It’s hard to rank all of the comic book TV shows because there are plenty of shows out there that are based on comic books – including some you probably never even realized were based on comic books. What’s worse is that many comic book shows fall into the cancellation paradox we’ve been seeing lately.
Thankfully, the concept of taking these books and turning them into shows is still going strong, so for every canceled show we’re getting a whole lot of new material. Sick of trying to keep up? No worries. We officially present to you the list of current shows still on TV that are based, even if it’s loosely, on a comic book. We’ve put them all to the ultimate test against each other, and ranked them here from worst to best. Do you agree? See for yourself.
24 KRYPTON (SYFY)
This show has a more original premise than many of the other shows out there since it’s an origin story. But it’s still a story that we all know. So, it takes some effort to make that story jump out and differentiate from the rest of the crowded scene. Krypton still hasn’t quite nailed it yet. The creators have stated that they have at least five years of material to work with, so we’ll have to see where it goes.
23 DEADLY CLASS (SYFY)
There are only a handful of episodes to judge Deadly Class by. But really, who doesn’t love a good 80s coming of age story about a group of psychopathic teenagers? The writer of the graphic novel it’s based on is one of the producers, so it’s nice that the show is running pretty parallel to the comic. It’s also a lot edgier than many of the comic book shows out there, which is refreshing.
22 THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY (NETFLIX)
The Umbrella Academy’s blend of quirky style and comedy is great, but much of the show’s tropes have been seen before.
To be fair, though, many of those tropes are included in a lot of the shows on this list. Regardless, audiences are loving The Umbrella Academy. It’s new, it’s fun, and it’s something a little different.
21 THE GIFTED (FOX)
The Gifted is about a group of mutant children who have to hide from a world that discriminates against them. While the show explores a concept we've seen before, what makes it stand out is that it’s more about a family than it is about the superhero aspect. Character development is strong and it addresses important and relevant issues. However, it’s slow to develop and could use some more action.
20 HAPPY! (SYFY)
Why would you ever say no to a show that features a hit man dealing in the world of crime with a tiny, overly optimistic imaginary blue horse at his side? That practically writes itself. You definitely have to have a certain type of humor to watch the show. However, it’s very unique and thoroughly entertaining. Put it this way: if you love Deadpool, you’ll love Happy!
19 THE WALKING DEAD (AMC)
The Walking Dead started out strong. They killed it (literally) in character development, igniting all the feels in the audience. Especially since so many favorites don’t survive.
However, it’s begun to feature the same storylines over and over. Thankfully, the last few seasons have managed to attempt to reignite the flame by introducing new and exciting characters and villains.
19. TITANS (DC UNIVERSE)
The problem that Titans faces is that it’s taking your typical story of the surrogate-family of superpowered heroes out to save the world. They do this by making the characters just that much more realistic and developing them enough to make them stand out. At times, the show takes away from the central narrative to make sure that these relationships are developed, but that’s not always a bad thing in this case.
18 CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA (NETFLIX)
Fans of the original, colorful Sabrina The Teenage Witch comic got quite the shock when Netflix released its dark, grim version of Sabrina in 2018. Some parts of the show are a little ridiculous, and some of the acting is sub-par, but it makes good entertainment for those who love horror themes.
We can’t help but love the idea of it, but there is just so much potential with this dark theme that hasn’t been used at all.
17 GOTHAM (FOX)
By showcasing a Batman origin story without being an actual Batman origin story, Gotham has provided audiences with a unique view of a tale we already knew. The casting of the show is great, and the creative liberties that the writers take on these classic characters are well worth the watch. Hopefully, we'll get the perfect ending when it wraps up this season.
16 LUCIFER (FOX)
The idea of portraying the devil as he attempts to live among humans and starts to feel things like humans do is always a great premise for a show. It’s a great portrayal of the idea of taking something so inherently dark and adding a lighter, more comedic angle to it while still maintaining the crime and drama component. The actual crime component is a little on the weaker side, but it’s made up for in the show's creativity.
15 DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (THE CW)
Time travel seems to be a huge craze right now, but Legends of Tomorrow has been doing this for 5 seasons. The storylines are repetitive, but the fact that every episode explores a new setting keeps the show interesting. It’s a campy, funny, and Captain Lance and her group of misfits keep us entertained even if the plot is basic.
14 MARVEL’S RUNAWAYS (HULU)
This show is like Spy Kids but the opposite – instead of finding out their parents are spies, the kids find out their parents are villains. It flips the narrative of parenting on its head, and that’s something you really don’t see often. Big originality points. A lot of the show's story is spent on showcasing real-life issues, but the show could use a little more action.
