Top 10 Best Superhero Shows That Aren’t Marvel or DC
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Top 10 Best Superhero Shows That Aren't Marvel or DC

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Matt Klem
There are more superhero TV shows than those under the Marvel or DC umbrella. For this list, we'll be looking at the best animated and live-action shows in the genre that weren't made by one of those two big studios. Our countdown includes "Misfits" (2009-15), "The Powerpuff Girls" (1998-2005), "The Umbrella Academy" (2019-), "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (1987-96), and more!
Transcript
Script written by Matthew Klem

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 superhero shows that aren’t Marvel Or DC. For this list, we’ll be looking at the best animated and live-action shows in the genre that weren’t made by one of those two big studios. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments.

#10: "Heroes" (2006-10)


This show made everyone keep saying if you save the cheerleader, you’ll save the world. The program followed ordinary individuals who had suddenly been given superpowers. Whether they went invisible, could heal others or fly, each character was compelling. Many of them ultimately had to come together to save the world from an upcoming calamity. The unique storytelling format allowed seemingly self-contained stories to become building blocks of a bigger story. And judging by the high rating the series initially enjoyed, viewers had to know what was next. The show ran for four seasons before the story continued on “Heroes Reborn”. While the series didn’t quite maintain a consistently high level of quality, it still had an impressive run as an original concept.

#9: "The Powerpuff Girls" (1998-2005)


Who said that superheroes had to be adults? A lab experiment that didn’t go quite as planned led to the birth of the super powerful trio of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup. The three kids all use their abilities to thwart big enemies in between dealing with the difficulties of being a young child. It’s definitely a different spin on the hero's tale when the protagonists punch monsters while worrying about losing their teeth or trying to wean off a security blanket. The show also had tons of meta humor and fourth wall breaks to enjoy. For six seasons, this adorable, funny, and powerful trio made up one of the most unique superhero teams out there.

#8: "Raising Dion" (2019-22)


With a name like “Raising Dion”, the series could be easily mistaken for a standard drama about the struggles of a parent raising their son. However, there’s nothing typical about Dion at all. Based on the comic book of the same name, the show explores how a young seven year old boy tries to cope with and learn how to control his unique abilities. Dion’s telepathy, invisibility, and his ability to exude rays of energy from his body all become important to his journey. The series feels like a hybrid of a superhero origin series and the X-Files. And with just two seasons to watch, “Raising Dion” is easy to get through and 100% worth checking out.

#7: "The Tick" (2001-02)


Ever since The Tick started getting his own stories, he’s parodied superhero cliches and storylines. While all his shows are worth watching, the 2001 live-action series with Patrick Warbuton might be the best iteration of the character yet. The actor perfectly captures the manic energy the character is known for. And while Warburton’s naive nature could be annoying, he makes sure the Tick is always endearing throughout the show. The program’s ridiculous plots and sharp humor were unfortunately overlooked due to a lackluster advertising. But if The Tick were to appear with the same cast today, we’d bet audiences would love it as much as we do.

#6: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (1987-96)


If you would’ve told someone that four anthropomorphic crime-fighting reptiles named after Renaissance painters would be popular in 1986, they probably would’ve called you nuts. But against all odds, these turtles became pop culture icons. Their debut showed that watching reptilian brothers protecting New York City from ninja and creatures could be ridiculously fun.
And since Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello and Michelangelo were so distinct from one another, every viewer had someone they felt connected to. The heroes in a half-shell could occasionally get as cheesy as the pizza they craved. But the fight scenes were so cool that we didn’t care. Decades after its debut, this far-out superhero concept still makes us say cowabunga.

#5: "Misfits" (2009-15)


When watching any typical superhero depiction, the focus tends to be more on their supernatural abilities than who the characters are as a person. “Misfits” sets itself apart from other shows by making their super powers secondary in their storytelling. The characters themselves are immature youth serving out a community service sentence when they acquire their unnatural abilities. It’s a delight to see how each character’s gift is a unique reflection of their personality. Although they definitely don’t want to be heroes, they keep finding themselves protecting the public and each other. Full of quirky characters that don’t take their powers too seriously, “Misfits” is a character driven superhero show that doesn’t need lots of cgi super battles to excel.

#4: "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" (1993-96)


In 1993, American audiences stepped into the “Mighty Morphin Power Ranger” command center for the first time. Created by combining original footage shot in the states with scenes from a Japanese program called “Super Sentai”, the show followed teens that were chosen to fight monsters. These young heroes harnessed their own knowledge of martial arts with personalized machines known as “Zords” to fight off everyone who came their way. Viewers were blown away by both the action and how relatable the teen protagonists were. The show’s success led to feature-films, comics and over 29 seasons of shows and counting. While fans might each have their favorite ranger teams, they can all agree that the “Mighty Morphin” team kickstarted a phenomenon.

#3: "The Umbrella Academy" (2019-)


A man named Sir Reginald Hargreeves managed to adopt seven of the 43 powered individuals who were all mysteriously born at noon on the same day. Although he dreamed that his kids would thrive as a team called The Umbrella Academy, this group eventually falls apart. But after Hargreeves dies, the seven have to reunite and fight together again. Viewers fell in love with the complex and extremely flawed characters as they tried to move past their trauma. And thanks to their unique abilities, the action scenes are unlike anything you can find in the genre. While this family of superheroes may not want to work together, legions of fans are very happy they did.

#2: "Invincible" (2021-)


Mark Grayson starts the series as a seemingly ordinary teenager who has an all-powerful superhero dad. But once the young man’s powers come in, he tries to make his mark as a costumed man named Invincible. While that setup would be compelling on its own, an early series twist hints that Mark’s superhero journey will get dark. And speaking of darkness, “Invincible” has stood out with its brutal and extremely fluid superhero fight scenes. Fortunately, the animation is still stunning when the characters aren’t beating the stuffing out of each other. The cherry on top of the “Invincible” is a voice cast that includes heavyweights like Steven Yuen in the title role and the legendary J.K. Simmons. Their voices ensure this complex show soars.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“The Maxx” (1995)


The Edgier Stories & Shifting Animation Styles Made This Cult Classic Stand Out

“I Am Not Okay with This” (2020)


A 15 Year Old Girl Deals With Her Family Trauma and Newfound Telekinetic Powers

“Spawn The Animated Series” (1997-99)


Its Commitment to Very Mature Superhero Stories Was Groundbreaking in the 90s

“Alphas” (2011-12)


An Engrossing Combination of a Superhero Show & Crime Procedural

“Gargoyles” (1994-97)


A Beloved Cartoon Focused on Gargoyles Protecting People At Night

#1: "The Boys" (2019-)


“The Boys” is a superhero show show what happens if people given great power took 0 responsibility for their actions. After Hugh Campbell loses his girlfriend due to a superhero’s carelessness, he joins a team that seeks to expose the bad supes. While his missions can get incredibly bleak, the show also revels in blending drama and dark humor. Every episode of “The Boys” goes out of its way to parody an aspect of superhero media. The writing also make sfunny and poignant observations about our modern society. Oh, and we cannot forget the show’s outlandish and one-of-a kind fight scenes. At the end of the day, “The Boys” shines as both a thrilling superhero show and a stunning critique of what we love.
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