While we often look at Marvel as one of the biggest success stories in comic books and movies, the thing is that this company has also produced a lot of great series based on certain comic book characters and storylines. Some Marvel fans were even introduced to Marvel due to the successful shows that they saw when those series were still running. In that regard, we can’t deny that Marvel has impacted modern society.
Of course, Marvel has its fair share of hits and misses regarding the shows we’ve seen on television or in our favorite streaming service providers. Then again, we’re not here to talk about the bad ones. Instead, we are here to look at the best ones. So, with that said, let’s look at the best Marvel shows of all time so that you would know which ones you should watch first if you want to immerse yourself in Marvel television.
20. Runaways (2017 – 2019)
Capitalizing on the popularity of the MCU, Runaways was one of the first shows that allowed us to see an ensemble cast of different characters based on their comic book counterparts. However, while the series may not be canon to the MCU, it has its fair share of great moments as we got a good cast of diverse characters that all worked together for common goals.
Aimed at younger audiences, Runaways tells the story of young characters who have shared adolescent experiences. These younger heroes are on the run from their parents and from villains that are looking to find a way to take advantage of them. And while the series lasted for three seasons, it struggled to find villains that allowed the storyline to move forward without going through a repetitive process.
19. Cloak and Dagger (2018 – 2019)
Continuing the trend of smaller comic book storylines that the MCU probably wouldn’t touch, Cloak and Dagger tells the story of the titular characters and is a series that was released on Freeform. It only lasted for two seasons due to its lack of popularity, but it’s a pretty entertaining series that should be able to hit a lot of the right spots that teens and younger adults want to see in a series.
Cloak and Dagger follows the story of two teens that have the power to control light and darkness that only work whenever they are together. In that regard, they need to work together so that their powers will activate. The series explores how the two characters explore their powers together while trying to make sense of their lives in this teen drama series that is hiding underneath the cloak (pun intended) of a superhero series.
18. The Punisher (2017 – 2019)
The Punisher is one of the most popular street-level heroes in the world of Marvel, and Frank Castle found himself getting some well-deserved screen time in the Netflix series. This anti-hero, played by the amazing Jon Bernthal, gave fans a lot to love as he brutalized villains while showing how complex of a character Frank Castle can be. And those who love anti-heroes would enjoy how Castle was portrayed in this series.
Of course, like all of the other Netflix Marvel series, The Punisher didn’t last very long and wasn’t as successful in viewership as the other series on this list. Still, it is an entertaining escape from the usual PG13 series and movies that Marvel tends to produce, as it allows us to see a darker side of the Marvel world. The fact that The Punisher explores the grey areas of society makes it such an endearing series for those who aren’t always fond of the black-versus-white storylines that we tend to get from superhero shows.
17. MODOK (2021)
Hulu’s MODOK series is one of the most entertaining shows you can watch if you are simply in it for the LOLs. That’s because the series is a parody of the MODOK character that many of us may be familiar with in the comics. Of course, MODOK was unveiled in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania as an entirely different character, and that means that this MODOK series is not canon to the MCU.
As such, don’t enter this series thinking it will be important to the MCU because it isn’t. Then again, it doesn’t hurt to try this stop-motion animated series for fun because its approach can be quite comedic, as it was always meant to be a sitcom. So, if you’re into comedy, this parody of MODOK should be right up your alley.
16. Hit-Monkey (2021)
Like MODOK, Hit-Monkey is a series that you shouldn’t be too excited about if you’re into the more serious stuff about Marvel because this isn’t part of the MCU. Instead, it is another Hulu series that was able to get the job done when it comes to delivering a storyline about a character that may not be entirely popular in the comics but was popular enough to adapt into a show that offers a ton of entertainment factor.
In that regard, Hit-Monkey is a series that offers many jokes and attitudes, and that’s not something we can say about many Marvel shows. The series follows the story of a Japanese snow monkey that works as an assassin. As such, it follows an anime-style storyline that is violent, graphic, and extremely entertaining. And you’ll be excited about how the character clashes with Wolverine, Daredevil, and Silver Samurai.
15. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021)
Even though it garnered mixed reactions from fans due to how political it was, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a great addition to the MCU as it allowed us to see what was up on the docket of two characters that seek to carry the legacy of Captain America, who effectively retired as a hero after successfully defeating Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. And this series also allows us to see the state of the world after Endgame.
The series allows us to see how the titular characters tackle a superpowered terrorist group that aims to send a message to the world after many people were displaced from their homes upon returning from The Blip. Of course, we also see how the Falcon and the Winter soldier both struggle to step into the shoes of Steve Rogers, as America now has to find a new symbolic hero that could deal with the country’s problems.
14. Agents of SHIELD (2013 – 2020)
Chronologically, Agents of SHIELD was the first series to take advantage of the popularity of the MCU as it was released after the events of The Avengers. The series, while still questionable in terms of whether or not it is canon to the MCU, gave us a storyline that revolved around Agent Coulson and several agents working for SHIELD as they try to solve problems that could threaten the world.