13 ARROW (THE CW)
Arrow has been one of the more popular comic shows on TV thanks to its admirable characters, interesting storylines, and ability to make us love people we shouldn’t. The show’s quips can get old from time to time.
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However, they always find a way to keep us on the edge of what Oliver Queen, former bad boy turned vigilante-police-sidekick is doing. Sadly, we only have a season and a half left to enjoy it until the show is done.
12 RIVERDALE (THE CW)
It’s easy to forget about Riverdale being based on the Archie comics since the only thing the show really shares in common with the comic books is the character names. When it started out, many people loved the darker twist with that signature CW teenage drama flare.
Lately, the show’s storylines have been wacky. We’re still heavily invested in where it's going, but a little of that dark charm that we saw in the beginning has slipped away. Luckily, there’s plenty of time for a Riverdale Renaissance.
11 SUPERGIRL (THE CW)
Supergirl teaches the audience a lot about juggling human relationships and saving the planet. There is a really refreshing morality in this show. The storylines are kind of flat at times. However, it’s really about the characters. They take on issues like LGBTQ representation and turn those into valuable lessons about equality. Added props for showcasing a powerful, underrepresented female comic book character.
10 CLOAK & DAGGER (FREEFORM)
This show has suffered from the slow-paced nature. While it’s meant to be a buildup, it can come across as boring at times. However, Cloak and Dagger are worth watching. They are just awesome kids who fight evil and teach teenagers to be better versions of themselves. If you are the type of person who loves getting invested in characters, this show’s for you.
9 THE FLASH (THE CW)
Thanks to some lovable characters who provide the perfect amount of comic relief, this show has managed to capture the hearts of all audiences. The CW show manages to rope in some great crossovers. It also never runs out of material because they literally have every single universe at their disposal. Another great advantage this show has is the diversity aspect, which gives it even more charm.
8 LEGION (FX)
Legion is one of those shows that really make you put together the pieces of the puzzle while you’re sitting there wondering what’ll happen next. If you blink, you’ll miss something. For this reason, some have accused the show of being boring. While many people don’t really enjoy having to put that much thought into their TV watching experience, Legion is worth the effort.
7 PREACHER (AMC)
Based on the comics, Preacher is about an outlaw taking over his father’s church is hit with supernatural powers and works with a troupe of rebels to fight evil. That’s really what you need to know to get why this show is so unique and worth watching. The fight between good and evil isn't new. However, this show puts its own spin on the situation that you can’t help but be drawn to.
6 DOOM PATROL (DC UNIVERSE)
Another newbie to the list, the TV adaptation of the Doom Patrol comic debuted to some rave reviews. It’s refreshing to see this take on an eccentric and oddball group. Even though there are more shows on the rise about it, it’s still nice to watch. What we love most is that the show doesn’t take itself seriously. The signature blend of drama and comedy is exactly what we want, and we love it for that.
5 BLACK LIGHTNING (THE CW)
So far, Black Lightning has managed to refrain from getting canceled. This show gets its props for portraying black communities in a strong and powerful way. But it also gets points for showing the struggle of being a veteran superhero with a family and children.
Also, we don’t always get to see what life is like after a superhero has retired his metaphorical cape… or so he’s thought.
4 MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
This is one of those shows you have to watch for a while before you find yourself hooked. Sure, the storylines tend to be a little repetitive. However, it’s great at pushing that boundary between good and evil and questioning those divisions. Created by nerd icon Joss Whedon, the show also features a few appearances here and there by other MCU characters to keep you going.
3 WYNONNA EARP (SYFY)
This show is severely underrated. Based on a graphic novel about a strong female demon fighter, Wynonna Earp has the elements of a good show. Great writing, great acting, fun, strong relationships, action, and lots of minority representation. The show has had to fight hard for season 4 and is facing some unconfirmed production delays. Here’s hoping we get to see the next season soon. #FightForWynonna
2 IZOMBIE (THE CW)
Who doesn’t love a zombie that’s self-aware and able to poke fun at herself while helping solve crimes? The premise of the show is hilarious. But the show’s added quirks and original storytelling keep us enthralled in Liv’s adventure. iZombie is currently diving into its final season this year, and we can’t wait to see how things wrap up for the gang.
1 THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD (NETFLIX)
This British show tells the journey of two teenage outsiders. One thinks he’s a psychopath and is planning to kill his travel buddy. The show is funny in that black-comedy-indie way, has a unique premise, and tells a very non-traditional love story. Despite the unlikeable nature of the main characters, you can’t help but care.
That’s the mark of a great show.