There has never been a better time for comic book-based television shows on TV. Each year adds a few more with the fall 2017 season featuring 10 series on broadcast, a handful on cable, and two new programs on streaming platforms. And while there’s plenty of anticipation for new series like Runaways and The Gifted, there’s excitement to be found in all of the returning broadcast shows. Let’s take a look:
Premise: For countless generations, the Inhumans of Attilan have hidden themselves from the human world on the dark side of the moon. That peace is about to be broken as King Black Bolt’s (Mount) jealous brother Maximus (Rheon) makes a bid to take the throne. In the ensuing coup, Black Bolt finds himself on Earth and exposed to the world.
What To Expect: Though the concept of Inhumans will be familiar to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. viewers, the full-blooded Inhuman royal family is something new and different for Marvel’s television offerings. They are extremely powerful and nothing like the grounded heroes of the Netflix series or the (usually) chummy Avengers of the Cinematic Universe. Their Shakespearean world and conflict will play out over eight episodes, presumably with repercussions for the S.H.I.E.L.D. team.
When To See It: The first chapter of the series hits IMAX theaters on September 1 for a limited two-week run; then the entirety of the series airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on ABC starting September 29
Gotham, Season 4
Starring: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Robin Lord Taylor, Sean Pertwee, Erin Richards, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Nicholas D’Agosto, Michael Chiklis, Maggie Geha
Premise: Before the Batman, Gotham City was mired in corruption, crime, and conspiracy. Into this stew came Jim Gordon (McKenzie), a good man who promised a boy he’d find his parents’ killer. In the process, Gordon would plumb the depths of his soul and help sow the seeds of Batman’s ongoing war on crime and costumed crazies. From Catwoman (Bicondova) to Mr. Freeze (Nathan Darrow) to the Riddler (Smith), Gordon has met the people who will come to dominate his life in strange and unexpected ways. Meanwhile, the boy, Bruce Wayne (Mazouz), has been on a journey to understand why his parents died. It’s a path that will lead him to the Bat.
What To Expect: The time is coming for Bruce Wayne to become something else. But hoods aren’t really his thing, so he must seek out the right image for his crime-fighting persona. Gordon is back on the force, but has a lot to atone for. Granted, a possible romance with Sofia Falcone (Crystal Reed) may help distract him. And as the villains of Gotham City assemble in their recognizable guises, a mysterious member of the Crane family takes up the mantle of Scarecrow.
When To See It: Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Fox starting September 21
Premise: Lucifer Morningstar (Ellis) took leave of Hell to start a nightclub in Los Angeles. While enjoying his freedom, he also picked up an unexpected habit of helping the LAPD solve crimes. He also became fascinated with LAPD Detective Chloe Decker (German), a woman immune to his supernatural charms.
What To Expect: The season will begin with four “standalone” episodes produced last year. Each will spotlight a different character. Following that, Smallville’s Tom Welling will join the cast as Lt. Marcus Pierce, a likable if straight-laced police officer who will lock horns with Lucifer and cause ripples in the ongoing Lucifer-Decker tension.
When To See It: Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox starting October 2
Premise: In a world where the X-Men are missing, Reed and Kate Strucker (Moyer and Acker) attempt to save their mutant children (Lind and Hynes White) from a world that fears and hates them. Along the way, they encounter a mutant underground and familiar X-Men characters like Eclipse (Teale), Blink (Chung), and Polaris (Dumont). Within the underground, sparks will fly between John Proudstar (Redford) and Dreamer (Satine), revealing that there’s always time for love, even when you’re being hunted by Sentinels.
What To Expect: A family drama wrapped inside an action series with a portion of X-Men¬-style romantic tensions. Though the series intends to make the absence of the X-Men a plot point, it may involve into the most faithful X-Men adaption of them all.
