From blue ticks to green arrows, here’s a comprehensive list of all the ongoing superhero shows you can binge this season.
Superhero series is no easy feat to produce. Besides delivering compelling storylines, they also need to feature well-choreographed fight scenes and stay true to their comic book roots. Fortunately, this hasn't stopped networks and streaming services from greenlighting more and more show centred on a hero with special abilities ready to defend the innocent. From the Arrowverse to Netflix’s impressive line-up of Marvel shows, there’s literally a series for everyone – whether you prefer light comedy or violent dramas.
In fact, only a few shows currently on air are missing from Australian streaming services. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is nowhere to be streamed, but you can purchase episodes or entire seasons from services like iTunes. Hulu’s Future Man and sleeper hit The Gifted are also, unfortunately, missing as well as total fiasco Inhumans – but let’s face it, no one is complaining about that one. Otherwise, there’s an impressive selection of superhero shows available to Australians eager to get their stream on, regardless of their platform of choice. Here are some (super) series to choose from.
Avert a disaster, Kara Zor-El decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and fulfil her destiny as a hero. She is Superman's cousin, now known as Supergirl, protector of National City. However, she must still maintain a low profile while working for a media company. What follows is an irresistible tale of heroism, friendship and sisterhood. The show's charm and enthusiasm will win over even the pickiest of viewers.
Melissa Benoist shines in the role of Supergirl, managing to escape from the shadow of the Man of Steel and prove that girls can protect the world with just as much fierceness. The show is lighthearted and fun, but the special effects and fight sequences still manage to impress, making Supergirl an action series for the ages.
- Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers|Kara Zor-El|Supergirl
- Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers
- Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen
- Jeremy Jordan as Winslow "Winn" Schott, Jr.
Watch Supergirl season 1 with iTunes from iTunes StoreView details
1. The Flash (also on Stan)
The Flash follows Barry Allen, a crime-scene investigator who gains superhuman speed. Of course, he uses his ability to fight criminals, including ones who also have special abilities. The Fastest Man Alive is portrayed by Grant Gustin, who delivers a strong and nuanced performance.
An Arrow spin-off, the series quickly establishes its own tone – less gritty and more fun. Thanks to eye-grabbing visuals and a terrific cast, the show is pure lighthearted entertainment. Don't be fooled though; it will still hit you right in the feels when you least expect it to. It's full of action, humour and heart, making it one of the best superheroes shows currently airing.
- Grant Gustin as Barry Allen|The Flash
- Candice Patton as Iris West
- Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow | Killer Frost
- Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon | Vibe
Watch The Flash season 1 with iTunes from iTunes StoreView details
Legion is so much more than a superhero show. It's an experience. The series centres on David Haller, a mutant diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age. As he battles mental illness, David wonders if the visions he experiences are real following a strange encounter with a fellow patient. He embarks on an exciting quest into his own mind, piecing together the fragments of his memory to unearth a dangerous foe and unlock his true power.
What's great about the series is that David's journey will appeal to both veteran superhero fans and novices. Ambitious and visually stunning, we're confident to say that Legion will blow your mind. Just make sure you keep up with the show's tricky narrative.
- Dan Stevens as David Haller | Legion
- Aubrey Plaza as Lenore "Lenny" Busker
- Rachel Keller as Sydney "Syd" Barrett
- Jean Smart as Melanie Bird
Watch Legion with iTunes from iTunes StoreView details
3. Arrow (also on Netflix)
Arrow might not have superpowers, but he's every bit as dangerous as the criminals he's hunting. After being lost for five years on a remote island, billionaire Oliver Queen returns home with a mysterious agenda and a lethal set of new skills he uses to protect his city. Combining flashback scenes from the time Oliver spent away with present-day action, the series offers a compelling narrative and richly written characters you can't help but root for.
With a darker tone than the other series set in the Arrowverse, Arrow's biggest strengths are the mind-blowing fight scenes and the fascinating relationships between the protagonists. Expect thrilling villains and gripping storylines that will keep you glued to the screen, hungry for more Starling City action.
- Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen | Arrow | Green Arrow
- Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak | Overwatch
- Willa Holland as Thea Queen | Speedy
- Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance | Black Canary | Black Siren
Watch Arrow season 1 with iTunes from iTunes StoreView details
4. DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Despite a rocky start, DC's Legends of Tomorrow becomes better with every episode. The series follows a group of heroes and villains who are brought together by a time-travelling rogue to prevent the world's destruction. The team includes Atom, White Canary, Firestorm, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Captain Cold and Heat Wave. Thanks to an intriguing premise and a whimsical sense of adventure, this superhero show is unlike anything else currently on television.
As the series progresses, it starts to prioritise lighthearted storytelling over grim atmosphere, making it a lot of fun to watch. Moreover, delicious banter and great character dynamics ensure DC's Legends of Tomorrow is as engaging as it is action-packed.
