Top 10 Animated Superhero TV Series

Script written by Craig Butler. There’s a lot of competition among animated superhero TV shows; these ones muscled their way to the top. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 animated superhero TV series. For this list, we’re focusing on animated TV series' with a superhero (or superheroes) as the star. Now grab your cape and your sidekick, and let’s fight crime! Special thanks to our users sarahjessicaparkerth, enaek, CaptainSandwich, Bestintheworld182, bringbackthe90syeah, ZeRen Wong, Jean Joassaint, Peter Quill, Brandontoddcunningha, mac121mr0, BrockObama, Jsmith94243, Shawn Frary, Rstitch, toadyjobo, Sadik Ahmed, WizardofSolazz and Ross Sapp for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Craig Butler.

Top 10 Animated Superhero TV Series


There’s a lot of competition among animated superhero TV shows; these ones muscled their way to the top. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 animated superhero TV series.

For this list, we’re focusing on animated TV series with a superhero (or superheroes) as the star. Now grab your cape and your sidekick, and let’s fight crime!

#10: “Super Friends” (1973-86)

Based on DC’s Justice League comics, Hanna-Barbera’s “Super Friends” followed characters like Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman as they teamed up to fight crime. Sure, it wasn’t the most brilliantly executed superhero show, but it ran an astounding 13-years. As a result, it’s a touchstone for a whole generation of TV superhero fans. So what if the animation is sorta limited and the stories are geared toward younger audiences? The joy and wonder that permeated “Super Friends” makes it a fanboy’s favorite guilty pleasure.

#9: “Superman: The Animated Series” (1996-2000)

A big step up in the animation department, “Superman: The Animated Series” breathed new life into the man of steel while still respecting his iconic origins. And in fact, it’s now considered one of the most authentic adaptations ever of Superman. Bruce Timm took some inspiration from the classic Fleischer cartoons but added a distinctly modern twist. All the familiar cast was there, but the characterizations were tweaked a bit. The plots were clever, the writing sparkled, the mood was mature and most of all – it was fun.

#8: “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!” (2010-13)

It took a while, but in 2010 the Avengers finally assembled on TV – in the right way. “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” lived up to its promise: Iron Man, Giant-Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America and the rest presented the team of any Marvel Comics fan’s dreams. Throw in some scripts drawn from classic comic storylines like the Kree/Skrull War and some powerfully slick animation, and you had a show that delivered a helluva lot of bang for its buck.

#7: “Young Justice” (2010-13)

Was such a high quality superhero series ever more poorly handled than “Young Justice” was by Cartoon Network? Focusing on DC’s teenaged foils of the Justice League, “Young Justice” was intricately plotted, grippingly directed, and filled with action and suspense, plus it featured three-dimensional characters and emotion-filled storylines. It even made a five-year jump in time between seasons one and two work – despite introducing a whole new team into the picture. And that takes talent.

#6: “Teen Titans” (2003-06)

Boasting anime-influenced visuals, “Teen Titans” brought DC’s famous teenaged team to the small screen in big style. Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Beast Boy and Raven were a tight-knit family whose relationships were as much a part of the show’s success as the considerable action. Viewers thrilled to see fights with the villainous Slade or the unstoppable Trigon, but it was Cyborg and Beast Boy’s jokey camaraderie or Raven’s inner turmoil that kept them coming back.

#5: “Justice League/Justice League Unlimited” (2001-06)

“Justice League” took the familiar faces of “Super Friends” far more seriously. Initially focusing on DC’s “Big 7,” it eventually expanded to include just about every hero in the canon. Crowded? Yeah, but somehow the creators made it work. Whether concentrating on cataclysmic wars between worlds or on simple matters like warrior hero Orion’s dismissal of the happy-go-lucky Flash, “Justice League” did everything with flair and style.

#4: “Spider-Man: The Animated Series” (1994-98)

Following Peter Parker and his superhero self during his college years, this iteration of the web-slinger’s story had action, romance and more action. Other “Spider-Man” series, like “The Spectacular Spider-Man,” are worthy, but “Spider-Man: The Animated Series” is even better. Yes, some corners were cut in animation, but the stories, characters and excellent voice cast made up for that. This was also one New York-set series that lived and breathed the feel of the Big Apple. All in all, this is the web-slinger as he’s meant to be.

#3: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1987-96)

It started out as a small press parody comic book, but the “Ninja Turtles” phenomenon grew like wildfire – and millions of people know it mainly through this more lighthearted series. Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael joked, kicked, punched and pizza’d their way into the hearts of a whole generation. And the show still holds up today, with solid writing, good performances and just enough wackiness to entertain. “Turtle power” indeed.

#2: “X-Men: The Animated Series” (1992-97)

Yeah, the animation wasn’t as smooth of some of the other series produced at the same time, but who cares: “X-Men: the Animated Series” brought Marvel’s incredible mutant wonders to the small screen in a manner that did them proud! After all, who wouldn’t get caught up in the TV versions of unforgettable comic scenarios like the awesome Dark Phoenix saga? Later series, like “X-Men: Evolution” are worthwhile – but they’re not classic like this.

Before we unmask our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “The Tick: The Animated Series” (1994-96)
- “Batman Beyond” (1999-2001)
- “Todd McFarlane’s Spawn” (1997-99)

#1: “Batman: The Animated Series” (1992-95)

This “Dark Deco” cartoon burst on the screen in ‘92 and set the standard for every superhero show that came after. Boasting incredibly gorgeous visuals, it looked great; and with its incomparable voice cast, it sounded great, too. But it was Bruce Timm’s dark-hued approach, reflected in the writing, that actually made it great. This was first class superhero screenwriting, delivering taut tales that gripped and never let go. It’s the best screen version of Batman – ever.

Do you agree with our choices? What other animated superheroes should have smashed their way onto this list? For more super top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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