TV’s Greatest Heroes: The 6 Best Superhero Shows of the Past Year

This decision pains me. I have always been on the Arrow band-wagon and found myself constantly trying to convince my friends to watch it because it was amazing. That was true – it was amazing. At one time, Arrow would have been at the very top of this list. During its first and second seasons, Arrow was the supreme superhero show. In fact, it was the only one of the shows on this list on the air at the time. But now, that seems like a distant memory. Despite its 4th Season starting off incredibly well as well as producing some amazing episodes mid-way through, the series ultimately fell flat. Season 4 found itself overflowing with soap-opera dramatics, focusing on particular storylines far too much and executing an unforgivable twist purely for shock value that ultimately fell flat. The fact that the grave angle was written with nobody in mind just proves the lack of direction the series had. Arrow had backed itself into a corner and it never recovered from it. This lost the series a large portion of its fanbase…the not so well-received finale may have lost them even more. Despite some incredible standalone episodes, overall Season 4 felt like a disjointed, grim daytime soap opera. I will always be an Arrow fan, but this season managed to alienate even me…which is a very hard thing to do. However, all is not lost. I still believe there is a way back for Arrow, beginning with the reversal of supposed twist…yes that one.
5. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (Season 1)

I have no problem admitting that I binge-watched the first 8 episodes of Legends of Tomorrow. Yes, I started late but this was not why I binge-watched it – I binge-watched it because it was that damn good! A spin-off of the Berlanti “Arrow-verse”, the cast mainly consists of many beloved faces from Arrow and The Flash. Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), Firestorm (Victor Garber and Franz Drameh), Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh), Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) are accompanied by Hawkman (Falk Hentschall) and Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee). Led by Time Master Rip Hunter, these legends must travel through multiple time periods in order to stop the evil that is the immortal Vandal Savage and thus, save Rip Hunter’s family in 2166. The series was a breath of fresh air and although it dealth with dark themes, never took itself too seriously. Despite the large cast, every character was allowed time to shine with certain episodes devoted to different character arcs. One of my favorite discoveries this year, I will most certainly be looking forward to Season 2!
4. Marvel’s Agent Carter (Season 2)

Complete with strong performances, great dialogue and a thrilling storyline, Marvel’s Agent Carter produced another compelling season. Hayley Atwell flourished in the role and the chemistry between her and James D’Arcy’s Mr. Jarvis was simply electric! Although, I must admit I did prefer Season 1 in New York, it was awesome to see Peggy Carter kicking ass in Los Angeles. She continued to hold her own in a male-dominated time and also held her own against powerful villains like Whitney Frost. ABC made a big mistake cancelling the series. However, there has been an incredibly successful petition launched to revive the series on Netflix – which you can sign here. Peggy and co have so much more left to give and there are decades of her story left to cover. The possiblities give me chills. Amidst all the dark comic-book adaptations, Agent Carter shines bright, retaining heart, humor and a heck of story. One of the best-written shows on TV this year, especially the quick-witted dialogue. Peggy’s not done yet.

Take That ABC!

#3. Supergirl (Season 1)

One of my favorite new additions to TV last year, Supergirl always managed to fill our hearts with “glee”, reminding us that comic books can be fun! Melissa Benoist excels as the Girl of Steel and is surrounded by a stellar cast, including Jeremy Jordan, David Harewood and the legendary Calista Flockhart. With alien threats looming, Kara Zor-El had to balance her life as Supergirl and Kara Danvers, the mousy assistant of Cat Grant (Flockhart). Yes, Supergirl could be cheesy at times but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Grim comic book adaptations are awesome, but they’re also abundant. Supergirl stands alone as a light-hearted beacon of hope. Everytime the intro came on, I found myself with the biggest smile on my face because I knew that I was about to indulge in a show that had so much heart. In a world full of dark comic-book adaptations…it’s up to the Girl of Steel to bring the light. I enjoyed every moment of Supergirl and am so thrilled that she’s coming to The CW for her second season. The thought of her crossing over with The Flash again (or another “Arrow-verse” series) gives me goosebumps. Are you looking for a fun, crafty and enjoyable superhero…this looks like a job for Supergirl!

#2. Marvel’s Daredevil (Season 2)

Gothic, grim and glorious, the second season of the Netflix and Marvel produced Daredevil was everything we expected, wanted and so much more. After Daredevil’s official heroic debut last year, Matt Murdock faced two major forces in the second season: The Punisher and Elektra. This split the season into two seperate arcs which worked incredibly well. Jon Bernthal gives the performance of his career as Frank Castle – his monlogue at the Cemetary was a beautiful piece of acting. I must say that I felt the Punisher arc was the stronger of the two arcs and that unfortunately played second in the latter half of the season. But both storylines still help to create an incredible narrative. Foggy and Karen had even greater roles this season which was always going to be a good thing. The dynamic between the 3 of them in the Nelson & Murdock office is one of the best aspects of the show. Although it didn’t quite reach the heights of its incredible first season, it came very damn close. As a season, Daredevil once again defied expectations and delivered an explosive, powerful and compelling second season. Much like Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed The Dark Knight, Daredevil is perhaps less of a superhero series and more of a well-written, perfectly executed crime saga. Daredevil is easily one of the greatest shows I have ever watched.
#1. The Flash (Season 2)

It’s really no surprise that The Flash became “the CW’s Biggest Hit Ever” after only one season. In that single year, it managed to tell incredible stories, deal with dark issues and break the boundaries of what was expected from a TV show budget. And it accomplished all this in one well-written, family friendly, 23 episode season. The Flash redefined the superhero genre by taking it back to the more light-hearted tone of earlier adaptations yet it managed to maintain the flawless story-telling techniques of modern TV. It did all this and added so much more during Season 2. As Zoom’s arrival introduced us to the multi-verse, comic book fans rejoiced at all the possibilites the show could potentially explore. Remaining incredibly loyal to the comic books but never being afraid to add its own unique spin to it, The Flash once again garnered stellar ratings during its second season. With fantastic special effects and strong cast, led by the incomparable Grant Gustin, it’s shouldn’t be a surprise that The Flash Season 2 was this year’s best superhero series. Run Barry, Run!In conclusion, this year has produced some amazing TV. But once again, one of the most consistent genres is the Superhero genre. Whether its the special effects, amazing writing or the raw acting, something keeps drawing viewers back to the superheroes. Some have risen and some have fallen but one thing is for certain, the world is watching the superheroes!