Throughout time, there have been some seriously great superhero television shows. Batman from the 1960s is a classic, the 1990s was filled with great cartoons like Spider-Man and X-Men, and heck, even the first season of Heroes was great.
Today, we have the Arrowverse on the CW and Marvel Originals on Netflix that are filled with way more hits than misses. However, they can’t all be winners, can they?
Of course not, for every Batman, there’s an Automan. For every X-Men, there’s an Ultraforce. Also, for every Heroes, there a No Ordinary Family.
We’re going to take a look at all of the different ways that you can make a truly abysmal superhero TV show. From animated versions of favorite heroes to new and downright dreadful ideas and adaptations that have literally nothing to do with the source material, we’ve got them all covered in this list.
We’re going to take things one step further and focus solely on the shows that have been forgotten and have since fallen by the wayside.
Sorry if you have been able to block any and all of these televised travesties since they’ve gone off the air, but we’d be remised if didn’t talk about them.
With that said, here are the
15 Forgettable Superhero Shows Only Superfans Remember.
15. No Ordinary Family
Nowadays, Greg Berlanti is making a fortune off of superhero television shows. His Arrowverse on the CW network has become a license to print money. However, back in 2010, he had one major misfire with No Ordinary Family.
The show had a lot of promise, and casting Michael Chiklis (one of the only good things about the mid-2000s Fantastic Four movies) was a great choice.
On paper, the show read like a live-action version of Pixar’s The Incredibles. When the show actually aired though, it was a mess.
The jokes weren’t funny, the action was lousy, the main character’s Kryptonite was found in lip gloss.
In the end, it wasn’t The Incredibles, and nobody is going to be clamoring for a No Ordinary Family resurgence like they did for Disney’s superhero family.
14. Night Man
Not to be confused with Day Man’s arch enemy, Night Man was a Malibu Comics creation. Does anybody even remember Malibu Comics? The company only lasted for eight years on its own before it was bought up by Marvel Comics, which was excited to get their hands on their digital coloring systems.
A few years after Malibu was purchased by Marvel, a series based on Night Man aired on television. The show centered around a man named… wait for it… Johnny Domino– a jazz saxophonist.
After being struck by lightning in a cable-car accident (it took place in San Francisco), Johnny becomes Night Man and has the ability to sense evil.
For 44 episodes over two seasons, Mr. Domino protected the world from the billionaire computer hacker who took the life of his father.
13. Mutant X
Marvel has used the name “Mutant X” a few times in the past. The main examples are from a comic book and a TV show.
One was good, while the other was bad. They’re both equally forgotten. The comic took place in another dimension that saw Havok pair up with strange, alternate versions of X-Men. It was rad.
The television series? Not so much. It was a syndicated show that somehow lasted for 66 episodes despite the fact that it didn’t have any characters from the beloved comics.
The mutants had very low budget TV-friendly powers like superhuman senses, telepathy, the ability to make things invisible, and some very bad CGI electricity.
In the end, Mutant X was “X” in name only.
12. The Cape
The Cape is the most recent show on this list. It debuted on NBC in January of 2011 and was off TV by February. The show was a big budget affair that hoped to attract the audience that Heroes had left behind a year before. It didn’t.
The concept, involving a police detective who comes into possession of a very special cape to do battle against an organization known as The Carnival of Crime, was a bit too wacky for primetime TV.
The writing was on the wall when the episode order was cut from 13 to 10. The finale didn’t even get to air on TV and was an NBC.com exclusive.
Today, The Cape is best remembered as a punchline from Community. This is where this other canceled NBC show got its mantra of “six seasons and a movie!”
11. The Ripping Friends
You’d be hard-pressed to find a person out there who’s never heard of The Ren & Stimpy Show. It was a seminal early-’90s cartoon that featured gross-out humor like kids had never seen before.
In 2001, Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi followed up how classic cat and dog buddy comedy with a superhero show called The Ripping Friends.
The Ripping Friends followed four super-powered brothers who were the world’s most manly men.
It only lasted 13 episodes and was filled with screaming bulging veins and the same crude jokes that made his previous show a hit. However, there was something off in this version. The jokes didn’t land, and everything fell very flat.
Like with Ren & Stimpy, The Ripping Friends seemingly battled against censors more than actual villains.
For a lot of kids who grew up in the ‘80s, there was no sweeter sound than that of the DIC Entertainment logo. With shows like Inspector Gadget, G.I. Joe, The Real Ghostbusters, and The Care Bears, DIC was responsible for hit after hit.
They also had some misfires in their catalog. One show that was particularly awful was Hammerman.
Hammerman posits a question that literally nobody asked: what if MC Hammer was a superhero? The answer? It would be terrible.
In the animated series, MC Hammer owned a magical pair of shoes that turned him into Hammerman. The shoes could talk, and the real MC Hammer didn’t even voice his cartoon counterpart.
That should tell you everything you need to know about this show. Don’t touch this.
9. The Tick (2001)
The first version of The Tick that we got on our TV screens came in 1994. It was a hilarious take on the animated superhero shows of the era and was a great companion piece to air along the likes of Batman: The Animated Series and X-Men.
The current iteration that we are treated to takes the dim-witted and super-strong hero and throws him into the gritty world of reboots and violent on-demand content. It’s a great send-up of things like The Dark Night and Daredevil.
Then, there is the version from 2001. More of a sitcom than a superhero show, where the only good choice was casting Patrick Warburton as the Mighty Blue Justice himself.
There was hardly any action and (if you ask us) hardly any comedy.
