There’s no question that there are more superhero movies and television shows available today than at any other point in history. While a lot of praise has gone to live-action projects like Loki and The Boys or movies like The Suicide Squad 2 and basically the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, animated films and TV shows are just as good.
Some viewers may not take them seriously because they’re cartoons but all someone has to do is look at 2018’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse to see how great these can be. The same goes for television, with some modern animated superhero shows getting tons of praise.
10 M.O.D.O.K. (2021) – 6.3 – Stream On Hulu
Although he was the main antagonist of the Marvel’s Avengers video game, it’s pretty clear that M.O.D.O.K. is something of a goofy-looking character. A giant floating head in a chair doesn’t seem very intimidating, and that’s the idea that the Hulu series M.O.D.O.K. played on.
The show followed the titular villain as he attempted to juggle his empire and his family life. Praise was dished out to how the world was built, some of the relationships M.O.D.O.K. had, and the stop-motion animation style. The voice cast was also a hilarious highlight, led by Patton Oswalt, Melissa Fuermo, Aimee Garcia, and Ben Schwartz.
9 ULTRAMAN (2019-Present) – 6.9 – Stream On Netflix
Ultraman is a hero that has kind of been around for decades at this point and has been adopted plenty of times over. His suit has become rather iconic and the character has remained popular since the 1970s. He has been part of video games, movies, miniseries, television shows, and more. Ultraman could even end up in the Monsterverse alongside Godzilla and King Kong since he’s the first tokusatsu hero in history
One of the most recent iterations of a project starring the character is Netflix’s ULTRAMAN, which premiered back in 2019. The 13-episode run received widespread acclaim from those who gave the series a chance and season 2 is scheduled to arrive in early 2022.
8 Avengers Assemble (2012-2019) – 7.0 – Stream On Disney+
If there was ever a perfect time for a show to release about Marvel’s greatest team, it was in 2012. The MCU was really taking off and The Avengers surpassed the elusive $1 billion mark at the box office. So, it makes sense that Avengers Assemble was a hit series featuring Captain America, Black Widow, and more.
Part of what made the show so well-received was how it continuously expanded the universe and the lore. Later seasons went on to adapt comic arcs like Secret Wars and also brought in the likes of Black Panther and Thanos. You’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger combination of Marvel characters on one screen.
7 Axe Cop (2012-2015) – 7.4 – Stream On VRV
Back in late 2009, Axe Cop debuted as a webcomic and the premise is basically right in the name. The series follows a police officer who opts to use an axe when he goes into a fight. The comic was adapted into a Fox TV series in 2013 before FXX took it over in 2015.
Although it’s not the most popular modern animated superhero series, it did get critical praise. One of the biggest reasons it was loved was the voice cast with Nick Offerman leading the way and guest appearances from Alison Brie, Stephanie Beatriz, Jemima Kirke, Giancarlo Esposito, and more.
6 Generator Rex (2010-2013) – 7.6 – Buy On Amazon
The 1999 comic M. Rex served as the inspiration for the 2010 TV series Generator Rex. Again, this is a series that stood out immediately for its voice cast, which featured J.K. Simmons, Daryl Sabara, and Fred Savage. One of the highlights was that this Cartoon Network series crossed over with other shows.
2011 saw an episode that also featured characters from Ben 10. Although the series wrapped up nearly a decade ago, it was brought back for a special titled Ben Gen 10 in 2021, proving that it still has some legs. The show was set in a future where humans were infected by bots and one young man had the special ability to control those bots.
5 What If…? (2021-Present) – 7.6 – Stream On Disney+
The MCU finally got in on the animated action with the What If…? series. The idea was that it took the characters audiences have fallen in love with over the past decade or so and put them into situations and stories from other universes. Fans got to see T’Challa as Star-Lord, a world where Hank Pym murdered the Avengers, and Ultron wielding the Infinity Stones.
The animation style was an instant hit, though a few of the episodes somewhat missed the mark. However, many fans agreed that things all came together near the end as the show created the Guardians of the Multiverse and saw an epic clash where the likes of Gamora, Thor, and Captain Carter teamed up to face a multiverse threat.
4 Kid Cosmic (2021-Present) – 7.9 – Stream On Netflix
Craig McCracken is one of the most notable names in animation as he created the likes of The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, while also having a history on 2 Stupid Dogs and Dexter’s Laboratory. In 2021, he tried his hand at superheroes with Kid Cosmic.
The premise is simple enough, following a kid who is given superpowers he must use to fight off evil but the series shines thanks to its supporting characters and the animation style that feels like a retro comic book. Though it only just premiered in early 2021, two seasons are already out and a third and final one is on the way.
3 The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (2010-2012) – 8.3 – Stream On Disney+
A few years before Avengers Assemble became a series, the Marvel team was brought to the small screen in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Initially, the show was centered around the original group of Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Giant-Man, and The Wasp but other heroes were brought in later on.
Like the follow-up series, this dealt with Marvel characters that hadn’t yet come to movies like Skrulls, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Doom, and more. Fans were pretty disappointed with the news that it had not been renewed for season 3 and would be replaced by Avengers Assemble, though that show worked out well enough.
2 Harley Quinn (2019-Present) – 8.5 – Stream On HBO Max
Although superhero cartoons mostly seem aimed at children, it’s actually the ones geared towards adults that have performed the best from a critical standpoint. DC’s Harley Quinn is just that kind of series, centering on the titular villain as she leaves The Joker and looks to form her own band of baddies.
The series has been praised for everything from the voice acting (Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, and Alan Tudyk lead the way) to the animation style but the real highlight is how iconic characters are presented in a different manner. That includes a maniacal Jim Gordon and the hilarious Kite Man. Plus, audiences adore the core romance between Harley and Poison Ivy.
1 Invincible (2021-Present) – 8.7 – Stream On Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime first made gritty superhero waves with The Boys but they took it to the next level with Invincible. The animation format allowed for the show to do things that wouldn’t be possible without an absurd budget in live-action, including one particular finale scene involving a train crash and hundreds of dead bodies.
The show follows Mark, a teen who gains superpowers and becomes the titular superhero. As he bands with other heroes to fight villains, he also learns that his father, a beloved hero himself, is actually the most ruthless villain of them all. Things culminated in shocking manner to wrap up a debut season that people were talking about for months.
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