When To See It: Mondays at 9 p.m. on Fox starting October 2
Premise: Kara Zor-El (Benoist) is a strange visitor from another world with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal humans. Disguised as an executive assistant at Catco Worldwide Media, she tried to live an ordinary life. But when a plane carrying her adoptive sister Alex (Leigh) nearly crashed, she was revealed to the world. Adopting the identity of Supergirl, she works with Alex and the Department of Extranormal Operations to mitigate alien threats and protect the people of National City. Oh, also, she’s Superman’s cousin.
What To Expect: It is unclear if Supergirl will also leap forward a few months. But if so, it is easy to imagine Kara will still be reeling from the departure of Mon-El (Chris Wood) – whose own life is about to take an interesting turn. Luckily, she still has Alex and the friendship of Lena Luthor (McGrath) to help as she processes her grief. Provided, of course, that Lena doesn’t succumb to the Luthor family history. Meanwhile, the Kryptonian child teased at the end of Season 2 will emerge as Kara’s new antagonist, Reign (Odette Annable). Designed by rogue Kryptonian scientists to be a “World Killer,” she will give Kara plenty of trouble. If that wasn’t enough, she will face media mogul Morgan Edge (Adrian Pasdar), a man with possible demonic ties. Also, hopes run high that Alex and Maggie (Floriana Lima) will get married despite Lima’s diminished role on the series.
When To See It: Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW starting October 9
Premise: Barry Allen is the fastest man alive, and he’s more than happy to tell you that. After a science experiment unleashed superpowered metahumans in his city, Barry dedicated himself to stopping the metas who use their powers for evil while investigating the death of his mother. He eventually solved it, prevented it, then realized he had to let it happen. It’s not easy being the fastest man alive.
What To Expect: Like Arrow, the show will also take leap forward; six months in this case. In that time, Barry has merged with the Speed Force, the quasi-mystical place from which he and the other speedsters draw their power, and learned to forgive himself for the mistakes he made regarding his mother’s murder. Back in Central City, his fiancée Iris has taken a leadership role in Team Flash. But the arrival of the Thinker (Neil Sandilands), a non-speedster villain, will force the team to recall Barry from the Speed Force. Besides the constant presence of the Thinker, Team Flash will also face occasional threats from Blacksmith (Katee Sackhoff), an arms merchant with an ability to manipulate metal. They will also make a new friend in the form of Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer), a detective with a helluva reach.
When To See It: Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW starting October 10
Premise: In an attempt to stop a future tyrant, Time Master Rip Hunter (Darvill) assembled a team of ne’er-do-well heroes and villains to combat the despot in his own distant past. It didn’t work out too well, leaving the Time Masters destroyed and Hunter’s team, now known as Legends, to police time itself. That also didn’t work out so well.
What To Expect: Like the other Arrowverse shows, Legends will pick up some time after the team found themselves stranded in an apocalyptic timeline. Apparently back in the original time zones, they are called together for one more mission to protect time. Complicating matters is Rip Hunter, who chose to ally with the American government to create a new Time Bureau. With their role in time unclear, the Legends will fight a new Legion of Doom composed of Damien Darkh (Neal McDonough), Grodd, and others. But the Legends will have new help in the form of Tala Ashe (Zari Adrianna Tomaz) a grey-hat hacktivist from the future with remarkable ties to DC Comics’ Rock of Eternity.
When To See It: Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW starting October 10
Premise: Riverdale is a complicated place. It appears to be the last vestige of small-town America, but it hides deadly secrets under its picket fences. Jughead Jones (Sprouse) intended to chronicle its fall, but now finds himself at the very center of the chaos. Though murder of Jason Blossom has been solved, Jughead will still find plenty to write about thanks to his best friend Archie’s recent tragedy and his own decision to become a Southside Serpent.
What To Expect: As season 2 opens, Archie (Apa) will still be processing his grief, even if producers remain cagey on whether or not Fred Andrews (Perry) died. It is possible his mother (Molly Ringwald) will try to get him to leave Riverdale. Meanwhile, Jughead’s lifestyle choices will drive a wedge between him and Betty (Reinhart). It seems as though Jughead is trying to exonerate his father, but it could be evidence that apples stick near trees in Riverdale. Veronica (Mendes) will get a double dose of unwanted New York attention as both her father (Mark Consuelos) and an old boyfriend (Graham Phillips) make their way to town.
