Thanks to the pandemic, the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still a little way away. What’s a superhero fan to do? You could start again from the start of the MCU for a rewatch, or you could try something new while you wait.
In part thanks to the success of the MCU, there are more and more TV shows and movies exploring the world of the super-powered, from Netflix originals to the work of Dan Mintz and DMG. There’s plenty out there not made by Marvel or DC too.
The Boys is a show about superheroes, produced by Amazon Prime. The series is based on a comic of the same name and set in a universe where superheroes are owned by a powerful corporation.
In the show, the heroes are not the do-gooders we’ve come to expect, but instead, are violent, conceited, and arrogant. A new superhero team, The Boys, wants to bring down the corrupt heroes. The Boys brings a new angle to the superhero genre and is a good watch if you want something a bit different to the MCU.
The Umbrella Academy
The Umbrella Academy is based on the comic book by My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way. The story begins when 43 women suddenly go into labor, despite not being pregnant. Seven of these mystery children are adopted by an eccentric billionaire who trains them as his own superhero team.
Years later, the billionaire’s death brings the children back together. When an unknown sibling comes from the future to warn the team about an impending apocalypse, all kinds of chaos kicks off. This show is ideal for missing the dysfunctional family dynamics of the Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy.
In the MCU, no hero really retires. In Black Lightning, Jefferson Williams is an ex-vigilante turned high-school principal. Despite his ability to manipulate electricity, he thinks his hero days are behind him. However, when his daughter is abducted by a local gang, he’s forced to suit up again.
Black Lightning is part crime thriller and part family drama, exploring social issues through well-written characters.
Being a superhero might seem like fun, but in reality, a lot of what we see our heroes go through would be pretty traumatic. The MCU has explored this occasionally, but not in much depth. If you’re interested in seeing these issues explored, then try Doom Patrol.
Doom Patrol is a superhero team who all gained their powers after terrible accidents, leaving with physical and emotional scars.
When their leader disappears, the team must take control, and stop wondering if the world has a place for them. The team of flawed heroes works to remind the viewer that trauma doesn’t define who we are.
There are dozens of shows for superhero fans to try out, whether you want something darker, lighter, or completely different to the MCU, while still staying in the superhero genre. Keep up with your superhero viewing with some different shows.