It seems you can go into a movie theater almost any month of the year and find a comic book movie to watch. Recently, I checked out Thor: Ragnarok (happy birthday, Dad!) in theaters only to be reminded of another Marvel movie about to hit the big screen: Black Panther.
Marvel is also making its mark on the small screen, dishing out TV shows across the spectrum. In fact, it’s getting hard to stay abreast of what Marvel shows are out right now, especially since they don’t all live on the same network or platform.
To help you navigate the world of Marvel-based TV shows, here’s a list of all the live-action Marvel shows currently on air.
Seasons: 1 (premiered October 2017)
Premise: Part of the X-Men franchise, The Gifted follows Reed and Caitlin Strucker, who run from the government and Sentinel Services after discovering their children, Lauren and Andy, have mutant abilities. In the background is the struggle of mutantkind, including Polaris, a.k.a. Magneto’s daughter, Blink, and Thunderbird, in a world without the X-Men team.
The universe is one stemming from the reboot created by the X-Men: Days of Future Past movie, showrunner Matt Nix has said, according to CBR.
Familiar Faces: The father-in-command of the main family is HBO True Blood veteran Stephen Moyer. You may better know him as Bill Compton.
Blink, while not portrayed by Fan Bingbing as in X-Men: Days of Future Past is still brought to life by a familiar face. Jamie Chung has played Mulan in ABC’s Once Upon a Time and is also this bad ass from Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For:
Where to watch: The Gifted airs Mondays on Fox, with some episodes available on Fox’s website. The show is also available on Hulu.
Seasons: 1 (premiered September 2017)
Premise: Inhumans is based on Marvel’s Inhumans comics about a superhuman species. The TV show follows Black Bolt, king of moon city Attilan and the Inhuman Royal Family, which also includes wife Medusa (whose abilities are on the nose – or hair). Although equipped with an overwhelming voice, Black Bolt is overwhelmed by mutiny from his brother, the superpower-less Maximus.
Familiar Faces: Iwan Rheon finds himself sliding on his sneaky usurper hat yet again in Inhumans. You may remember him also doing so as Ramsay Bolton in HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Karnak, Black Bolt’s cousin and advisor, is played by Ken Kreuk, who played Miles in ABC’s Lost, Dr. Topher Zia on NBC’s The Night Shift, and this spiky guy from X-Men: The Last Stand:
Where to Watch: Episodes of Inhumans are available on ABC’s website and on Hulu.
Seasons: 1 (premiered February 2017)
Premise: Legion follows David , a man who was lead to believe his telepathic mutant (ala X-Men) powers was schizophrenia. Throughout the show David deals with his status shift from mental to mutant as a team of fellow gene-carriers add him to their team.
With David’s mind far from stable and some dark forces at work, the show is certainly Marvel’s trippiest, and darkest yet.
Familiar Faces: Dan is played by Dan Stevens, who got real cozy with Emma Watson in this year’s live-action Beauty and the Beast movie.
Legion also stars Aubrey Plaza in a role similar yet miles away from April Ludgate of NBC’s Parks and Recreation (although April would likely look up to Lenny).
If you really get sucked into Legion, you’ll also catch Maggie Gyllenhaal and Flight of the Conchord’s Jemaine Clement.
Where to Watch: Legion isn’t currently available online for free, but production for Season 2 started in September, according to a Twitter post by Noah Hawley, Legion’s creator.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Seasons: 4 (premiered September 2013)
Premise: This long-running series centers on the titular Marvel comics agency Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.), a spy-studded agency that has a history of partnering up with superheroes when times get tough.
Familiar Faces: The series’ main character is Phil Coulson, who was also in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor and The Avengers (played by the same actor, Clark Gregg).
The show also features Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May. The actress has had various roles in her time, including Jing-Mei Chen for 9 years on NBC’s ER, several seasons on Two and a Half Men as Linda Harris, and, perhaps most impressively, the voice of Mulan.
Where to Watch: The entire series is available on Netflix, and some are also on Hulu.
Seasons: 2 (premiered April 2015)
Premise: Blinded-since-childhood lawyer Matt Murdock gears up for battle as Daredevil in Hell’s Kitchen, a Manhattan neighborhood. He encounters some well-known Marvel characters along the way, including Elektra, Punisher and Kingpin.