After earning a second season, the series became one of the most entertaining superhero shows on television as it explored characters on the B-list of Marvel. This allowed Agents of SHIELD to have more creative freedom with characters that the MCU probably wouldn’t touch as it could tell a story independent of the events that were happening in the MCU. As such, Agents of SHIELD might have occurred in a timeline or universe separate from the actual MCU.
13. What If…? (2021 – Present)
After the events of the Loki series opened up the multiverse, What If…? was the first series to explore the infinite possibilities in the vast Marvel multiverse as it tells different stories about different characters and events happening in different universes. As such, these stories answer the “what if” question regarding certain characters and how history could have changed if certain events didn’t happen the way they did in the MCU timeline.
Told from the point of view of Uatu the Watcher, What If…? is an animated series that allows us to dive into different possibilities that are quite entertaining, especially considering that these storylines can be borderline absurd (zombies, anyone?). As such, What If…? is great for those who want to see how vast the Marvel multiverse is and how anything can happen in a realm where the possibilities are endless.
12. The Gifted (2017 – 2019)
The Gifted proves that some comic book characters tend to be better off portrayed on a show rather than a movie, as this was the case for the X-Men, who might have had successful movies that weren’t exactly true to the nature of what the X-Men are. In that regard, The Gifted is a series that continues that saga of Marvel’s mutants but in a manner that focuses on a family that seeks to protect their children from Sentinels that want to get their hands on them because of their mutant powers.
In that regard, they are forced to work with a group of underground mutants to survive a world that looks at mutants as freaks that need to be culled. As such, the mutants must fight through a world where danger is always waiting for them at any corner because people just can’t accept mutants as part of regular society.
11. Luke Cage (2016 – 2018)
Another entry from the Netflix era of the Marvel series, Luke Cage doesn’t have the same kind of budget that the Disney+ Marvel series have, but it was still able to deliver a good storyline that focuses on a street-level hero that a lot of fans love. And despite any official MCU connections, Luke Cage delivered the goods, especially with how fantastic the performances of the lead characters are.
Luke Cage is part of the Defenders and is a street-level hero with powers that give him superhuman strength and durability. In that regard, Luke now has to use his powers for the good of the people in his city. He also has to battle systematic inequality that tends to be prevalent in a world where African-Americans aren’t afforded the same kind of treatment as their white counterparts.
10. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022)
To be honest, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law hit a lot of nerves during its run because it was always meant to be a series that targeted the internet’s toxic masculinity without necessarily putting men down. In that regard, it is a series with many mixed reviews due to how the storyline was delivered. Of course, people are still griping about how badly She-Hulk’s CGI was done, but that’s only a small part of the series.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law introduces Jennifer Walters, who we know is Bruce Banner’s cousin, as she becomes a Hulk. The difference is that she has full control over her Hulk transformation and is now looking to balance her career as a lawyer and a celebrity icon. As such, she has to find a way to make sure she gets to pursue her chosen career as a lawyer without her She-Hulk persona getting in the way of the one thing she worked so hard on in her life.
9. Hawkeye (2021)
While Hawkeye is a lot more grounded in terms of its approach, as no magic or reality-shifting event transpired in this series, it tends to be one of the more enjoyable MCU shows on Disney+ because of how it allows us to see Clint Barton back in action to mentor a budding archer in the form of Kate Bishop, who is one of the few people in the world that idolizes Hawkeye out of all of the members of the Avengers.
As such, this is one of the most human shows you can watch on Disney+ as it explores the human side of Barton’s character and how he was always the only one who was “ordinary” in the Avengers. Of course, Kate Bishop’s story was also given a lot of screen time in a series that seeks to introduce her as the next-generation Hawkeye due to her innate archer and martial artist talents. And it was through her journey with Clint that Hawkeye was reminded of what it meant to be a hero.
8. Agent Carter (2015 – 2016)
Agent Carter should be a hit for fans who enjoy retro series as this show takes place after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger and focuses more on the journey of Agent Peggy Carter as she seeks to forge her path after the disappearance of Steve Rogers. In that regard, this is a hidden gem in the Marvel television world as it is one of the few pre-Disney+ shows that are canon to the MCU.
The story takes us to how Agent Carter was important to the creation of SHIELD and how she was able to continue her story as an operative that worked alongside different agents to establish an organization that was meant to tackle domestic and international threats to the safety of the people. While the series only had two seasons, as it failed to gain traction online, it was still incredibly entertaining and grounded in its approach.
7. Loki (2021 – Present)
Loki is probably the most important storyline in the entire MCU after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Before you watch movies with multiversal implications, it is best to watch Loki first, as it allows you to understand how the multiverse came about. Of course, it also introduces one of the biggest villains in Marvel history.
