Entertainment

The Best Live-Action Comic Book Shows of All Time  

Ranker Comics
8k votes 958 voters 14.2k views 53 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite comic book shows!

Superheroes are currently sweeping the box office and, slowly but surely, taking a strong hold on our TV screens as well. It only makes sense being that comic books are a serialized medium. They tell long, complicated, larger-than-life tales. They slowly reveal more information and excitement as they go along, just like a good show.

So what separates the good shows from the bad? Knowing your audience, paying attention the stringent budget, time demands that TV sets, and most importantly, finding the perfect tone for your show. If you want it to be campy, then dive in head first. If you want it serious, find a way to make the powers/costumes believable. If it's going to be on the CW, copy the best parts of "Smallville" as much as possible.

These are the shows that got it right, that managed to walk the fine line between TV hero believability and downright silliness. These are your favorite live action shows based on comics! Vote up the very best!
list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Lucifer (Fox, 2016) is an American fantasy police procedural comedy-drama television series. It features a character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg taken from the comic ...more

More Lucifer

#112 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #4 of 76 The Best Current TV Shows No One Is Watching #1 of 151 The Best TV Shows That Returned In 2019

2
Ranker Video
Daredevil (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television series created for Netflix by Drew Goddard, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Blind lawyer Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) ...more

More Daredevil

#134 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #14 of 180 The Best Shows Currently On The Air #111 of 115 The Best TV Shows Streaming On Hulu

3
Ranker Video
The Flash (The CW, 2014) is an American superhero television series developed by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, and Geoff Johns, based on the DC Comics character. CSI Barry Allen (Grant ...more

More The Flash

#12 of 106 Sci-Fi Shows You Should Be Watching Now #63 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watchfeaturing The Best Characters On 'The Flash'

4
Ranker Video
Arrow (The CW, 2012) is an American superhero television series developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg, based on the DC Comics character. Five years after being ...more

More Arrow

#48 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #45 of 151 The Best TV Shows That Returned In 2019featuring Seemingly Insane CW Superhero Universe Fan Theories That Actually Make The Most Sense

5
Ranker Video
Smallville is an American television series developed by writer-producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, based on the DC Comics character Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The ...more

More Smallville

#149 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #183 of 1,177 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Timefeaturing The Cast Of 'Smallville' - Where Are They Now?

6
Ranker Video
Jessica Jones (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television series created by Melissa Rosenberg, based on the Marvel Comics character. Following the tragic end of her brief superhero career, ...more

More Jessica Jones

#135 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #31 of 151 The Best TV Shows That Returned In 2019featuring 13 Things You Didn't Know About Marvel's Jessica Jones

7
Ranker Video
Gotham (Fox, 2014) is an American drama television series developed by Bruno Heller, based on the DC Comics characters from the Batman franchise. The story behind Detective James Gordon's (Ben ...more

More Gotham

#123 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #89 of 106 TV Shows That Should Be Canceledfeaturing 15 Reasons Commissioner Gordon Is Terrible at His Job

8
Ranker Video
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or simply Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is an American television series created for ABC by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, based on the Marvel ...more

More Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

#13 of 106 Sci-Fi Shows You Should Be Watching Now #108 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watchfeaturing The Best 'Agents OF S.H.I.E.L.D.' Storylines

9
Ranker Video
Batman is a 1960s American live action television series, based on the DC comic book character of the same name. It starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin — two heroes who defend ...more

More Batman

#68 of 1,177 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #123 of 156 The Best Science Fiction Action Moviesfeaturing Adam West Partied Hard Behind The Scenes Of The Kid-Friendly ‘Batman’ TV Series

10
Ranker Video
The Walking Dead (A&E, 2010) is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series developed by Frank Darabont, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie ...more

More The Walking Dead

#3 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #73 of 106 TV Shows That Should Be Canceledfeaturing When Did You Give Up On 'The Walking Dead'?

