If your kid loves superheroes and is in that tween stage where primetime shows like Gotham and CW’s The Flash and Arrow are too overwhelming, never fear! Tween superhero comedies abound on cable and there are a bunch of options for younger children to jump into the superhero universe.
Superhero live-action TV shows are incorporating special effects and witty writing to reach out to the comic-loving tween audience. Using a lighthearted approach, these shows are basically the the gateway to the world of Comic Con and beyond, and are a great way to introduce the comic book world to young kids. Funny and entertaining, they all tend to star teen heartthrobs that I’m sure your kids will recognize from Instagram or YouTube. Seriously. Ask them.
Origin story: Mighty Med is a Disney XD show about two friends who become doctors at a superhero hospital. That’s right, superheroes get sick–they’re just like us! Well, sick in the sense that they lose their powers, get injuries, and now these two normal kids have their dreams come true by working with superheroes straight out of their favorite comic books.
Secret Identities: This show stars Bradley Steven Perry and Jake Short, both old hats at kids comedy, having previously starred in the hit Disney shows Good Luck, Charlie and A.N.T. Farm, respectively. Again, ask your kids who they are, trust me they’re huge.
Look, up in the sky: Mighty Med is fun and definitely crazy. The wardrobe stylists on this show have their work cut out for them as new costumed superheroes are always being introduced. The show is a good watch for kids of all ages because it definitely feels like a comic book come to life.
Origin story: The Nickelodeon series The Thundermans revolves around a family of superheroes who get fed up with the rat race of superhero life and decide to move to the suburbs. The Thunderman older twin siblings live normal teenage lives except for their goals: the sister wants to hone her superpowers to become a hero someday while her twin brother can’t wait to become the ultimate super villain.
Secret Identities: Teen stars Kira Kosarin and Jack Griffo (yep, check instagram), play 15 year-old twins Phoebe and Max. Nerdist fans may recognize the dad played by Chris Tallman, from Reno 911! where he obviously played a very different role. Also of note, The Thundermans was created by the same team who made the popular Disney show Pair of Kings.
Look, up in the sky: The Thundermans is entertaining because its a show about a family. No “hiding powers from parents” or “adults just don’t understand” tropes, this family works as a team and is an actual team because they all have powers. Plus, let’s give it up for the fact that they have three (!) strong female superhero lead characters. This show is definitely for everyone and great to watch as a family.
Origin story: Teenager Leo Dooley’s new step-dad is a billionaire genius–let’s face it you can’t be one without the other. Turns out, in his basement he’s created three bionic children–Adam, Bree, and Chase–with superpowers who become Leo’s step-siblings. I know this sounds weird but say with me. The bionic teens and Leo go on crazy adventures all while trying to live normal teenage lives.
Secret Identities: Adam, Bree, and Chase are played by Spencer Boldman, Kelli Berglund and Billy Unger, are all Disney Channel veterans. Tyrel Jackson Williams plays the main protagonist Leo, with dad Donald Davenport played by Hal Sparks also known for being one of the early hosts of Talk Soup and his run on Showtime’s Queer As Folk.
Look, up in the sky: Lab Rats is in season 4, which is basically unheard of for a Disney XD show, proving its popularity. As it moves towards later episodes it’s definitely taken on an edgier and darker tone. Well, as dark as you can go for a Disney program, but the show’s story lines play well for the older tween crowd.
Secret Identities: Jace Norman plays Henry Hart aka Kid Danger and young kids will recognize Henry’s friend Jasper by his voice; actor Sean Ryan Fox plays is also the voice of Jake in Disney’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates. This show is from Dan Scheider who has a long resume of kid’s shows he’s produced, dating all the way back to All That. Going back even further you’ll remember Dan Schneider from back in the day and his role on the TV series Head of the Class and in the iconic John Cusack movie, Better Off Dead.
Look, up in the sky: Henry Danger is definitely the new kid on the block as the series just premiered on Nickelodeon in September. The show is very much fantasy-based and the comedy definitely plays to the younger crowd.