The number of movies and television shows chronicling the adventures of various superpowered individuals seems to multiply almost as much as Jamie Madrox. Every few months brings a new movie or TV show trying to cash in on the public's childhood memories, but the difference in quality between these different shows varies greatly. This is no more apparent than in the latest comic book inspired TV shows to premiere within the last few months, FX’s “#Legion” and #Netflix’s “#Iron Fist”.

Fighting spandex fatigue

The plethora of superhero shows could cause a person to experience spandex fatigue if one is not careful, and this is especially true when shows rehash the same old tropes over and over again.

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This is why a show like “Iron Fist” continues to receive negative reviews from both critics and consumer.

The creative force and showrunner behind “Iron Fist”, Scott Buck, chose the path of least resistance to bring to life the character of kung fu master Danny Rand and it shows. The pacing of the show is horrendous, the dialogue robotic, and the characters immediately unforgettable. Also there is nothing to discern the show visually from other superhero fare which is mind boggling since the character is steeped in Asian mythology and culture. Maybe the blame for the lackluster product could be pinned on Marvel and Netflix’s insistence on staying committed to a timeline so the “The Defenders” could premiere on schedule, and if that is the case, poo poo on them for rushing out such a boring show.

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Calling Mr. Haller

FX’s “Legion” on the other hand under the guidance of showrunner Noah Hawley, has turned the superhero construct on its head with the show’s unorthodox storytelling and visuals. Telling the tale of mutant David Haller could have been done as easily as introducing the character in some haphazard way then throwing him into a battle against a staple villain from the X-Men universe and voila another comic book adapted to TV no problem. Fortunately, for the many fanboys and fangirls, Hawley decided to go the route of using Haller’s powers and schizophrenic mythology to create something truly unique.

From the very first scenes of “Legion” and character introductions, viewers know this is not going to be your run of the mill spandex clad affair complete with Michael Bay explosions and cute one liners. The show requires a special sort of commitment from the audience, and this commitment on part of the viewer is paid in dividends by outstanding performances and crisp dialogue.

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At times the story can be quite confusing as viewers try to parse what is real from fake along with the characters of the show, but this confusion is deliberate on part of the creators and just makes “Legion” that more remarkable.

This year will bring “Wonder Woman”, “Justice League”, “The Defenders”, and many more superpowered stories to tell. I truly hope the upcoming comic book adaptations, whether film or TV, learn from the success of a show like “Legion” and avoid the pitfalls of the yawn inducing “Iron Fist”.