Ranking current comic book TV shows

So if you’re read some of my TV posts you already know I’m a big comic book TV fan, I watch pretty much all of the ones airing at the moment and I have my varying opinions on the shows though I generally like pretty much all of them, here’s my ranking of the shows in terms of quality imo. I’ll need to re-do this in a few months after Supergirl and Jessica Jones are both out and finished but for now.

I somehow forgot iZombie and The Walking Dead but I’ve added them now.

The Walking Dead

TWD is the highest rated comic book TV show on air and also one of the most consistently highest rated dramas on TV with a huge and passionate audience and for a good reason, the setting makes for a compelling world and the characters that populate it represent different aspects of humanity in how people try to survive, do you get by being ruthless and closed off or by being democratic and friendly? With a great cast and some strong actors – Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus to name a few, they bring their well written characters to life and importantly grow and change over time and across seasons. Also the Walkers of course, a constant threat and the driving force of the plot which allows the show for big set pieces and a lot of action, though interestingly, people often end up being the biggest threat to each other as time passes. Great show with a great story and a great use of tension and drama.

 

Arrow

The gritty re-imagining of Green Arrow, Arrow is sort of the starting point for this current crop of comic book TV shows and it’s also one of the best of the lot, the CW struck gold with its adaptation and it’s a great show with great action, twists and turns and a host of cool characters from across DC – though there are a fair few Batman related characters but whatever, it’s still Arrow. And even with a shaky 3rd season, Arrow has come back strong in season 4 with good drama, a great set of central characters, its fun crime fighting team dynamic which carried over to The Flash and a new great villain. The crime procedural element to the show makes it a thrilling watch with a grounded take to things, while the show isn’t afraid to expand into the more elaborate world of powers, mysticism and magic which shows how flexible Arrow can be in its style and approach, a show that’s ever evolving and as fun to watch as it was at its best in season 2.

 

Agents of Shield

From the get go, I thought that Marvel had a great show on their hands and Agents is arguably the most improved show of all comic book shows on air now, even though I didn’t hate the first season, it had its flaws for sure with some cliché characters and storylines and no actual powers on the show but season 2 and the inhumans changed this for the better. And now the show is in full stride with its big set pieces, great action sequences and of course powers being a central plot device and regular thing in the world.

Also the writing is brilliant with some great Marvel humour while the characters are fun and their interaction makes up a good chunk of the shows fun. And I’ve always enjoyed the main angle of the show in following various agents working together on missions sent by Coulson, who also joins in every now and then. Pitting them against the other Shield, Hydra and now the government task force, the odds are always against them but it’s fun to watch how they tackle their problems with team work, ingenuity and passion to do good.

 

The Flash

The Flash is close to the epitome of what you imagine when someone says ‘Comic book show’, it’s fun, thrilling, takes you to interesting places with its stories and works with a host of comic book characters, as ambitious or silly as it may seem at first to bring them onto screen from Atom Smasher to Gorilla Grodd of all characters and it’s awesome for comic book fans and non-readers alike. The show runs with the team dynamic that Arrow set up and again it makes things very fun to watch with some unique action sequences and fights that only Flash can because of his powers, it’s a unique feeling show and it really captures the essence of Barry Allen as the Flash with a great cast, fun character interactions within Team Flash and a really entertaining style to the show as a whole.

 

Daredevil 

Daredevil stands as an excellent attempt at bringing Matt Murdoch to the small screen and for an ambitious idea which could have gone either way, it was really pulled off well with Charlie Cox making a great Daredevil and the cast as a whole being great, especially Vincent D’Onofrio brilliantly playing Wilson Fisk aka the Kingpin. The choreography/action in the series was really well done as were the story lines for the season, the plot not shying away from darker themes and graphic deaths, somewhat of a benchmark for Marvel on TV in going to more dark story lines and doing it well.

