The Best (and Worst) Marvel Spin-offs

With the release of WandaVision approaching, Disney continue their run of Marvel spin offs alongside the popular franchise, but what are some of the best and worst of their productions?

The new era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe begins this Friday with the launch of WandaVision, the first of 11 upcoming Marvel shows to premiere on Disney+. It tells the story of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) as they attempt to move on after the events of Avengers: Endgame. An unusual premise for a show, considering Vision should be dead but appears to be alive and well in the mind-bending trailers we’ve seen so far.

Whilst WandaVision may be the first of Disney+ slate of shows, a further 12 spin-offs to the MCU have already graced our screens across the years. Here is a selection of 10 of the best (and worst) and where you can watch them right now!

10. Inhumans (Disney+, one Season, eight Episodes)

The first true failure of the MCU, Inhumans focused on a group of superhumans who escape to Earth following a coup. Originally announced as a main film instalment to the MCU, the big bosses are probably glad this story never made it to the big screen.

9. Iron Fist (Netflix, two Seasons, 26 Episodes)

A rich white guy (Finn Jones) goes missing in a plane crash, then returns to fight crime whilst moonlighting as the head of his company. This concept had already been done successfully done in Arrow, and this version is considerably less exciting.

8. The Defenders (Netflix, one Season, eight Episodes)

While the Avengers fought Thanos, the heroes of the Netflix Marvel shows took on The Hand, a gang of evil mystical ninjas. It was a joy to see The Defenders together and although not a terrible show, it suffers with pacing issues across its eight episodes.

7. The Punisher (Netflix, two Seasons, 26 Episodes)

Gritty, violent, bloody. These aren’t words you would expect to hear about an MCU film but feel just right for a show about The Punisher (Jon Bernthal). Reprising his role from Daredevil, Frank Castle seeks reparations against those who caused the death of his family.

6. Luke Cage (Netflix, 2 Seasons, 26 Episodes)

Taking us to the streets of Harlem – with a hero who has superhuman strength and unbreakable skin – Luke (Mike Colter) battles against shady gangs to keep his neighbourhood safe. With amazing performances from the heroes and the villains this is a great show for all, not just superhero fans.

5. Runaways (Disney+, three Seasons, 33 Episodes)

Runaways deals with a group of Los Angeles teenagers who discover their families are members of a criminal organisation and, you guessed it, run away. Fighting supervillains is hard, even harder when they’re your mum and dad. One of the lighter entries on this list, it even has a psychically linked dinosaur amongst its characters!

4. Daredevil (Netflix, three Seasons, 36 Episodes)

The first Netflix Marvel series focused on a blind lawyer who fights crime at night – played by Charlie Cox. Taking some of the best characters not yet used by the movies such as Kingpin, The Punisher and Elektra, Daredevil offers some of the best fight scenes of the whole MCU and well deserves a place as one of the best Marvel shows.

3. Jessica Jones (Netflix, three Seasons, 36 Episodes)

The final Netflix show on this list, Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is a former superhero turned private investigator forced to confront her past when Kilgrave (David Tennant) resurfaces. Featuring stellar performances by the whole cast and great handling of issues such as PTSD and rape, Jessica Jones is well deserving of the best Netflix had to offer the MCU.

2. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (Disney+, seven Seasons, 136 Episodes)

Phil Coulson is dead. At least that’s what we were shown during The Avengers, but in this series he’s back and assembling a squad of S.H.I.E.L.D’s finest. While the mystery of Coulson’s resurrection and the rise of Hydra took up most of season one, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D took us from virtual reality to space across its seven seasons. Featuring characters and events from the main movies, this team of beloved characters are what keeps you coming back to the show.

1. Agent Carter (Disney+, two Seasons, 18 Episodes)

After Captain America disappeared in 1943, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) was left heartbroken and alone. Post-WW2, Peggy deals with her friend Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) being framed for supplying deadly weapons to enemies of the United States. Currently the best entry in Marvel TV, Agent Carter is stylish, funny and at times heart breaking, all the qualities that make for a great entry in the MCU. Disappointingly cancelled prematurely, at least she finally was reunited with Steve at the end of Avengers: Endgame.

Make sure you catch up on some of these amazing shows and be sure to catch Wandavision on Disney+, streaming from January 15th.

By Kyran Wood

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