When To See It: Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW starting October 11
Premise: After five years in Hell, Oliver Queen (Amell) returned to Star City a changed man. Determined to save his city from underworld forces bent on its destruction, he became someone else … something else. He refined that thing before becoming the Green Arrow. After another five years, Oliver Queen found Hell was not done with him. But now that all of his ghosts have been uncovered, it’s time for the Green Arrow to move on free of survivor’s guilt.
What to Expect: First: A resolution to the season 5 cliffhanger. It is unclear who survived the destruction of Lian Yu, but considering season 6 will pick up sometime later, you can be sure of a quick resolution. Meanwhile, Oliver and the surviving Team Arrow will face down a new underworld foe by the name of Ricardo Diaz (Oz’s Kirk Acevedo). Based on the DC Comics martial artist Richard Dragon, Diaz has never lost a fight, but he’s also never faced an opponent like Oliver Queen before. Also, expect the dormant Olicity relationship to heat up again as both Oliver and Felicity (Rickards) forget they’re better just being friends.
When to see it: Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW starting October 12
The Walking Dead, Season 8
Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Alanna Masterson, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Katelyn Nacon, Steven Ogg, and Pollyanna McIntosh, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Premise: After the Zombie Apocalypse, Rick Grimes (Lincoln) leads a group of people across the wastelands of Georgia in hopes of finding safety. Instead, he and his group find man is the most vicious monster of all.
What To Expect: Adapting the comic book series’ “All Out War” story arc, the survivors of Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom take on Negan (Morgan) and the Saviors in, well, an all-out war. Meanwhile, Gregory (Xander Berkeley) may have Maggie (Cohan) in his crosshairs as the show approaches its 100th episode.
When To See It: Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC starting October 22
Premise: Nick Sax (Meloni) is a carousing hit-man whose life gets a shot of positivity from an imaginary winged horse named Happy (Oswalt). Well, he might be imaginary. He could be an alien or Sax could be having a breakdown.
What To Expect: Based on the comic book by Grant Morrison, you can expect just about anything. His books feature things as grandiose as gods destroying universes as they die or small human moments like a man grieving for his cat.
When To See It: Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Syfy starting November 29
Premise: A group of teens discover that all of their parents are part of a villainous cabal known as the Pride. Absconding from their homes with powers and gear taken from their folks, the group vows to end the Pride and atone for their crimes.
What To Expect: A coming-of-age tale with a big twist. Though the supervillain scale of the group’s discovery is fantastical, it mirrors a rite of passage many people go through on the way to becoming an adult. Also expect down-to-earth fashion sense as the Runaways never adopt superhero names or costumes.
When To See It: On Hulu starting in November (premiere date to be announced)
Premise: Hiro and Baymax from the Big Hero 6 feature film star in all-new animated series. As the new prodigy at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, Hiro takes on a huge course load and plenty of social hurdles. But he also continues his crime-fighting ways with his best pals by his side.
What To Expect: A 2D version with the film’s mix of humor and heart. Also expect a long run as the series already has a second season commitment.
When To See It: On Disney XD starting in November (premiere date to be announced)
Premise: Frank Castle (Bernthal) kills a lot of people as he continues to punish those he sees as wrong-doers. But Frank’s methods put him in the sights of the Department of Homeland Security, an organization none too thrilled with his activities. Frank, meanwhile, reconnects with Billy Russo (Barnes), a friend from his Special Forces days who now runs a private military corporation.
What To Expect: Frank will kill a lot of people. Also expect the real reason why his family was murdered to be revealed. Russo probably had something to do with it, as the character is traditionally one of Frank’s chief adversaries — though, typically he’s called Jigsaw and lot less good-looking than Barnes.
When To See It: On Netflix in the fall — premiere date to be announced