2020 is just over a week old, and that means it’s time to get ready for all the new TV offerings the year has coming. In the corner of the media landscape dominated by comic books, this means the conclusion of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” and the return of programs like Riverdale and Stumptown.
But there are also plenty of new and returning shows hitting the streaming services throughout the year that we cannot wait to see. And mixed in with a handful of shows returning to the airwaves in the mid-season, 2020 looks to be as diverse a year in Comics on TV as 2019 (even if it lacks for Watchmen).
So let’s take a look at the shows we’re excited to see in 2020.
Returns: January 24 on Netflix
Based On: The Archie Comics’ Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Why We Can’t Wait: The show has proven to be better at mixing the lurid with wholesome Archie Comics values than Riverdale – no doubt thanks to the extra latitude Netflix affords the show – and its high production values always make us want to check in with Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) and her Greendale gang. This time around, Sabrina must find a way to extract the soul of her boyfriend Nick Scratch (Gavin Leatherwood) from Hell. His body, meanwhile, is inhabited by her father, Lucifer Morningstar the Prince of Darkness (sometimes played by Luke Cook), who also has designs on Sabrina’s unexpected powers.
Returns: January 21 on The CW
Based On: Various DC Comics characters like Black Canary, John Constantine, and Heat Wave
Why We Can’t Wait: It’s Legends, the most important show in the Arrowverse. True, it may not have the angst of Arrow, the social consciousness of Supergirl, or the family dynamic of The Flash, but it has its own irreverent spirit and offers the sensation of reading a DC Comic from the mid-1990s. Following the events of “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” the Legends will be dealing with the aftermath and preparing for the imminent departure of Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) and Nora Darkh (Courtney Ford), whose stories will come to an end in the very near future. Also, every episode of Legends is a chance for Beebo to reappear and that alone is worth investing time in the series.
Debuts: February 7 on Netflix
Based On: The sensational horror comic by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
Why We Can’t Wait: Besides the program’s tortured path to television – it took three pilots across nine years to get the series made – it’s just a crackling cool story. A Seattle family moves back East into the ancestral home of their patriarch following his death. Soon, youngest son Bode (Jackson Robert Scott) discovers a set of magical keys with unique and curious abilities. Will its magic be enough to restore his family following the tragedy? Or will the mysterious woman in the well rip the Locke family apart from the inside?
Debuts: This spring on DC Universe and The CW
Based On: Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. by Geoff Johns and Lee Moder
Why We Can’t Wait: In the mid-1990s, Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. was ahead of its time. The premise: teenager Courtney Whitmore (played by Brec Bassinger in the television show) moves from California to Blue Valley, Nebraska when her mother (Amy Smart) marries Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson). Courtney soon learns Pat was the sidekick of a superhero in the Justice Society of America. Taking that fallen hero’s power for herself, Courtney becomes Stargirl. The television show will take its cues from both the comics and the concept of JSA. It also boasts a cast which also features Joel McHale as Starman and Henry Thomas as Dr. Mid-Nite.
Returns: This summer on DC Universe and HBO Max
Based On: DC Comics’s Doom Patrol, created by Arnold Drake, Bob Haneym and Bruno Permiani and expanded upon by the likes of Grant Morrison and Gerard Way
Why We Can’t Wait: Doom Patrol was the sleeper hit of the niche streaming services. Its surprising fidelity to the source material, strong cast, and bevy of surprising moments made it one of our favorites of 2019. Negative Man’s (Matt Bomer) fantasy of getting on stage and singing “People Like Us” would’ve been enough for us to want more Doom Patrol, but it also features talents like April Bowlby, Diane Guerrero, and Alan Tudyk as the villainous Mr. Nobody. While it is unclear where the show might go in its second year, we expect it will be strange, unexpected, and emotionally resonant. And, presumably, puppets will be involved in some capacity.
Returns: Sometime in 2020 on Amazon
Based On: The comic book by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson
Why We Can’t Wait: The first season was a genuine surprise as it converted Ennis and Robertson’s sometimes raunchy comic into a more emotionally satisfying story. Sure, blood spattered and superheroes still took a good dose of trashing – particularly The Deep (Chace Crawford) – but the romance between Hughie (Jack Quaid) and Starlight (Erin Moriarty) balanced out Billy Butcher’s (Karl Urban) need for revenge. The new season will see Vought CEO Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) take a more active role in the company while the superpowered white supremacist Stormfront (Aya Cash) creates new problems for The Boys. Also, we expect the surprise revelation about Billy’s wife will have a huge impact in season 2.
