10 Iconic DC Comics Shows & Movies to Watch Before Justice League: Snyder Cut

Fans of DC Comics will finally get what they’ve been anticipating when Zack Snyder’s Justice League is available to stream on HBO Max on Thursday, March 18, 2021. The director’s cut will be R rated, over four-hours long, and will see the return of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, The Flash, and Aquaman, portrayed by Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, and Jason Momoa, respectively. Before its release, the film was accidentally made available on HBO Max, adding to another one of its many roadblocks. It will be interesting to see how vastly different Snyder’s vision is when compared to the 2-hours long, PG-13 rated Joss Whedon’s Justice League released in 2017.

From Superman being recognized as the standard archetype for other superheroes, to Batman becoming one of the most popular comic book characters ever, DC Comics has largely been established as one of the best in the genre. With over 190 TV shows and movies, DC Comics has been a staple of American entertainment since 1937. Before you watch The Snyder Cut, here are 10 of the most iconic DC Comic shows and movies available on streaming platforms.

The Dark Knight (2008)

Arguably the apex of Batman films, co-writer and director Christopher Nolan’s critically-acclaimed The Dark Knight is known for its return to a grounded and gritty take on The Caped Crusader. One of the highest-grossing films of 2008, The Dark Knight was led by the late Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker, as he was posthumously awarded the Academy Award for  Best Supporting Actor, becoming the first actor to do so in a comic book film. Due to being culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2020.

Where to watch? Now streaming on Netflix, and HBO Max.

Pennyworth (2019-present)

One of many TV series that explores the origins of legendary DC characters, Pennyworth is a crime-drama starring Jack Bannon as Alfred Pennyworth, a former British SAS soldier who forms a security company and goes to work with Thomas Wayne in 1960s London. The show gives an in-depth look at Alfred’s work with Bruce Wayne’s parents before he becomes the trustworthy butler of Batman.

Where to watch? Now streaming on Epix.

Gotham (2014-2019)

Another origin series, Gotham stars Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon and David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne and tells the story of Gordon’s rise in the Gotham City Police Department, and the origins of the villains in Batman’s rogue gallery. The series aired for five seasons and was a critical success.

Where to watch? Now streaming on Netflix.

Smallville (2001-2011)

At 10 seasons and 217 episodes, Smallville was the longest-running episodic live-action series based on a DC Comics hero. The show starred Tom Welling as Clark Kent and focuses on his life and experiences growing up in Smallville, Kansas that leads to him dawning the cape and becoming the Man of Steel. Smallville was groundbreaking because it explored Superman’s humanity in a way that previous live-action films did not do.

Where to watch? Now streaming on Hulu.

Wonder Woman (2017)

Princess Diana of Themyscira, also known as Diana Prince, Wonder Woman is an iconic character and one of the strongest women in the history of DC Comics. Directed by Patty Jenkins, and starring Gal Gadot as the titular character, Wonder Woman was a critical, and financial success and was the highest-grossing film by a solo female director.

Where to watch? Now streaming on HBO Max and Sling TV.

Teen Titans (2003-2006)

Robin, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy star in the critically-acclaimed animated series where they all live under one roof at Titan Tower. These teenagers with attitude make the world a safer place by defeating their arch-nemesis Slade over the course of five seasons.

Where to watch? Now streaming on HBO Max.

Batman (1966-1968)

The oldest series on this list, Batman is credited as the show that gave Batman his campiness. Bruce Wayne/Batman (Adam West) and Dick Grayson/Robin (Burt Ward) defend Gotham from various foes in a humorous way, as the show’s campy and high-moral style would attempt to be a positive influence on viewers. The show aired for 3 seasons with 120 episodes and a movie.

Where to watch? Now streaming on The Roku Channel.

Watchmen (2019)

Created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and based on the DC Comics series of the same name, Watchmen is a limited series that takes place 34 years after the comics. The show stars Regina King and was supposed to be an ongoing series, but became a limited series once showrunner Damon Lindeloff stated he had told the story he wanted to tell. There is also a 2009 movie of the same name that was directed by Justice League’s Zack Snyder.

Where to watch? The movie and miniseries are now streaming on HBO Max.

Preacher (2016-2019)

Preacher was known for its dark humor, creative visuals, and use of violence over the course of its four seasons and 43 episodes. The series follows Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), a former criminal and current small-town preacher that has the superpower of commanding others to do as he says. The iconic series was published by DC’s Vertigo imprint which is known for its more adult-like content and helped shift these themes into mainstream television from a comic book series.

Where to watch? Now streaming on Hulu.

Arrow (2012-2020)

Responsible for the Arrowverse, Arrow is the most spun-off live-ction superhero TV show in history. Based on the DC hero Green Arrow, the series stars Stephen Amell as billionaire playboy Oliver Queen, a vigilante who fights crime with a bow and arrow. The show aired for 8 seasons and 170 episodes and won many awards over the years. The Flash was the first spin-off show and was later followed with Vixen, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Freedom Fighters: The Ray, Black Lightning, Batwoman, and Superman & Lois all taking place in the same shared universe (Arrowverse).

Where to watch? Now streaming on Netflix.