10 superhero shows for adults

The television industry has no genre as timeless as science fiction and superheroes. Marvel and DC have dominated the silver screen by bringing famous comic book stories to life. These series are often popular with people of all ages and backgrounds, but some shows are better suited to adult audiences.

RELATED: 10 Strongest Superheroes Who Aren’t Marvel or DC

Mature themes, depictions of violence, and storylines that would go beyond the head of a child can make any show unsuitable for a younger demographic. When this happens, a show is better off catering to an older fanbase who can better appreciate their stories, understand the characters, and keep coming back as the series progresses.

10/10 Harley Queen has gruesome action sequences and beautiful character moments

Harley Quinn animated header

One of DC Comics’ most popular characters is Harleen Quinzel, a former psychologist and sidekick to the Joker. Her first appearance made her famous Batman: The Animated Seriesand she’s come a long way to have her independent series on HBO Max, Harley Quinn.

The animated series is a unique story that follows Harley following her recent breakup with the Joker. She is able to start her own business and learns more about herself while forging unlikely alliances with other criminals. The series’ colorful animation and dark comedy provide an excellent platform for Harley to shine while catering to older DC fans.

9/10 Doom Patrol shows the downside of superpowers

The Doom Patrol team stands together in front of a tent/kiosk

The HBO Max series Doom Patrol different from many other superhero shows on TV. The main characters, misfits with abilities they either don’t want or can’t control, are a cautionary tale for anyone who wants to be a hero. Throughout the series, characters like Cliff Steel and Rita Farr are drawn into situations that often do them more harm than good.

RELATED: 10 modern day TV superheroes who wield malevolent powers

The Doom Patrol have many adventures, and while they try to save the day, they often fail. However, her exploits are not for the faint of heart, and among her newfound heroic personas are deeply compelling characters that only an adult audience can relate to.

8/10 Peacemaker is a prime example of an antihero

Peacemaker, Polka-Dot Man, Ratcatcher and Bloodsport in The Suicide Squad

Fresh from his exploits in DC the suicide squad, the character Christopher Smith returns to the DCEU in his spin-off series, peacemaker. The series was successful, but it’s not an easy heroic story. Christopher is an extremist antihero who wants to see change, which he will pursue at all costs.

In the series, he is approached and recruited by an organization called ARGUS to help eliminate parasite-like creatures that humans are taking over. While this is a noble cause, the Peacemaker’s methods of saving the day are far from those of the average hero.

7/10 Smallville’s story has aged with the audience

Clark is at Kent Farm in Smallville

A Classic Superhero Series is a retelling of Superman’s origins, Kleinville. The series revolves around teenager Clark Kent as he learns to live with his newly emerging superpowers. Incidentally, his newfound powers come in handy when he needs to save his hometown from criminals and villains alike.

The series perfectly combines fiction and teen drama, and its popularity earned it ten seasons. The thing about Smallville is that after a decade on television, teenage fans have grown with the series. It’s one of those instances where the characters age with the audience, keeping the plot and the characters’ relationships relatable to the aging fans.

6/10 Invincible offers an emotionally complex story

Mark Grayson and his friends on the Invincible show

Invincible is a series that revolves around the emotional complexities of living up to family heritage. The main character of the series, Mark Grayson, is the son of the most powerful superhero Omni-Man. Mark tries to live up to that relationship as he gets into his powers, but this leads to many dark revelations.

RELATED: Invincible: 8 DC Heroes Omni-Man Could Beat in a Fight (& 7 He’d Lose To)There are plenty of stories about new heroes coming into their own, but few focus on the influential relationship between father and son. As Mark struggles to balance his personal life and heroism, he finds he has a lot to prove. Unfortunately, the parent he looks up to isn’t as heroic as he seems.

5/10 Young Justice matures in the later seasons

Young Justice's Alpha Team has lost a key member in the Phantom Zone

Originally aired on Cartoon Network, Young Justice is a series that follows the lives of superhero sidekicks. Characters like Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad go into business for themselves by forming a superhero group known simply as “The Team”. As the series progresses, her team grows by many members and they work alongside the Justice League.

After the initial cancellation, HBO picked up the series, allowing the final two seasons to feature more mature themes and darker storylines. This shift is almost fitting as the original sidekick team turns ten and comes into its own. You face many new dangers, from murderous villains to political usurpers to vengeful gods.

4/10 Titans is a darker retelling of a legendary team of heroes

Titans season 4 team photo

A classic animated series for many superhero fans Teen Titans. In 2018, the team returned in a live-action series titled Titans. The series follows characters Dick Grayson, Starfire, and Rachel Roth as they team up to learn more about themselves and form an unlikely team.

Unlike their animated counterparts, however, these heroes must face bloodthirsty vigilantes, the dangers of their powers, and the consequences of their past mistakes. This series is perfect for the Cartoon Network series fans who are now older and are looking for a darker rendition of their favorite characters.

3/10 DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has obscure characters and references

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow was the underdog of the CW’s Arrowverse. The series works by using otherwise underrated characters exploring key moments in the story to protect the timeline. While the series struggled to find its place, it excelled in comedy and heartfelt narratives.

The Legends are a group of heroes that is constantly changing and growing, making the series more popular with each passing season. There are also many references to history and important historical figures. While the series may not resonate with a younger audience, an older fan will surely enjoy the time-traveling adventures.

2/10 The Umbrella Academy doesn’t pull punches

The Dallas Umbrellas are trying to stop the apocalypse

Netflix That Umbrella Academy is a superhero story that doesn’t pull any punches in terms of violence or vulgar depictions. The main characters are adoptive siblings who recently got together to save the world from an apocalyptic event. The story is full of intricate connections that require a careful eye, and the endings aren’t always happy.

RELATED: 10 actors who nailed their roles on Umbrella Academy

However, the series is hugely popular with fans and its display of pain, strength and endurance is something to admire. The darker undertones may make it unsuitable for a young audience, but also all the more enjoyable for an older one.

1/10 Moon Knight is a story about being human

Moon Knight as he appears in his MCU Disney+ series

There are few stories that are as emotional as Marvel’s moon knight. The series follows Steven Grant who experiences memory loss and gets into very strange situations. As it turns out, he shares a body with Marc Spector, the Moon Knight. Together they uncover the secrets of the Egyptian gods.

moon knight is a gripping superhero story. It constantly offers two sides of the same narrative while simultaneously commenting on grief and mental health. While the stunning action sequences and CGI may captivate a younger audience, an older audience can appreciate how deeply human it isThe series feels.

NEXT: The 10 Best Marvel TV Fights (That Happened Offscreen)


Categories DC