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Best MCU shows on Disney+

In the last few years, the MCU has expanded greatly on both the big and small screens. In theaters, we’ve been transported to the cosmos in Eternals, gone to a mythical land in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and journeyed between atoms in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

And with the launch of Disney+ in 2019, the MCU focused on smaller-scale stories featuring less well-known, but still compelling characters like Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and Agatha Harkness. But which shows should you watch to get your fill of Marvel’s rapidly expanding universe? Digital Trends has a handy guide to the best MCU shows on Disney+.

Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

The Guardians wave goodbye in Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.
Marvel Studios / Marvel Studios

We know, it’s not the holiday season yet, but there’s a good reason you should watch the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special now. The second sequel in the franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, is out in May, and this 42-minute special is actually crucial viewing if you want to find out what everyone’s favorite space pirates are up to — and to discover which two members are suddenly related.

The episode/mini-film features Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, of course, but the main characters are Drax, Mantis, and … Kevin Bacon? Trust us, it eventually makes sense. The soundtrack is, of course, awesome, and by the end of it, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear. It’s a charming appetizer that is great to watch before the main course that is Vol. 3.

Genre: Comedy/Action/Sci-Fi
Cast: Christ Pratt, Kevin Bacon, Dave Bautista
Number of seasons: 1

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

Bruce Banner and Jennifer Walters, Hulk and She-Hulk, meditate while facing each other.
Marvel Studios

This original Marvel series for Disney+ stars Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, a lawyer specializing in superhuman affairs who also happens to be an overpowering, green superhero herself. As the eighth original series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and the final one in Phase Four, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law shares continuity with the movies by bringing in The Incredible Hulk villain The Abomination, as well as numerous Easter eggs tied to other MCU movies like Thor and Avengers: Endgame.

Genre: Comedy
Cast: Tatiana Maslany, Mark Ruffalo
Number of seasons: 1

Moon Knight

Oscar Isaac in Moon Knight.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

One of many Marvel Studios shows available through Disney+, this latest one follows Steven Grant, who discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and believes he shares his body with a mercenary named Marc Spector. Together, Steven and Mark work to fight their enemies and deal with powerful gods from Egypt. But their very different personalities can get in the way: while Marc is a fearless fighter, Steven is a simple, mild-mannered gift shop employee.

Genre: Action/Adventure
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Ethan Hawke, F. Murray Abraham
Number of seasons: 1

Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur

Still from Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur showing the titular duo.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Marvel Studios’ powerful cinematic universe is admittedly the main draw of the on-screen brand, but there are some worthy projects that are a bit smaller in scope. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is among them, with the animated series adapting the Marvel Comics characters of the same name.

Young genius Lunella Lafayette accidentally brings a T. rex into modern-day New York through a time vortex she created. The two become the titular superheroic duo and defend New York City’s Lower East Side from threatening forces. A charming comic book TV series, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is a wonderfully animated show that’ll surely satisfy family audiences.

Genre: Animation
Cast: Diamond White, Fred Tatasciore, Alfre Woodard
Number of seasons: 2

Agent Carter

Image used with permission by copyright holder

After making her debut in Captain America: The First Avenger, Peggy Carter went on to headline the ABC solo series Agent Carter. While short-lived, the series was well-received thanks to its creative blend of style, drama, and action, and also for making sure to highlight the human aspect of Peggy first and foremost. Agent Carter sees her balance her professional life and the dangers that come with working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve and the likes of Howard Stark — Tony Stark’s father.

Genre: Thriller
Cast: Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy, Enver Gjoka
Number of seasons: 2

Luke Cage

Luke Cage season 2
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Playing within the same MCU sandbox that focuses on the Defenders heroes — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist — the TV adaptation Luke Cage stars Mike Colter in the title role. Turning away from Hell’s Kitchen and into Harlem, the story follows the protagonist former convict as he looks to go back to his community to help fight the crime and political corruption that has a stranglehold over it.

