Comic Book TV: A 2018 Guide to New & Returning Shows

With a new year arrives another wave of television series based on comic books, with no fewer than eight returning adaptations joined by seven new shows, across broadcast, cable and streaming services.

That’s to say nothing of those series like Arrow, The Walking Dead, The Gifted, Riverdale and Runaways, most of which are merely taking a traditional midseason hiatus before gearing up again in January and February.

But what comic book TV shows make their debuts in 2018, and what ones return for new seasons? We break them down below.

Black Lightning

Premieres Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW

The CW adds another superhero to its roster with Black Lightning. Cress Williams stars as Jefferson Pierce, a retired superhero turned high school principal who’s forced to don a mask again when the gang the One Hundred threaten his neighborhood, and his family.

The series said to not be part of The CW’s Arrowverse, but never say never; after all, Supergirl began on another network entirely, and now that show is firmly connected to Arrow, The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Black Lightning also stars China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, James Remar, Damon Gupton, and Marvin Jones III.


Premieres Wednesday, March 21, on Syfy

Set two generations before the destruction of Superman’s home world, Krypton centers on the Man of Steel’s grandfather Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), who’s caught at a crossroads after encountering the time traveler Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos): Does he save his planet, or allow it to be destroyed to ensure the fate of his future grandson.

Hailing from David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), Krypton is also poised to feature appearances by such DC Comics characters as Hawkwoman, Doomsday and Brainiac. The series also stars Georgina Campbell, Elliot Cowan, Ann Ogbomo, Rasmus Hardiker, Wallis Day, Aaron Pierre and Ian McElhinney.

Cloak & Dagger

Premiering sometime in 2018 on Freeform

Based on the teen heroes introduced in 1982 by Bill Mantlo and Ed Hannigan, Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger stars Olivia Holt as Tandy Bowen and Aubrey Joseph as Tyrone Johnson, two runaways from New Orleans who are suddenly burdened with superpowers that will forever link them: Tyrone can engulf others in darkness and Tandy can emit daggers of light.

Cloak & Dagger also stars Andrea Roth as Tandy’s mother Melissa Bowen, Gloria Reuben as Tyrone’s mother Adina Johnson, Miles Mussenden as Tyrone’s father Michael Johnson, Carl Lundstedt as Tandy’s partner in crime Liam, James Saito as Dr. Bernard Sanjo and J.D. Evermore as Detective Connors.


Premieres sometime in 2018 on the new DC Comics-branded digital platform

Based on DC Comics’ Teen Titans, the live-action Titans “follows a group of young soon-to-be superheroes recruited from every corner of the DC Universe.” Dick Grayson, played by Brenton Thwaites, emerges as Robin to become the team’s leader.

Executive produced by Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, Titans also stars Anna Diop as Starfire, Teagan Croft as Raven, and Ryan Potter as Beast Boy, with Alan Ritchson as Hawk, Minka Kelly as Dove and Lindsey Gort as Dick Grayson’s police partner Detective Amy Rohrbach.

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Premiering in early 2018 on CW Seed

Fans of NBC’s Constantine have been rallying for more of Matt Ryan’s version of the occult detective since that live-action series was prematurely canceled in 2015. Ryan has already reprised the role of John Constantine, for an episode of Arrow, Warner Bros. Animation’s direct-to-DVD movie Justice League Dark and an upcoming two-episode arc of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. But later this year he’ll turn to star in his very own animated series, a la Vixen and Freedom Fighters: The Ray.

Written by J.M. DeMatteis (Justice League Dark, Batman vs. Robin), produced by Butch Lukic (Justice League Action, Batman Unlimited) and directed by Doug Murphy (Justice League Action, Young Justice), Constantine will once again pit the demon hunter against evil supernatural forces.

Young Justice: Outsiders

Premiering in late 2018 on the new DC Comics-branded digital platform

The beloved animated series will return with Young Justice: Outsiders in the third quarter of 2018, more than five years after Season 2 concluded. Many fans believed that finale to be premature, and campaigned for Warner Bros. Animation to revive the show; it worked, clearly.

Centered on meta-human trafficking, “and the terrifying threat it creates for a society caught in the crossfire of a genetic arms race spanning the globe and the galaxy,” the third season of Young Justice will star Static, Kid Flash, Robin, Wonder Girl, Spoiler, Blue Beetle, Thirteen, Arrowette, Arsenal and Beast Boy. However, co-creator Brandon Vietti assures fans that doesn’t mean other characters from earlier seasons won’t also appear.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Expected to premiere in late 2018 on Netflix

Initially in development as a companion series to The CW drama Riverdale, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina instead made the jump to Netflix in early December, with a two-season order.

Based on the Archie Comics horror title of the same name, launched in 2014 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Robert Hack, the series reimagines the classic character Sabrina the Teenage Witch (aka Sabrina Spellman) in a dark coming-of-age story that’s drawn tonal comparisons to such horror films as Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist. The 10-episode first season, with a pilot written by Aguirre-Sacasa, is expected to begin production in February.


The fourth season premieres in 2018 on The CW

Humanity learned about the existence of zombies in iZombie‘s Season 3 finale, setting up a global response, and a potential vaccine, to be revealed in the upcoming fourth season. “We started talking about that almost from day one of Season 1,” said iZombie co-creator Rob Thomas. “There would be an evolution and one day the secret would be too big to keep in house.”