We guess it’s true what the prophet Meat Loaf says, “two out of there ain’t bad.”
8. Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters From Beverly Hills
Big Bad Beetleborgs, VR Troopers, Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad– any of these could have taken this spot on the list. However, then we thought long and hard and came up with the worst of the worst: Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills. All of those words are more ‘90s than that last.
The show features four teenagers California who were given special powers via tattoos from a blob named Nimbar.
Stranger danger. When they do battle against the evil Emperor Gorganus, they grew to massive sizes and donned latex outfits. They were latex-clad teens with tattoos. Did we mention that this was a show for children?
To say that Automan was ahead of its time is both very true and so very, very false. True, in that it featured some pretty incredible visuals. In fact, one of the producers, Donald Kushner, was very influential in getting the movie Tron made. False, in that the ability to tell a good story is nothing new.
Automan was about Walter Nebicher, a police officer and computer programmer who created a digital hologram to fight crime.
The two could merge together and become one. They could also draw objects like cars, planes, and helicopters to be used in the real world. Tron, it was not.
Also, here’s a crazy fun fact: Walter Nebicher was played by Desi Arnaz, Jr., as in the son of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball.
6. Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ran for 10 seasons between 1987 and 1996 and produced almost 200 episodes. Less than a year later, the series had already been rebooted in a new, live-action format– and the results were awful.
The show was so much worse than the classic cartoon that kids knew and loved.
The costumes in Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation were unsettling and a far cry from the Jim Henson costumes from the first two movies.
The decision to add a female turtle, Venus, was an inspired idea but had no real payoff or purpose. For some reason, the show left out two of the TMNT Universe’s most prominent human characters as April O’Neil and Casey Jones were nowhere to be found.
In the end, even the Turtles weren’t immune to trying to be another Power Rangers copycat.
5. Fred & Barney Meet The Thing
There have been more bad adaptations of the Fantastic Four than we can count. Before the 2015 abomination of a movie, we had two nearly unwatchable movies in the mid-2000s, and a Z-list disaster in 1994, just to name a few.
You can go all the way back to 1979 for this stinker of a television show. Fred and Barney Meet the Thing is made up of two different shows: The New Fred and Barney Show and The Thing. The three never hang out, and the only thing they have in common is… rocks?
Also, the Thing segments are incredibly loose adaptations of the Fantastic Fours’ ever-loving, blue-eyed Thing.
The main character is Benjy Grimm, a teenager who transforms into the Thing by touching two magic rings together and saying, “Thing ring, do your thing!”
Thankfully, only 13 episodes of this show were created.
4. Captain Nice
Captain Nice only ran for 15 episodes throughout 1967. It tried its best to ape the campiness of Batman but didn’t have the brand name recognition to get away with it.
Captain Nice was about a momma’s boy scientist who could transform into a hero who was anything but mild-mannered.
The show’s star, William Daniels would go on to voice two of the greatest television heroes of all time. He was the voice of KITT in Knight Rider and (most importantly) he played Mr. Feeny on the TGIF classic Boy Meets World.
If you disagree that Feeny is a hero, then tell us how somebody is able to put up with Eric Matthews for years and years– that dude had super patience.
3. The Robonic Stooges
The Robonic Stooges was a cartoon where Moe, Larry, and Curly were superheroes with incredible bionic powers. They could stretch, inflate, and, like the Stooges, take one heck of a beating. However, the comedians’ antics didn’t translate in animated form. All of the jokes seemed to be either recycled from old Stooges bits or left on the cutting room floor from episodes of equally-bad Hanna-Barbera shows like Jabberjaw.
By the time The Robonic Stooges aired in 1977, all three of the comedy trio’s classic members had passed away. This meant the audience was stuck listening to three actors doing awful impressions of Larry, Moe, and Curly. If they saw this truly awful show, we’re sure they’d be doing Curly shuffles in their graves.
Here’s something you wouldn’t see on television today. Airing on the now-defunct Spike TV network, Stripperella followed the adventures of a dancer-by-night, superhero-by-later-in-the-night with “enhanced” abilities.
Filled with double-entendre and anatomically puzzling character designs, the show was an adolescent boy’s dream come true.
It featured the voice talents (and we use that word loosely) of Pamela Anderson, WWE’s Vince McMahon, and Kid Rock. The show managed to trick some folks with actual chops like SpongeBob’s Tom Kenny and Mark Hammill for its misogynistic vendetta.
Stripperella was another show that lasted a mere 13 episodes, proving that it is truly an unlucky number. Or, perhaps it is actually lucky since it saved us from more episodes of shows like this.
1. Spider-Man (1978)
In 1978, there were two different live-action Spider-Man shows airing at the same time. One, The Amazing Spider-Man, began airing the year before and was a hit. However, looking back on it, definitely does not hold up.
We’d even consider it terrible if this other version didn’t set off our Spidey senses.
The other, simple titled Spider-Man, was a Japanese show that had next to nothing to do with the beloved Wall-Crawler. Honestly, the only thing they got right was the costume.
The main character, Takuya Yamashiro, is a professional motorcycle rider who can call on Leopardon when he is in danger.
What’s that? Who’s Leopardon? We’re glad you asked– Leopardon is a 200-foot-tall robot that looks like it’s pulled directly from a lost season of Power Rangers. If you can track it down, it’s a straight-up bonkers show that is so bad that it might make you appreciate Spider-Man 3.
Can you think of any other bad superhero shows that most of us have forgotten? Sound off in the comments!
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Source : https://screenrant.com/superhero-shows-bad-forgot-about/