(TIE) LUKE CAGE SEASON 1 - AVERAGE SCORE: 86.5
Set predominately in the borough of Harlem and tackling heavy topics like gentrification, political corruption, and cultural appropriation, Luke Cage Season 1 was a superhero show with a lot on its mind. Critics took note and praised the show for its stellar cast (Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali’s Cottonmouth was a standout), its sharp view point on the African-American experience, and amazing soundtrack.
That last point was extrapolated upon by Jack Hamilton with Slate, saying, “One of Luke Cage's greatest triumphs is its use of music, which resonates more prominently and energetically than in any previous Marvel screen property.” While a Rotten Tomatoes score of a whopping 94% and a Metacritic score of 79, Luke Cage hit all the right notes with critics, by and large.
(TIE) DAREDEVIL SEASON 1 - AVERAGE SCORE: 86.5
In a Hail Mary attempt to save the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen on screen legacy from the dour affair of the 2003 Ben Affleck film, Netflix sought to make Matt Murdock a household name with Marvel’s Daredevil. And, much to critics’ delight, the show was a smash hit, opening up the door for every subsequent Neftlix Marvel series.
Daredevil Season 1 stands mighty with a colossal 98% Rotten Tomatoes score and a 75 on Metacritic, proving that a blind lawyer who beats up people in his neighborhood could in fact be a critical darling. As Debbie Day with TheWrap put it: “Yes, we can finally put visions of Ben Affleck in red in the rearview mirror as Matt Murdock has at long last been given the treatment his legions of fans have long-claimed he deserved.”
JESSICA JONES SEASON 1 - AVERAGE SCORE: 87
In 2001, legendary comic scribe Brain Michael Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos introduced readers to a new breed of superhero in the pages of Alias. Jessica Jones was a haunted, hard-drinking former costumed hero turned private eye. The character was raw, vulnerable, and challenged the conventions of what superheroes can be. Fourteen years later, Jessica Jones would storm the screen, again redefining the character through the brilliant portrayal by actress Krysten Ritter.
And the critics agreed. The first season of Jessica Jones garnered a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 81 on Metacritic, making it pound for pound the most beloved Netflix Marvel series by critics. As Eric Deggans with NPR put it: “Netflix's Jessica Jones is a proud addition to that pantheon, wrapping one of the best TV shows of the year in a woman's struggle to defeat the abuser who nearly ruined her life.”