15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (2024)

Share on X (Twitter)Share on FacebookShare on PinterestShare on LinkedIn <use href="#<svg width="1em" height="1em" viewBox="0 0 32 32" class="scriptlesssocialsharing__icon flipboard" fill="currentcolor" aria-hidden="true" focusable="false" role="img"><title>flipboard</title><path d="M24.997 13.001h-5.998v5.998h-5.998v5.998h-5.998v-17.995h17.995zM1.004 1.004v29.991h29.991v-29.991z"></path></svg>" xlink:href="#flipboard"> Share on Flip it

People love superheroes. From Spider-Man to Peacemaker to Guardians of the Galaxy, fans flock to watch people in outrageous costumes solve their problems with their fists.

Yet, no audience has unlimited attention, which means that some even very good superhero TV shows go unnoticed.

For anyone who has seen Thanos collect the Infinity Stones one billion times and knows every episode of Batman: The Animated Series by heart, these lesser-known superhero shows offer more out-of-this-world entertainment.

1. Legion of Super-Heroes (2006 – 2008)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (1)

Batman: The Animated Series didn’t just tell some of the best superhero stories ever. It also launched a whole renaissance of superhero cartoons, including Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited. For all the praise those shows get, Legion of Super-Heroes represents a missed opportunity.

Based on the long-running cult DC Comics series, Legion of Super-Heroes follows a young Superman as he travels 1000 years in the future. There, he finds a massive team of teen heroes inspired by his actions. Legion of Super-Heroes lasted just two seasons, but its retrofuturism and compelling characters make it a unique entry in the genre.

2. My Secret Identity (1988 – 1991)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (2)

Although superhero media wasn’t as prevalent in the decades, creatives already looked for ways to innovate on the superhero concept. My Secret Identity represented one of the best examples. My Secret Identity stars a teenage Jerry O’Connell as Andrew Clements, who gets rudimentary powers after being blasted by photon rays.

Low budgets and thematic focus kept Andrew from donning a costume, despite dubbing himself Ultraman. Still, the banter between Andrew and his mentor Dr. Jeffcoate (Derek McGrath) entertains, as do each episode’s low-stakes adventures.

3. The Mighty Heroes (1966)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (3)

The Marvel Universe had existed for just five years when The Mighty Heroes debuted, but the show already understood the appeal of goofy heroes with feet of clay. The Mighty Heroes featured five characters with unimpressive abilities, including Rope Man with limbs made of rope, the aptly named Strong Man, and powered baby Diaper Man.

Beyond the fun designs, the real appeal of The Mighty Heroes came from its creator Ralph Bakshi. Still a few years away from making his infamous film Fritz the Cat, Bashki had the animation chops and wry sense of humor to make the superhero concept pop.

4. M.A.N.T.I.S. (1994)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (4)

M.A.N.T.I.S. appears to have everything needed for superhero success, coming from Batman 1989 writer Sam Hamm and cult director Sam Raimi. Even better, the show starred Carl Lumbly, who voiced Martian Manhunter on Justice League and played Isaiah Bradley in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Lumbly plays a wheelchair-bound genius who creates an exosuit and fights crime as M.A.N.T.I.S. Despite that interesting idea, the series retooled itself several times during the first season before ending after twenty-two episodes.

5. The Greatest American Hero (1981 – 1983)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (5)

Nerds of a certain age might know The Greatest American Hero best for its earworm theme, but the show itself boasted a compelling hook. Nondescript high school teacher Ralph Hinkley (William Katt) gets superpowers via a special suit given to him by aliens. However, Hinkley loses the instruction manual, making him as awkward as he is powerful.

TV production standards of the era prevented The Greatest American Hero from indulging in big knock-down fights. But the show made up for any special effects shortcomings by leaning into the humor of Hinkley misusing his powers.

6. The Zeta Project (2001 – 2002)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (6)

After Batman: The Animated Series came to an end, Warner Brothers attempted something bold with Batman Beyond, a futuristic sequel about a teen following in the steps of an elderly Bruce Wayne. Then they got even more adventurous with The Zeta Project, a spin-off from Batman Beyond.

The Zeta Project follows the android assassin Zeta as he tries to make up for his past wrongs. The show garnered positive reaction from viewers, who found its themes of government mistrust and secret societies compelling, but that didn't convince Warner Bros. to continue the show past two seasons.

7. Night Man (1997 – 1999)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (7)

Most American superhero stories come from either DC Comics or Marvel, but from time to time, a new company tries to challenge the publishers. Malibu Comics made their play with a multimedia line, intended to cover comics, movies, television, and more. Night Man lasted just two seasons, but that made it the most successful of Malibu’s expansion.