Bolstered by unbreakable skin and a metahuman level of physical strength, Luke Cage goes up against the likes of Mahershala Ali’s take on the mobster Cottonmouth, arms dealer Diamondback, and others.

Genre: Drama
Cast: Mike Colter, Alfre Woodard, Mahershala Ali
Number of seasons: 2

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones and Killgrave in promo art for season 1.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Jessica Jones is another exciting, dramatic, and gritty slice of the wider MCU. Adapting some of comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis’ best work on the character in the comics, Jessica Jones follows the titular out-of-practice superhero-turned-cynical private investigator. Throughout the series, Krysten Ritter’s memorable portrayal of the character goes up against the imposing Killgrave — played by the superb David Tennant — and uncovers the mysteries of her childhood and more in a show that’s great for those looking for another grounded superhero venture.

Genre: Drama
Cast: Krysten Ritter, David Tennant
Number of seasons: 3

The Spectacular Spider-Man

Spidey on a perch in The Spectacular Spider-Man.
Marvel Entertainment / Marvel Entertainment

Often cited by fans as one of the best Marvel shows cut down in its prime, The Spectacular Spider-Man was a widely acclaimed — if short-lived — series that’s been mentioned in the same breath as the revered Batman: The Animated Series. Longtime fans of the character cited it as one of the greatest and truest-to-the-character adaptations of the iconic hero.

The voice cast was a particular highlight, along with its faithful interpretations of Spider-Man’s supporting cast of allies and enemies. Much like Batman: The Animated Series, it was also praised for tackling impressively nuanced subject matter.

Genre: Animated
Cast: n/a
Number of seasons: 1

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

People raise their hands in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Before the TV side of Marvel was folded into Marvel Studios, the studio put out a successful, long-running spy drama centered around Nick Fury’s S.H.I.E.L.D. The aptly named Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. sees actor Clark Gregg reprise his role as Agent Phil Coulson as he and his supporting cast tackle a series of strange cases — with the enemies to match. This series introduced a variety of characters into the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe for the first time, with Chloe Bennet’s Quake one of the highlights. It’s an exciting series of original adventures and crossovers with the MCU’s feature films.

Genre: Action/Adventure
Cast: Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennett, Ming-Na Wen
Number of seasons: 7

Ms. Marvel

Kamala Khan, played by Iman Vellani, imagines confetti and a party around her in a scene from Ms. Marvel.
Marvel Studios

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest heroine is headlining her own show before jumping to the big screen next year in The Marvels. Newcomer Iman Vellani stars in Ms. Marvel as Kamala Khan, a refreshingly normal teenager who just happens to be one of the biggest superhero fans, especially of her idol, Captain Marvel. When Kamala gains superhuman powers of her own, it’s like a dream come true. But she has to learn the hard way that being a hero isn’t that simple, and her life is about to change forever.

Genre: Sci-Fi
Cast: Iman Vellani
Number of seasons: 1

Marvel Studios: Assembled

A woman raises her hands in Marvel Studios: Assembled.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

New episodes of Marvel Studios: Assembled are admittedly few and far between. But this series offers an intimate look behind-the-scenes of Marvel’s films and its original series that were created for Disney+. Since the shows aren’t on Blu-ray, this is really the only way to experience the special features for Loki, WandaVision, Hawkeye, and the upcoming Moon Knight special.

Genre: Documentary
Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Jeremy Renner
Number of seasons: 3

Daredevil

Released production still of Daredevil and Punisher in their rooftop scene
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There’s no such thing as “Disney+ After Dark,” but Daredevil and its fellow Netflix refugees are about as close to R-rated content that you can find in the MCU. That’s why there are new parental controls on Disney+. But if your kids are old enough to enjoy it, then they — and you — are in for one of the most amazing superhero adaptations to date.

Charlie Cox stars as Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer whose enhanced senses allow him to become the costumed vigilante known as Daredevil. Vincent D’Onofrio also stars in the show as Wilson Fisk, a fearsome crime lord who won’t let anyone stand in the way of his criminal empire. That puts Matt and Wilson into conflict over the course of the entire series.

