Small Screen Dreams1 of 12
There are over 20 television shows based on comic books currently airing on American TV... Let that sink in for a minute. With so many options, fans can now move past the novelty of comic book TV shows and truly begin to judge them as good, bad, or - sometimes worst of all - meh.
The fall 2017 season has already begun with last's Gotham return but will kick into high gear come October, so Newsarama looked at the fall 2017 slate (and you can too with our constantly updated Full Comic Book Television Release Schedule) and made a list of the 10 series we're anticipating most - and ranked them.
We're omitting series that have already debuted/returned (like Gotham and Inhumans), as well as shows not set to premiere until 2018 (like Krypton and Black Lightning). We'll give them their due later - there's more than enough in the Fall 2017 schedule to just focus on these.
So now, we present our most anticipated comic book-based shows coming this fall – in order.
10. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season Five (ABC)2 of 12
The end of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 back in May left fans with a real cliffhanger – and a glimpse of Agent Coulson working on a space station.
Full stop: Yes, a space station.
What is he doing there? Who are the people who took his him and his S.H.I.E.L.D. agents into custody? There's a lot of room for speculation, and co-showrunner Jeffrey Bell said that the new season will "reinvent the series in some way."
*cough cough* S.W.O.R.D. *cough cough
Wishful thinking? Perhaps, but hey wouldn't it be something?
Another potential hotbed for speculation is the fact that of all the MCU shows these days, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. remains the one most likely to tie into larger happenings from the movies - and, well, Black Panther is coming in February followed by Avengers: Infinity War in May - chew on that for a minute.
With Thanos coming and a S.H.I.E.L.D. show set in space? Sounds like synergy to me. - Chris Arrant
Premiere Date: Unspecified 2017
9. Happy!, Season One (Syfy)3 of 12
Wait... wait... a show about a cop-turned-contract-killer and a blue, winged horse? That's SyFy’s Happy!, starring Law & Order: SVU's Christopher Meloni as the killer and Patton Oswalt voicing the horse.
And it's based on a series by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson.
Considering Meloni's comedy chops from Wet Hot American Summer and his older, more serious fare such as Oz, this could be the sleeper hit of the tv season. - Chris Arrant
Premiere Date: December 6
8. Big Hero 6, Season One (Disney XD)4 of 12
In many ways, Walt Disney Animation's Big Hero 6 fulfilled the old school promise of Disney's acquisition of Marvel with an animated superhero movie, and now that's continuing with a full-fledged animated series on Disney XD.
Helmed by Kim Possible's Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley, Big Hero 6's early trailers frame the show as more than just a continuation of the movie but a show that embraces the TV format a laTeen Titans Go!.
With much of the movie's cast reprising their roles, this looks to take what worked from the movie and give it an upgrade with a serialized format of 21 episodes (plus an already-greenlit second season.) - Chris Arrant
Premiere Date: November 2017
7. The Punisher, Season One (Netflix)5 of 12
Is the fourth time the charm for Frank Castle's live-action prospects?
Judging by the reception to his re-debut in Netflix's Daredevil - and to actor by Jon Bernthal’s performance - this is his best chance yet.
Although Netflix is keeping the Punisher's debut date under wraps (it could debut any time now), what it has shown in its latest trailer is the most Punisher-y of Punisher scenes yet - cued up to a staccato machine-gun beat of Metallica's "One."
Frank Castle has been a divisive figure in comic books, and this trailer is all that (and then some) - but for those who like him and his gun-happy stance, this is music to those ears. - Chris Arrant
Premiere Date: Unspecified 2017
6. The Gifted, Season One (Fox)6 of 12
A normal family is on the run from the government after they discover their children are mutants. Ironically, from the trailers the series reminds me a lot of Heroes – a show that, when it premiered in 2006, many people compared to the X-Men.
This is an easy comparison because both shows have the same twist - the father works for the enemy until he finds out his children have superpowers. I’m very intrigued to see how The Gifted deals with Reed Strucker’s relationship with his job and his family, and if both can coincide. Will Reed be the hero or villain of the story?
This series seems to be really hitting all the right notes for an X-Men show: it’s politically driven, focuses on what it means to be an outsider, and puts a heavy emphasis on family – both blood family, and the family you create. This all makes me excited to follow the Struckers, and everyone who joins their journey. - Kat Calamia
Premiere Date: October 2
5. Supergirl, Season Three (CW)7 of 12
Supergirl returns for its third season with a darker tone as Kara puts all of her focus on being Supergirl while leaving the Kara Danvers identity behind after the loss of her boyfriend, Mon-El.
This season will have a heavy focus on identity, especially with the introduction of Reign – a villain from Krypton who thinks she is human. It’s so great to see Supergirl doing something that the DC-CW shows has never done before – exploring how one becomes a villain. The journey of how the big bad turns from normal mother to a world destroyer. - Kat Calamia
Premiere Date: October 9
4. The Flash, Season Four (CW)8 of 12
Oh, Barry Allen. You cracked time, defeated Savitar, and then got stuck in the Speed Force for your troubles. But the show must go on, and The Flash looks to be refocusing after the emotional rollercoaster that was last season.
Moving away from the speedster villains and again putting Barry and the cast in a position for some real growth (that hopefully Barry won’t instantly undo by going back in time), season four looks to capture lightning in a bottle once again and bring The Flash’s spark back to the DC-CW shows. - Justin Partridge
Release Date: October 10
3. The Walking Dead, Season 8 (AMC)9 of 12
Last year The Walking Dead got a much needed shot in the arm in the form of Jeffery Dean Morgan’s Negan, but failed to fully capitalize on his addition to the cast.
Thankfully this upcoming season aims to unite the factions introduced last season against the bat-wielding sadist and return the show to its water cooler status among other cable TV heavyweights.
Time will tell if they actually pull it off, but season 8 looks to at least come at us with a full cast reunited and pointed toward some long awaited confrontations with a grinning lunatic. - Justin Partridge
Release Date: October 22
2. Riverdale, Season Two (CW)10 of 12
No one could have predicted that the “Sexy Archie Show” would be such a smash - except for me, and now my faith is being rewarded with a second season!
Primed with a juicy cliffhanger and even more salacious secrets to unveil in no doubt over the top vignettes, Riverdale season 2 will hopefully deliver more thrills, chills, and shippable moments unto us. And with a Sabrina the Teenage Witch spin-off in the wings, CW’s Archie-verse may be the network’s next big comic book success story.
The first season of Riverdale was a tailor-made guilty pleasure, but season 2 looks to make it everybody’s dirty little secret, not just yours. - Justin Partridge
Release Date: October 11th
1. Runaways, Season One (Hulu)11 of 12
After having many successful shows on competing online platform Netflix, Marvel is focusing on the teen demographic by adapting Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona’s Runaways for Hulu.
Very little information is known about the series with no official trailer released (hopefully this will change with the show’s upcoming appearance at New York Comic Con), but from the information we do know it seems like the adaptation will be very loyal to its source material.
Hopefully the Runaways television show is as groundbreaking as the original comic book series with a diverse set of characters, intriguing mystery, daring hero/villain dynamics, and the important evolution of a group of teenage heroes becoming a family. - Kat Calamia
Premiere Date: November 21
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