Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge fan of Marvel, and obviously, that includes the Marvel Cinematic Universe films and TV shows! In the following series, I’ve ranked all forty-some entries in order of my enjoyment (not necessarily in quality) from worst to best.
#15. iron Fist (Season 2)
While nowhere near perfect, the second season of Iron Fist was a massive improvement over the first. Doubling down on Jessica Henwick’s Colleen Wing was a brilliant choice that elevated this season to a whole new level, even as the complicated Typhoid Mary improved things on the villain front. Iron Fist’s final episodes completely overturned its status quo in the best way possible, destroying cliches and gender roles while it was at it, making the series’ subsequent cancellation that much more tragic.
#14. agents of shield (Season 5)
Though admittedly convoluted, dreary, and occasionally frustrating, Agents of SHIELD’s fifth season was nevertheless incredibly creative and undeniably riveting. Featuring a satisfying 100th episode, a cast of characters new and old, and twists and turns galore, Season 5 didn’t quite reach the heights of some of the previous seasons but nevertheless was a worthy entry in this smart and complex series.
#13. Defenders (Season 1)
Defenders is unfairly criticized in my opinion… while admittedly scattered, the series did an incredible job of bringing together four very different heroes and atmospheres. This single season miniseries did some undeniably awesome things with cinematography and featured some winning character dynamics, not to mention a final battle well worth the somewhat slow initial episodes. Defenders is one of my favorite things to come out of the MCU, and I desperately wish it had been given a second season.
#12. Daredevil (Season 1)
The gothic, moody first season of Daredevil is well-loved and for good reason- there was a beautiful simplicity and grace to this season, a pitch-perfect origin story with just the right mixture of heart, humor, action, and darkness. There isn’t much to say about this season besides the fact that it absolutely deserves all the praise it has received, even if it isn’t my favorite thing to come out of the MCU.
#11. Agents of SHIELD (Season 2)
Agents of SHIELD’s second season did a sharp 180 from its just-okay freshman outing, fully embracing its comic book roots and diving deep into Marvel mythos all the while putting a fresh spin on the MCU. The origin of Quake was well worth the wait, and the introduction of Mockingbird was immensely satisfying. The two-part finale was one of the best on TV and the further-complicated relationship between Fitz and Simmons rounded out this high quality experience.
#10. Daredevil (Season 3)
Daredevil deserved a fourth season but if it had to go out, this was the way to go. A fascinating exploration of friendship, family, and faith, Daredevil’s third season was phenomenal in every sense of the word. Though the omnipotence of Kingpin could be a bit frustratingly convenient on occasion, the action, character work, and introduction of Bullseye cemented this entry as a classic.
#9. Cloak & Dagger (Season 1)
Surprisingly thoughtful, gorgeous, and unique, Cloak & Dagger is a superhero show unlike any other. Intimate and timely, Cloak & Dagger mixes action with politics, teen drama, and the rich lore of New Orleans. If not for a disappointing season finale, Cloak & Dagger might’ve been one of my favorite things in the MCU. There’s nothing else quite like it.
Though the fridging of Janet Van Dyne and the aging of Hank Pym irked me, Ant-Man was a special experience to me seeing as Pym is my favorite comics character. I’d been following the production of the movie for years before it finally hit the big screens, and it was such a special experience to see my favorite hero in action. Admittedly. the somewhat generic treatment of Hope and the forgettable villainy of Darren Cross limited the experience somewhat. Nevertheless, Ant-Man was a highly enjoyable experience for me.
#7. Jessica Jones (Season 1)
An unbelievably tense, shocking, and graphic neo-noir, Jessica Jones’ first season introduced the surprisingly likable Jessica Jones and her nemesis, the horrifying Kilgrave. Engrossing and dark, Jessica Jones’ first season was the pinnacle of Marvel Netflix, a powerful exploration of trauma and heroism that set the standard for the rest of the Marvel Netflix shows.
#6. Black Panther
Groundbreaking, colorful, and thought-provoking, Black Panther is well-loved and for good reason. It’s hard to describe just how powerful and immersive this film was, a beautiful marriage of action, humor, and politics set in the vivid world of Wakanda. Though the protagonist was somewhat bland, the supporting cast and villain were so rich and unique that its easy to see why this film was nominated for an Oscar.