It's that time of year again: the summer months are over, the leaves are turning brown and the heavy hitters of the TV world are returning to our screens. Multiple well-established comic book adaptations are back on the air in the next few weeks, joined by several new additions — and you don't have to worry about missing any of them.
Read on to know what's back, what's new, when it airs and what's going on in each show. Then grab your pumpkin spice lattes and settle in for some awesome superhero viewing!
Fox's standalone Batman origin series is back in business for a fourth season, this time dubbed "A Dark Knight." Season 3 wrapped up with Bruce Wayne back in control of himself and standing on a rooftop, ready to save Gotham City. Season 4 picks up with Bruce in a new proto-Batsuit, fighting crime and continuing his training — and his convoluted relationship with Selina Kyle. Meanwhile, Penguin has regained his throne as king of the criminal underworld, Ivy's on his side and Riddler is frozen in a lump of ice.
(Thursdays 8/7c on FOX, started September 21)
The #MCU's latest addition to the small screen, Inhumans launches its first season September 29 — although some fans may have already seen the first two episodes in IMAX that were released earlier this month. A series with clear connections to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Inhumans has been struggling against bad reviews, but still has an eight-episode first season to wow fans. The show charts the rise of Maximus as he stages a coup in Attilan, ousting the Inhuman Royal Family, and causing them to flee to Earth.
(Fridays at 8/7c on ABC, starting September 29)
Fox adds a second super-series to its lineup this fall with The Gifted, a series that ties into the X-Men cinematic universe (in some shape or form, anyway). The show takes place in a corner of the universe where mutants are known to exist, but ostracized and pursued by Sentinels. Centered on a family with mutant children and the mutant-underground that promises to get them to safety, it's a more straightforward series than last year's Legion, but one that will hopefully prove as popular.
(Mondays at 9/8c on FOX, starting October 2)
Supergirl soars back to The CW for a third season, with the promise of more Arrowverse crossovers to come. The Girl of Steel will be dealing with some big stuff this season as well: not only did she lose Mon-El in the shocking Season 2 finale, but she's got a whole new big bad to face: Reign. There will also be plenty more Sanvers in Season 3, as Alex and Maggie continue their relationship, and Supergirl deals with her usual assortment of personal troubles, in addition to the duties of being a superhero.
(Mondays at 8/7c on The CW, starting October 9)
The Flash picks back up after Supergirl in its usual Tuesday night time slot. The fourth season begins with Barry Allen still stuck in the Speed Force, which he walked into in the the Season 3 finale — sacrificing himself to save his city. He'll be returning to Central City quickly, but his time in the Speed Force has changed him. Despite this, Barry and Iris will still be headed toward the altar this season, and Team Flash is back in business, minus HR and Caitlin Snow, of course, as HR sacrificed himself to save Iris and Caitlin is dealing with her newfound powers. She will still be around, but not necessarily as we know her.
(Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW, starting October 10)
'DC's Legends Of Tomorrow'
Immediately following The Flash is a third Arrowverse show: Legends of Tomorrow. This time-travelling super-team has been struggling a little, and has been moved to a new time slot in the hopes that the popularity of The Flash will help boost the Legends' ratings. This third season kicks off after the Legends broke all the rules at the end of Season 2, going back to meet their past selves and saving the universe from the machinations of the Legion of Doom. Despite managing that, they messed up everything else with their massive changes, and now the Time Bureau has relieved them of duty! Time for the Legends to do what they do best: break some more rules, steal back the Waverider, and save the day.
(Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW, starting October 10)
The Arrowverse wraps up on Thursdays with the sixth season of Arrow — the show that launched the universe. Season 6 will be very different to the previous seasons, as this is the first season without the 'Island flashbacks' telling the story of Oliver's time between playboy and vigilante hero. It will also answer the big question left by the Season 5 finale: which members of Team Arrow survived the explosion on Lian Yu? While the devastating season finale suggested that no one but Oliver (and his son) would make it out alive, fans know that there will be plenty of the regular cast back again: including Black Canary, Black Siren and Arsenal.
(Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW, starting October 12)
Another new Marvel offering, this Hulu miniseries is only ten episodes long, but may well be the surprise hit of the fall season. Centered on a group of teens who discover that their parents are super-villains and band together to oppose them, this show is based on the comic of the same name. Technically part of the MCU, it's not yet clear quite how connected Runaways will be, but it's sure to be a hit with fans of the comics.
(Tuesdays on Hulu, starting November 21)
The latest addition to the Marvel/Netflix universe, The Punisher centers on the Frank Castle who has already made his debut in Daredevil. The show will include an in-depth look at Frank's backstory and the twists of fate that led him to become The Punisher. Sure to be a huge hit with fans of #Marvel's dark and bloody world on Netflix, The Punisher is tipped to surpass both of Netflix's two most recent Marvel shows in popularity: Iron Fist and The Defenders.
(Netflix, release date TBA)
'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is expected to return after Inhumans finishes its eight-episode run, which should put it back on ABC just before the end of 2017. However, this hasn't been officially confirmed (and Thanksgiving may throw a wrench in the works), but fans can still expect the fifth season sometime before the end of the year.
(ABC, expected Fridays starting Nov 24th, but not confirmed)
Happy Fall Viewing!