There’s no question that the 2014-2015 TV season was the year of the superhero. Recognizing the genre’s insane success at the box-office, and using Arrow and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as proofs of concept, networks decided to heavily invest in comic-book adaptations. The Flash, Daredevil, Agent Carter, Gotham and Constantine all hit small-screens last year and, while not all of them were met with critical acclaim (or decent ratings), together they delivered a ton of opportunities for nerds like us to geek out. Here are the 10 best superhero moments of the season…
10. Constantine, "Danse Vaudou"
Picking only 10 moments from the many superhero show was a task in and of itself. So, I tried to spread the wealth as well as keep them somewhat related to the source material. That doesn’t mean it has to be a straight-adaptation of a specific panel, just something you wouldn’t see in non-comic-book series. But being a rad reference to the comics doesn’t hurt, like Constantine using Zed to to us a vision of Jim Corrigan’s future as The Spectre at the end of “Danse Vaudou,” the series’ fifth episode. Too bad we won’t get to see the undead detective in action.
9. Daredevil, "Cut Man"
It’s encouraging to know that Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple is a key piece in the Marvel on Netflix puzzle because she managed to be my favorite character on Daredevil in just a few short appearances. And one of the best superhero moments of the TV season comes at the end of her first (and the series’ second) episode, “Cut Man,” when she puts on a freaky-looking, home-made mask to help ‘Mike’ interrogate a Russian thug on her rooftop. Stepping in to offer medical advice on how to get a henchman to talk is the definition of badass. “He’ll tell you.”
8. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., "S.O.S"
As expected, given the presence of big-bad showdowns and/or cliffhangers, a lot of the TV season’s best superhero moments came from (mid)season finales including this ‘WTF’ inspiring incident from ABC’s MCU spin-off. In the closing seconds of “S.O.S.,” Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s second season finale, Elizabeth Henstridge’s Agent Simmons gets swallowed up by the mysterious Kree Rock that she and Fitz just started studying. Damn, right when he finally found the courage to ask her out an alien weapon decides to abduct/eat Simmons. What are the odds?
7. Gotham, "The Blind Fortune Teller"
In any Batman comic, film or television show, the appearance of the Joker is always a big deal and the iconic character's introduction on Gotham was no exception. It was an intense scene filled with dark confessions and creepy laughter, all executed brilliantly by Cameron Monaghan in "The Blind Fortune Teller". To be fair, it seems as though Jerome might not turn into the Clown Prince since the series' second season will supposedly focus on the villain’s origin story. Seems silly since Gotham has already laid the groundwork and cast the perfect actor for the incredibly challenging part. Even if he doesn't turn out to be the series' Joker, it was still one hell of a moment. Maybe the producers are just having a laugh?
6. Agent Carter, "Now Is Not The End
At times, Agent Carter seemed a little too concerned with incorporating feminist (sub)text into each and every scene, but one sequence that benefited from its inclusion was the kitchen fight from "Now is Not the End," during the Season 1 premiere. Peggy, minus the blonde bombshell wig but still in her undercover gown, has a run in with a particularly quiet henchmen in the space where 'women belonged' in 1950s America. She does know her way around the kitchen, taking care of the male threat and kicking him to the curb. Literally. I hope the fight scenes in Season 2 are as cheeky and well-choreographed. A bigger budget wouldn't hurt.
5. Arrow, "The Climb"
While the third season of Arrow was not nearly as engaging as the previous two, The CW superhero series still produced more than a few thrilling moments worthy of this list, starting with the epic cliffhanger at the end of “The Climb.” The mid-season finale saw Oliver and Ra’s al Ghul face-off in a (shirtless) fight to the death which ended with our hero stabbed through the chest and kicked off the side of a cliff. The Arrow didn’t actually die from the fierce battle (or ensuing fall) but, since fans wouldn’t find out for over a month, it was still a pretty shocking moment. I mean, who kills off their titular character mid-season?
4. Arrow/Flash Crossover, "Flash vs. Arrow"
The CW is doing such a good job with superhero shows that the network probably deserves its own ‘10 Best Moments’ list, especially since it was nearly impossible to choose only one from the epic crossover of Arrow and The Flash. But choose one I did. The showdown between the Starling City Vigilante and Central City’s Red Streak in “Flash vs. Arrow” has to be the highlight of the two-night event because, well, who in their right mind doesn’t want to see the heroes square off? Oh, right. Felicity. Apart from her, the rest of the respective ‘teams’ were getting pretty amped up watching the powerhouses go at it and wagers were even being made. Experience or speed?
3. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., "What They Become"
Moments don’t get much more earth-shattering than when Skye’s true identity was revealed during the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. mid-season finale. You know, cause she like actually shattered the Earth. The reveal in “What They Become” was not only exciting thanks to Skye ‘transforming’ into Daisy Johnson a.k.a. Quake, but it was also an incredible moment for the series, as it both redeemed a heavily criticized character and revealed that fans had been watching an origin-story all along. Oh, and the Inhuman discovering her powers simply looked awesome.
2. Daredevil, "Cut Man"
By far the most talked-about scene after Marvel’s Daredevil hit Netflix was the hallway fight at the end of “Cut Man,” the series’ second episode. An homage to Oldboy, that’s actually more True Detective meets The Legend of Drunken Master, the sequence-shot showdown was the most stunning fight in a series full of stunning fights and easily one of the best superhero moments of the TV season. I love the way the choreographers worked Matt’s increasing fatigue into the brawl in the hall. Slugging and flipping and falling. That’s how ‘Exhausted Style’ was born.
1. The Flash, "Fast Enough"
The Flash is the main reason why highlighting only 10 superhero moments from the previous TV season was a task fit for a meta-human with list-making powers. The CW’s comic-book series could easily sustain a list of its own with scenes as amazing as the titular hero’s first showdown with the Reverse Flash not even making the cut. Not when The Flash musters up a first season finale like “Fast Enough,” an episode that contained some killer moments. But the best superhero moment of the season was Barrys' decision. The Flash traveled back in time to save his mom only to have his future self stop him at the last second. Now that’s a superhero moment.
Bonus: The Boxing Glove Trick
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