Ever since Marvel launched their Cinematic Universe, comic book heroes and villains have been gaining even more popularity in the entertainment business. And like the previous years, 2015 has been absolutely fantastic for comic book lovers. I’m sure that no geek will ever deny that. From the almost always-beloved MCU movies –Ant-Man was epic, but I’m still glaring at you, Avengers 2–, to the countless of amazing comic series and events, to the fourteen –that I can recall– incredible TV shows adapted from comic books that aired throughout the year, every superhero lover out there is thrilled with this momentum that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
As a geek myself, I want to share with you my 5 favorite TV shows starring my favorite heroes and villains of 2015:
After airing only eight superb episodes, Kara Zor-El’s journey proved to be worth all the hype it got ever since it was announced. What makes this TV show my number 5, you ask? Well, here are some of the reasons:
The story is engaging, the characters are easy to connect with and the action sequences never fail to leave you at the edge of your seat. Besides those facts, everyone knows that Greg Berlanti is the new Midas of television, because at the moment, any TV show that he has created or produced has become an instant hit.
Ali Adler is the other creator of this show, a woman who has a clear vision of where she wants Kara’s story to go, and who is also known for her excellence when it comes to writing lead characters that are quirky yet incredibly badass at the same time –and in case you’re wondering, yes, I am talking about Chuck.
Then, of course, there is the seriously talented cast Supergirl has: Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti wonderfully portrays two of the most important characters of the series, Alura Zor-El –Kara’s mother– and her evil twin sister, Astra; and Benanti is so good at playing them both that by the end of an episode you don’t know if you should feel safe and comforted or completely terrified of her. Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers is just pure awesomeness. Mehcad Brooks is a walking charm, and whenever he smiles it’s like staring into the sun. And Calista Flockhart delivers a stunning performance as Cat Grant, a woman who is as much of a hero as Supergirl will ever be.
But the star of the show, of course, it’s Melissa Benoist. I am not saying this just because she’s the lead; I’m saying this because I believe that Melissa was born to play Kara Danvers aka Kara Zor-El. She’s the kind of superhero I wish I could have been exposed to when I was growing up and she’s the role model that a new generation of children can look up to, now. From the way she acts like she the most adorable non-human being in the planet to the fierce look in her eyes whenever she’s rushing to protect innocent people, whenever Melissa becomes Kara, she becomes unstoppable. I’m sure that, as long as Melissa soars into the sky, Supergirl will soar with her.
The first Netflix Original TV show of five in a partnership with Disney’s Marvel, Daredevil really set the bar high when it comes to the telling of origin stories. The way in which Matt Murdock starts out as a vigilante that no one recognizes but ends up as the hero of Hell’s Kitchen is thrilling, captivating and brutal, too. Then again, we all already know that Drew Goddard is a truly gifted writer.
Daredevil offers the best fighting sequences I’ve ever seen on a TV show –this was, of course, before Into The Badlands aired. The cinematography is outstanding, with its somber, quite and slow moments making it even more magnificent. The depth of the characters is exhilarating and the way their morality flirts with the edge of the cliff is simply stunning.
Charlie Cox plays Matt Murdock perfectly; there’s no other way to put it. He knows where the strengths of his character are and he plays them just right; but Cox also knows when to let Murdock’s vulnerability show and that combination is absolutely flawless. Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page and Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson do an incredible job as supporting characters, their dynamic with Matt is genuine and profound, but the way they stand out on their own makes them just as remarkable. Toby Leonard Moore as James Wesley is brilliant, because he’s the kind of not-really-villain that terrifies anyone because of how calm and calculating he acts. Rosario Dawson is Claire Temple, a night nurse that heals Matt whenever he messes up but that also reminds him of his responsibility whenever he’s being particularly obtuse. Wai Ching Ho as Madame Gae is outstanding and Vondie Curtis-Hall as Ben Urish is great, too.
And the other talent that makes Daredevil as great as it is, of course, is Vincent D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Wilson Fisk, the mastermind behind every single thing that ever happens in Hell’s Kitchen. As the main villain of the show, Fisk is striking, powerful, and ambitious. He is quiet, but frightening, and D’Onofrio’s delivery of his monologues is just mind-blowing.
Season 2 of Daredevil will feature both The Punisher and Elektra, prominent characters that you can be sure will bring many exhilarating moments into Matt Murdock’s world.
Everyone fell in love with Peggy Carter the moment she appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger; and everyone fell even more in love with Peggy Carter the moment she had an opportunity to shine in a TV show of her own.
Agent Carter is series filled with sass, accurate representation of feminism, ingenious fight sequences and a lot of value. Created by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely –both names already renowned because of their work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe– Agent Carter is a TV show with incredible cinematography, stunning set design and a captivating storyline that becomes even more powerful by the performance of its amazing cast.
Bridget Regan as Dottie Underwood is pure dynamite. She’s cunning, deadly and absolutely sexy in a way that would probably make you want to say “thank you” after she kills you with her bare thighs with that classic Black Widow move. James D’Arcy as Edwin Jarvis is downright charming. He’s the perfect gentleman: respectful, delightful, protective, kind; but more than that Jarvis is an even a better friend to Peggy Carter, always there and ready to support her when she needs someone to lean on. Lyndsy Fonseca as Angie Martinelli is the kind of angel that we wish we could constantly have in our lives. Angie’s relationship with Peggy is real, beautiful and unconditional. They look out for each other, they love each other and they believe in each other like no one else has done before.
