Darkknight2149’s Most (And Least) Anticipated Upcoming Comic-Based TV Series

Darkknight2149’s Most (And Least) Anticipated Upcoming Comic-Based TV Series

What comic book television series should we be anticipating? Which should we be dreading? Allow me to answer that and more...

Considering the ever-expanding popularity of comic book films, it is no surprise that television is being flooded with comic book-related content. From network to cable, the popularity of the comic book genre has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon, which is why I have decided to do a breakdown of which upcoming television series are potentially worth watching and which should probably be avoided, at least in my opinion. The series are ranked from my least anticipated to most anticipated. This article only covers shows that actually air on television, so don't expect to see the likes of The Defenders and Vixen in this article.


18. Lucifer

I have already seen the pilot to Lucifer (I won't be giving out any spoilers) and I cannot put into words how awful it was. It failed both as an adaptation of the source material and as a series in its own right. First of all, the series has absolutely nothing to do with the Neil Gaiman character. The main character is called Lucifer Morningstar because Fox apparently didn't think that the series could survive on its own without brand recognition. But sex appeal and simply having a main character that shares the same name as a comic book character isn't going to save this series. And those are literally the only two things that the series relies on. The series fails miserably to make Lucifer a relatable character and, in the process, attempts to portray angels as sadistic villains. And while that technically makes the series blasphemous, it is not done in a manner that is shocking or entertaining. In the context of the series, it is just silly and stupid. The dialogue and writing are a joke, the procedural aspect of the series is generic, the acting is mediocre and the series just isn't worth watching.

17. Avengers: Ultron Revolution

Avengers Assemble (not to be confused with the 2012 film of the same name) is a series that I tried to watch during the first season but I just couldn't finish. It felt like Disney cancelled a perfectly fine Avengers animated series just to replace it with an animated atrocity that only serves to promote the Marvel Cinematic Universe to children. And because I stopped watching the series midway through the first season, I have no idea if it has improved since then and I really don't care to watch it. The only advice I can give you is to watch it at your own risk.

16. RED

Even as an avid comic book fan, I admittedly have not read the RED comic book. With that being said, I have seen the RED films and I honestly don't see the point of doing a RED television series. Perhaps RED readers will disagree with me but I don't think that this is a series that people will be particularly interested in seeing. The appeal of the films was seeing various A-list elderly action stars come together to kick @$$. The draw was seeing the likes of Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and Anthony Hopkins interact with each other and participate in awesome action sequences, with a touch of humour. A television series just can't afford that kind of talent.

15. Krypton

A while back, it was announced that Syfy is developing a Krypton television series. The series is set to focus on Jor-El's father, taking place years before the demise of the planet Krypton. When this series was first announced, I reacted negatively. Why are we going back to Superman? And what are chances that this series would be announced shortly after Gotham's success? They already did a Superman prequel! Give another character a chance. I'd take a Themyscira series about Wonder Woman or a Green Lantern prequel featuring Alan Scott, but Superman AGAIN? Krypton seems to be a Superman response to Gotham, when Gotham was a Batman response to Smallville. Also, the point of Smallville was that it was building up to Clark Kent becoming Superman, while Gotham is building up to Bruce Wayne becoming Batman. What's Krypton building up to? An explosion? After doing some thinking, I have realised that a Krypton series can work really well on its own, but if they take the prequel route then I'm not watching it.

14. Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six

Out of Marvel's unimpressive and adolescent animation line-up, Ultimate Spider-Man is easily the best of the bunch (which isn't saying much). Not that Ultimate Spider-Man has been any good (it really hasn't) but it is certainly better than Avengers Assemble and Hulk and the Agents of SMASH. It's no secret that the first two seasons were pretty bad (save for the rare occasional good episode, such as Carnage) and the series certainly wasted the colossal potential that a series based on the Ultimate Spider-Man comic has.
While the series is certainly bad on its own merits, the series would've faired better had it called itself something other than "Ultimate Spider-Man." It's clear that the showrunners really wanted to make a Spider-Man team-up series that reflects how the characters are portrayed in the MCU. And when the series does decide to follow the Ultimate Spider-Man comic, it always feels forced, like Disney feels obligated to do so simply because of the show's title. Ironically enough, the series is most interesting when it does decide to follow the source material. The Green Goblin and Venom storylines, Peter Parker's transformation into Carnage, and the other stories from the Ultimate lore were always far more interesting than Spider-Man teaming up with random heroes. I also thought that it was interesting that they replaced Harry's transformation into the Hobgoblin with Venom, even though meant sacrificing Eddie Brock's role in the series.
The third season, like its predecessors, started off terrible. However, things finally began to improve when the Spider-Verse story came along. The Spider-Verse episodes were surprisingly decent. I'm not sure why it took the series two and a half seasons to improve. Even so, the episodes after Spider-Verse were hit and miss, and even the hits had their problems. The second half of the third season is watchable but is not a must see. Hopefully the series continues to improve with Season 4, especially with the return of the Green Goblin and the Sinister Six. Otherwise, the series will continue to be maligned.

