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From Worst to Best: Comic Book & Superhero TV in 2015

End of year lists are always a trying thing, especially when you are zeroing in on one specific area of cinema or television.  Do you include everything or simply highlight what you think was the cream of the crop?  When it’s a catch-all list across all genres, I always find the latter to be the best approach.  When you’re getting specific, however, your options are limited.  So, in an effort to cover as much ground as possible in our inaugural year, I’ll be tackling the entirety of it, at least to a degree.

Some shows have been overlooked, so don’t get too up-in-arms if a favorite of yours is not represented.  I can only speak of what I have actually seen and I sadly haven’t seen everything.  I’m quite behind on AMC’s “The Walking Dead“, so it will not factor in here.  Nor will the likes of Playstation Network’s “Powers” and Syfy’s “Dark Matter“, neither of which I have found the time to sit down with just year.  Aside from one, you also will not find any animated shows on this list, again because I’m either terribly behind or it’s something I haven’t seen at all.

You also won’t find NBC’s “Heroes Reborn” or CBS’ “Supergirl” factoring in here.  It might just be my personal view, but I cannot fathom ranking a show based on an unfinished season.  The ones that are discussed within this piece are those that aired during the 2014-2015 season or that at least dealt out their entire season within 2015 itself.  Anything that is classified as “in progress” will have to wait until next year.

Keep in mind that these are simply my own opinions.  We all like different things and have different storytelling preferences, so my likes and dislike may not be the same as your own.  Comic book and superhero television is a wildly varied thing, which means each and every viewer’s opinions will vary wildly as well, and that’s a beautiful thing.

Without further adieu, let’s get down to business.  Here are the comic book and superheroes TV shows of 2014-2015, from worst to best…

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  • James Allard

    No problem in our tastes, although I hold Gotham in much higher esteem. Then again, I have chosen to accept it as a grimdark version of the original TV show, and from that aspect it is hard to beat.

    In fact, with the elevator parkour fight scene between Gordon and a man with a piano wire, I felt that one of my other favorites, Daredevil, has made a much larger impact than I had anticipated. Which, obviously, leads me to my next favorite, Daredevil. I had, o many years ago it was, issue #1. Long gone now, but suffice to say, DD has been a personal favorite for a long, long time and suffering through the movie was devastating. Turning on Netflix to check it out was inevitable, but the sorry attempt prior did not lead to a RUSH TO THE TV…. and man o man. What a magnificent thing it is and was and where is season 2 already???

    We are in total agreement with your #1 pick. The Flash is everything I could have wanted and more. The casting of original series regulars John Wesley Shipp and Amanda Pays was one thing (SQUEEE!), the casting of Mark Hamill as a returning Trickster (SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE!), Jesse Martin…

    Sorry. Had to stop for a second there…. The fact that the original series has touched this one is merely a side note in my joy. There are whole scenes in this series, often several times within an episode, in which the camera angles and lighting design just cry out “REMEMBER CARMINE INFANTINO!!” Entire set pieces in a plot lead up to his artwork from …. never you mind, youngster, just let’s keep this as My Woebegone Youth mmmmkay?

    Season 1 ended with a sudden, unexpected appearance of a silver helmet, complete with golden wings, and I thought in that instant that if I had died at that very moment, that would be about as good as it would ever get.

    • Daniel Baldwin

      I enjoy Gotham a whole lot more in its current season, so don’t be surprised if it ranks higher next year. They seem to have embraced its true nature and just run with it now.

      • James Allard

        Gotta love a show that regularly includes the removal of limbs, eyes and straight up murder.

  • Teenage mutant ninja turtles is freaking awesome. I thought that it was childish at the beginning but the humour is literally spot on, the action sequences dazzling and the voice acting top notch. Season 3 has so many references to horror movies and just for that they get the seal of approval for me

    • Daniel Baldwin

      It’s absolutely wonderful and FAR better than it probably has any right to be.

  • EB

    Some spoilers may follow

    Yeesh – are we the same person? LOL, with one big exception, I would rank my list (at least of the things I have seen) virtually the same (and one small change – a flip-flop of Jones and Agent Carter, but totally understandable. Both are good stuff). I jumped ship after Season 2’s Agents of SHIELD and after three episodes of Fear the Walking Dead (though I will say this year of Walking Dead has so far been the best of any season but the first).

    But a questions first. Easy one – how the hell do I watch this iteration of TMNT? I have heard many on the internet praise it (possibly even beyond the ’80s version). Is it something I should just start watching randomly, or do season arcs matter? Is it streaming anywhere (and if so, is it just named “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”?).

    Second comment, you and James below are the first two I have seen to enjoy Gotham. Even the friends I have who watch the show admit it is garbage (that they can’t turn away from, but garbage still). I have also been assured on multiple occasions that Barbara Gordon is one of the worst all-time characters on TV, rivaling even TWD’s version of Andrea. And yet, season 2 doubled down on her and you are enjoying it more? Also, I have read Gordon crossed an uncrossable line for his character in Season 2. But I guess I have to wait a year to get your thoughts on that. Sad face.

    Finally, my big disaagreement. Flash at number 1? WEEEEAK. I know – Blasphemy! rabble rabble rabble! I’m the world’s biggest idiot! Before the rants and raves, let me try to explain. I have never really understood the love for Berlanti’s shows, though I recognize I’m in the minority. I never cared for the Batman take on Green Arrow (though that has been done to Arrow so many times – and NICE dig on DKR. Nolan’s movies deserved a great, or even good send-off, not whatever the hell DKR was). And I am surprised about Flash. I actually love lighthearted fare as much as the grim and gritty stuff. For example, I think Batman: Brave and the Bold is almost as outstanding as Batman The Animated Series, if not its equal. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is one of my all-time favorite films. I adore the Adam West Batman as much as I adore the Nolan Bat-films. But Flash just never clicked for me. I absolutely appreciate the shows gutsiness to include stuff like Gorilla Grodd, time travel, and alternate dimensions. I intellectually loved the resurrection of Mark Hammill’s Trickster. But while I appreciate the chances they take with the material and the daring to do a lighthearted show in the era of grim/gritty/pseudo-realism (and appreciate it all the more coming from DC, that has yet to do the grim stuff right sans Nolan, and even failed with him re: DKR), it just didn’t connect. I found Cisco annoying rather than endearing, and a lame way to get the comic-book names in. I found the Iris love-story initially too creepy and then too frustrating as every character from Flash to Joe to her own fiancée treated her with zero respect (and no inclusion in the secret everyone knew). I loved Harrison Welles, but couldn’t bear the “villain of the week” rut. In general, the dialogue was… meh. Even the things I loved intellectually (Gorilla Grodd, Trickster) fell flat for me as presented on an emotional or excitement level (I have seen the clip of King Shark though, and that DELIVERED)!

    REALLY fun list. Thanks for the spot-on insight and uniqueness of it. I wonder how many years you have before there are too many comic TV shows though.


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