Genre: Action/Drama
Cast: Charlie Cox, Vincent D’Onofrio
Number of seasons: 3

WandaVision

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen embrace in a scene from WandaVision.
Marvel Studios

This original series was the first project in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and follows Avengers teammates Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) as they settle into a perfect suburban life together — only to discover that everything is not as it seems. Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the nine-episode WandaVision filters the pair’s life together through classic sitcom tropes, and poses plenty of questions about exactly how the duo ended up where they are while giving its stars ample opportunity to explore the funny side of superheroes in suburbia.

Genre: Sci-Fi
Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Kathryn Hahn
Number of seasons: 1

Spider-Man: The Animated Series

Peter and MJ marry in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Widely regarded as the best Spider-Man animated series ever made, Spider-Man (also known as Spider-Man: The Animated Series) premiered in 1994 during the height of the ’90s comics boom and managed to be one of the few superhero series of the era to be both critically and commercially successful, running for five highly acclaimed seasons.

Over the course of the show’s 65 episodes, the series explored Peter Parker’s life both in and out of costume and took the unusual (at the time) approach of having lengthy, season-long story arcs unfold in addition to more traditional episodic adventures.

Genre: Animation
Cast: n/a
Number of seasons: 5

What If…?

The Watcher looms in the sky in What If...?
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What if Peggy Carter got the super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers? What if T’Challa didn’t want to be Black Panther and became Star-Lord instead? What if various other key moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe happened differently?

That’s the premise of Marvel’s animated anthology series What If?, which explores the alternate histories that spin out of small changes in the MCU timeline and end up changing the franchise’s status quo in some big ways. Not only does the series offer some intriguing questions to ponder about the evolution of the MCU, but it also features many of the same actors from live-action Marvel films voicing the animated versions of their characters.

Genre: Animation
Cast: Jeffrey Wright, Chadwick Boseman
Number of seasons: 1

Loki

Loki and Mobius look at something in Loki.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Marvel’s Asgardian trickster finally gets his own solo adventure in this Disney+ original series that brings back MCU veteran Tom Hiddleston as the titular god of mischief. After the events of Avengers: Endgame cut Loki loose in the MCU timeline, this series explores what happens when he finds himself forced to work with an interdimensional agency to prevent just the sort of chaos he’s accustomed to creating. Owen Wilson joins Hiddleston in the show’s cast.

Genre: Sci-Fi
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Jonathan Majors
Number of seasons: 1

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

Sam and Bucky looking at each other in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier follows Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s MCU characters Sam Wilson and James “Bucky” Barnes, respectively, as they navigate a world thrown into chaos after the events of Avengers: Endgame.

As Wilson deals with the ramifications of Captain America passing his shield to him, Barnes struggles to reconcile his villainous past with his uncertain future. As if that wasn’t enough, the series throws villain Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) into the mix, too!

Genre: Action
Cast: Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan
Number of seasons: 1

Watch on Disney+

X-Men: The Animated Series

Image of Marvel Comics X-Men
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Wolverine and the X-Men (also available on Disney+) might be the superior cartoon, but there’s still nothing quite like X-Men: The Animated Series. The phenomenally catchy theme song. The ludicrous Jim Lee-designed costumes. The weird, funny moments that have sparked a thousand memes.

This Saturday morning cartoon was many fans’ first introduction to Marvel’s merry mutants, and it remains one of the most popular takes on the characters. Nostalgia: It’s powerful stuff.

Genre: Animated
Cast: n/a
Number of seasons: 5

Editors' Recommendations

Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment

Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to work in the entertainment industry. A proud graduate of both Whitman College (Adam West's alma mater!) and Syracuse University, he has worked at Marvel Entertainment, DC Comics, Warner Bros., and Screen Rant. At Digital Trends, he covers all things film and television, from ranking Alfred Hitchcock's best films to examining the everlasting neuroses of Larry David.  When he's not obsessing over the latest Marvel Studios trailer, you can find him either working or surfing the web looking for the perfect fudge brownie recipe.

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