Loki’s events occurred right after the Loki of 2012 escaped using the Tesseract. As such, he became a divergent Loki that opened up the possibility of a new timeline, as we all know that Loki was supposed to die. This is an entirely different Loki from the one we know from the main MCU timeline. And he now has to work with the Time Variance Authority to capture another Loki variant from an entirely different timeline.
6. Jessica Jones (2015 – 2019)
Out of all of the Marvel shows on Netflix, Jessica Jones was the one that lasted the longest time and was the most consistent as it didn’t have the highs and lows that some of the other shows had. Of course, it had a little trouble with its pacing, but it is still considered one of the best Marvel shows that Netflix produced. And the stars and the crew of the series never lost sight of the essence of the series throughout its entire run.
Jessica Jones is about a superpowered private investigator who never wanted to be a hero but was given a chance. As such, we get to see a conflict between what she wants to do and what she needs to do. And while this series may not have a place in the MCU, it sure has a place in the hearts of those who legitimately enjoyed Jessica Jones and her run on Netflix.
5. Moon Knight (2022)
Those who want to watch Moon Knight should enter it with sane minds because this is one of the shows that could drive someone insane or, at the very least, quite confused (as was the case for me). Of course, that happens when you’re watching a series about a man with dissociative identity disorder who has a lot of different personalities sharing the same body. At one point, we were left wondering what was true or not.
Moon Knight is a series that follows the story of Marc Spector, who shares the same body with his split personality named Steven Grant. Marc, however, became the avatar of the Egyptian god of the moon named Khonshu, who gave him the powers of the Moon Knight. As such, Marc has to struggle with his identity as the Moon Knight while finding a way to understand that he is one person with multiple personalities that all have their uniqueness.
4. Ms. Marvel (2022)
Ms. Marvel is one of the most enjoyable MCU series you can watch on Disney+ as it introduces Kamala Khan, who is set to become one of the characters that would carry the MCU in the future. The storyline follows a girl obsessed with daydreaming and a big fan of Captain Marvel. However, due to a mysterious bangle that has been with her family for decades, she suddenly develops superpowers that allow her to project energy crystals that can take the form of anything she wants.
In that regard, Ms. Marvel has to contend with villains looking to take the bangle away from her for specific purposes. This allows Kamala to discover more about her heritage and who her grandmother was. At the same time, she discovers more about her own identity as a child of Pakistani migrants. As such, this series introduces a new character while making the MCU more diverse.
3. Daredevil (2015 – 2018)
If there’s one character that we can argue is universally loved as a street-level hero, it’s Daredevil, as he has always been one of the coolest heroes in the world of Marvel. Of course, he has his series on Netflix, wherein his life story was told. And like the other Netflix Marvel series, Daredevil can be somewhat brutal, even though there are some silly parts that fans love.
Daredevil tells the story of a blind lawyer with incredible senses even though he can’t see. He uses those senses to fight crime at night and protect New York from criminals he struggles to put or keep in jail as a lawyer. Of course, his most dangerous opponent is Wilson Fisk, who we know as the Kingpin. While we don’t know if the Marvel shows on Netflix are canon to the MCU, we do know that Daredevil made his MCU debut in Spider-Man: No Way Home and is set to have his Disney+ series after he made a few appearances in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
2. Legion (2017 – 2019)
Legion is one of the truly underrated Marvel series you can watch because it takes you to a different experience compared to the other shows on this list. Created when Fox was yet to come under the Disney banner, Legion is a trippy series that can get you to question your sanity as it tells the story of a character that not many comic book fans would be familiar with because he wasn’t the most popular X-Men character. Nevertheless, the way that Dan Stevens carried David Haller’s role and the amazing storytelling that Legion comes with make it one of the best Marvel series of all time.
The story of Legion follows David Haller, who some comic book fans may be familiar with as Professor X’s son. In that regard, this character has incredible psychic abilities that make him one of the most powerful individuals on the planet. However, the problem is that David struggles to keep his sanity in a world that only seeks to drive him more insane than he already is. As such, it is a series that may get you to question your sanity as you enjoy how well the character was portrayed and delivered in Legion.
1. WandaVision (2021)
The very first MCU Disney+ series is WandaVision, which also kicked off Phase IV of the MCU. That means that its events happened right after the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame, where Wanda Maximoff and the Avengers successfully defeated Thanos after the universe’s population was restored to the way it was five years after the Snap. Of course, she was still struggling with grief because it had only been mere moments between Vision’s death and the events of Endgame for Wanda.
As such, in WandaVision, Wanda uses her reality-altering powers to create a bubble in a town called Westview, which transformed into her sitcom, where Vision is alive. They start their own family in Westview, as the American government arm, SWORD, is wondering what is happening. In that regard, Wanda is the unwilling villain in this series as we seek to explore her story with Vision in a fictional world that was produced and created by her incredible powers.