Comic-Con
Comic Book TV Shows Cancelled Sci Fi Fantasy

15 Superhero/Sci-Fi/Fantasy Flops That Missed the Comic-Con Boom

This week, dozens of comic-book, sci-fi and fantasy shows will descend on Comic-Con, proving that right now on TV, nerd genres are king… but what about the shows that were born too soon?

Time for a painful history lesson: Before The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Arrow combined to make superheroes and the supernatural hot on TV again, plenty of shows tried to do the same — and failed spectacularly. We dug into the archives and unearthed 15 unlucky series from the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s, all lasting three seasons or less, that might’ve packed Hall H full of fans for a decade if they’d aired during the current Comic-Con boom, but now have to settle for the occasional reunion rumor.

Check out the gallery on the right — or click here for direct access — to see which flops from the world of comic books, sci-fi and fantasy made our list. And of course, because we’re not blessed with superhuman memories, feel free to remind us of any not-so-golden oldies we missed in the comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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43 Comments
  1. MichaMainz says:

    The first Flash was fantastic. It has more influenced the films of superheroes than one might think. It had his own identity. This series had conjugated humor and drama. Even the current TV series Flash has taken quite a few things from the original TV series. The comics were inspired by this series too.

    • grace says:

      Yesss totally agree
      I wish flash 2014 was a little bit more like flash 1990

      • LoBo777 says:

        Me too, The new CW Flash is okay but its kinda a New52 hybrid rather than the actual iconic DC Flash character like the 90′ series was, its still the best Flash and best costume ever to-date.

        Miss Constantine too, one of the best DC shows ever made, sadly NBC cancelled it :(

        Just watched Midnight Texas from NBC, reminds me sooo much of Constantine!

  2. The Moonlight cancellation hurt the most! They really missed the mark on that one. For one, it had a loyal following and actually stayed pretty steady in the ratings, especially for a Friday night show (which by today’s standards would be a huge hit). And like you mention, only six months later, the Twilight movie came out. But they should have known this would happen. At that time, the Twilight books were already popular and gaining quickly with the film in production. So, really all it took was a little bit of foresight. It’s still one of my all time favorite shows. It had one of the coolest vampire mythologies (connecting to royalty and the French Revolution), a beauty and the beast romance with amazing chemistry from the actors, a leading man who you believed as a kick-butt vampire, and, of course, memorable snark from Jason Dohring! Too bad they couldn’t do a TV Movie where everyone’s aged because they’ve been using the temporary cure…I’d still watch.

  3. spdavid says:

    Firefly could have been epic but it was given up on too soon.

  4. Percys Owner says:

    You left out my absolute favorite Middleman. Only me and maybe 36 other people watched it, but it is an absolute delight. It was on ABC Family, so it didn’t get widespread publicity. It’s an hilarious, quirky show that I love.

    • Fido says:

      Hope u caught the comic they brought out which rounded off the season.

      The cast also did a live read of the script to that “missing ep” at some kinda comicon type place. I got a recording somewhere but unfortunately it is unlistentoable cos (1) microphone no where near the cast so u can’t hear them and (2) well (1) is enough, darn it.

      This is one of the few shows I’ve watched/marathoned multiple times – Pushing Daisies being another.

    • Mark says:

      You can count me among those 36 people. I absolutely loved this show! I was coming to the comments to mention it as well.

  5. Cathy c says:

    I really feel that Birds of Prey could do well now if they tried a reboot. I loved that show.

    • N says:

      I’d love that. When arrow ends move the new canary to there. But batgirl is getting her own movie so…

      • Cathy c says:

        Ah but Birds of Prey is Bat Girl many years after she has hung up that name and become Oracle. Even with the movie they can still do this.

  6. Jennifer says:

    So. Many. Memories. LOVED The Greatest American Hero and Sequest DMV. And Firefly. Hard to believe that some of these didn’t make it. But, as you said, many were just slightly ahead of their time.

