Back in the spring of 2015, Marvel and Netflix teamed up to bring fans one of the greatest comics-inspired shows ever in Daredevil. The story of a young boy who is blinded during the completion of a selfless and heroic act, but grows up to become a crusading lawyer by day and brutal vigilante by night, is Marvel character building at its finest.
The story was told in a way that resonated with audiences, and soon after Netflix expanded their little corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to include private eye Jessica Jones, a character mostly unknown outside of avid comic book readers. Then, '70s staples Luke Cage and Danny Rand were brought to life onscreen. Finally, the Punisher got his own series, becoming the fifth major character to headline one of these shows for Netflix.
In less than three years, Marvel fans had been given five shows and a miniseries, and while quality varied from season to season, there's still a lot to be happy about. This platform delivered something a little more adult-themed than other Marvel projects, and while Spider-Man and Thor should be kid-friendly, this format seemed a lot better suited for the likes of bitter, hard-drinking detectives and obsessively violent war vets.
With the release of The Punisher Season 2 last week, there are now 12 seasons of Marvel goodness to digest on Netflix, and here they are, ranked from worst to first in a convenient list for you to pick apart and disagree with.
12. Iron Fist: Season 1
So, this is an easy one, as the show was almost universally panned upon its release. Iron Fist's problems laid mostly at the feet of its lead, Danny Rand, and, on the same note, star Finn Jones. For a show about a martial arts master, Jones’ seeming lack of ability was met with heavy criticism. Daredevil had set the "fight bar" so high that Iron Fist was able to walk underneath it, and fans noticed. Couple that with lots of Rand Corporation board meetings and the show’s oddly dark lighting, and this was the obvious choice for the weakest season.
11. Jessica Jones: Season 2
The most disappointing entry on the list is Jessica Jones’ sophomore effort. Coming off a stellar first season almost three years earlier, expectations were extremely high. This season explored Jessica’s family history a bit more, but followed up one of the best villains we’ve seen Marvel put onscreen with a genetically re-engineered version of Jones’ long-thought-dead mother, which just didn’t work. Additionally, Malcolm, Trish and Hogarth were all given extended spotlights, though to varying degrees of success. In the end, it set up some threads to be pulled in Season 3, but on its own resulted in a lackluster watch.
10. Iron Fist: Season 2
Season 2 corrected a lot of the earlier mistakes from Iron Fist, and by the time it aired, fans had been given a chance to watch Danny grow following his appearances on The Defenders and Luke Cage. The writers obviously got a better feel for him as well, and as the character became more likable, so did the show. They improved the fighting and by the end even found a way to make Ward and Joy seem interesting. This is one of the more underrated seasons of Marvel television, and not just because of how cool Colleen Wing is.
9. The Defenders
The Defenders was the blueprint goal that all the previous shows were building towards, combining the casts of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage to create one interlocking story. And while it turned out fine, it’s probably right behind Jessica Jones Season 2 for most disappointing. It gave us Luke and Danny together, let Jessica show off her detective skills and allowed Matt Murdock to play the selfless hero. That was all great, but it didn’t do too much else, aside from leaving us wondering why Karen Page and Foggy Nelson were the only people to show up at Matt’s funeral.