What’s the best Marvel series? One thing you can never accuse Disney of resting on its laurels. Since launching its streaming service Disney Plus in 2020 we’ve had not one, not two, but seven series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe adapting and telling new stories about heroes old and new.
So far we’ve seen Wanda Maximoff rewrite reality in the heartbreaking WandaVision, Loki getting another chance at life, and even the rise of a new Captain America. Yet the question is, which of these Marvel series is best? It’s a hot topic we know but one we feel as Marvel experts well-positioned to answer.
So we’ve sat down and rewatched every episode of each Marvel TV series to work out which of these marvellous shows is best. For the record we haven’t included the old Netflix MCU series, we know they’re popular but their dubious canonicity means they didn’t make the cut. Maybe that’ll change with Daredevil season 4? For now, though, enjoy our ranking of all the Marvel series.
All the Marvel series ranked:
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
- What If…?
- Moon Knight
- Werewolf by Night
- Ms. Marvel
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021)
Look, we’re not saying The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was a bad TV series. Wait, no? That’s exactly what we’re saying. Despite being the series with arguably the most potential, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was a letdown. The series was somehow both slow and ponderous while also incredibly shallow at the same time.
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Credit where credit is due, though. The series was an effective origin story for Sam Wilson’s Captain America (and we’d be lying if we said seeing him suit up wasn’t cool). The series’ commitment to exploring the tension of having a black man wield the shield within the social and political American context was admirable as well, even if the concept wasn’t perfectly executed.
What If…? (2021)
Bold, imaginative, and creative, we loved What If…? But it’s hard to call it a favourite. The animated series’ only real crime was that, by its very nature, it was tangential to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which made the whole endeavour seem a little irrelevant to the wider plot of Phase 4.
This by itself isn’t a bad thing, but with staying up to date with the MCU starting to feel a little like homework, you’ll hopefully forgive us for not ranking this higher.
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Sure, a fair amount of lip service has been paid to ensuring fans that What If…? It will play a critical role in the MCU’s future, but that seems to be a bit of an exaggeration (and yes, we’ve seen Doctor Strange).
Combine this with some spotty voice work (not all actors can do voice work) and stiff animation, and you have a series that was fun, if slightly forgettable, with only the Doctor Strange episode really standing out from the pack.
Moon Knight (2022)
Oscar Isaac brought Marvel’s answer to Batman to life in the weird and brutal Moon Knight. At its best, Moon Knight soared, delivering some great action scenes and a surprising commitment to maintaining the source material’s slightly bonkers premise.
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Unfortunately, Moon Knight also made some serious missteps along the way and ended up feeling strangely pedestrian as a result – why did they not show the final fight? Overall the whole endeavour just felt very by the numbers, with some half-hearted attempts at weirdness used to inject a little life into the series.
While it’s not the best Marvel series, She-Hulk was a lot of fun, showing a side of the MCU we’ve never seen before, even if it is a little inconsequential.
She-Hulk’s greatest strength is its sense of humour. It’s not po-faced or desperate to seem mature. Instead, it embraces the silly nature of its source material and revels in subverting the cliches and tropes we’ve come to expect from superhero shows.
If you’d have asked us what Marvel series we were least excited for back in 2019, Hawkeye would have topped the list, but that shows what we know. Hawkeye was a Christmas treat that took nobody’s favourite Avenger and made him a likeable if slightly grumpy, icon.
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At the centre of the show’s success is the double act between Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld. The pair had wonderful chemistry, with Renner serving as a reluctant jaded role model for Steinfeld’s starstruck rookie.
Hawkeye also showed us the street-level side of the Marvel universe, an area not explored since the Netflix MCU series. While it may sound counterintuitive, this step away from larger otherworldly threats allowed for far more entertaining action scenes and set pieces.
Werewolf by Night (2022)
OK, let’s address the elephant in the room. Werewolf by Night wasn’t horror series. It was a Halloween special. We know, but we think it deserves a place on this list because it was excellent.
A thrilling and charming tribute to monster movies of days gone by, Werewolf by Night showed what the MCU can do when it stops worrying about continuity and embraces the ludicrous nature of comic books.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
James Gunn gave us a great early Christmas present in 2022 with the Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special. Sweet, fun, and more chaotic than planning a Christmas dinner, The Guardian’s Holiday Special proves these shows don’t have to be about alien invasions to be entertaining sometimes all you have to do is kidnap Kevin Bacon.
Doctor Who by way of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Loki was a delight from beginning to end and a breath of fresh air after the rather pedestrian Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Tom Hiddleston has always been superb as the God of Mischief but freed from the shadow of his handsome hammer-wielding brother, he was somehow even more impressive.
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It was clear Hiddleston was having a ball on this series, and he led an equally outstanding cast of supporting characters, most notably Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie. Series creator Michael Waldron clearly just got Loki and openly embraced the sillier, more cosmic side of Marvel that, up until now, only James Gunn and Taika Watiti had dared to dip their toes in.
If all that wasn’t enough, it gave us the man, the myth, the legend Richard E. Grant in Loki’s classic comic book costume, hanging around with fan favourite Kid Loki, and there was even an alligator. What’s not to love?
The first and until recently foremost Marvel series WandaVision was a delight. It’s strange to think there was a time when we didn’t know what these MCU shows would look like, but it was genuinely a surprise how cinematic WandaVision was when it debuted.
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Sensational and strange WandaVision was a beguiling puzzle box series that kept fans guessing each and every week was happening. Grounding the whole thing in something approaching an understandable reality, though, were Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany.
The pair had always felt a little short-changed by the MCU movies, so it was delightful to finally see them given some time to shine and boy, oh, boy did they shine. If you show me someone who didn’t cry during the WandaVision finale I’ll show you a liar.
Ms Marvel (2022)
Kamala Khan’s energetic and spirited series led by the wonderful and charismatic Iman Vellani has reinvigorated a lot of people’s passion for the MCU. Like the comic series, it’s based on the whole show feels incredibly fresh and lively, breathing new life into the MCU shows that were starting to feel a little formulaic.
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Bold, creative, and wildly entertaining, Ms Marvel hasn’t put a foot wrong yet. Honestly, despite making some changes to Kamala’s backstory, Ms Marvel feels so true to the spirit of G. Willow Wilson’s original run on the comics. Honestly, Kamala’s introduction is probably the best we’ve had since Spider-Man thwipped onscreen in Civil War, and her series is far and away the best MCU show.
For more on the MCU, check out our guides to the Ant-Man 3 release date and the Guardians of the Galaxy 3 release date. Or, get the lowdown on Phase 5. Alternatively, take a look at our picks for the best movies of all time and keep up to date with every major new movie in 2023.