13. Guardians of the Galaxy

It's hard to say how the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy animated series will turn out in terms of quality. When the series was first announced, I was expecting another childish spin-off to Ultimate Spider-Man but after the release of the trailers and the official synopsis, it now appears that the series will be a non-canon continuation of the film (with Ronan the Accuser being dead, the costumes and appearances of the characters matching the film's incarnation, ETC). And while I have mixed feelings on the show's animation, it certainly seems to nail the tone and style. The series certainly has potential.

12. The Preacher

And here we have AMC's upcoming adaptation of Garth Ennis' blasphemous comic series. There really isn't much to say about this series. I'm not quite sure what to expect in terms of quality. Seth Rogen's films have been hit and miss, ranging from hilarious to just stupid. But as I stated in my review of 2014's The Interview, I admire that Seth Rogen isn't afraid to push the boundaries of humour. Rogen doesn't play it safe. If he can apply that to this series, then AMC might be onto something.
11. Arrow Season 4

Normally, I'd be excited to hear that the series is embracing its comic book nature and having Oliver Queen become Green Arrow, but the CW doesn't seem to know what to do with the series. Arrow wasn't making the same ratings as The Flash, so now the network seems to be backtracking by making the series more light-hearted, while trying to maintain a somewhat dark vibe. If the ridiculous trailers are any indication, these tones mix just as well as oil and water. Arrow is not The Flash and there is absolutely no reason why the series should suddenly need to change in order to incorporate another show's tone for the sake of ratings (and I doubt it will increase ratings in any way).
Additionally, John Diggle is given an utterly silly superhero costume, the series' creative team somehow thought that putting Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak in a relationship is a good idea, and Mr. Terrific has been uncharacteristically transformed into Cisco from The Flash. And while I have been wanting to see Anarky on the series for a while, the series' description of the character is entirely inaccurate: "A deranged freelancing criminal who is willing to do whatever it takes to impress a potential employer." What? The writers clearly don't understand the character in any way, shape or form. Over-all, this series seems to be going downhill from here. To think that this used to be the best of television's comic-based programs…

10. DC's Legends of Tomorrow

I am glad that Warner Brothers has taken the first step in turning DC into a recognisable brand name, a la Marvel. While I doubt that DC's Legends of Tomorrow will go down in history as one of the best comic book television shows ever made, it certainly looks to be a fun one. My only complaint thus far is how ridiculously scrawny Hawkman is. Other than that, I don't have any major complaints so far. I'm interested in seeing what the Arrow/Flash creative team does with Vandal Savage.

9. Supergirl

I have already seen the pilot for the Supergirl series, but I'll save my full opinions for my detailed review that will be released after the pilot airs. I will say the results of the pilot were quite mixed. While the superhero portion of the series isn't all that bad, it's the human side of the series that will alienate viewers. When Kara Zor-El isn't in the suit, the series quickly becomes a parody of itself. And giving the series the same timeslot as Gotham, the comic book television series with the highest ratings, wasn't the smartest move on CBS's part. Keep a look out for my review in October for further elaboration on my opinions.

8. iZombie Season 2

The first season of iZombie was a quirky and entertaining series that poked fun at the dark concept of zombified human beings. If the second season of the series can maintain that, then there shouldn't be a problem. I do hope the series eventually gets around to introducing more supernatural elements from the comic than just zombies.

7. Agent Carter Season 2

While I think that the first season of Agent Carter was over-hyped and felt somewhat incomplete and unsatisfying, it was still a fun series that provided us with content as we awaited the return of Agents of SHIELD. I am glad that we will be seeing the series make its return. With Leviathan still active, Madam Masque making her debut, the set up of Zodiac in the Marvel One Shot, and a SHIELD that needs to be built (leading to the rise of HYDRA), there is a lot to look forward to. And the fact that the upcoming season will take place in Los Angeles seems like an interesting change of pace.

6. Marvel's Most Wanted

The second season of Marvel Studios' flagship television series, Agents of SHIELD, saw the introduction of two characters from the comics: Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter. We now know that Marvel is currently developing a spin-off centred on the two characters, titled Most Wanted. Is this something that we should be excited for? For me, it really depends on why this series is being developed and how this affects Agents of SHIELD. If this series is only being developed so that Morse and Hunter can re-join the the main team and ABC can market it as a "crossover event," then I am completely against this series. If Marvel is developing this series because they actually have a story to tell, then I'm all up for it. But for a series called Most Wanted, I do expect to see some familiar super-villains (even if "Most Wanted" primarily refers to Morse and Hunter). Perhaps we can finally see Bobbi Morse become Mockingbird?