The Walking Dead actor Daniel Bonjour has joined Season 4 as Levon, a “documentary filmmaker chronicling Seattle’s undead reality.” Robert Knepper has been promoted to a series regular, too, so we’ll be seeing more of Blaine’s dad when the series returns.

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Season 2 premieres in early 2018 on FX

Legion was apparently only getting started when it finally revealed that Amahl Farouk, aka the Shadow King, has been possessing David Haller (Dan Stevens) since childhood, testing his sanity while bending reality around him. The eight-episode first season ended with Farouk finally driven out of David, only to take possession of Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement), allowing him to be unleashed into the world. While that was certainly enough to upend the status quo, the final scene saw David miniaturized and abducted by some kind of drone.

Wonder Woman actor Saïd Taghmaoui was cast as the Shadow King for the second season only to leave the series in November. It’s unknown how his departure will affect Legion.


Season 3 premieres in 2018 in AMC

How do you follow a season that earned condemnations of blasphemy from a conservative Christian group? With another, of course! AMC’s Preacher, based on the renowned Vertigo comics series by Garth Ennis and the late Steve Dillon, will return in 2018 for a third season.

Starring Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun and Ruth Negga, Season 2 ended with multiple cliffhangers, with Hitler loosed from Hell, Tulip seemingly dead, and God at last making a final appearance. No doubt 2018 will see another call for AMC to cancel Preacher.

Wynonna Earp

Season 3 premieres in 2018 on Syfy

Based on the comic series created by Beau Smith, Wynonna Earp stars Melanie Scrofano as the great-great-granddaughter of Wyatt Earp, who fights the revenants of the outlaws the legendary lawman killed. The first season debuted in April 2016, and the second in June 2017; when in 2018 Season 3 might fall is anybody’s guess.

There were plenty of hanging threads at the end of Season 2, including the identity of the father of Waverly, Wynonna’s sister, and the arrival of Wynonna’s baby.

Jessica Jones

Season 2 premieres March 8 on Netflix

Last seen in August on Marvel’s The Defenders, Krysten Ritter’s hard-living private investigator returns for a 13-episode second season, directed exclusively by women.

After murdering Kilgrave (David Tennant), Jessica tries in the second season to put her life together, even has her dead tormenter maintains a old on her. However, a new case forces the private eye to confront who she actually is while she digs deeper into her past. Ritter is joined once again by Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker, Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth and Eka Darville as Malcolm Ducasse.

Luke Cage

Season 2 debuts sometime in 2018 on Netflix

Sweet Christmas! Mike Colter returns as Luke Cage sometime in 2018, and he’ll bring along his new ally Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist, for at least one arc.

Season 2, which wrapped filming in November, will pick up after the events of The Defenders, with Simone Missick’s Misty Knight sporting her comics-accurate bionic arm as a result of her confrontation with the hand. There’s no release date for Luke Cage‘s second season, but Jessica Jones returns in March, presumably leaving two openings on Netflix’s schedule for other Marvel shows.

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Season 3 likely premieres in 2018 on Netflix

None of Marvel’s Defenders was left as changed by that miniseries as Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock, who was drawn back into costume to fight the Hand and his resurrected lover Elektra, only to seemingly die beneath tons of rubble. But of course, Daredevil didn’t actually die, as revealed in the closing moments of The Defenders, but was somehow rescued, and nursed back to health in a scene lifted from the classic Marvel Comics storyline “Born Again.”

Vincent D’Onofrio is confirmed to return to Daredevil as Wilson Fisk, which may be further indication that Season 3 will tear down Murdock only to build him back up again, in an echo of “Born Again.” “There’s some awesome things that are very much in the history of Fisk and Daredevil, that people have been waiting for,” D’Onofrio recently teased. “We’ve already put some of that stuff in the can, and there’s a lot more to do.”

Fear the Walking Dead

Season 4 premieres in mid-2018 on AMC

Fear the Walking Dead is still marching along, with Lenny James’ Morgan Jones set to make the move from AMC’s The Walking Dead in the upcoming fourth season of the companion series — at least for a story arc. Maggie Grace (Lost) will also join as a series regular.

Fear the Walking Dead, which moves its setting to Austin, Texas, for Season 4, stars Kim Dickens, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Lorenzo James Henrie, Rubén Blades, Colman Domingo, Michelle Ang, Danay Garcia, Daniel Sharman, Sam Underwood, Dayton Callie and Lisandra Tena.


Season 2 premieres in July 2018 on Cinemax

Based on the Image Comics series by Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta, the horror drama Outcast premiered on Cinemax in 2016, with a second season promised for April 2017. That didn’t happen, at least not in the United States; U.K. audiences have already seen it, however. American viewers have to wait until July 2018 to learn what happens to Patrick Fugit’s Kyle Barnes, who’s been tormented by demons since childhood.

The second season introduces a trio of new characters: Bob, a mysterious junkyard owner with ties to the town of Rome’s “dark past,” played by Django Unchained’s M.C. Gainey; Dr. Kenneth Park, the chief of staff at the town’s hospital, played by Banshee’s Hoon Lee; and Dakota, a free-spirited and unconventional Christian who clashes with Philip Glenister’s Reverend Anderson, played by Texas Rising star Madelyn Deutch. The future of Outcast beyond that is unclear, as the cast options are said to have already lapsed.