Returns: Later this year on Netflix
Based On: Lucifer, as envisioned in the pages of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and the subsequent Lucifer comic book by Mike Carey, Peter Gross and Ryan Kelly
Why We Can’t Wait: Dennis Haysbert will play God in the upcoming season. Beyond that, season 4 ended on such a cliffhanger with Chloe (Lauren German) admitting her feelings for Lucifer (Tom Ellis) just as the Prince of Darkness agreed to return to Hell. But it seems a matter on Earth concerning his brother Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) will bring him back to the mortal plane. Beyond all the story, though, is the pleasing thought that Lucifer beat the odds and received the chance to finish things on its own terms. We definitely hope it ends as strong as the comic book series it is based on.
Returns: This summer on ABC
Based On: Marvel Comic’s Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division and a handful of other Marvel characters
Why We Can’t Wait: It’s no secret we’ve always loved Marvel’s scrappy series, but like Lucifer, it is also ending on its own terms, and we can’t wait to see what it means. First, the surviving S.H.I.E.L.D. agents must slip into the past to prevent a catastrophe in their present. We’ll they be able to “Bill and Ted” their way to victory? But beyond that, there are the personal stories to consider. Will Coulson (Clark Gregg) come back to life? Will Fitz (Ian De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) get to enjoy one day of wedded bliss? Will Deke (Jeff Ward) ever grow a backbone? As S.H.I.E.L.D.’s seventh and final season represents the sunset of Marvel Television as we’ve known it since 2009, we hope each of the characters get the endings they deserve.
Debuts: Later this year on Netflix
Based On: The comic book series by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely
Why We Can’t Wait: While the premise – a new generation of superheroes rebelling against and letting down their parents and grandparents – is interesting enough, the program is also the first to emerge from Netflix’s purchase of Millar’s comic book company. And, as it happens, there is plenty of drama behind the scenes with showrunner Steven S. DeKnight (of Netflix’s Daredevil) walking away from the series due to creative differences. Does it bode ill for the show? That’s hard to say as Daredevil survived several executive producer shake-ups throughout its existence. The cast — which includes (clockwise from top left as pictured above) Leslie Bibb, Josh Duhamel, Ben Daniels, Matt Lanter, Mike Wade, Elena Kampouris, and Andrew Horton — will certainly get us to watch the first few episodes, but we’re definitely excited to see if Millar’s work can launch a new Netflix dynasty.
Debuts: Later this year on Disney+
Based On: Characters appearing in Marvel Comics like The Avengers and Captain America
Why We Can’t Wait: Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) are two of the best supporting characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and pairing them up in the wake of Steve Rogers’ retirement makes for the sort of series we want to watch. As we understand it, elements of the American military are unhappy Steve picked Sam to succeed him as Captain America and decide to take the vibranium shield for themselves. Add in the return of Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) and Wyatt Russell as a counterfeit Cap and you get the makings of a spiritual successor to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Also, as one of the first series in the new Marvel TV era, we can’t wait to see how it all connects.
Debuts: Later this year on Disney+
Based On: Marvel comics characters the Scarlet Witch and the Vision
Why We Can’t Wait: Unlike The Falcon and the Winter Solider’s more direct ties to the established tone of the Captain America movies, WandaVision sounds like a complete new concept. Thanks to information Marvel revealed at D23, the series will both continue Wanda Maximoff’s (Elizabeth Olsen) journey in the MCU and serve as a traditional three-camera sitcom. Is it a dream? A hoax? A product of Wanda’s growing powers? All we know for certain is the series will be something of a head trip and that alone has us chomping at the bit to see it.
Returns: Later 2020
Based On: DC Comics’ The New Teen Titans and other related titles
Why We Can’t Wait: Titans has set itself up to do its own version of the classic “Who Is Donna Troy?” story and we hope that episode comes quickly. But beyond Donna’s (Conor Leslie) questionable status in the series, the program finally has the Titans together in one place (for the most part) and ready to kick ass in costume. Will Dick Grayson – newly minted as Nightwing – lead them to victory or will the continued presence of Kori’s (Anna Diop) nefarious sister Blackfire (Damaris Lewis) spell the end for the team? While Titans is never quite the series we expect it to be, it always offers something compelling and the stories set up for Donna and Kory would seem to be the best ideas for it to focus on.