 

iZombie

iZombie is a funny, entertaining show based on the graphic novel of the same name, centred on human turned zombie Liv who works as a functioning zombie, eating brains to not got go feral, it’s a zombie show with a difference with its light tone, humour and incorporation of zombies into society without society breaking down which is an interesting idea. There’s also a different flavour to the show each weak with Liv taking on the personalities of the persons brains that she eats and her behaviour changing accordingly as she works on homicide cases with her friends Ravi and superior detective Clive. It’s a bit of a hard sell to anyone that’s not a fan of zombies in any capacity or quirky shows like this but it’s definitely a good, entertaining watch nonetheless with some great writing and distinct, memorable characters.

 

Gotham

A police procedural drama set in the craziest fictional city in America, Gotham is just a lot of silly fun, it had its problems with season 1 admittedly with its winking to future villain status but on the whole I like the set up, Ben Mackenie is a fantastic fit for Jim Gordon, as is Robin Lord Taylor as Penguin, Sean Pertwee as a more blunt Alfred and the casting as a whole is pretty spot on. The story lines have definitely improved into season 2 and the over the top, hyper realistic style to the show is really taking centre stage and is fun to watch. This is a gritty crime procedural drama with serialized elements like no other in recent years and if it can run with its unique style, keeping the writing good and not focusing too much on Bruce as a kid while winking at his future, this could develop into a really great show.

So yeah I’m a bit of a fanboy, not disliking any of these shows but it’s a great time to be a comic book fan with so much great stuff out there on both film and TV.

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10 thoughts on “Ranking current comic book TV shows

  1. You forgot Agent Carter (which is my fav, but AoS is closing in) and iZombi.
    I dropped Arrow last season. I think they ruined the show when the killed Moira, Sarah and destroyed Felicity’s character. Can’t say much about Gotham because after watching the pilot, I realized that I don’t like the very premise of the show. I don’t want to know more about the villains.

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    • Yeah I need to add iZombie and Carter actually, both shows I enjoy. Arrow did have a rough 3rd season to be fair but it’s come back pretty strong, you should check out the S4 premiere and see what you think.

      Gotham’s a bit of a hard sell for some longtime Batman fans I think, even if things may eventually lead to actual Batman, the focus is on the villains now/on young Bruce.

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      • The thing is that what ruined S3 are problems which bothered me from the get go, but could ignore because there was something to make up for them. But they systematically removed everything I liked about the show (among others, I liked that it was so grounded and didn’t have stuff like the Lazarus Pit).
        It’s the focus on the villains which I dislike, and that has nothing to do with Batman, but with the fact that I consider most villains more interesting the less I actually know about them.

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      • Yeah I get where you’re coming from, since the Flash the show’s gotten more fantastical with powers and mysticism, personally I enjoy the change but I see how it could feel a bit jarring.

        Also Felicity being so melodramatic was a downer, what did you think of how they used Ra’as al Ghul last season? Great villain but I think they gave him a lackluster way out.

        And that’s fair enough, I do think the shows version of Penguin has been brilliant though. The thing that interests me is seeing (if the show does thing in the long run) how Gotham gets so bad that Bruce decides he has to take action and seeing how Jim Gordon becomes the commissioner eventually.

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      • I dropped the show after the first episode of season 3. Killing Sarah was the last straw. But it is impossible to be interested in this stuff without being somewhat aware what is going on in the various show.

        Honestly, I think that Gotham should be burned to the ground. It hasn’t been salvageable since the Dark Knight trilogy.

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  2. Nice post and very thorough write up. This is definitely a great time to be fan of all things comic related. I’m also looking forward to Jessica Jones, should be a solid addition to the Marvel line up.

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    • Thanks and yup comic book shows have taken centre stage on TV in a way they never really did in the past, even with Smallville being so big.

      Jessica Jones should be a quite fun and we’ll get introduced to Luke Cage in the show which should be good, big fan of Mike Colter.

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