Superheroes in television

The superhero genre is now at the high of it’s power

The fall season to most means back to school time, football season and new episodes of primetime television. After a day of hard labor with homework, pop quizzes, and slowly waiting for that final bell to ring, students will often go home and unwind. Every night they will want to check out what is on television. One genre that has a well established fanbase is the genre of superheroes. Studios such as Marvel and Warner Brothers dominate the box office with their films. The ratings prove that even on the small screen, they still dominate.

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is owned by Disney, and Disney owns Marvel Studios. ABC has renewed their long-running “Marvel’s: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” This drama deals with the government organization of the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division and their superhuman cases for five seasons. ABC is bringing in another superhero show with the new series “Marvel’s Inhumans.” This sci-fi focuses on the lives of the “Inhumans,” a royal alien race blessed with powers and dealing with a coup by the king’s own “human” brother.

The Inhumans (From left to right) Gorgon, Karnak, Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal, and Maximus.

Fox is taking their own stab on Batman with “Gotham.” Gotham takes two concepts and puts them together: Cops and Comics. “Gotham” isn’t particularly a “superhero” show, more of a cop show dealing with the villains that Batman will eventually face one day. It focuses on Detective Jim Gordon and his rise to police commissioner with Bruce Wayne on his teenage years for four seasons. “The Gifted” is new on Fox and takes place within the X-Men mythos and deals with discrimination and persecution on mutants.

“I think [Gotham] is a great show, and everyone should see it,” Ivan Miyagi, junior.

The CW has four superhero programs that exist in the same universe, dubbing it the “Arrowverse” starting off with “Arrow” in 2012. Arrow focuses on a billionaire trying to save his city from the criminal and the corrupt armed with nothing but a bow and arrow for six seasons. The Flash is next and is about a fast super human (Metahuman) trying to fight crime and find other metahumans like him for four seasons. Supergirl originally started on CBS but moved to The CW. Kara Zor-El was sent to Earth to protect her cousin when their planet exploded. Her ship got knocked off course and by the time she got to Earth, her cousin had grown up to become Superman. It focuses on gender inequality and persecution on alien immigrants for three seasons. Finally, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” is assembled and has a team of outcasts and misfits saving time by fixing anachronisms and time aberrations for three seasons. They have a British space captain from the future (Rip Hunter). A resurrected female assassin (White Canary). A billionaire with a suit of armor that can shrink and fly (The Atom). Two people who can merge into a single human torch (Firestorm). A pair of reformed criminals each with a specialized gun (Captain Cold and Heatwave). A man who can turn into metal (Citizen Steel). A hawk demigoddess and hawk demigod (Hawkgirl and Hawkman). A girl who can manipulate wind (Isis). With a girl who can harness animal energy (Vixen) all living on a flying time machine called the Waverider.

From the 2016-2017 crossover. (From Left to right) Vixen, Supergirl, The Atom, Citizen Steel, Green Arrow, Firestorm, Spartan, and The Flash.

Netflix also has their share of more “mature” content. “Marvel’s Daredevil” is the first property in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to earn a TV-MA rating due to being exceptionally gritty. Blind lawyer Matt Murdock fights crime as a vigilante in Hell’s Kitchen, New York, giving him the name “The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen” by the newspapers. The gritty, violent nature of the Daredevil comics had many fans demanding for this series to be given an R-rating. The other four Netflix/Marvel shows also have the TV-MA rating. Take “Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” for example. A Private Investigator series that just so happens to have a super strong woman. The reason for this rating is because the main villain, Kilgrave, has the ability to make people do whatever he wants. Making people do things that they normally would not do. These acts include: self harm, homicide, and rape.

In an interview with “Empire Magazine” Daredevil’s showrunner Steven DeKnight said, “Netflix… do[es]n’t have a problem with pushing [Marvel’s Daredevil]. I mean, they go anywhere from G to NC-17… [Marvel’s Daredevil] is much more geared towards adults. We call it PG-16. We don’t quite get to R, but we kiss right up to it.”

All four of Marvel’s Netflix shows has a hybrid sequel that unites them up to fight “The Hand”, an ancient ninja race wanting to claim New York. “The Defenders,” as they are called, brings in Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron First together from their respective series.

(From left to right) Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Daredevil, and Luke Cage.

Coming soon is “Marvel’s The Punisher” on Netflix. After the Las Vegas shooting, Netflix had to delay this action packed thriller due to it glamorizing gun violence to Nov. 17. “Marvel’s The Punisher” is about war veteran Frank Castle coming home to see his family brutally gunned down in front of him just for being witnesses of a mafia hit during a picnic at the park. Now, he is tracking gangsters in their home turf and taking them out with military precision. Debuting in Daredevil’s second season, Frank Castle’s performance impressed showrunners that they decided to give him his own spin-off.

“I don’t really watch the live-action stuff, I like the animated series like Batman: The Animated Series and X-Men. I grew up on those,” said Michael Wood, Math Teacher.

With more superheroes on television, such as X-Men’s “Legion” on FX (Two Seasons), “The Tick” on Amazon Prime, DC’s “Krypton” on Syfy, “Marvel’s Runaways” on Hulu and “Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger” on Freeform (Previously ABC Family) the superhero genre shows no sign of slowing down soon.