Disney+ has allowed Marvel Studios to explore territory and genre never seen before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, taking the form of everything from a legal comedy (She-Hulk: Attorney at Law) to a straight-up Nolan-esque thriller (Moon Knight).
So with eight MCU streaming series under the audience’s belt (and more looking on the horizon), here is The Direct’s official ranking of every Marvel Disney+ show from least favorite to most favorite.
8.) What if…?
First on the list is What If…?. This animated MCU streaming series debuted back in late Summer 2021 and ended up being a bit of a mishmash. While fans were excited for What If…? Season 1 and remain excited for Season 2, it sits at the bottom of the list simply because it did not live up to the potential for a project such as this.
Aside from a few entertaining enough jaunts across alternate realities with some beloved Marvel characters, this series did little more than provide some Saturday morning cartoon-style fun. Nearly every episode suffered from pacing problems as Marvel Studios tried jamming - at times - an entire movie's worth of plot into a short 20-minute episode. The potential for excellence was here, but most would agree it did little to meet it.
7.) She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
The newest of the MCU Disney+ series, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law showed fans what a Marvel Studios legal comedy (a la Allie McBeal) would look like. It was a divisive debut for Tatiana Maslany's Jennifer Walters, to say the least, with many not jiving with the idea of a procedural comedy taking place within this super-powered franchise.
Its deconstruction of the comic book genre quickly became a hot topic amongst the MCU faithful. But highlights like Daredevil popping up, an ultra-meta finale, and, of course, Madisynn, make She-Hulk a creative, light-hearted journey worth taking. However, it is one that likely won't stick with the audience long after they finish watching.
6.) The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Coming up at number six is The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. This streaming epic showcased Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) dealing with the loss of Captain America and crowning a predecessor to Cap. The series thrived when focusing on its main characters with Sam’s internal conflict being some of the more interesting aspects of the project, with some comparing it to MCU blockbusters like Captain America: Winter Soldier.
But with a lackluster villain plot, that was noticeably chopped together because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a whiffed Power Broker twist, that left fans with a bad taste in their mouths, it feels like TFATWS could have had higher highs than it ultimately did. Audiences have hope though as the best parts of this series have multiple big-screen projects coming in the near future.
5.) Ms. Marvel
Next up on the list is Ms. Marvel. This Disney+ delight introduced the world to first-time actor Iman Vellani as she took on the role of fan-favorite Kamala Kahn. Ms. Marvel was beloved by most fans, starting off with one of the best MCU Disney+ premieres and featuring some of the most emotionally touching moments in franchise history.
However, the reason it sits right below that top tier is that the style that made the first few episodes special was noticeably absent as the series went on. That along with a weak villain plotline made this fall a little flat for some. Luckily, this is only the start for the charming Miss Vellani.
4.) Moon Knight
The Oscar Isaac-led Moon Knight sits firmly in the number four spot on this list. Moon Knight thrilled audiences in its first and third acts, but it was in the middle few episodes that it fell off just a bit.
The exciting introduction of Steven Grant and Marc Spector will be a moment hard to forget in MCU lore, drawing comparisons to the films of directors like Christopher Nolan or David Fincher. And the trippy conclusion, that saw the addition of a third personality in Jake Lockley, had fans eager to see more. But it was in those middle few installments that Moon Knight kind of got lost, feeling like it had a lack of direction at points.
Occupying the third-place spot is the Holiday-themed Hawkeye. This festive epic adapted the popular Matt Fraction line of Hawkeye comics, doing so in an exciting fashion. The series was carried on the backs of its two leads Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremey Renner. The duo was magical on-screen, to say the least. Add in that another fan-favorite in Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova showed up, along with the reintroduction of Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin, and Hawkeye made for a great deal of fun week-to-week.
It gets the bronze medal simply because it lacked the universe-altering stakes, and just overall better execution, of the shows in the number one or two spots. But it was a splendid boots-on-the-ground Marvel story,
Coming in as the runner-up for the best MCU Disney+ series thus far is the one that started it all. WandaVision proved to many skeptical fans that the Marvel Studios formula could work in a streaming/TV format. Taking in WandaVision as it aired was an experience one will soon not forget. Whether it was all the Mephisto theories, the Ralph Bohner revelation, or Monica Rambeau’s aerospace engineer friend, there was plenty to dissect.
WandaVision's production value and execution were top-notch. Aside from falling a little flat in its closing chapter, it is still some of the best MCU fun one can have. It was one part Marvel epic, one part ode to TV history, and all parts awesome.
Sitting high atop the Marvel Disney+ throne is Season 1 of Loki. This Multiversal epic was the closest thing to a Marvel Studios big-screen blockbuster that fans have gotten in streaming series form. Tom Hiddleston’s Loki (or, at least, the one from 2012’s The Avengers) shined in the role, yet again, as he found himself between time and space, joined alongside by delightful additions to the MCU cast in Owen Wilson's Mobius, and Sophia Di Martino’s Loki Variant Sylvie.
For those that had wished there were more canon-shattering revelations in the MCU Disney+ shows, Loki delivered. Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie shattered the Sacred Timeline in the series finale, making what was/is to come in the Multiverse Saga possible. Plus, the series also offered fans their first look at the MCU’s next Avengers-level threat in Jonathan Major’s He Who Remains (aka Kang the Conqueror), whose terrifying brand of charisma was truly something special.
Loki was a near-perfect mix of everything Marvel Studios excels at, delivering a gripping story, engaging characters, and dynamic connections to the extended universe. It is the standard by which other MCU streaming series can and should be measured.
Marvel's Streaming Age Has Begun
Eight Marvel streaming projects down, and so many more to go. The MCU is in the streaming age now. Pandora’s Box has been opened, and there is no going back.
These series have proven to be not only supplemental looks at lesser-known or oft-forgotten characters but also have shown that they are vital parts of the overall MCU story being told.
Be on the lookout as this list grows and changes with every coming Disney+ title. Where will Secret Invasion, Ironheart, or Daredevil: Born Again sit on this list? Check back to find out!