Movies & TV / Columns

The Comics 8 Ball: Top 8 Comic Book TV Shows

September 28, 2015 | Posted by Anthony Kennedy

Welcome back to the Comics 8 Ball in the Movie Zone! Per usual, I’m Anthony Kennedy and I’ll be your guide in our intellectual trip through comicdom. As always, we will be tackling a topic and providing you the top 8 selections related to comics. One thing to please understand, these are meant to be my personal takes and not the definitive list on the subject. Although I do consider myself somewhat an expert, feel free to disagree and I’ll freely admit you’re wrong. No hard feelings though? With that in mind, let’s get to this week’s topic!


b8cf87a5622f49bd0842e509499471e0Top 8 Comic Book TV ShowsThis week, the new Fall TV season commenced with a number of season premieres. While shows like Empire and The Big Bang Theory continue to dominate the ratings, we cannot state how we are in the golden age of comic book television. As comics are dominating the box office with the MCU and now Warner Bros. adapting their comic properties, television networks want to get in on the fun.

And who would have thunk that teen oriented CW would be the leaders with not one, but four successful adaptation of five DC franchises. (We’re going to pretend Birds of Prey didn’t happen.) With that set-up I present the Top 8 Comic Book TV Shows!

*Caveat: This list will be dedicated to live-action comic shows.Just Missing The Cut • Honorable Mention #1: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: What it lacks in consistent great storytelling it makes up for in given us the MCU on a weekly basis.

• Honorable Mention #2: Marvel’s Agent Carter: Awesome period piece that fills in the holes post-World War II Captain America.

• Honorable Mention #3: The Adventures of Superman: The second most iconic superhero show of all time.

• Honorable Mention #4: Constantine: Shame it never found its audience as it was cancelled just as it was finally hitting its stride.

• Honorable Mention #5: The Flash (1990): Underrated early 90’s show that had the misfortune of being scheduled against television powerhouses The Simpsons and The Cosby Show.

• Honorable Mention #6: The Incredible Hulk: Interesting take on the green giant that was well acted. #8. Wonder Woman

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Why It Made the List: One of the first shows depicting a powerful woman as a superhero. Arguably the most iconic superhero received her third chance as a weekly television character and Lynda Carter did not disappoint. Beginning as a period piece set during the World War II was a great move by the producers. However it did lose a bit in the later seasons as it was moved into a present daysetting. For me it holds a special place for introducing us to the Wonder Woman transformation spin.

#7. Smallville
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Why It Made the List: I get it has the taint of being a CW melodrama, but for 10 seasons this take on the origin of Superman in his hometown explored and reimagined a number of the Big Blue Boy Scout’s tropes. The creative’s (IMO) very real infatuation with Kristin Kreuk playing Lana was detrimental to the show’s success, as no matter the character development of Clark and Lex, they had to pigeonhole their “love” for her in there somewhere. However, they delved deep into the Kryptonian history, gave us the best presentation of Clark’s parents and one of the all-time great villains in Lionel Luthor.

#6. iZombie iZombie-Season-2-Trailer

Why It Made the List: It took a while for me to warm up to this show, but when it hit its stride mid-season, it became a must-watch. Outside of Liv struggling to maintain her humanity, the show gives us a police procedural and manages to make us care about her love life as she slowly reveals to her former fiance just what she’s become. If you have not done so, you need to watch the final two episodes of Season one as the show expertly deals with choice and the consequences they have on the characters in this show, including a gut-wrenching one involving her younger brother Evan.

#5. Arrow
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Why It Made the List: Issues with the storytelling in its third season aside, Arrow had been the best written superhero comic book adapted show. It was able to navigate between love story melodrama, police procedural and vigilante storytelling to serve all masters. Stephen Amell was perfect as Oliver Queen, and the introduction of Diggle and Felicity Smoak more than made up for his annoying ex-lovers Sara and Laurel, not to mention his bratty sister Thea. However, (and I loathe when a show “kills” off a character only to bring them back) the standout characterMalcolm Merlyn and how evil and manipulative he can be, makes this a the show.

#4. Batman batman_a

Why It Made the List: As dark and gritty and real as comics can get, there will always be a special place in comic fandoms heart for this show. Adam West was born to play this campy version of the Caped Crusader, as week after week he made you believe every goody two-shoes line uttered to inspire children at home. But the highlight was the villain of the week from the absolute best rogue’s gallery, which were played by a list of Hollywood’s who’s who.

#3. The Walking Dead
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Why It Made the List: This show about the post-zombie apocalypse is a ratings phenomena, where, at times, being the highest rated show on television. It’s made Rick Grimes, Darryl, and Michonne household names. And while we should care about zombie kills of the week and how will they survive that hoard of walkers, the adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s masterpiece comic keeps us interested via the interaction between our survivors and the humans they come across, trying to figure out if they are friend or foe.
#2. Daredevil daredevi-netflix-cmic-book-tv-show-recommendation-660x330

Why It Made the List: It only took 13 episodes, consumed over one weekend for Matt Murdock to nearly top my list. The creation of Matt and Foggy’s practice, the introduction of Karen Page was entertaining to watch, just as much as the Hong Kong inspired fight scenes. However, what carried the show for me was the amazing acting of Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk. Seeing the tortured man trying to do right by this city in horrible ways and that great (fatal) speech he gave to Ben Urich was Emmy worthy.

#1. The Flash (2014)
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Why It Made the List: It’s not well acted as The Walking Dead and Daredevil. It doesn’t boast nearly enough well choreographed fights scenes as Arrow or Batman. All of that aside, it is without a doubt the funniest hour of comic book television ever. Grant Gustin owns it as Barry Allen, so much so, that he’s made me like him even though I’m a Wally West fan. The Star Labs “Scooby Gang” inject enough humor and heart that they’ve become an integral part of the show. While at times annoying, his love issues between Iris-Barry-Eddie led to satisfying conclusion. However, once again, what sets this show a notch above others on this list, are those baddies. Led by a great portrayal of Captain Cold and the delicious Reverse Flash. Tom Cavanagh owned it as Eobard Thawne pulling off some heinous action, none more then almost having me shed a tear as “killed” Cisco. Breathtaking performance and great show.


That’s the list! I’m sure there is a lot of agreement and disagreement with the list out there! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section! That’s my list, let me know where I completely missed and what didn’t deserve inclusion at all. Join me next week for another edition of the 8-Ball! Have a great week and don’t forget to read the many other great columns, news articles and more here at 411wrestling.com! It’s still real to me damnit!