Comic book heroines get respect on TV


Every season seems to bring about some new comic book adaptation blockbuster at the theatres, but why bother leaving the house and venturing into the crowds for a glimpse of heroes in costumes fighting off against villains? What’s the better alternative? Staying home, where you don’t even need to get dressed and still have access to plenty of comic book action via the wonders of television.

On TV, there’s a better portrayal of female superheroes in leading roles. Of the three comic book movies (Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Fantastic Four) released in 2015, not one featured a female as the lead. The only place in 2015 to find a comic book heroine was TV – in these shows.


Marvel’s Agent Carter

From ABC (also behind Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) comes Hayley Atwell as the titular Peggy Carter. Atwell originated the role in the first Captain America film (2011) and briefly returned for its sequel (2014). The series takes place in the late ‘40s and focuses on Carter as she struggles to gain recognition as a secret agent in a male-dominated workplace where she often is relegated to the position of a secretary. The show originally was designed as a limited series to run during S.H.I.E.L.D.’s winter hiatus. Despite low viewership, the show amassed positive critical acclaim, due to Atwell’s portrayal. She seamlessly conveys the double agent role she is forced to put on in front of her male cohorts as she carries out her own espionage.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones

Part of a five-part Netflix deal with Marvel Studios (Iron Man, Captain America, The Avengers, Thor, Hulk) to create television shows set in the same Marvel Cinematic Universe comes. Starring Krysten Ritter in the lead role of hard-drinking, tough-as-nails private investigator battling both her inner demons of PTSD and the sinister man responsible for it currently reeking having in New York.


From CBS and the production team responsible for the CW’s Arrow and Flash, comes the tale of the only living relative of the Man of Steel. Supergirl/Kara played by Melissa Benoist (Glee) is for the first time using her Kryptonian abilities and donning the red and blue costume to help save the world. In comparison to its elder brother shows Arrow and The Flash, the only weakness seems to be its desire to be less serialized and more procedural, a risky move considering the success the others have had with their format. Ironically, while one would think the show’s better moments would involve its actions sequences, but the real shining moments are the comedic elements involving Supergirl/Kara’s day job.


That’s not to say that only female heroines could command our attention in 2015.

The year also brought some phenomenal performances by the fellas too.

Marvel’s Daredevil

Another of the above mentioned Netflix Marvel Originals, and Jones’ predecessor, Daredevil first gave the world what it had long wanted; a sure-fire way to completely forget Ben Affleck ever portrayed the same character. Starring Charlie Cox as the blind lawyer/vigilante, the first Netflix original introduced viewers to the gritty backdrop and concept it has plans for, with its series. The series’ stunningly executed choreographed fight scenes and dark themes certainly make binge watching a cinch.

The Flash

Arguably the winner of 2015 comic book television show has to go to the CW’s scarlet speedster. A spin off of CW veteran show Arrow, The Flash stars Grant Gustin in the lead role. Gustin’s take on the Flash/Barry Allen has proven to be a true winner for the CW, both in ratings and acclaim. From the awkward but lovable geeky Barry to the strong courageous Flash, Gustin proves worthy of the lighting emblem. Aside from a stellar lead performance, the show also takes risks in plotting. Unlike its parent show (Arrow, which tried to remain grounded in realty) The Flash utilizes out of this world concepts such as super-powered humans, time travel and alternate timelines, all to varying levels of success.

Heading into 2016 certainly doesn’t mean bidding adieu to comic book heroes on TV.

Supergirl and The Flash continue their respective seasons until spring.

While its parent series (S.H.I.E.L.D.) is on winter hiatus, Agent Carter will return for a second season set in a new location.

The entire second season of Marvel’s Daredevil will be available for streaming March 18.

Though not clear as to when it will return, Netflix also renewed Marvel’s Jessica Jones for a sophomore season. Ritter’s Jones, however (along with Cox’s Daredevil) will first appear in the team-up series, Marvel’s The Defenders beforehand.