To say that we're in a bit of a comic-book renaissance on television would be an understatement. With "Iron Fist" on the horizon at Netflix and "Legion" coming to FX, it's safe to say the television superhero concept won't be getting old anytime soon. And the perfect example of this is CW's current superhero lineup.
First came "Arrow," which made Stephen Amell an instant star. And when "The Flash" premiered, the fandom for these DC characters catapulted the network into a whole new realm of existence. Now with "Legends of Tomorrow" and "Supergirl," The CW has cemented itself as the go-to superhero network -- bringing comic-book crime fighting to the small-screen four nights a week.
But how did we get here? Let's take a look back at this (super duper) TV timeline. After all, without these classics, it's possible Barry Allen may have never zoomed across our television screens at all.
'Adventures of Superman'
This right here is the show that started it all. In 1952, George Reeves became a household name as everyone's favorite alien from Krypton. The series lasted six seasons -- the final four were filmed in color -- and and was brought to audiences everywhere by Kellogg's. Because without a bowl full of corn flakes, kids everywhere wouldn't be able to reach their full, heroic, potential. Or something.
On January 12, 1966, the "Batman" TV series began airing and nothing would ever be the same again. The show -- which starred Adam West and Burt Ward as the dynamic duo -- helped to change the face of superhero television as it brought to life the colorful tone of the DC property. The show was so popular that two new episodes aired each week. That's 120 episodes total, in just three whole seasons.
Groundbreaking is one way to describe the "Wonder Woman" TV series. The first superhero show to feature a female protagonist, Lynda Carter's take on Diana Prince gave a whole new group of boys and girls a set of ideals to look up to in the late '70s.
The show premiered to ABC to great numbers, but being a period piece, the network was concerned about budgetary costs -- and the fact that Nazis would be the majority of Wonder Woman's villains -- and canceled it after Season 1. Warner Bros. stepped in and updated the show to take place during present day, which lowered the production costs, and CBS continued the show for two more seasons.
'The Incredible Hulk'
Continuing the trend of late '70s superhero TV was "The Incredible Hulk." Two television movies started the story in 1977 before the series premiered. Bill Bixby gave new life to Marvel's big green guy -- here he's known as David Bruce Banner -- and added a scientific flare to the genre.
The show lasted an impressive five seasons. After ending in 1982, Lou Ferrigno returned as The Hulk in the 1988 TV movie, "The Incredible Hulk Returns" and 1989's "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk." Fun fact: Stan Lee made his first cameo in this odd film, which found the Hulk teaming up with Daredevil in a rather bizarre fashion.