  7. Kris says:

    Did…Did you just call Firefly a flop in the title? Woah dude, that’s just going too far! ;)

  8. Chuck says:

    You missed Journeyman, a fantastic time travel show with Kevin McKidd, Moon Bloodgood, Reed Diamond and and future Fringe star John Noble among others. It was a great take on the time travel genre. Unfortunately it was doomed because of the writers strike. Even though it only had one season, it’s still one of the best time travel tv shows ever made in my opinion.

  9. The Rookie says:

    SEAQUEST DSV, an awesome season 1 and two terrible additional seasons. RIP Jonathan Brandis, will never be forgotten.

  10. Ansing says:

    I can’t believe Dark Angel didn’t make the list, it was a really good show. (Well it did start to slide during season two,) It put Jessica Alba and Michael Weatherly on the map and had great guest stars.

  11. CSM says:

    I smell future reboots

  12. SAM says:

    I hope “Witchblade” is rebooted, and I wish someone would look at rebooting “Wolf Lake” as well as I liked it.

  13. Kyle says:

    Birds of Prey was fantastic. It was campy, edgy and a lot of fun. It’s such a shame it didn’t take off

  14. Anne says:

    I loved Blade : The Series. Have the DVDs and well, I think it’s time for a rewatch.

  15. dj says:

    NBC’s Misfits of Science (1985?) was a joy to watch.

  16. John Wesley Shipp not only played Barry’s father Henry Allen in “The Flash”, he also currently plays Jay Garrick, the Earth 3 Flash (doppelganger of Henry Allen).

  17. Ansing says:

    That was a good catch dj, Misfits was a great show. Anybody remember Automan?

  18. Dean says:

    Found my brother’s old VHS tapes of Witchblade graphics are dated but story was interesting. I hear Yancy Butler went to rehab hence why the show did not go past season 2.

  19. Jane Fremont says:

    I would add EUREKA to this list.
    Show never got the acclaim it deserved, was aired haphazardly, and was unceremoniously canceled.

  20. Jim says:

    Didn’t Yancy Butler kill Witchblade by being an insane drug addict?

    • Thom says:

      I don’t know about “insane drug addict,” but . . . yeah, Yancy Butler’s personal problems caused that show to get cancelled.

  21. Joseph Mcewen says:

    I miss Kyle XY the most. It was really starting to get interesting before it got cancelled!

  22. Robert says:

    How about Forever Knight? Agree with the comments on the Greatest American Hero, Kyle XY and most of these other late lamented shows.

  23. billy says:

    Manimal.

  24. Sheldon Wiebe says:

    What’s sad about the original Flash is that it was very goof – and it actually beat both The Cisby Show and The Simpsons in its one season – just not often enough to renew.

  25. Al says:

    I have to say that the Mutant X description is a bit inaccurate. The finale cliffhanger described is actually how season 2 ends. We find out who survived in Season 3 premiere which is when they had the most significant cast changes with Lauren Lee Smith not returning and John Shea reduced to guest star status. If I recall Season 3 finale had a building explosion but the whole team escapes to live to fight another day.

    About Moonlight: I recall a lot of people saying at the time it was treading old ground since Buffy spinoff ANGEL had “been there, done that” already basically with the same premise even which might’ve been o e of the reasons people weren’t tuning in?

  26. 6thstreet says:

    Man from Atlantis (1977-78),missing from list
    firefly canceling was horrible mistake
    greatest American hero was funny
    Aquaman only made pilot (2007)(spin off of smallville)
    1990 flash i think started the trend of all these shows now

  27. quack says:

    Warburton’s Tick is far better than the pilot of the new Amazon show. Even the cartoon Tick is better.

  28. SmokinAces_NYC says:

    How about Alphas which aired on SyFy i think? I know it’s just outside of the window stated in the article (it aired 2011-2012) for two seasons but man that cliffhanger it left me with was brutal. The only mention of it was in the Big Bang Theory where Sheldon was trying to figure out how season 3 would play out…I loved that show and it’s spin on the X-Men like set-up with David Strathairn playing the leader in a Professor X like role. (Maybe that was the problem…it’s all too familiar similarities to X-Men?)