11
Ranker Video
The Incredible Hulk is an American television series based on the Marvel Comics character The Hulk. The series aired on the CBS television network and starred Bill Bixby as Dr. David Bruce ...more

More The Incredible Hulk

#182 of 1,177 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #39 of 74 The Best CBS Shows of All Timelisted on UPN TV Shows/Programs

12
Ranker Video
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman is a live-action American television series based on the characters in Superman and Action comics. Lois & Clark starred Dean Cain as ...more

More Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

#376 of 1,177 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #139 of 281 The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time #204 of 408 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

13
Ranker Video
Wonder Woman is an American television series based on the DC Comics comic book superheroine of the same name. Starring Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and Lyle Waggoner as Steve ...more

More Wonder Woman

#485 of 1,177 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #59 of 321 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time #90 of 196 The Greatest TV Shows for Women

14
Ranker Video
Supergirl (The CW, 2015) is an American superhero action-adventure television series developed by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, and Andrew Kreisberg, based on the DC Comics character. The adventures ...more

More Supergirl

#23 of 106 Sci-Fi Shows You Should Be Watching Now #306 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watchfeaturing The Best Characters On 'Supergirl'

15
Ranker Video
Bit of a cheat but the overall world of comics and direct storylines inspired the fan favorite (1st season) show. Heroes is an American science fiction television drama series created by Tim Kring that appeared on NBC for four seasons from September 25, 2006 through February 8, 2010. The series tells the ...more

More Heroes

#102 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #244 of 1,177 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Timefeaturing 15 Real Life Soldiers That Put Captain America To Shame

16
Ranker Video
The Flash is a 1990 American television series that starred John Wesley Shipp as the superhero, the Flash, and co-starred Amanda Pays. The series was developed from the DC Comics characters by ...more

More The Flash

#27 of 206 The Best Single Season Canceled Shows #254 of 487 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #110 of 281 The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

17
Ranker Video
Marvel's Agent Carter, or simply Agent Carter, is an American television series created for ABC. The series features the Marvel Comics character Peggy Carter, with Hayley Atwell reprising her ...more

More Agent Carter

#74 of 321 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time #124 of 196 The Greatest TV Shows for Women #192 of 386 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

18
Ranker Video
Adventures of Superman is an American television series based on comic book characters and concepts created in 1938 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The show is the first television series to ...more

More Adventures of Superman

#408 of 729 The Best Cartoons of All Time #216 of 408 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch #154 of 238 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time

19
Ranker Video
Watchmen
Watchmen (HBO, 2019) is an American drama television series created by Damon Lindelof, based on the comic book series. Set in an alternate history where superheroes are treated as outlaws.

More Watchmen

#89 of 106 Sci-Fi Shows You Should Be Watching Now #4 of 72 The Most Anticipated New TV Shows Arriving Fall 2019featuring All The Real Historical Incidents And References In HBO’s 'Watchmen'

20
Ranker Video
Tales from the Crypt, sometimes titled HBO's Tales from the Crypt, is an American horror anthology television series that ran from June 10, 1989, to July 19, 1996, on the premium cable channel ...more

More Tales from the Crypt

#161 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #521 of 729 The Best Cartoons of All Time #224 of 1,177 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time

21
Ranker Video
The Lone Ranger is the central character of an American animated television series that ran 26 episodes on CBS from September 10, 1966, to September 6, 1969. The series was produced by Herb ...more

More The Lone Ranger

#208 of 383 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #180 of 1,177 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Timefeaturing The Lone Ranger Was Real And Most Likely A Black Man Named Bass Reeves

22
Ranker Video
The Tick is an American sitcom based on the character Tick from the comic book of the same name. It aired on Fox in late 2001 and was produced by Columbia TriStar Television. With a pilot airing ...more

More The Tick

#488 of 1,177 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #136 of 219 The TV Shows with the Best Writing #19 of 206 The Best Single Season Canceled Shows

23
Ranker Video
Titans (2018) is an American web television series developed by Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti, and Sarah Schechter, based on the DC Comics superhero team. Led by Batman's former ...more
24
Stumptown is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Live-Action Comic Book Shows of All Time
Stumptown (ABC, 2019) is an American crime drama television series created by Jason Richman, based on the graphic novels of the same name written by Greg Rucka with art by Matthew Southworth. ...more

More Stumptown

#17 of 72 The Most Anticipated New TV Shows Arriving Fall 2019 #11 of 327 The Best New Shows That Premiered in 2019 #9 of 56 The Best Current TV Shows with Gay Characters

25
The Boys is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Live-Action Comic Book Shows of All Time
The Boys (Amazon Video, 2019) is an American superhero drama web television series created by Eric Kripke, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen, based on the comic book by Garth Ennis and Darick ...more

More The Boys

#2 of 327 The Best New Shows That Premiered in 2019 #897 of 1,177 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Timefeaturing The Best (and Worst) Characters On 'The Boys'