Ranking Every Marvel-Netflix Season So Far

Marvel’s Netflix universe has served up seven seasons of superhero TV so far. Let’s rank them from worst to best…


7. Iron Fist (Season One)

Read our review here

I’d like to start out by saying that I didn’t hate Iron Fist as much as most fans seemed to, but it is inarguably the weakest Marvel-Netflix series to date (and hopefully ever). If binge-watched over a weekend, it rattles along enjoyably enough, but once you think about the water-thin plot afterwards the cracks start appearing. Finn Jones acquits himself the best he can in such an underwritten lead role, with Jessica Henwick’s Colleen Wing emerging as the shining star of the show. Iron Fist may need to be reworked from the ground up for season two to be any better.

6. The Defenders (Season One)

Read our two-part review here and here

Perhaps we shouldn’t have hyped it up so much before hand, but The Defenders did not hit the mark as a Netflix version of The Avengers when it finally arrived. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was a joy to see… at least three of these heroes together, and the chemistry between them was spot-on. However, the eight-episode run was far too short and, after so much tedious build-up, the miniseries failed to coalesce the Hand into an interesting threat. Add in a colossal waste of Sigourney Weaver’s talents and you have to admit it’s hard to defend the plot of The Defenders.

5. Luke Cage (Season One)

Read our review here

Luke Cage‘s place at third from bottom is not indicative of it being of lesser quality, just how good its competition is. The third Marvel-Netflix series is actually a blast for the most part, with Mike Colter nailing it as a refreshingly straight-forward hero in comparison to his compatriots. He’s also ably supported by a talented supporting cast including Mahershala Ali, Alfre Woodard, Simone Missick and, of course, Rosario Dawson. Where Luke Cage drops the ball, though, is in its second half with Diamondback, a big bad who really emphasises the bad.


4. Daredevil (Season Two)

Read our review here

After season one set the bar so high, Daredevil‘s second season was always going to struggle to measure up. Like many misguided sequels before it, season two attempts to up the ante by throwing in more elements, leaving it feeling bloated with some storylines falling flat (Elektra as the Black Sky, the Blacksmith Conspiracy, anything with ‘Black’ in the name). Thankfully, the returning cast are still terrific and Jon Bernthal’s Punisher is a revelation who pretty much single-handedly lifts it up to fourth place. Speaking of which…


3. The Punisher (Season One)

Read our review here

The Punisher has only just arrived, but it has shot straight up to number three on our ranking. After the last few seasons have seen diminishing returns, this show remembers what worked so well in DD and JJ – the Marvel-Netflix shows are at their best when they commit to a central character study of a wounded, layered protagonist wrapped up in a stripped-back crime story. The beating heart of the show is Jon Bernthal’s exemplary performance as Frank Castle,  making him sympathetic but without shaving off his razor-sharp edges.


2. Jessica Jones (Season One)

Read our review here.

In short, Jessica Jones is a superhero show for people who hate superheroes. There’s no costumed derring-do here, just a dark, noirish story about a woman trying to cope with her own trauma while attempting to hunt down the man who abused her – David Tennant’s Kilgrave, the most chilling Marvel villain ever. Much of its success, though, is down to Krysten Ritter as Jessica – a beautifully complex, brilliantly cynical character and one of the best female lead roles ever to grace genre TV.


1. Daredevil (Season One)

Read our review here

To this viewer, Daredevil (particularly season one) does for superhero TV what The Dark Knight did for comic book movies. It has a perfectly-balanced tone (it’s realistic and gritty, but without sacrificing the entertainment factor), strong story development, fantastic supporting cast and an incredible pair of central performances in Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock and his nemesis, Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk. Not only is Daredevil’s debut run the best Marvel-Netflix show, I think it’s the finest piece of live-action superhero storytelling ever.


8 thoughts on “Ranking Every Marvel-Netflix Season So Far

      1. The Hand were definitely underwhelming, but I liked how each of The Defenders were handled. With a better villain and climax it could have been great. Instead, I’d probably put it below Jessica Jones but ahead of The Punisher.


      2. It is going to be hard for it to hold up. A lot of what made the first season so great was the villain and getting another villain that good is very unlikely.


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