Superheroes used to be something that appealed only to the super-nerds among us, but the past decade has seen the caped crusaders of comic books become a hugely popular mainstream genre on both the big and the small screen. The best part of this is that it has led to a huge amount of new superhero TV shows, from Marvel/Netflix's Defenders to X-Men series The Gifted and Legion to the sprawling Arrowverse on the CW. The worst part of it? That there are now so many new superhero and comic book TV shows that fans are starting to struggle to watch them all!
If you're not sure which shows are worth the watch, or which are going to suit you, however, we've got the answer. Take our quiz and answer questions about some of the biggest, best known and longest-running superhero TV shows that are still on the air, and we'll point you in the direction of the lesser known or brand new superhero shows that you are most likely to fall in love with this season. Whether you should be picking up Cloak & Dagger, expanding your Arrowverse viewing with Legends of Tomorrow, catching up on the adult-only fun of Preacher, having some fun with The Tick, or exploring the doomed world of Krypton, we've got you covered!
What will you watch next?
Which Arrowverse series came first?
The Arrowverse is one of the biggest and best know superhero universes on the small screen, bringing together heroes and villains from the pages of DC comics in no fewer than four interconnected shows. It's continuing to grow, too, with new shows being added all the time... but which was the show that started it all?
Marvel or DC?
These two comic book publishers are the powerhouses of the industry, and while there are plenty of smaller publishers, the best known superheroes all come from DC or Marvel comics. Most fans have a preference, too - whether they hate one and love the other, or just like one a little bit better. Which do you prefer?
Who was the first villain in Jessica Jones?
Jessica Jones is one of the Marvel/Netflix Defenders universe heroes, and one who doesn't shy away from the darker side of superheroing. She retired from her spandex-covered do-gooding after a particularly brutal run in with a villain, and became a private investigator. What was the name of that villain?
Binge watch, or episode by episode?
How would you rather watch a superhero series? Are you the kind of person who is happy to sit down and watch the entire thing in a single sitting, even if that means staying up all night? Or would you rather watch the story unfold week by week, one episode at a time?
What is Danny Rand's superhero name?
Danny Rand is one of Marvel's small screen Defenders - and was the last hero to join the group before they banded together. He uses martial arts and the mystical power of a dragon to take down his enemies, but he's hot headed and struggles to fit in in the modern world... what is the superhero name that he uses?
Interconnected series, or a standalone project?
Which would you rather watch? Are you a fan of bigger, interconnected universes that allow for massive team ups, crossovers, and huge story arcs over the course of a season? Or does all that just seem like a whole lot of time and commitment and complexity, and you would rather watch a standalone show?
Which Netflix/Defenders series came first?
The Arrowverse isn't the only major superhero universe on the small screen - Netflix has it's own world, one populated by Marvel heroes. The Defenders universe includes multiple solo series as well as a crossover series that brings them all together. Which was the first series to launch this corner of the superhero universe?
Tone: light or dark?
Superheroes might be associated with brightly colored spandex, but these days, there are plenty of heroes (and series) that like to take a bit of a darker look at the classic supers. Do you prefer the light and funny approach to comic books, or would you rather see something a little bit darker in tone?
Who is the Queen of the Inhumans?
The Inhumans is far from the most popular superhero TV series - in fact, it's generally considered Marvel's biggest flop! However, plenty of fans still enjoyed watching the Inhumans Royal Family come to Earth and try to take back their lunar home... who was the red haired Queen of the Inhumans in this show?
Name Supergirl's tech guy.
Supergirl may be the star of her series, but that doesn't mean that she doesn't need help sometimes. Kara has a team of other heroes and helpers by her side, including a friend who worked with her at CatCo before becoming her full time tech guy at the DEO. What is the name of this friend of Supergirl's?
Should time travel be in superhero shows?
How do you feel about time travel? It's something that pops up in comic books quite a bit (some superpowers are even based in time travel), but it is often complicated, and leads to all kinds of paradox problems. Do you think that time travel is a great part of a superhero show, or that it should be left out of these worlds?
Which show does Polaris appear in?
The X-Men were one of the last major comic book teams to join the small screen superhero game, but now they have multiple series for fans to enjoy. Which series features Polaris, the green-haired daughter of Magneto, as she runs a mutant underground to help persecuted mutants to safety?
Is violence and gore ok?
What are your feelings about seeing blood and gore on the superhero small screen? Superhero shows are usually going to involve a fair bit of fighting, of course, but it's possible to shoot them so that little actual blood is seen, or so that blood and guts fountain out of dying villains... which do you prefer?
Which show is Bruce Wayne in?
Bruce Wayne is one of the most famous characters in comic books - the man behind the mask of the Dark Knight. However, in this show, Bruce isn't quite a man yet - instead, this series goes back to the night that he was orphaned, and charts his eventual rise to becoming Batman... but what is the name of this series?
How many Netflix/Defenders series are there?
The Marvel/Netflix world of the Defenders is steadily growing (as are most of the small screen superhero universes), with new solo shows and team ups being added to this New York based super-world. How many different series are currently a part of the Defenders Universe on Netflix?
Superhero team, or solo hero?
