There are so many superhero shows out right now it can get a little confusing to know which ones tie into each other, and which are even worth streaming. We’ve broken down the review scores, tie-ins, and where they’re streaming with NO SPOILERS so you can get caught up with all the heroicism going around.
Each show has a Metacritic rating from critics, and audience rating: “[75,85]” means critics rated it 75/100 and audiences rated it 85/100 – when audiences like a show better than the critics it usually has a cult following, or some kind of “so bad it’s good” appeal. They ordered by audience rating.
- Daredevil [75,87] Marvel – Netflix Original
Matt Murdock, with his other senses superhumanly enhanced, fights crime as a blind lawyer by day, and vigilante by night.
Netflix’ Daredevil gets the best audience rating by far. Technically Season 2 of Daredevil takes place after the Jessica Jones season, there are minor references made inside the show and the finale will be more rewarding – so we suggest watching Season 1, Jessica Jones, Season 2, and then Luke Cage. Other Marvel shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. take place in the same universe, but there is no in-season crossover to worry about the order.
- Luke Cage [79,84] Marvel – Netflix Original
A wrongly accused man with superstrength escapes prison to become a superhero for hire.
While critics liked Jessica Jones better, audiences like Luke Cage. Watch it after both the other Netflix Originals if you’re watching all three.
- Jessica Jones [81,81] Marvel – Netflix Original
A former superhero decides to reboot her life by becoming a private investigator.
Watch it between the two seasons of Daredevil. If you aren’t loving it at the beginning stick with it, the last half is great.
- Arrow [73,81] DC – Last 5 episodes on The CW, for money on Amazon, Netflix
A spoiled billionaire disappears and is presumed dead, only to return years later a changed man, determined to clean up the city as a hooded vigilante armed with a bow.
Although it came out in 2012, DC’s Arrow still holds up well. Like Jessica Jones, it picks up steam as the seasons continue on so stick with it past Season 1. DC shows generally stand by great character acting instead of the non-stop action sequences you might find in a Marvel show.
- Agent Carter [72,79] Marvel- Currently only for money on Amazon
In 1946, Peggy Carter is relegated to secretarial duties in the Strategic Scientific Reserve. When Howard Stark is accused of treason, he secretly recruits Peggy to clear his name.
A “prequel” to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you can watch it before or after. Many fans consider it to be a tragic case of being cancelled too soon without being picked up by Netflix or getting a third season.
- The Flash [73,77] DC – Last 5 episodes on The CW, Netflix
After being struck by lightning, Barry Allen wakes up from his coma to discover he’s been given the power of super speed, becoming a superhero.
Another great intro to the modern superhero shows if you don’t want to start with Daredevil. There is a crossover with Arrow in Season 2 (“Legends of Today” with the Arrow episode “Legends of Yesterday” that start a spinoff show “Legends of Tomorrow”, though that wasn’t well received).
- Gotham [71,74] DC- For money on Amazon, Netflix
The story behind Detective James Gordon’s rise to prominence in Gotham City in the years before Batman’s arrival.
An interesting concept, but many people say the episodes get repetitive after a while. I’d watch if you’ve finished Arrow and The Flash and want more DC.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. [74,67] Marvel – Free on ABC Go, Hulu, for money on Amazon, Netflix
With a world rapidly becoming more bizarre and dangerous than ever before as the supervillains arise, these agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are ready to take them on.
Yet again, people say to stick with it – the second half of the first season starts to take off. The user score is a bit low, but if you’re into the Marvel universe you’ll enjoy the various tie-ins.
- Legends of Tomorrow [58,59] DC – Last 5 episodes on The CW, Netflix
Focuses on time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter, who has to recruit a rag-tag team of heroes and villains to help prevent an apocalypse that could impact not only Earth, but all of time.
A spinoff from The Flash (and Arrow, see our write-up of The Flash above), people love to “rip” apart any inconsistencies in time travel in the show – a fate almost any story with time travel is resigned to. It also has some ridiculous baddies, like zombies; but Season 2 is much better than Season 1 if you make it through.
- Supergirl [75,54] Marvel – Last 5 episodes on The CW, for money on Amazon, Netflix
The adventures of Superman’s cousin in her own superhero career.
Someone had to have the worst audience score and here it is. Supergirl got mixed reviews, with many people saying her character is shallow, lazy, and not a good role-model. It’s a thin line between self-loathing/self-pity adding a dark element to a story in something like Jessica Jones, and it making a ridiculous character in Supergirl, but that line was unfortunately crossed. Or maybe people don’t get the silly, campy throwbacks to classic superhero shows of the 70’s and 80’s…
- The Punisher – Marvel – Coming November 2017
- Hawkeye – Marvel – Jeremy Renner says he’s game to play Hawkeye in a Netflix series
Thanks TV.com, Cinemablend, IMDB, and Metacritic. This post contains some affiliate codes on Amazon links, but they don't affect your price - thanks for letting them know we sent you.