9 Superhero TV Shows You Probably Forgot About (PHOTOS)

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CBS via Getty Images; Bob D'Amico / Walt Disney Television via Getty Images via Getty Images; Alan Zenuk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
Swamp Thing 1990
USA

Swamp Thing (1990)

Long before DC Universe’s failed reboot, this three-season USA series starred Dick Durock as the “man-turned-muck monster” who protects his swamp from evil. Durock previously portrayed the character in the Swamp Thing films of the 1980s.

The Flash
CBS via Getty Images

The Flash (1990)

John Wesley Shipp, best known as Dawson’s dad on Dawson’s Creek, played starred in this one-season CBS show as Barry Allen, a scientist who gains super speed in a lightning strike. Shipp later reprised the role — and two others — on The CW’s current show of the same name.

The Invisible Man - Season 1
Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank

The Invisible Man (2000)

This two-season Syfy series, apparently unrelated to the H.G. Wells story of the same name, starred Vincent Ventresca (a.k.a. Fun Bobby on Friends) as a convicted thief who is employed by a spy company that sets him up with a volatile substance called Quicksilver that can bend light and render him invisible, with occasional side effects like pain and psychosis.

Birds of Prey 2002
The WB

Birds of Prey (2002)

This DC Comics adaptation, which lasted for one season on The WB, imagined a Gotham City abandoned by Batman but guarded by his and Catwoman’s daughter, Huntress, who is joined by Oracle (formerly known as Batgirl) and a telepath named Dinah Redman (daughter of Black Canary).

Blade 2006
Spike

Blade (2006)

Taking place after the events of Blade: Trinity and based on the titular Marvel Comics character, this short-lived Spike drama starred rapper Sticky Fingaz as the famed vampire hunter and future Wipeout co-host Jill Wagner as his reluctant partner.

Bionic Woman
Alan Zenuk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Bionic Woman (2007)

A reimagining of the 1970s-era Lindsay Wagner, this NBC drama featured Michelle Ryan as a bartender who gains superhuman speed and strength when her boyfriend saves her from a near-fatal car crash through the use of bionic implants.

NBC's Summer Press Day 2007
Albert L. Ortega/WireImage

Flash Gordon (2007)

Lasting for one season on Syfy, this action-adventure series starred Fifty Shades of Grey star Eric Johnson as the eponymous comic strip character, who follows in his father’s footsteps and follows a spacetime rift to travel to the planet Mongo, where he confronts a ruthless dictator.

ABC's
Bob D'Amico / Walt Disney Television via Getty Images via Getty Images

No Ordinary Family (2010)

An ordinary American family — led by The Shield‘s Michael Chiklis and Dexter‘s Julie Benz — becomes No American Family in this one-season ABC drama when they gain superpowers in a plane crash in the Amazon.

Summer TCA Tour - Day 10
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Human Target (2010)

Roughly inspired by the DC Comics series of the same name, this two-season Fox drama starred Body of Proof‘s Mark Valley as a private contractor who offers himself as a “human target” to protect his clients — all the while trying to figure out the mystery of his past.

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Media companies are all about superhero universes these days, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe vying for box office receipts and television ratings.

Believe it or not, however, there was a time when superhero shows stood on their own — based on Marvel or DC characters, perhaps, but not included in any shared universe.

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Click through the gallery above to see the also-rans of the small screen's superhero genre.