universe, taking us in new directions, whilst the “ensemble” cast provides enough character-driven development to maintain the drama. My only criticism of this show has to be the continued reliance on flashbacks. Anyone who has read ARTEFACT will probably know I’m a fan of that as a plot-method (it’s underused!), but I think we’ve had enough in ARROW… McQueen’s backstory has already caught up with his present; we sometimes feel like we’re going in circles as a result.
THE FLASH (The CW)
Whilst ARROW provides viewers with a darker, more brooding exploration of the superhero myth, THE FLASH is a brighter, more fun experience. Grant Gustin was born to play The Flash, and his take on the role feel entirely natural. The supporting cast is equally amusing and satisfying. Expect more comic book action in this series, and it makes a good antidote to some of the darker superhero shows on this list. Tonally it’s similar to SUPERGIRL (although not quite the same).
DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (The CW)
Is there room for yet another superhero show in the DC TV pantheon? LEGENDS is a far campier, adventure-type affair; it has an almost Saturday-morning-serial vibe to it. With a diverse cast of heroes (who at times do feel a little as though they just couldn’t justify their own shows), LEGENDS is colourful and generally fun (although occasionally peppered with more serious moments). Expect big spaceships, jumps through time, and weird alternative history moments.
Do you crave for more action-adventure? Then I have just the thing for you! Check out my debut novel ARTEFACT, available now in ebook, paperback and audiobook. And don’t forget that LEGION – book two of THE LAZARUS WAR – is due for release on 26th May!