Comicon’s 5 Best Comic Book TV Shows Of 2022

by Erik Amaya

As an adjunct to our Best of the Year Awards, Comicon would like to also recognize the best in films based on comic books in the past year. Choosing just five shows to spotlight has become a more difficult task in the last few years with comic book inspired shows appearing on every streaming service — though we note the genre will likely disappear from broadcast by the end of 2023. Nevertheless, quality shows still find their way to screens, giving us a diverse and meaningful selection.

The following are Comicon’s 5 Best Comic Book Television Shows of 2022.

5. Wednesday, executive produced by Tim Burton, Miles Millar, and Alfred Gough; starring Jenna Ortega, Gwendoline Christie, Jamie McShane, Emma Myers and Christina Ricci; available on Netflix.

As our Frank Martin noted across his episodic reviews of the series, Wednesday managed to both vary the types of stories it could tell, episode to episode, while maintaining consistent characterization and tone across its larger arc. Led by Ortega’s sharp take on Wednesday Addams, it also created a new chapter for the characters as she grows up a little and takes center stage. It also expanded the mythology — something cartoonist Charles Addams was never too concerned with creating or maintaining in the Addams Family comic strip — to include a history with Nevermore Academy and the most sustained Addams world yet.

4. The Boys, executive produced by Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg; starring Jack Quaid, Karl Urban, Erin Moriarity, and Antony Starr; available on Prime Video.

Simultaneously the most anticipated and dreaded show every week, The Boys strengths remain in tact throughout its third season. While the big headline was its adaptation of the Herogasm miniseries into a single episode, the real story was finally moving Annie (Moriarity) from the Seven to the Boys — to say nothing of Maeve’s (Dominique McElligott) final decision to undercut Homelander (Starr) or the mark made by Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) The characters continued to deepen even as the show’s parody elements remain as sharp as the first season. The quality has yet to waver and that is one of the most amazing elements of The Boys.

3. Peacemaker, executive produced by James Gunn and Peter Safran; starring John Cena, Danielle Brooks, Jennifer Holland, Steve Agee, Chukwudi Iwuji and Freddie Stroma; available on HBO Max.

In the end, Peacemaker (Cena) became Chris. The use of a superhero’s real name is a mark of just how much they matter to the audience and Gunn — as writer and occasional director — made Chris, of all minor DC Comics characters, matter. While still hilariously damaged, Chris also served as a wonderful foil to a group of ne’er-do-wells like returning The Suicide Squad characters Harcourt (Holland) and Economos (Agee), and the wonderful new addition, Adebayo (Brooks). But the heart of the show balances out its wilder and more grotesque leanings, a style perfect for a bunch of d-list members of the DC roster. Hopefully, the second season will prove an opportunity to further strengthen the bonds between them, further chart Chris’s self-discovery, and maybe give another low tier character a chance to shine.

2. She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, executive produced by Jessica Gao, Kat Coiro, Brad Winderbaum, and Kevin Feige; starring Tatiana Maslany, Ginger Gonzaga, Josh Segarra, and Jameela Jamil; available on Disney+.

The fourth-wall breaking hilarity of She-Hulk will be familiar to anyone who enjoyed the comics written by John Byrne, Dan Slott, or Charles Soule. That wacky faithfulness and lighter touch made it the most enjoyable of Marvel’s 2022 television offerings. Also making things enjoyable, a strong anchor with Maslany as Jennifer Walters. Whether telling us we need to wait for Wong (Benedict Wong) or reacting with genuine dismay as her life unravels, Maslany’s take on Jen gave the series a strong center from which to launch jokes like a Light Elf impersonating Megan Thee Stallion or Emil Blonsky’s (Tim Roth) spiritual retreat. While the other Marvel shows of the year also had their charms, the sitcom nature of She-Hulk was the perfect series to close out the year’s schedule.

1. The Sandman, executive produced by Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer, and Allan Heinberg; starring Tom Sturridge, Vivienne Acheampong, Vanesu Samunyai,Boyd Holbrook, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste; available on Netflix.

After literal decades of a Sandman adaptation being both teased and feared, its eventual form was the best it could possible be. Almost as pretentious (in the best way possible), whimsical, and literary as the original comics by Gaiman and an impressive number of artists, it did something most would’ve thought impossible: faithfully adapt the original stories with understandable modern updates. The pace is right with most episodes utilizing two issues; making both of the longer stories, now called “Preludes and Nocturnes” and “A Doll’s House,” swifter. But perhaps more important is the way it treated the single-issue stories, making the TV versions of “The Sounds of Her Wings,” “Men of Good Fortune,” “A Dream of a Thousand Cats,” and “Calliope” absolutely astonishing translations. While not every comic book would benefit from The Sandman‘s fidelity to the source, some would definitely benefit from its respect for the tone and pace established by the books.

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