5. The Flash Season 2

While I am not entirely caught up with the series, I have liked what I have seen from the series so far. One thing I admired since watching the pilot was how The Flash felt like a comic book movie origin story on television, much in the vein of Superman: The Movie and 2002’s Spider-Man. The second season of the series looks very promising, with the introductions of such characters as a young Jay Garrick, Wally West, and West’s nemesis, Zoom, who will be voiced by the brilliant Tony Todd. I will definitely be catching up with the series when I can.
4. Justice League: Action

Years back, Bruce Timm left the DC Animated Original Movies to rot in order to work on other projects. However, we knew for a while now that Timm would return to DC with a new project. There was much speculation as to what that project is, one of the most popular rumours being a New 52 Justice League animated series. Though it looked like that the project might be the recent Justice League: Gods and Monsters, various sources have unearthed evidence that a new Justice League animated series is indeed in the works. Rumoured to air on Boomerang (a sister network of Cartoon Network), the series is said to be titled Justice League: Action, or simply JLA.
Whether or not I watch this series depends on what demographic the series is aiming for and whether or not it's a serious JLA series. The only reason I'm giving this series a chance at all is because it's not airing on the main Cartoon Network channel. Even if this series turns out to be great, I'm not getting attached to it. Cartoon Network has already proven that they simply do not care about their DC Comics properties. After cancelling Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Cartoon Network aired Beware the Batman (arguably the best Batman television series since Batman: The Animate Series) with little to no marketing, and the little bit of marketing the series did have was just awful. That series was set up to die. The only DC adaptation that Cartoon Network left standing was Teen Titans GO!, a braindead cartoon aimed at young children.
There is a lot of potential for a modern, serious DC Comics animated series by Bruce Timm. If JLA turns out to be a quality series, I'll watch it but I’m not getting used to it. Warner Brothers needs to find a new network for their animated DC properties.

3. Titans

I was incredibly hyped when it was first announced that a Titans series is in development featuring Dick Grayson. This really is a great time to be a comic book fan. This would be number one on this list, except it has since been rumoured that the series will be reworked as Blackbirds, simply because all of the members have bird-themed names. If they planned on doing a Titans series, then they should do a Titans series. I doubt many will be interested in seeing the series become a coed version of the Birds of Prey (or simply a re-named version of Birds of Prey, since The New 52 version of the team had male members).

2. Gotham

Despite all of the hate Gotham has been getting from a lot of the Batman fanbase, Gotham has been met with consistently good ratings and positive reviews from critics. Gotham is a complete re-imagining of the Batman mythos, and a lot of people just don't accept that the series isn’t following the source material (among many other complaints). Much like Smallville, this is a series in which anything can happen, even though Bruce Wayne hasn't become Batman yet. Sal Maroni is killed before Harvey Dent is disfigured and while Batman is still a child, Harvey Dent already has split personality disorder and his future as Two-Face is already being teased, Edward Nygma is already on the verge of becoming the Riddler, certain characters have entirely different ages than in the comics, ETC. If you are going to enjoy this series, you can't walk into it with pre-conceived notions.
Out of all of the comic-based television series, Gotham is the most unique. This series takes place in a very stylish, noir-ish, and timeless world that isn't like anything else on television. Say what you will about the changes from the source material, but the series' environment is probably the most accurate depiction of Gotham City to date. I also appreciate some the inventive new interpretations of familiar characters that the series provides. The best would have to be Robin Lord Taylor's younger portrayal of the Penguin, but he is far from the only one. We also see a Hannibal Lecter-eque version of the Electrocutioner, the Dollmaker is portrayed as a mad scientist straight out of a 1940s horror film, renamed Dr. Dulmacher (probably a commentary on super-villain real names in comic books, which often resemble the villain's moniker), the early Red Hood gang takes its inspiration from Robin Hood, Mr. Zsasz is now a hitman for the mob, ETC.
One of my complaints for the first season was that it often felt like the series didn't have a plan. It almost felt like the writers were making it up as they went along, which led to many plot holes and inconsistencies. However, it should be noted that the season was originally intended to be 13 episodes in length but Fox kept ordering more and more episodes. The cast and crew are going into the second season very much aware that this will be a full season order (22 episodes) and showrunner Bruno Heller stated in an interview that this season will have a plan and will rely on long form storylines, as opposed to single episode stories. The second season will completely drop the police procedural format and has been described by the cast and crew as "what the series should have been all along." Lets hope that is true.

1. Agents of SHEILD

In my opinion, Agents of SHIELD is currently the best comic-based series on television (though keep in mind I have a lot of catching up to do with The Flash). While the series has a knack for dragging things out for far too long, the pay-off is always rewarding. The series takes so many twists and turns that even avid comic book fans such as myself don't quite know what's going to happen next. And Marvel has given us an abundance of reasons to be hyped for the series' third season. We're getting to see the Secret Warriors, Daisy Johnson becoming Quake, a lesser scale version of the Inhumanity incident (via the contaminated fish oil), more Inhumans and resolutions to the cliff hangers of the second season's finale. I only hope that some of the Nuhumans in the series are familiar characters and not just original creations.

So what's your opinion? Do you agree with anything from my list? Disagree? As always, sound off in the comments section below and remember that the television season starts next week with Gotham!

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