Then of course, there’s Hayley Atwell, a woman who puts on a red hat and becomes not only Peggy Carter, but also a beacon of hope for every single woman and little girl out there. Peggy is a character that doesn’t give, that isn’t afraid of the odds being against her and that doesn’t need to prove to anyone that she’s enough because she already knows it. Hayley as Peggy always slays, that’s the truth. She’s a great actress, but more than that, it feels like she’s really in tune with the same ideals that Peggy has and I think that is why many people love Agent Carter so much.
It is impossible to make a list about favorite comic book TV shows and not mention The Flash. Greg Berlanti is once again behind the creation of one of the most beloved shows on TV, and it surprises no one. This series was praised since its very beginning, and season 2 has only upped the stakes even more.
With the introduction of Earth-2 –a parallel dimension to Barry’s world where former friends are actually foes and former villains are actually heroes– and with a new villain that Barry Allen can’t seem to be able to beat, The Flash continually managed to keep its viewers interested in what was to come. There was also the big crossover with Arrow, which are always great episodes and where they introduced new characters like Hawkgirl, Vandal Savage and Hawkman as a set up for Legends of Tomorrow, a new CW comic book TV show set in the same universe as Arrow and The Flash that premiers in January.
My favorite part about this show, perhaps, is the fact that Grant Gustin was also born to play this part. Barry Allen is too adorable for words, but he’s also determined and has a good heart, which are some of the most important features when it comes to a hero. Other constant MVP’s of this series are Carlos Valdes who delivers stunning performances every time his character Cisco Ramon feels too emotional. Tom Cavanagh who plays Harrison Wells so great that we still don’t know if we should like, hate, or feel compassion towards the guy. And Jesse L. Martin as Joe West who still remains being the heart of show and the one hero we should all aspire to be.
Jessica Jones was, overall, definitely the best new show I saw this year.
Created by Melissa Rosenberg Marvel’s Jessica Jones had the uncanny ability of messing with your mind just as much as it played with the faith and strengths of its characters. This series is dark, bloody and unapologetic; constantly shocking its audience because it never sugarcoats themes that are usually treated lightly or looked over like rape, addiction and suicide.
Jessica Jones is the story of a woman dealing with the aftermath of being raped, used, manipulated and torn apart. However, what makes Jessica Jones so great isn’t the fact that this awful experience happened to Jessica –experiences, tropes, that many show runners have no idea of how to truly deal with but that they still add to their storyline in order to give their series some kind of “flare or shocking value” and yes, I am looking at you, Game of Thrones– but how Jessica decides to face-off her demons not only dealing with what happened to her, but also deciding to go after her attacker in order to save an innocent girl. Jessica isn’t the victim of her own story, she isn’t someone that needs to be protected, and she isn’t someone that’s there just as a reminder of how horrible her attacker can be. Jessica Jones is a hero, but more importantly, she’s her own hero, and that’s why I absolutely adore this show so much.
Following Daredevil, Jessica Jones is the second of five Netflix Original series in a partnership with Disney’s Marvel and of course, it features incredible performances by an incredible cast.
Carrie-Ann Moss should be forever praise for her great portrayal or Jeri Hogarth, a lawyer who is really good at her job mostly because of her lack of morality. Eka Darville as Malcom Ducasse and Erin Moriarty as Hope Shlottman are staggeringly good in their supportive roles. And the same can be said for Mike Colter who is introduced as Luke Cage, a character very well-known around Hell’s Kitchen and who will be starring on his own Netflix Original series very soon. Rosario Dawson reprises her role as Claire Temple, as well; and she is as sassy, daring and unbelievably amazing as she in Daredevil. And then there’s Rachael Taylor who made us instantly fall in love with the fearless Trish Walker, a woman with a dark past and a bright future who loves Jessica unconditionally and who basically happens to be Jessica’s everything as well.
David Tennant is Kilgrave, the villain of this story and oh, what a brilliant villain he is. David is the kind of actor that is so good at what he does, that he makes it basically impossible for you to not get sucked into whatever character he’s playing, and Kilgrave is no different. Watching him on-screen is thrilling, yet terrifying. When a man has the power of making people do whatever he wants, does he ever stop? Does he knows there’s a limit, a line he shouldn’t cross? Well, Kilgrave proves throughout Jessica Jones that no, the answer is no.
Then of course, there’s Jessica Jones herself, portrayed beautifully by Krysten Ritter, who displays nothing but raw emotions when she needs to, pulls iconic faces most often than not and who effortlessly uses sarcasm as a the best of weapons. What I loved most about this character is how deeply flawed she is. Jessica isn’t the kind of hero that knows how to fight properly or how to use her powers well. She’s a mess: alcoholic, slightly introverted and damaged, perhaps, beyond repair. But even then she gets up every day and she fights in order to protect those that can’t help themselves. Deep within, Jessica is a hero, regardless of how she sees herself, and that’s what makes her –and her show– as uniquely brilliant as it is.
Hit up the comments and let me know which were your favorite comic book TV shows of 2015!