Here we are, talking about the MCU and DCEU and which one is better while we, for the most part, continue to disregard another branch of the superhero genre that’s really starting to grow in power: television. With TV shows such as Game of Thrones managing to pull off things that outrank almost everything Hollywood has done in recent years in terms of quality, it’s safe to say that television is rapidly catching up and providing extraordinary content. DC Comics TV shows were few at first, mostly cartoons, but now the numbers are growing.
Image Courtesy of CW
There have been some incredibly memorable adaptations in the past and there are some current ongoing series that are worthy of all the praise in the world. We’re here to deliver on that praise.
#7 Teen Titans
Even though there are plenty of live-action series to pick from, we’re not disregarding the animated DC Comics TV shows either. Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans was a pretty spectacular viewing in a world mostly dominated by Superman and Batman cartoons. We were given a quirky team of heroes in an animated series that was a surprisingly complex mix of humor and serious undertones. Also, we just want to point out that we’d like to imagine Teen Titans GO! never happened, thank you very much.
Having aired for a grand total of 10 seasons, Smallville is the second longest-running series of its kind on the CW, topped only by the 12-season long, still ongoing Supernatural. The TV show has reached iconic status in the world of DC Comics TV shows and even beyond that. Few series have managed to ground Clark Kent in so much realism.
Batman-related series and adaptations have been plenty, to the point it’s become tiring, but few have taken the risks that Gotham took. Instead of panning the focus on Bruce Wayne and telling for the millionth time the story of his parents’ death, we are instead being given the origin stories of a variety of his famed villains, including those of the likes of Poison Ivy and the Joker.
While the show received its fair share of criticism for its first season, it seems like the writers are learning from it and slowly turning Gotham into a clever and in-depth saga that showcases the shadowed stories and roots of the city’s biggest threats.
As far as DC Comics TV shows go, Supergirl is a premiere for all the obvious reasons. The series follows around Clark Kent’s Kryptonian and super-powered cousin Kara Danvers as she tries to navigate her daily whereabouts while delivering justice on those in need of it. The show is incredibly worthy of respect for the way it pulled itself together after the average debut of its first season. Through the episodes, it managed to establish itself as a production worth looking out for because its future does look really bright.
#3 Legends of Tomorrow
Speaking of premieres, Legends of Tomorrow was the third DC-related TV show added to CW’s portfolio of superhero series, but it remains unique up to this day as it’s the only one that revolves around a whole ensemble of heroes. Albeit, they’re mostly B-listers, but this also gives the producers a huge creative license and the freedom to flesh them out themselves. Despite having a plot that riskily revolves around time-traveling mumbo jumbos, Legends of Tomorrow manages to juggle all of its confusing aspects surprisingly well.
Arrow marked CW’s first big project and attempt at shaping up a superhero-related adaptation on television. It laid out the foundation for the expansive universe of DC Comics TV shows the network has been building up and it’s surprisingly good as a standalone viewing itself. Although it gets cluttered by confusing plot points and an overload of characters as the series progresses, Arrow’s earlier seasons are particularly recommended for a watch, especially if it’s your first experience with the television world of DC.
#1 The Flash
The Flash started out as a spinoff series fleshed out from Arrow, but it eventually grew to have an identity of its own, one which even managed to surpass the series it expanded from if you ask us. While many DC Comics TV shows ditched some of the source material elements in favor of providing a safer approach, more grounded in reality, The Flash stayed true to the origins of the Flash to a fault. It doesn’t matter that Barry Allen had to fight a psychic gorilla in the comics, The Flash is translating this to television too, damn it!