Familiar Faces: Movie star Rosario Dawson plays helpful nurse Claire Temple.
Deborah Ann Woll plays Karen Page, who, in the comics, is a love interest of Daredevil. But back in the day, Woll was known as True Blood vampire Jessica Hamby.
Where to Watch: Netflix
Seasons: 1 (premiered November 2015)
Premise: The series follows super-strong (both in strength and alcohol tolerance) Hell’s Kitchener Jessica Jones, a private investigator looking to overcome a disturbing past by foiling the plans of a villain she deeply fears.
With a determination to find her place and a female best friend to help her, Jessica Jones definitely brings a lot of girl power to Marvel TV.
Familiar Faces: Jessica is played by Krysten Ritter, aka Jane from Breaking Bad (RIP, girl).
Starring (and sufficiently creepy) villain Kilgrave is portrayed by BBC’s Doctor Who veteran David Tennant.
Carrie-Anne Moss leaves behind the role of reality straddling Trinity in the Matrix series to play Jeri Hogarth, a lawyer with questionable decision-making skills personified by her girlfriend on the side. Moss is also seen in other Marvel shows on Netflix but is a regular on Jessica Jones.
Where to Watch: Netflix
Seasons: 1 (premiered September 2016)
Premise: Luke Cage makes a name for himself as Jessica’s love interest in Jessica Jones. His show takes place after the events of Jessica Jones and follows Luke’s quest to save Harlem from an influential gangster and his corrupted connects.
Familiar Faces: Dawson is also a regular in Luke Cage, reprising her role as Claire.
Moonlight sensation Mahershala Ali steals the spotlight as Luke Cage arch nemesis Cottonmouth.
Viewers will also recognize Pops, a sort of father figure for Luke, as Frankie Faison, who played Ervin Burrel in HBO’s The Wire.
Seasons: 1 (premiered March 2017)
Premise: Iron Fist follows Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist, who has acquired martial arts skills and responsibilities by studying with monks. Years later (and after the events of Luke Cage), he returns to New York City with sights on his family company – which just happens to be worth billions.
Familiar Faces: Jessica Henwick (seen above) plays Colleen Wing, the martial artist next door, so to speak. She also played Sand Snake Nymeria in Game of Thrones.
David Wenham plays Harold Meachum, a business partner of Danny’s parents. He was also Faramir in The Lord of the Rings movies.
Where to Watch: Netflix
Seasons: 1 (premiered August 2017)
Premise: The Defenders is like a smaller-scale version of The Avengers. It unites Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist in a fight against common enemies. In the comics, The Defenders have featured a number of other heroes, including Dr. Strange, The Hulk and Silver Surfer.
Familiar Faces: In addition to many of the characters from the 4 aforementioned Netflix series returning for The Defenders, the series also brings everyone’s favorite alien basher, Sigourney Weaver, as classy villain Alexandra.
Where to watch: Netflix
The Punisher is a spin-off from Daredevil and will follow New York City’s Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, a man looking for revenge for his murdered family.
Jon Bernthal, who also played Shane in AMC’s The Walking Dead, will reprise the role.
The Punisher premieres on Netflix on November 17th.
Runaways is based on the Marvel comics that debuted in 2003. The show will follow 6 teens with superpowers who go on the run after learning their parents are part of a criminal organization called Pride.
Runaways premieres on Hulu on November 21st.
Although not a live-action series, one of the greatest Marvel TV shows of all time is currently available at the touch of your fingertips. That’s right, all 5 seasons of Fox ’90s classic X-Men: The Animated Series are on Hulu right now. Don’t ask me how or why – it’s best not to question such miracles.
Hint: If you’re a fan of the greatest X-Men live-action movie yet – and second best superhero live-action film ever, in my opinion – check out Season 1, Episodes 11 and 12 for “Days of Future Past.” And if you’re looking for a more fiery Phoenix than the one offered in X-Men: The Last Stand, try Season 3, Episodes 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 for “The Phoenix Saga.”
I’ll leave you to your streaming.