News

Guide to Fall Superhero TV

The new, returning, and streaming badasses dominating our screens this season

by | October 3, 2016 | Comments

Agents of SHIELD (ABC), Arrow, The Flash (The CW), Luke Cage (Netflix), Supergirl (The CW)
Not since the end of the ’70s — when The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, and Super Friends were all on the air at the same time — have there been so many superheroes on television as there are now. Between the DC Comics heroes on The CW and Fox, and Marvel’s on Netflix and ABC, TV these days looks more like an aisle of The Android’s Dungeon. And that’s not counting such animated ones as Teen Titans GO! and The Power Puff Girls on Cartoon Network or the Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble, and Guardians of the Galaxy triumvirate on Disney XD.

But if you’re behind on your TV watching, or your reading for that matter, never fear true believers: We have a guide to current superhero shows on television and available for streaming, including which comic universe they belong to, so you know who’s likely to do a crossover episode or two … or three or four.


THE ARROWVERSE

Though inspired by comic books that are part of the same fictional universe as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, the shows in the Arrow universe are actually unconnected to such DC Comics movies as Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and the upcoming Wonder Woman, Justice League, Cyborg, Aquaman, and Flash flicks. Or, for that matter, a certain show about a juvenile Caped Crusader. They’re all encapsulated in the Arrow-verse, and will see a four-way crossover this season in which Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, and the heroes of Legends of Tomorrow join forces to battle an alien race called the Dominators that was introduced in 1980s comics-crossover Invasion!

Arrow: Season 5 (2016) 88%

Arrow (The CW)

Played By: Stephen Amell (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows)
Show Created By: Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim
Where to See It: Wednesdays, 8 p.m., on The CW returning October 5. Seasons one through three are available on Netflix.
Who Is He? After being stranded on a deserted island for five years, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen returns home to Starling City, where he uses his considerable skills with a bow and arrow to fight crime.
Fun Fact: Three of the actors who’ve co-starring or had recurring roles on Arrow — John Barrowman (who plays Malcolm Merlyn), Alex Kingston (Dinah Lance), and Colin Salmon (Walter Steele) — also had recurring roles on Doctor Who.

 The Flash: Season 3 (2016) 85%

The Flash (The CW)

Played By: Grant Gustin (Glee)
Show Created By: Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Geoff Johns
Where to See It: Tuesdays, 8 p.m., on The CW returning October 4. Season one is available on Netflix.
Who Is He? After being struck by lightning that was infused with radiation from a malfunctioning particle accelerator, crime scene investigator Barry Allen finds he’s become the fastest man alive.
Fun Fact: Mark Hamill, who played The Trickster on this show, previously played that same bad guy in the 1991 TV series The Flash, and has voiced him in both the Justice League cartoon and in the animated movie LEGO DC Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom!

DC's Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2 (2016) 88%

Legends of Tomorrow (The CW)

Played By: Rip Hunter: Arthur Darvill (Broadchurch); Atom: Brandon Routh (Chuck); Chronos: Dominic Purcell (Prison Break); Captain Cold (who sacrificed himself at the end of season 1): Wentworth Miller (Prison Break) ; Firestorm: Victor Garber (Alias) and Franz Drameh (Attack the Block); White Canary: Caity Lotz (Arrow); Hawkman: Falk Hentschel (White House Down); Hawkgirl: Ciara Renée (Big Fish)
Show Created By: Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim, Phil Klemmer
Where to See It: Thursdays, 8 p.m., on The CW returning October 13.
Who Are They? To prevent Vandal Savage from destroying the world, a time traveler named Rip Hunter (Darvill) assembles a group of superheroes and supervillains to save the Earth.
Fun Fact: Legends of Tomorrow isn’t the first time Routh has played a comic book character. Not only was he the Man of Steel in Superman Returns, but he also starred in the comic book adaptations Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World and Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.

Supergirl: Season 2 (2016) 92%

Supergirl (The CW)

Played By: Melissa Benoist (Glee)
Show Created By: Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg
Where to See It: Mondays, 8 p.m., debuting on The CW (season one aired on CBS and is available on Netflix) starting October 10
Who Is She? Years after Superman started fighting crime, his teenage cousin Kara Zor-El arrives on Earth and decides to follow in his footsteps.
Fun Fact: In the first season, Kara’s adoptive human parents were played by Helen Slater, who played Supergirl in the 1984 movie of the same name, while her dad was Dean Cain from the show Lois & Clark. In season 2, Lynda Carter of Wonder Woman fame plays the president.


MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE

Just as all their comic books are connected, so too are all of Marvel Comics’ movies and TV shows. But while Daredevil hasn’t had lunch with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Agent Coulson yet, Netflix are prepping a miniseries called The Defenders that will have Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil’s frenemy The Punisher, and Iron Fist (the latter two of which have their own Netflix shows in the pipeline) teaming up Avengers-style. Daredevil‘s second season aired earlier this year, and Jessica Jones isn’t debuting a new season this fall, but we have a lot to look forward to from those two Marvel superheroes.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 4 (2016) 96%

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)

Played By: Agent Coulson: Clark Gregg (The New Adventures of Old Christine); Melina May: Ming-Na Wen (The Joy Luck Club); Quake: Chloe Bennet (Nashville); Leo Fitz: Iain De Caestecker (Not Another Happy Ending); Jemma Simmons: Elizabeth Henstridge (Reach Me); Mack: Henry Simmons (NYPD Blue)
Show Created By: Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen
Where to See It: Tuesdays, 10 p.m., on ABC. Seasons one through three are available on Netflix.
Who Are They? Remember those guys in The Avengers with the big, flying aircraft carrier who helped out Iron Man and his superfriends? Yeah, Coulson and crew used to work for them, then they didn’t, and now they do again.
Fun Fact: While some of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s characters were created just for this show or the movies, they’re all comic characters now, as you can see in the books S.H.I.E.L.D: Volume 1: Perfect Bullets and S.H.I.E.L.D: Volume 2: The Man Called D.E.A.T.H. from former Fantastic Four writer Marc Waid.

Marvel's Luke Cage: Season 1 (2016) 90%

Luke Cage (Netflix)

Played By: Mike Colter (The Good Wife)
Show Created By: Cheo Hodari Coker
Where To See It: Season 1 debuted on Netflix Sept. 28.
Who Is He? While he has unbreakable skin and superhuman strength, Luke, in this show, has not become a Daredevil-esque superhero…yet.
Fun Fact: In the comics, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are not only married, but they have a kid together. Best part: their babysitter is Squirrel Girl — y’know, the fuzzy superhero with a tail who talks to squirrels and once beat up Galactus.


GOTHAM-VERSE

Though this show is — like The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow — based on stories from DC Comics, it’s actually not connected to those shows. Or, for that matter, the DC Comics movies. It’s all alone at the center of its own universe.

Gotham: Season 3 (2016) 74%

Gotham (Fox)

Played By: James Gordon: Ben McKenzie (The O.C.); Harvey Bullock: Donal Logue (Grounded for Life); Bruce Wayne: David Mazouz (Touch); Alfred Pennyworth: Sean Pertwee (Elementary); Penguin: Robin Lord Taylor (Accepted); Leslie Thompkins: Morena Baccarin (Firefly)
Show Created By: Bruno Heller
Where to See It: Mondays, 8 p.m., on Fox. Seasons one and two are available on Netflix.
Who Are They? In this Batman prequel show, the future Commissioner Gordon starts out as a beat cop, Penguin slowly builds his criminal empire, and The Dark Knight is just a kid who hasn’t learned the joys of cosplay.
Fun Fact: Gotham City’s mental hospital Arkham Asylum takes its name from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, who died two years before Batman first took flight in 1939’s Detective Comics #27.