- Caity Lotz as Sara Lance | White Canary
- Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer | Atom
- Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory | Heat Wave
- Victor Garber as Martin Stein | Firestorm
Watch DC’s Legends of Tomorrow with iTunes from iTunes StoreView details
5. Gotham (also on Netflix)
Despite the title, this isn't actually a Batman show. It's a Jim Gordon show – which isn't bad at all. Gotham chronicles the detective's rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering on the edge of evil and marks the birth of one of the most popular superheroes of all time. Plus, the show also acts as an origin story for some of the greatest DC Comics villains and vigilantes – including Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, Poison Ivy and more.
Gotham has a lot going for it, including stunning visuals and an excellent cast. Making Batman a minor character might have seemed foolish at first, but it works great, allowing for less popular DC characters to steal the spotlight. Yet, while the show will definitely appeal to Batman fans, it's surprisingly accessible to viewers who are simply looking for an action-packed cop drama as well.
- Ben McKenzie as James Gordon
- David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne
- Robin Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot | The Penguin
- Camren Bicondova as Selina "Cat" Kyle
Watch Gotham with iTunes from iTunes Store
Catch Gotham from iTunes today!View details
Runaways is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and follows a group of teens who must unite against a common foe – their parents. The kids can barely stand each other, but that doesn't stop them from teaming up to fight the bigger bad. Add in the fact that they're also dealing with common teen problems and you've got yourself a sweet and fun series – or a superpowers-coming-of-age-story if you wish.
- Virginia Gardner as Karolina Dean
- Gregg Sulkin as Chase Stein
- Lyrica Okano as Nico Minoru
- Ariela Barer as riot grrrl
Watch Runaways with iTunes from iTunes StoreView details
The Hulu show gives both teens and parents enough screen time to ensure viewers become invested almost instantly, making Runaways an addictive and binge-worthy treat. Moreover, the fun premise wins the series bonus points for ingenuity. After all, teenagers everywhere think their parents are evil – but what if you found out they actually were?
1. Jessica Jones
The premise of this show is simple enough: Jessica Jones is a former superhero who opens her own detective agency. And yet, the series caught a lot of casual fans off guard. Thanks to a brilliant performance by Krysten Ritter, Jessica Jones becomes a thorough examination of trauma and the effects abuse has on someone, even when that someone has inhuman strength.
In Season 1, one of Jessica's investigations takes a dramatic turn when a mysterious figure named Kilgrave resurfaces, bringing her past into light and putting her directly in harm's way. Kilgrave is one of the best villains to appear in superhero shows in recent years, so viewers should buckle up for a wild ride. Season 2 dropped on Netflix this March, so now's the perfect time to buy into the hype and finally catch up with this phenomenal Marvel series.
- Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones
- Rachael Taylor as Patricia "Trish" Walker
- David Tennant as Kilgrave
- Mike Colter as Luke Cage
Buy Marvel's Jessica Jones season 1 with iTunes from iTunes StoreView details
Netflix's first foray into the Marvel universe, Daredevil centres on Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who fights crime as a masked vigilante. In Season 1, Daredevil uncovers a criminal conspiracy led by Wilson Fisk, while in the second instalment of the show The Punisher and Elektra make special appearances. This superhero saga is beautifully acted and impressively written, boasting riveting action scenes and dazzling viewers with amazing character development.
Another great thing about Daredevil is that, underneath all the superhero blitz, it delivers an inspirational story about a man who doesn't let blindness get in the way of him living a normal life. He's not defined by his disability, which turns him into an admirable hero. The show sets a high bar for what viewers should expect from Marvel shows on Netflix and still remains an exciting entry in the superhero genre.
- Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock | Daredevil
- Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page
- Elden Henson as Franklin "Foggy" Nelson
- Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple
Watch Daredevil with iTunes from iTunes StoreView details
3. Luke Cage
Starring Mike Colter as the titular hero, Luke Cage follows a former convict with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin who uses his abilities to fight crime and corruption. He becomes a celebrity in Harlem, only to encounter new threats that make him confront the fine line between hero and villain. The show's impressive cast includes Simone Missick, Theo Rossi, Rosario Dawson, and Alfre Woodard, with Mahershala Ali and Erik LaRay Harvey also appearing in Season 1.
Besides being an excellent superhero show, Luke Cage also tells the story of a man eager and proud to help his community, which gives the series an intimate feel. Thanks to its immersive narrative and amazing performances, this is a must-see for any superhero fan, proving that the small screen can do justice to the ever-expanding Marvel universe.
- Mahershala Ali as Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes
- Simone Missick as Misty Knight
- Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard
- Rosario Rosario as Claire Temple
Watch Luke Cage with iTunes from iTunes StoreView details
4. Iron Fist
Iron Fist stars Finn Jones as a martial arts expert with the ability to call upon the power of the mystical Iron Fist. After being presumed dead for 15 years, he returns to New York to reclaim his company. But when a threat emerges, the hero must choose between his family's legacy and his duties as the Iron Fist.
