In 2018 we had more superhero media than ever before, from TV to movies to animated films to streaming TV, and we gladly watched it all and reported our findings every week on Talk From Superheroes to let you know what’s good. Well now we’re here to let you know what’s the best (of the year). We looked back on all of our reviews and everything we watched this year and have come up with the definitive list of The Best Superhero Media of 2018. Let’s get started with …
10. Black Lightning
Black Lightning came in hot with his debut season in January and remained on fire during Season 2 which premiered just nine months later. Honestly, everything about this show grabbed us, the incredible acting, the grounded and heartfelt personal relationships, the amazing action and how good it felt to finally see the CW put out a POC led superhero show. As good as the action is (and it’s very good) we probably like the relationship that Jefferson Pierce has with his daughters and estranged wife the most. Nothing is ever easy in the Pierce household but nothing is ever too hard either because they are always there for each other. It’s just super nice guys.
Titans wasn’t anything like we expected and honestly, at first we hated it. Episode 1 was not good and framed our heroes as just a bunch of broody murderers, but from Episode 2 on the series took a new direction and began to feel like the Titans if they existed in the Watchmen universe, in a good way. This isn’t actually a good Titans show if you’re hoping for anything like the comics, but it is a good superhero show if you can remove yourself from what you know the comic versions of the characters to be. The humor really kicks in once Beast Boy arrives, the relationships become very nice and dynamic, Raven is straight up scary, and the action is phenomenal. But Titans’ greatest strength is probably its standalone stories. The Hawk and Dove episodes, and the Doom Patrol episode were some of our favorite hours of television in 2018 and we can’t wait for more in the new year.
8. Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay
This one’s as surprising to us as it probably is to you, but damn did we LOVE this movie! Released with little to no fanfare, this straight to DVD animated movie managed to simultaneously be super fun but also super dark in all the ways you want from a Suicide Squad story. The characters all felt like criminals who would betray each other but still respected and frustrated each other, the humor was spot on, it was adult without being gross, and the story had the single greatest MacGuffin of any film we’ve ever watched (credit where due, the MacGuffin was introduced by Gail Simone in her Secret Six comics, but it totally works here too). If the Suicide Squad live action movie left you underwhelmed, we guarantee Hell to Pay does not disappoint!
Legion only made it into the honorable mentions last year but in 2018 we moved it into the running for solidly best of the year. Don’t get us wrong, the show is still super weird, but it’s a kind of weird we really dig. It’s engaging and beautifully filmed, mind-tripping but still always moving the plot forward. The dialogue is biting and hilarious but also thought provoking. And Jemaine Clement and Aubrey Plaza are honestly giving award-winning performances that we can’t look away from. There is one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad episode in the season, but we can forgive one slip up.
6. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
It’s no secret that the From Superheroes Network stans Agents of SHIELD, the forgotten middle child of the MCU TV universe. AoS has sincerely never let us down since it started getting good mid-way through season 1 and for season 5 they pulled out all the stops. A bonkers time-travel season is a bold move that could have gone severely wrong, but as always, SHIELD made it work! We laughed, cried and cheered with the Agents this season as they fought through time to get home to have a fantastic finale beatdown of Quake vs. Gravitron. This season truly felt like a victory lap for the show, seamlessly bringing in old villains and colleagues throughout the season for what felt like a perfect send-off to a great series … and then they got renewed for an additional two seasons on ABC. We’re still scratching our heads on that one, but we’re not going to complain.
5. Ant-Man and The Wasp
In terms of good, clean fun Ant-Man and the Wasp was the absolute best thing we saw this year. For a movie with relatively low stakes, we spent the entire time at the edge of our seats, captivated by the incredible action, the fun uses of the powers, and the huge heart of the movie. Paul Rudd is as hilarious as always but the truth serum sequence might be the funniest film moment of 2018. We were also surprised by how much we absolutely adored Scott Lang’s family, their love and support of Scott was palpable throughout the film and as a viewer was truly touching. This movie had it all!
4. Black Panther
We’re not gonna lie, these top 4 picks were hard to lock down and honestly any of them could be number one, but one of them had to be number four and that one is Black Panther. This movie was a mammoth achievement in ways we don’t have to tell you about. From costumes, to character work, to fights, to breakout stars, to box office returns, this film was breathtaking through and through. The fights were fun and given extra life by Shuri’s inventions but the story was just as hard-hitting and impactful, especially Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger who entered the relatively small pool of high quality Marvel villains. We can’t wait to see what Black Panther does next.
Matt Murdock has the only TV show to crack the Top 5 and it’s well deserved. This year was a return to greatness for Daredevil, putting forth one of the greatest seasons of television ever. Every character was given a chance to shine this season and absolutely everyone had compelling and relevant storylines that drew you in and left you wanting more, from Foggy’s run to be DA, to Matt’s decision to live as Daredevil and Dex’s mental decline into Bullseye. Every second was mesmerizing and we didn’t even talk about the fight scenes yet. HOLY SHIT THE FIGHT SCENES! If you thought you had seen everything a hallway fight and a one-take has to offer, well, you haven’t. This season was truly something special and it’s almost criminal that the show has since been cancelled, but at least Daredevil went out on as high a note as possible.
2. Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse
Watching Into The Spider-Verse felt like watching something truly special. Animation is almost definitely the best realm to enjoy the spider-people in as they can move and fight in ways that could never be as well captured in live action. Not only as it animated in a totally new style but it told possibly the best Spider-Man story of all time, finally giving Miles Morales his own movie while simultaneously telling everyone watching that we can all be Spider-Man. It is not simply the name of Peter Parker, it is a title for anyone willing to help others. We laughed, we cried multiple times and we wanted to see it again immediately.
1. Avengers Infinity War
The number one spot was a hard choice, but also not at the same time as Infinity War is the true product of ten years of movie making and 18 previous films combining their powers to create a movie that was genuinely fantastic. What could have easily been a bloated mess was a beautifully crafted story about Thanos strolling through the universe and our heroes desperately trailing through his aftermath trying to stop him and SPOILERS, totally failing to do so. The team-ups happen quickly but believably, the story is fleshed out, everyone gets a storyline, the fights are incredible, the laughs are aplenty and again, we cried a bunch. Ultimately this was the movie we rewatched the most this year and The Snap quickly became not just a huge moment in the MCU but a true moment in the world at large, all of which combined to give Infinity War the top spot of 2018.
Honorable Mention: Legends of Tomorrow
We’ve never actually reviewed Legends of Tomorrow on the podcast, but we watch it every single week and it felt remiss not to mention it here somewhere. This show is dumb and chock full of inconsistencies, but damn is it just plain fun! There is no show on TV doing what Legends is doing, campy theme episodes and crazy time travel reboots, and this season they’re doing it harder than ever, with more hilarious consequences, but they also get real every now and then (we found ourselves tearing up for Constantine and Des in the midseason finale). So if you’re looking for an hour of hilarious superhero fun every week, please don’t sleep on Legends of Tomorrow.