Tag Cloud

Musicals comedies disaster hispanic 20th Century Fox SundanceTV TV renewals Teen Syfy TBS romantic comedy AMC Pride Month HBO Max Acorn TV Rocketman satire free movies franchise toronto ABC Lucasfilm Shondaland USA Reality movies theme song 2019 Set visit Interview historical drama politics Superheroe FXX CNN Photos Television Academy TV Britbox cars Super Bowl political drama Sony Pictures BET Awards Paramount mutant cartoon versus Brie Larson casting Cosplay fast and furious Masterpiece Disney zero dark thirty aliens CBS All Access Best and Worst cooking Arrowverse Crunchyroll Adult Swim Awards Tour Video Games Fox News Emmy Nominations Film Festival YouTube Mary poppins Esquire Anna Paquin HBO Hulu stoner cancelled nfl Watching Series Lifetime Christmas movies Stephen King Black Mirror parents rotten indie vampires cats zombies science fiction what to watch blockbuster Universal TCA 2017 Music stand-up comedy E! Black History Month doctor who Pixar sitcom FOX halloween GoT Opinion MSNBC Nat Geo Infographic The Walking Dead 2015 YouTube Red Holiday Pirates Comics on TV PlayStation south america superhero boxoffice all-time mission: impossible twilight war Comedy RT21 Superheroes festival Mystery discovery Christmas spanish language harry potter Heroines President nbcuniversal critics nature Ghostbusters medical drama Writers Guild of America talk show TCA Winter 2020 crime Martial Arts diversity Country The Purge crime drama Trophy Talk The CW Mindy Kaling Comedy Central witnail quibi Thanksgiving game show Apple TV Plus APB Western Summer Disney Plus Grammys social media dragons batman stop motion reviews Marvel Television Discovery Channel The Arrangement Star Wars hist elevated horror Certified Fresh adaptation ESPN Marathons Action streaming breaking bad 2017 RT History Ovation 2016 Lionsgate dramedy Tomatazos chucky a nightmare on elm street dceu slashers TruTV Fall TV unscripted name the review ABC Family Disney streaming service cinemax classics Warner Bros. Nickelodeon justice league reboot Calendar DC Comics natural history Disney+ Disney Plus festivals National Geographic cancelled television Oscars remakes MCU 2018 Mary Tyler Moore movie Walt Disney Pictures Epix 21st Century Fox kids 007 Tumblr Kids & Family Song of Ice and Fire crime thriller PBS Emmys worst Spike adventure miniseries worst movies Drama dc films El Rey LGBTQ Paramount Network dark Bravo christmas movies VH1 Premiere Dates San Diego Comic-Con Lifetime Winners Binge Guide 45 psychological thriller serial killer ghosts Comic Book Sundance Now screenings Horror CMT canceled DirecTV renewed TV shows Pop TV TIFF BBC American Society of Cinematographers YA HBO Go Funimation Tubi SDCC facebook A24 Schedule cops jamie lee curtis Academy Awards Election TV Land Fantasy binge VOD best Podcast Ellie Kemper Chilling Adventures of Sabrina biography TCM Crackle Tarantino OWN TLC Apple TV+ Rom-Com Television Critics Association cancelled TV series criterion screen actors guild CBS Winter TV 4/20 GIFs BBC One Elton John Netflix Christmas movies universal monsters romance Film obituary IFC VICE travel Holidays toy story CW Seed X-Men book spinoff video on demand child's play Food Network police drama FX Chernobyl video children's TV Apple Family Red Carpet joker Hallmark spider-man Extras Trivia period drama robots IFC Films comic Cartoon Network Mudbound Sneak Peek tv talk LGBT blaxploitation Sundance Spectrum Originals New York Comic Con golden globes History Baby Yoda thriller sports Animation based on movie Biopics Freeform psycho television Box Office FX on Hulu MTV Rocky laika sequels indiana jones Avengers OneApp E3 24 frames Trailer anime Netflix DGA Amazon Polls and Games Pet Sematary A&E Turner Showtime directors game of thrones green book anthology technology finale Cannes BBC America Logo mockumentary First Reviews comiccon Countdown BAFTA Amazon Prime PaleyFest Marvel crossover die hard Star Trek TNT animated 72 Emmy Awards Quiz TCA Awards Turner Classic Movies Musical Mary Poppins Returns teaser USA Network Reality Competition asian-american cancelled TV shows venice zombie rotten movies we love Starz scorecard Creative Arts Emmys football spy thriller ratings dogs Women's History Month latino TCA The Witch sag awards composers Sundance TV spain richard e. Grant YouTube Premium Vudu singing competition cults Valentine's Day Nominations Rock comics true crime news 2020 Hear Us Out SXSW Classic Film WGN transformers Disney Channel space emmy awards Columbia Pictures supernatural Hallmark Christmas movies DC Universe concert Spring TV See It Skip It Amazon Studios First Look NYCC Sci-Fi revenge Marvel Studios documentary series award winner Captain marvel sequel Amazon Prime Video Year in Review 71st Emmy Awards canceled TV shows Character Guide werewolf Peacock hollywood BET NBC WarnerMedia Toys Shudder Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt DC streaming service documentaries independent strong female leads GLAAD Awards docudrama scary movies Pop ITV foreign Travel Channel Dark Horse Comics Endgame