5 best Marvel TV shows so far as Luke Cage returns to Netflix
With the second season of Luke Cage about to kick off and the recent premiere of Cloak and Dagger, the 11th television show in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we look at which ones have been most worth watching so far
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is not just a mega series of successful superhero films such as The Avengers but also a fixture on the small screen, where it has been making its mark ever since Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D premiered on US television network ABC in 2013.
This Friday Luke Cage will return on Netflix, following close on the heels of (yet another) new Marvel series Cloak and Dagger, about two lesser-known Marvel comics characters, which just launched on the US online streaming platform Freeform on June 7.
The latest addition brings the current count of Marvel television shows to 11, excluding animated series and shows like FX’s Legion and Fox’s The Gifted that are based on Marvel characters but unconnected to the MCU. Here are our favourite five:
5. Daredevil (Netflix)
The first Marvel and Netflix collaboration had a strong first season, but went into free fall during the messy second.
It was the first series to demonstrate the problem that none of the others has figured out: 13 episodes is too many for these heroes.
4. Runaways (Hulu)
The slightly disappointing adaptation of one of Marvel’s best comics starts out strong, but lags later in its first season.
The drama follows six teens who discover their parents are part of an evil supernatural organisation, and who realise their own powers and skills along the way.
Runaways is best when it focuses on the kids and leaves the adults behind.
3. Cloak and Dagger (Freeform)
The latest Marvel series is a welcome surprise. The series, based on some lesser (and problematic) comic-book characters, manages to be one of the best superhero shows around, after just four episodes.
Its character-focused approach and New Orleans setting make it stand out from the rest of the series on this list.
2. Luke Cage (Netflix)
Mike Colter is a force to behold as Luke Cage, the bulletproof hero of Harlem.
First introduced on Jessica Jones, Luke comes into his own in his own series, which examined the superhero experience for a black man two years before Black Panther hit cinemas.
It’s only a dud villain (Diamondback) and a weak second half of Season 1 that keeps the show from topping this list.
1. Jessica Jones (Netflix)
The first season of Jessica Jones was near-ideal, a boldly feminist and realistic approach to the genre, and it’s a huge shame Season 2 didn’t quite hold onto the magic.
But Krysten Ritter’s performance as the hero, a woman with super strength reeling from personal trauma, is electric enough to overcome occasionally weak storylines.
That the series has the genuinely most terrifying villain in the entire Marvel universe in Kilgrave (David Tennant) is just a bonus.