According to the character’s initial pitch, Night Man focused on Johnny Domino, a jazz musician by night and a superhero by…ahem…later at night. Matt McColm makes for a compelling lead, and his goofy costume has a cheesy appeal, even if the show didn’t do much for its first viewers.

8. Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (1976)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (8)

Siblings Sid and Marty Krofft made some of the most memorable children’s shows of the post-counter-culture generation, including H.R. Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost. Given the wild imagination and incredible visuals of the Kroffts, a superhero show seems like an obvious pick. But their one attempt, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl lasted just a season.

With Deidre Hall as Electra Woman and Judy Strangis as her sidekick Dyna Girl, the series hit all the standard superhero tropes. In fact, the series’ inability to do anything new with the genre represented its greatest failure, despite solid storytelling.

9. Birds of Prey (2002)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (9)

Birds of Prey is the title of one of DC Comics’ most popular comics, a team consisting of female superheroes. The TV adaptation Birds of Prey kept that core concept but changed some details in a way that baffled fans and newcomers alike.

Birds of Prey focused on heroes Oracle (Dina Meyer) and Huntress (Ashley Scott), who defended a Batman-less Gotham City with the help of young metahuman Dinah Redmond (Rachel Skarsten). Instead of trusting in that premise, Birds of Prey producers crafted a convoluted backstory that sort of positioned the show as a spin-off from the Michael Keaton movies, confusing any potential viewer.

10. Turbo Teen (1984)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (10)

Superhero concepts have weirdness baked in, but few embraced that weirdness like Turbo Teen. The titular adolescent of Turbo Teen does not have the power of super speed but rather the power to transform into a sports car. Thus, every episode of Turbo Teen featured a transformation sequence, in which hero Brent Mathews undergoes a strange morphing process.

The rest of Turbo Teen’s stories never matched the oddness of its central idea. Furthermore, the lackluster animation common to Ruby-Spears Productions meant that Turbo Teen got just 13 episodes before sinking into cult fandom.

11. Powerless (2017)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (11)

Released at the height of the superhero boom, Powerless has an irresistible premise. Set in the DC Universe, Powerless takes a sitcom approach to the genre by focusing on the office politics of Wayne Security, which produces ways to deal with the collateral damage of super battles.

Powerless boasted a fine cast, with Vanessa Hudgens as the audience surrogate Danny Pudi, Christina Kirk, and Ron Funches as the employees, and Alan Tudyk as Bruce Wayne’s insecure and goofy cousin Van. Strong as these ideas were, they did not often result in compelling episodes and ended after one season.

12. Who Wants to Be a Superhero? (2006 – 2007)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (12)

Stan Lee may get credit as a legendary comic book writer and creator, but he most often just added dialogue to stories created by artists. Instead, Lee worked best as a pitchman, which made him an ideal host for the reality show Who Wants to Be a Superhero?

Each season of Who Wants to Be a Superhero? pit ten contestants against one another to develop a superhero identity, with the winner getting to appear in a comic written by Lee. However, Lee wasn’t working for Marvel at the time, which meant they starred in minor issues published by independent house Dark Horse Comics and forgettable movies on SyFy network.

13. The Cape (2011)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (13)

The greatest legacy of The Cape might be its existence as a running gag on the popular sitcom Community. Pop culture obsessive Abed (Danny Pudi) drove everyone nuts with his love of the show, proclaiming that it would get six seasons and a movie.

The Cape did not last six seasons, nor did it receive a movie adaptation. Instead, the series, about a former cop who fights crime by using a high-tech cape, made it to just ten episodes, as the network cut down its single season from thirteen to ten episodes after immediate backlash. Today, The Cape doesn’t seem so bad, thanks to its corny charm.

14. Automan (1983 – 1984)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (14)

Automan owes its existence less to comic books and more to the Disney movie Tron from 1982. Automan makes a hero out of a computer programmer and even features neon visuals just like those from the film. Unfortunately, Automan also has the same dull storytelling as Tron, made worse by its attempts to do superhero plots.

Automan stars television royalty scion Desi Arnaz Jr. as a police officer and computer expert who protects innocent by designing a holographic hero called Automan (Chuck Wagner). The series goes for an odd-couple relationship between the two leads, but it gets buried under the technobabble and uncompelling plots, which caused the show to get canceled after 12 episodes.