Although the series received its fair share of negative reviews upon its premiere, that's probably due to the high expectations everyone had after seeing Netflix's other superhero shows. Iron First is not the most exciting entry on this list (in fact, it's probably the worst), but it doesn't deserve so much hatred. At best, the show can turn into a fascinating character study, at least as far as Colleen Wing is concerned. At worst, it can feel like homework if you're planning to binge The Defenders. Either way, it's always best to watch a couple of episodes to figure out for yourself if Iron Fist is worthy of your time.
- Finn Jones as Danny Rand | Iron Fist
- Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing
- Jessica Stroup as Joy Meachum
- David Wenham as Harold Meachum
5. The Punisher
The Punisher pushes the boundaries of Marvel's TV universe with a fresh take on the action genre. The series revolves around Frank Castle, who uses lethal methods to fight crime as a vigilante. He's known for exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of his family, but soon uncovers a larger conspiracy that runs far deeper than New York's criminal underworld.
Despite a slow start, the series gets more exciting the longer you stick with it. The show highlights Castle's humanity, as well as his rage, making for a challenging and compelling narrative. The Punisher plays with the boundaries of the superhero genre and ends up being so much more. If you're a fan of conspiracy thrillers, you should binge this immediately.
- Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle | Punisher
- Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page
- Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani
- Ben Barnes as Billy Russo | Jigsaw
6. The Defenders
The small-screen equivalent of The Avengers, this miniseries brings together Jessica Jones, Iron First, Luke Cage and Daredevil. The four vigilantes team up to fight a common enemy, known as the Hand. It may not be the perfect reunion, but The Defenders is an action-packed show that will leave you eagerly wanting more.
The series shines every time these super-powered characters share the screen, thanks to smart dialogue and impressive fight scenes. Watching The Defenders is like being reunited with old friends. The only drawback? For only eight episodes, it takes our heroes a while to find themselves in the same room, but when they finally do, expect some fireworks. The show even does a great job at redeeming Iron Fist by giving him some humorous self-awareness and making him more likeable. Who would have thought?
- Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra
- Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones
- Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock | Daredevil
- Finn Jones as Danny Rand | Iron Fist
Watch The Defenders, Season 1 with iTunes from iTunes StoreView details
7. Black Lightning
The most recent superhero show to hit the streaming world, Black Lightning wastes no time in establishing itself as must-see TV. Jefferson Pierce, who retired from his superhero persona years ago, is forced to become a vigilante yet again when the rise of a local gang leads to increased crime and corruption. The show stars Cress Williams, who delivers a star-making performance.
A welcome entry in the superhero landscape, Black Lightning also offers a layered portrayal of the conflicts that can arise within the African American community as far as racial justice is concerned. All in all, smart dialogue, compelling storytelling and strong characters make this superhero show seem incredibly fresh and timely.
- China Anne McClain as Jennifer Pierce / Lightning
- Nafessa Williams as Anissa Pierce / Thunder
- Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning
- Marvin Jones III as Tobias Whale
Amazon Prime Video
1. The Tick
Ready for some laughs? The Tick's lovable characters and tongue-in-cheek humour don't disappoint. The series centres on a nigh-invulnerable superhero in a blue tick costume who arrives in The City to help combat crime and uncover the mysterious figure responsible for the disorder. The show features favourites from the comic book such as Arthur, Dot and The Terror.
Despite being mostly hilarious, The Tick doesn't shy away from becoming uncomfortably real about modern life. It's a smart superhero show that greatly benefits from the Tick/Arthur dynamic and the outstanding performance delivered by Peter Serafinowicz. The Tick is a spoof that will have you hooked in no time.
- Yara Martinez as Miss Lint/Janet
- Valorie Curry as Dot Everest
- Peter Serafinowicz as The Tick
- Jackie Earle Haley as The Terror
1. The Preacher
Superhero shows usually follow the same format, centring on a citizen with special skills who will never use their power for evil but to battle the villains of the world. Preacher is not that show. It follows a possessed minister who teams up with his ex and a hard-drinking Irish vampire in search of answers. But Jesse Custer, the protagonist, is no one's hero. He mostly uses his powers for himself, and although he's on a journey that will likely help the world, he's not particularly happy about it.
Preacher relies heavily on violence and blasphemous storytelling. As a result, it greatly appeals to audiences who enjoy dark and gritty shows. There's humour; there's carnage; there's a lot to love. An adventure worth taking for any dedicated binge-watcher.
- Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer
- Ruth Negga as Tulip O'Hare
- Joe Gilgun as Cassidy
- Ian Colletti Eugene "Arseface" Root