A rainy New York City weekend, and general laziness on my part, helped free the time needed for me to kick back, grab a snack, and dive into Luke Cage. We live in super-sensitive spoiler culture, so I won’t dive into many details about the show. I’ll say this, however: It’s pretty entertaining, despite some of many massive beefs in regards to Cage’s motivations and “reluctant hero” shtick. Mahershala Ali, Simone Missick, and Alfre Woodard absolutely slay on screen, and keep the boat from sinking into the Sea of Mediocrity.
But Luke Cage isn’t Marvel’s only TV series. In its extremely brief period of existence, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has radically transformed how Hollywood makes movies. The big studios now seek to emulate Marvel Studios’s comic book-style, interconnected formula with Cinematic Universes of their own; there’s talk of several unified movie series, including those based on G.I. Joe, Godzilla, Universal’s monsters, and other hot, and not so hot, properties. A 21 Jump Street and Men In Black crossover, Sony? Please send that uncooked duck back to the kitchen.
The Negative Zone-sized gulf between the MCU and those hastily cobbled together universes has grown, and continues to grow, because Marvel Studios gives a damn about the small screen. Yes, DC has Arrow, Gotham, Supergirl, and other programs on the air, but those shows don’t all exist within the same universe. Here’s a bit of info that’s even more bewildering: Warner Bros, DC Comics’s parent company, has confirmed that the small screen properties won’t tie into the big screen story lines, and that the company will likely recast, say, Oliver Queen if that character movies from TV to feature film. The lack of cohesion is quite perplexing.
Marvel Studios’s “everything’s connected” game plan, however, means that a blind vigilante operates in the same universe as a gun-toting raccoon-like creature. It means that a legendary super-soldier lives in the same world where a super-strong PTSD sufferer battles her demons. The comic book-style cross-pollination ensures that geeks have some Marvel merriment in their lives between the tent pole movie releases, with the potential for big gun characters or story beats to appear on television, and vice versa. Who didn’t love Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury appearance in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after the fallout of Captain America: The Winter Soldier?
Now that Marvel Studios has five TV properties scattered between ABC and Netflix, the time has come for me to rank these sum’bitches. As with my Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie Power Rankings, this Marvel Cinematic Universe TV Power Rankings stack-ranks Marvel Studios’s properties from best to worst across three categories: Main-Eventers (the must-watch shows), Mid-Carders (flawed, but recommended, shows), and Jobbers (A.K.A., don’t waste your time).
Let’s get the party started.