15. The Marvel Super Heroes (1966)

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (15)

From the birth of the Marvel Universe in 1961, editor Stan Lee had dreams of building a multimedia empire, bringing his heroes into other forms. While that vision would come true when the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched in 2008, its first steps outside of comics disappointed.

Instead of creating new stories and images, The Marvel Super Heroes just repurposed panels that artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko drew for comics starring Spider-Man, Captain America, and the Fantastic Four. The show gave limited movement to these panels, resulting in an embarrassing excuse for a cartoon.

15 Superhero TV Series Time Has Forgotten - Wealth of Geeks (2024)


What superhero series was canceled on Netflix? ›

Notable casualties include “I Am Not Okay With This,” “Jupiter's Legacy,” “Lockwood & Co.,” “Warrior Nun,” and “Raising Dion.” Even the successful “The Umbrella Academy” is set to conclude after its fourth season, with a planned spin-off already scrapped.

Who is the richest superhero of all time? ›

Who is the richest superhero? Black Panther. As the royal leader of Wakanda, his wealth is astronomical as Wakanda is the only place where Vibranium is mined. According to Marvel, Vibranium costs around $10,000 per gram and the country contains around 10,000 tons of the material.

What is the longest running superhero TV show? ›

In delivering such a sprawling take on Superman's journey, Smallville stands as the longest running live-action superhero TV show of all time.

What is the superhero TV show about bad superheroes? ›

THE BOYS is an irreverent take on what happens when superheroes, who are as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians and as revered as Gods, abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good.

What was the first superhero TV series? ›

The Adventures of Superman wasn't the first primetime superhero program. From 1952 to 1958, the show ran in syndication. Instead, the first true primetime comic book-related program is ABC's Batman.

Who is the longest living superhero? ›

Oldest Superheroes / Supervillains
  • Metron. 13,000,000,000 years old. Immortal.
  • Guardians of the Universe. 13,000,000,000 years old. Immortal.
  • Martian Manhunter. 225,000,000 years old. Immortal.
  • Yuga Khan. 500,000 years old. Immortal.
  • Darkseid. 250,000 years old. Immortal.
  • Vandal Savage. 52,000 years old. ...
  • Mr. Majestic. ...
  • Bor. 6,000 years old.

What Super Hero TV show was in the 80s? ›

Miscellaneous live-action
The Powers of Matthew Star1982–1983NBC
The Phoenix1982ABC
116 more rows

What is the bad superhero series on Amazon Prime? ›

The Boys is an American satirical superhero television series developed by Eric Kripke for Amazon Prime Video.

What director hates superhero movies? ›

Terry Gilliam

“I hate superheroes.

Why is DC Super Hero Girls cancelled? ›

The show is cancelled, and there will NO NEW episodes that will be released. Lauren Faust, the creator, has said it herself. This is possibly due to numerous media companies pulling animated shows in order to save themselves from tax cuts. For example, HBO Max has pulled like at least 20 shows, like OMG WHY?!

Who is the longest running character on a TV show? ›

As of 2024, William Roache holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-serving actor in a television soap opera, having played Ken Barlow on Coronation Street since 1960.

What is the longest TV show still running? ›

The Simpsons is one of the longest-running series in TV history. It began in 1987 as a short sketch on the Tracey Ullman Show before entering syndication two years later. And after an impressive 34 seasons, it's still being produced today.

What is the longest running comic series of all time? ›

Examples of ongoing series

Detective Comics; the first volume was published from 1937 to 2011 and then later continued in 2016. The series published 881 issues between 1937 and 2011 and is the longest continuously published comic book in the United States.

What is the longest lasting TV show in the world? ›

Longest Running TV Shows
  1. The Simpsons. 1989– 768 epsTV-14. ...
  2. Gunsmoke. 1955–1975635 epsTV-PG. ...
  3. Law & Order. 1990– 502 epsTV-14. ...
  4. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. 1999– 552 epsTV-14. ...
  5. Lassie. 1954–1974591 epsTV-G. ...
  6. Family Guy. 1999– 425 epsTV-MA. ...
  7. NCIS. 2003– 468 epsTV-14. ...
  8. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. 2000–2015336 epsTV-14.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dong Thiel

Last Updated:

Views: 6420

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dong Thiel

Birthday: 2001-07-14

Address: 2865 Kasha Unions, West Corrinne, AK 05708-1071

Phone: +3512198379449

Job: Design Planner

Hobby: Graffiti, Foreign language learning, Gambling, Metalworking, Rowing, Sculling, Sewing

Introduction: My name is Dong Thiel, I am a brainy, happy, tasty, lively, splendid, talented, cooperative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.