Whether it's on the big screen or the silver screen, Marvel Comics has spent the better part of the last decade committing their most beloved characters to film. From the very first utterance of "I am Iron Man," Marvel has had its audiences hook, line and sinker.
When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. took to television in 2013, it only made sense that this would cue the floodgates of Marvel TV shows to come. From the Zephyr to the streets of New York, Marvel has taken us on several journeys over the years. And while it's great to see our favorite side characters on TV, it stands to reason that some shows would be better than others. As such, here is a definitive list of every Marvel TV Show Ranked.
If you've come here expecting Inhumans to be higher on this list, I have some bad news for you. Marvel's Inhumans had an almost laughably bad series of missteps leading up to its launch, placing it firmly as the worst Marvel TV Show. From horrifically bad press to burying its pilot in a dead space time slot, those who DID tune in to the show's 8 episodes were treated to boring storylines and characters as flimsy as the comic pages they come from. The show serves as a rare but significant gaffe in Marvel's television career. Everyone involved could take a cue from Black Bolt and just agree to not speak about the show ever again.
12 Iron Fist
The black sheep of the Netflix family, Iron Fist has a well-deserved amount of criticism leveled towards it. Whether it's Danny Rand's tantrum-like behavior, the inconsistent levels of his fighting prowess or the bad fight scenes, many found his series to be unwatchable and skipped it entirely.
And while season two was an improvement, the damage was done. We may never get a chance to see what could have been, as Iron Fist was among the many Marvel Netflix series to be canceled.
11 The Gifted
In an alternate universe where the X-Men have suddenly disappeared, what's a mutant to do? Go on the run hiding from the not-so-subtly named Sentinel Services (SS for short), of course. The Gifted follows the Strucker family as they attempt to get their two mutant children to safety. While the show definitely deals with dark themes like fascism, authority, societal differences, etc., it also lacks urgency, with the first season feeling mundane and dull and the second season feeling only slightly better. There's potential for the series, but it seems to be taking its time finding it.
10 Cloak & Dagger
The baby of the MCU shows, Cloak & Dagger on ABC's Freeform has had a promising start so far. The chemistry between Aubrey Joseph's Cloak and Olivia Holt's Dagger is palpable, and the show is rooted in a realism that feels refreshing and level headed. There were a few missteps in the first season in terms of pacing and the slow build of character dynamics, which can hopefully be chalked up to growing pains. The second season will truly determine if this show will be placed higher on the list in the future.
Runaways, much like the characters on the team, is a scrappy show that has a surprising amount of heart. The show has been surprisingly faithful to the source material, while still taking creative liberties with the overall story. Runaways is fun and the characters (and their parents) are well-developed characters. At times though, the show moves along at a slower pace which makes it frustrating to watch. There are glimpses of the amazing show it could be every now and then again, if only the show (and the teenagers on it) would mature just a little more.
8 Luke Cage
Sweet Christmas, what this show could have been. Marvel's Luke Cage had a great cinematic style, a leading star who could not have been pulled more directly from the comic, and a perfect set up from his appearance in Jessica Jones. However, while the first half of Season One was incredible, the second half fell short. Season Two was also fairly hit or miss when it came to story and character quality. And even though Luke Cage is bulletproof, his show isn't as lucky; Luke Cage is yet another casualty from the Netflix cancellation purge.
7 The Defenders
When Marvel first announced their lineup of shows on Netflix, it was with the intention that it would lead up to one enormous event. And however, you felt aside, the build-up for The Defenders was intense. Reminiscent of the first Avengers film when you finally see separate superheroes in the same room, The Defenders inspired that same sense of awe.
Each character was given their own custom lighting and wardrobe intros, creating stunning visuals. Sadly, The Defenders chose the worst of Daredevil's and Iron Fists stories to have as the main focus for the show. The resulting show felt amazing to start but didn't satisfy audiences as much as it should have.
6 Agent Carter
The fact that Agent Carter got its second season at all is a true testament to the dedication of its fans. A Captain America spin-off starring the eponymous Agent Peggy Carter, the show was an amazing period piece featuring one of the best female characters Marvel has created to date. The show was smart, action-packed, and every character was given a chance to steal the spotlight. Sadly, Marvel pulled the plug on this show after season two, leaving behind many loose ends and the promise that we'd see the beginnings of S.H.I.E.L.D. unfulfilled. However, fans' push to get a second season gave Agent Carter much better closure. In a way, Peggy Carter saved a dance for us after all.
5 Jessica Jones
Cynical to a fault and full of liquor, no one in the Marvel Universe is quite as tough as Jessica Jones. From her already traumatic backstory to the months of not being in control of her body, her character has been through the proverbial ringer and still feels vulnerable when she needs to be. On top of her excellent work, David Tennant will go down as one of the eerily best villains in television history for his role as Kilgrave. While season two was slower and not as intense as the first season, the tough but realistic writing of Jessica Jones kept Jessica feeling tough even when logic says she shouldn't be. Season 3 will still arrive, but we're doubtful we'll see more than that, as Netflix and Disney continue their breakup.
4 The Punisher
When you're able to make a psychopathic mass-murderer with no regard for human life the hero of your show, then you've made an interesting character. The Punisher's violence is balanced expertly by the emotional underscoring of Frank Castle's loss (played expertly by Jon Bernthal). We are constantly reminded why he does what he does and what he's lost of himself. The villains have had clear, defined motives and the struggle between these forces and Castle is what sells the show. While violence is the bold disclaimer of The Punisher, audiences have stayed and been captured by the deep connection they manage to feel with Frank Castle. Just don't EVER get on his bad side.
The first of The Defenders to get their own Netflix series, Daredevil set the bar high when it came to quality. The cinematography in television can sometimes feel like an afterthought, but Daredevil turned every frame into a masterpiece. The themes of the show were complex and layered; losing faith, what it means to be a hero, how far one must go, etc. Charlie Cox's portrayal of Matt Murdock was heartbreakingly perfect at times and no part is too small when it came to the enormously talented supporting cast. However, all good things must come to an end; Daredevil was an unexpected cancellation from the Marvel Netflix purge. The Devil of Hells Kitchen may be done for now, but hopefully, he'll live on elsewhere.
2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Phil Coulson's death in The Avengers was the catalyst that allowed the Avengers to work together. It also brought us Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which has been one of the most rewarding shows for fans. Season one may have had a slow start, but it was just patiently biding its time before it hit the ground running and never looked back. From the complex and evolving relationships to characters emotional growth, the show has been the gift that keeps on giving.
Whether it's the Fitz/Simmons power couple or May kicking ass, the show has something for everyone. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was given two more seasons to bring it out to season 7. Given how each season has been better than the last, we cannot wait to see what that brings.
You might have heard of Legion due to the enormous marketing push that FX put into its first season. In their defense, it was well worth the effort. The show is thrilling, with stunning visuals and rich character moments led expertly by Dan Stevens' Legion. It tackles complex themes like mental illness with a surprising tact and insight, earning it high praise. The third (and final) season looks to be its biggest one yet, and it will truly leave behind a massive void when it's off the air.