Which would you rather watch, a solo hero, or someone with a big team? While most superheroes don't work alone, there are a few who love to fly solo, and others who have different sizes of team behind them. Are you a big fan of ensemble shows, or do you prefer one character with a small team behind them... or maybe even no team at all?
Who does the Flash marry?
In The Flash, Barry Allen (the titular superhero and fastest man alive) has had his romantic ups and downs over the seasons... however, at the moment, he is happily married and very much in love... and they've even got a daughter who has come from the future to see them! But who is the lucky girl who married her superhero?
Jump into a series, or start a new one?
When it comes to adding a new superhero series to your watching schedule, how would you rather do it? Are you happy to jump into a show that has already been on the air for a season or more (even if that means playing catch up), or would you much rather start a show at the beginning, along with everyone else?
Superpowers, or super-well-trained humans?
Superheroes may seem to all have incredible powers, but for many, the only power that they have is exceptionally good training (and some impressive technology and costuming, of course). Are you a fan of the true supers; aliens, mutants, and humans after lab accidents? Or do you prefer to see entirely human vigilantes?
Which series does Ghostrider appear in?
As each superhero series expands, more and more heroes from the world of comics come to join the original casts - and for one show, that meant the addition of Ghostrider! The super with a flaming motorcycle and a scary skull of a face was brought to the small screen for the first time by which series?
Should superheroes swear?
Much like blood and gore, there are options to have superheroes swearing on screen... or to keep their language very child friendly. Do you think that heroes would let loose with a string of expletives (especially when injured!), or would you prefer to keep things clean when watching super-shows?
What's the best way to watch?
How do you like to do your superhero TV watching? Are you someone who just thinks that it's not good enough unless you have a big screen TV to catch every detail, or maybe you would rather watch it on your laptop in bed? Do you like to watch shows live (and put up with the ads) or record them for ad-free viewing?
Which series joined the Arrowverse from another network?
Although most superhero series have lived (and occasionally died) on one network, it is possible for shows to jump from network to network - as this series proves! Which of the existing Arrowverse series started life elsewhere, but joined the CW (and the rest of the DC universe there) instead of being canceled?
Who is the central character of Legion?
Legion is a superhero show with a difference - rather than the more common origin story and long battles against straightforward criminals and villains, this show is a trippy journey through various realities, where its just not clear what is real and what is false. What is the name of the central character in this show?
What is the name of the evil organization in Runaways?
Marvel's Runaways is one of the newer additions to the small screen world of superheroes - the story of a band of teenage superheroes who are brought together when they discover that their parents are actually involved in an evil organization that sacrifices people! What is the name of their organization?
Which decade is Marvel's Agent Carter set in?
Although it's not longer on the air (much to the disappointment of fans) Marvel's Agent Carter told the story of Steve Rogers' one true love, after he was lost (and before he was found again in the MCU). Peggy Carter became a brilliant spy, hero, and founding member of SHIELD - but what decade is her story set in?
Where does Arrow take place?
While some of the comic book heroes live in the real world (and most of Marvel's heroes live in New York City!), the heroes of the Arrowverse live in fictional cities. Although they aren't real, their names are mentioned throughout the shows, so that comic fans can catch the references... which city does Arrow take place in?
What's more important - visuals or storyline?
Which of these is more important to you in a TV show - the visual appeal and overall aesthetics, or the story arcs that play out? Would you rather watch something that is visually stunning, but with a simpler story, or something that looks a little more straightforward, but has an incredible narrative?
Where did Iron Fist train?
Unlike most of the other Defenders, although Iron Fist was originally from New York, he grew up somewhere very different. After a plane crash killed his parents, he was raised and trained in a mystical mountain city, before returning to New York as an adult, after everyone he knew thought he was dead. What was the name of that city?
How long should a season be?
TV series can be very different lengths, so in a perfect world, how long would a single season of a show last? Do you want it to continue as long as possible, with over twenty episodes a season (and some mid season breaks) or would you rather see shorter seasons, with half as many episodes in total?
Name the singing villain in Gotham.
Gotham has had some interesting villains over the past few seasons - and it likes to have fun with comic book characters, putting its own dark and gothic spin on them. One character even got a musical episode - singing to his various rich victims before attempting to feed them human meat... which villain was it?
Where does Luke Cage live?
Luke Cage, like the rest of the Marvel/Netflix Defenders, is based out of New York City - and for him, his neighborhood is more than just a spot to lay his head. It's where he grew up, and he passionately cares about the place and all the people who live there. Which area of New York City does Luke Cage call home?
What's more important - action scenes or character development?
When it comes to superhero shows, there are all kinds of elements that have to be balanced - the plot, the style, the costumes and the action, but which is the top priority for you? Are you all about the characters and their relationships, or do you watch just for the fight scenes and big battles?
Who is the newest CW superhero?
This hero may be the latest DC superhero to make the leap from comics to the small screen, and his show is on the CW... but he's not technically part of the Arrowverse. Instead, this retired hero is fighting his own fight, trying to keep the gangs from causing chaos in the city that he calls home. What is his name?
Should superhero shows take themselves seriously?
Finally, do you think that superhero shows are serious business, or should they just relax and take themselves a little less seriously? Maybe you love the camp approach that Gotham takes, or you prefer something a little more real-world based... or maybe you think that they should go all out and embrace the ridiculousness!