It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the steady barrage of comic book adaptations. Every day, more and more amazing comics are presented to the mainstream through movies and television. However, for every hit like Gotham or The Walking Dead, there is a brilliant comic book TV program that is canned. Even the finest TV series can’t always find an audience, and with so much competition, more and more aren’t making the cut.
Perhaps viewership was minimal, perhaps financial constraints impeded production, or perhaps some of these series were just ahead of their time. Whatever the cause, let’s take a look at several TV programs that never lived up to their full promise. Here are the ten best canceled comic book TV shows of all time.
With its original content, the DC Universe streaming service has achieved unexpected success. This includes Swamp Thing, a really creepy and authentic take on the character that aired and finished in less than a week. What’s going on, DC?
It’s not often that the superhero and horror genres collide successfully, but Swamp Thing was an instant success with critics. The discontinuation of the program was unexpected and perplexing for DC fans, and the business has yet to give an explanation. Perhaps the termination is due to the streaming service’s disappointing success rather than the series itself, although this has yet to be verified.
Happy! isn’t for everyone, but it’s an exciting ride. This strange, hyper-violent version of Grant Morrison’s comic is so weird and off-the-rails that it’s difficult not to like it. An inebriated, drug-addled cop and an imagined unicorn take on New York City’s horrible criminal underbelly? This program is destined for a cult following because of its gruesome action, campy turns, and unexpectedly successful efforts at terror.
Happy! was canceled by SYFY after its second season, but perhaps it will find a new home. Christopher Meloni gets a particular mention as well – the entire ensemble is fantastic, but his portrayal against Patton Oswalt’s Happy is what makes this show such an underappreciated treasure.
THE FLASH (1990)
It’s difficult to argue that The Flash is the greatest program of all time, but it did lay the path for DC’s current success on television. It debuted during the height of Tim Burton’s Batman franchise and attempted to replicate its success. The Flash, like other films, attempted to strike a balance between stakes and camp but failed to gain traction with fans.
Despite being canceled after one season, the program developed a cult following that is still evident in the 2014 series. Not only has John Wesley Shipp reprised his role as Barry Allen’s father in the current season, but Mark Hamill has also returned as the Trickster – and who doesn’t adore Hamill? It deserves more attention as a forerunner to the Flash fans know today.
Another promising Image comic. Another TV program has been canceled. Deadly Class might have been the next great thing: an angry punk rock Harry Potter, but with assassins instead of wizards? Thrilling action? The Russo brothers produced it? It appears to be a gold mine.
Despite a terrific young cast and a deliberate attempt to stay true to the comic, SYFY canceled the show after only one season. Given the network’s strong ratings, the comic’s continuous success, and the comic’s obvious franchise potential, this appears to be a mistake. Hopefully, the sitcom will find a new home on another channel, but like Happy!, it appears like SYFY missed out on a fantastic item while it was available.
Despite the fact that Jessica Jones is a close second, it’s reasonable to conclude that Daredevil is the finest Marvel TV series, and certainly the best program on our list. As a result of Netflix’s decision to remove Marvel from its lineup, Daredevil only lasted three seasons before being canceled along with its companion series.
While opinions on the final two seasons differ, the program was a surefire smash that should have lasted much longer. Leaving aside the outstanding writing and stunt work, Daredevil cleared the door for beloved versions of the Kingpin and the Punisher, as well as a whole slate of Marvel television. Daredevil might legally resurface in other Marvel media, but canceling the show was a terrible mistake.