Comic books have come to dominate the TV landscape every bit as much as the big screen. But not all shows are created equal. These shows truly do justice to the source material, and in some cases even elevate it to a whole new level.
Fans of the "Lucifer" comics were wary of this adaptation, considering how it abandons most of the fantasy trappings for a slightly more grounded police procedural approach. Even so, it's a formula that works very well. Who doesn't love seeing the Devil himself working as a consultant for the LAPD?
13. 'Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman'
Well before The CW was giving DC fans multiple serialized superhero dramas per week, "Lois & Clark" was showing what could be done with DC's icons on the small screen. This series banked less on Superman's epic clashes with his foes and more on the ongoing romantic tension between Teri Hatcher's Lois Lane and Dean Cain's Clark Kent. The series made us fall in love with the characters all over again, and it's a shame it wrapped on an unresolved cliffhanger.
12. 'The Walking Dead'
"The Walking Dead" is easily one of the most successful comic book adaptations on TV. The series is currently in its ninth season and has spawned multiple spinoffs. That's the power of a zombie drama that strives to tell a lasting story of survival in the post-apocalypse. And every time this show starts to overstay its welcome, it manages to reinvent itself all over again.
11. 'The Tick'
This is easily one of the most underappreciated superhero shows on the air right now, and a strong case for subscribing to Amazon Prime. It captures all the quirky brilliance of the source material as it showcases a group of highly dysfunctional costumed vigilantes. It gets the "superhero comedy" formula down better than almost any other.
10. 'Marvel's Agent Carter'
It's too rare to see any of Marvel's TV projects connect to the MCU movies in a meaningful way. But that was never a problem for "Agent Carter" in its too-brief run. This series gave Hayley Atwell's Peggy Carter the showcase she deserved and explored the early origins of SHIELD in a time before the rise of Marvel's heroes. We're still crossing our fingers the series will return in some form or another.
9. 'The Incredible Hulk' (1978)
Marvel may have perfected the live-action superhero formula nowadays, but back in the day we only had one series showing the potential of these characters outside the comic book page. "The Incredible Hulk" truly captured the appeal of David Bruce Banner and his monstrous alter ego. It didn't have flashy special effects, but it did have a winning formula as the series followed Banner's never-ending journey across America. And for many fans, Lou Ferrigno is still *the* Hulk.
8. 'The Flash'
If "Arrow" birthed a new live-action DC Universe, "The Flash" perfected The CW's formula. The first season in particular stands as one of the best superhero dramas ever, offering an effective blend of lighthearted adventure and a compelling conflict between two superhuman speedsters. The series has never quite been able to recapture that magic since, but it remains a go-to source of superhero adventure every single week.
7. 'Marvel's Jessica Jones'
"Jessica Jones" succeeds by giving Marvel fans everything the MCU movies can't. It's far darker look at the life of a superhuman in the MCU, one bolstered by Krysten Ritter's compelling turn as the titular alcoholic private eye. The first season also gave us the best MCU villain of them all in the form of David Tennant's terrifying Purple Man.
It took decades for "Preacher" to make the jump from comics to live-action, but the wait was well worth it. The series captures all of the black humor and irreverent charm of the source material, while still telling a compelling story about a hotheaded preacher and his two buddies hitting the road and looking for God. Each new season just gets stranger and more wonderful.
"Legion" is part of the X-Men universe, though you'd barely know it from watching most episodes. This series prioritizes psychological drama and psychedelic weirdness over traditional superheroics. It's the sort of groundbreaking, subversive superhero series we'd expect from creator Noah Hawley.
The Dark Knight didn't truly become a pop culture phenomenon until this series reinvented him as a camp icon. That's the very reason so many Bat-fans dismissed this series in the decades after, but we like to think most have come around lately. Adam West and Burt Ward are still one of the greatest Dynamic Duos ever, no irony needed.
3. 'Tales From the Crypt'
Before HBO became the go-to destination for prestige television, they network had "Tales From the Crypt." This horror anthology captured the dark, subversive spirit of the classic EC Comics series. And like the comic, it benefited from a lack of censorship, allowing the series to go darker and stranger than anything viewers were seeing on more traditional anthology shows.
2. 'DC's Legends of Tomorrow'
"Legends" is the first time an Arrowverse series has focused on a true ensemble team rather than a singular hero. The show's charm stems from the fact that it doesn't try to be "Justice League." It focuses not on the brightest icons of the DCU, but rather a group of deviants and oddballs who have the potential to be something more. The result is a show that often veers from laugh-out-loud funny to intensely emotional within the same episode. It embodies the very best of the Arrowverse.
1. 'Marvel's Daredevil'
Netflix's Marvel Universe has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years, but so far nothing has topped "Daredevil." This series has proven to be by far the most consistent of the bunch, and the only one that doesn't wear out its welcome over the course of its 13 episode seasons. It has a compellingly flawed hero, an equally enthralling villain in Wilson Fisk and some truly epic fight scenes. It's the gold standard for Marvel and all others when it comes to live-action superheroes.