DC Comics has published superhero comics longer than anyone, with two books – Action Comics and Detective Comics – over 1000 issues and over 80 years in publication. Batman hit issue #900. The Flash and Wonder Woman are months away from hitting 800 issues. Superman has been continually published in multiple volumes since 1940.
DC knows how to put out long comics, but that doesn’t mean that every DC comic gets a chance to have a long run. A lot of great comics have had shorter runs than they deserved. Whether they were canceled or only meant to be a miniseries, these books should have had more time on shelves.
10 Midnighter And Apollo
The Authority is big again, and the two most popular members of the team have always been Midnighter and Apollo, the Batman and Superman analogue gay couple. They proved to have the most staying power when the Wildstorm characters were brought into the DC Universe and got their own miniseries in 2015, Midnighter and Apollo, by writer Steve Orlando and artist Fernando Blanco.
Orlando and Blanco did a tremendous job on the six issue series, which was basically a sequel to the Orlando written Midnighter series. Midnighter was great, but Midnighter and Apollo was even better. Everyone who read the book wished it was an ongoing.
9 Batman And The Signal
Duke Thomas is the forgotten member of the Bat-Family. First appearing in the New 52, he started out as leader of the Robin gang in We Are Robin, and his origin was shown in Batman: Zero Year. He’d eventually get his own superheroic identity – the Signal – and gain superpowers. He became Gotham’s daytime protector and co-starred in Batman and the Signal, by writers Scott Snyder and Tony Patrick and artist Cully Hamner.
The three issue series was great, but the Signal definitely deserves more. Many fans complain about the Signal never getting included in the Bat-Family, but they also never actually bought this book, otherwise it would have gotten a sequel.
8 Superman And The Authority
Grant Morrison is a DC legend, so when they announced their last DC comic, fans were expecting something special. That’s exactly what readers got with Superman and the Authority, by Morrison and artists Mikel Janin, Fico Ossio, Travel Foreman, and Evan Cagle. The four issue series dealt with a weakening Superman putting together a new Authority to help him survive an attack by his oldest foe.
The four issue miniseries was phenomenal, but it definitely could have been longer. Morrison writing Superman is always a treat and the new Authority they created were amazing. It would have been nice to get a few more issues of Morrison’s Superman swan song.
7 The Multiversity
DC’s multiverse has yielded great comics, but the best in recent years was The Multiversity, by writer Grant Morrison and multiple artists. The eight issue miniseries was a series of one-shots and two bookend issues that introduced worlds in the new multiverse. It was Morrison doing what they do best, brought to life by many of DC’s best artists.
However, there were 52 Earths to showcase, with the rest of them getting a blurb in The Multiversity Guidebook. As cool as that book was, it would have been much better if each Earth got a one-shot. They didn’t even have to all be written by Morrison, with DC using multiple creative teams to capture the feel of each Earth.
6 Destiny: A Chronicle Of Deaths Foretold
The Endless from The Sandman are full of story potential, but most members of the family have barely appeared in their own comics. Destiny did get a miniseries, one that most readers don’t know about. Destiny: A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold, by writer Alisa Kwitney and artists Kent Williams, Michael Zulli, Scott Hampton, and Rebecca Guay, was a three issue 1996 Vertigo miniseries that hearkened back to an older time.
Taking place in an unknown plague ravaged future, the book had a group of people listening to stories about the Bubonic Plague told by a mysterious man possessing a page from Destiny’s book. It was a great three issue book, but there was way more potential. This book easily could have been an awesome anthology horror book, with different stories being told every issue, but DC wasn’t interested in that kind of book long term in the 90s.
5 Justice League Incarnate
DC’s Infinite Frontier had some great books. Several of them never got the amount of issues they deserved. One of these is Justice League Incarnate, by writers Joshua Williamson and Dennis Culver and artists Brandon Peterson, Tom Derenick, Andrei Bressan, Kyle Hotz, Paul Pelletier, Norm Rapmund, Ariel Olivetti, Mikel Janin, Nicole Virella, Todd Nauck, Chris Burnham, Mike Norton, and Jesus Merino, a five issue sequel to Infinite Frontier #1-6.
Starring the multiversal Justice League introduced in The Multiversity, fans were very excited for this book. Justice League Incarnate is a great idea and to only give them a book to set up the then upcoming Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths is a travesty. Fans would have lived a full series with this team in their own adventures.
4 Formerly Known As The Justice League
The Justice League is DC’s greatest team. Over the years, fan favorite rosters have defined the League’s best eras, with the Justice League International a favorite. A more humorous take on the Justice League starring amazing characters, the team returned in 2003’s Formerly Known as the Justice League, by writer J.M. DeMatteis and Keith Giffen and artist Kevin Maguire.
Reuniting the classic team for JLI hijinks was a hit with fans. While the story would get a sequel – JLA Classified: I Can’t Believe It’s Not The Justice League by the same creative team – fans would have preferred a longer ongoing series. This is a basically perfect comic by an amazing team of creators that would have sold like hotcakes as an ongoing.
3 Blue And Gold
Blue Beetle and Booster Gold are a beloved DC duo, and fans love any time they’re together. Blue and Gold, by writer Dan Jurgens and artists Ryan Sook, Cully Hamner, Kevin Maguire, Dan Jurgens, Paul Pelletier, and Phil Hester, reunited the duo for a rollicking good time. The book was well-received by fans and stands tall among DC’s Infinite Frontier publishing initiative.
An eight issue run is great, but most readers wished this book was longer. An ongoing would have been too much to hope for, but a twelve issue series would have outstanding. The book was stacked with talent, and getting more issues would have made a lot of people happy.
2 Mister Terrific
Mister Terrific is DC’s underrated MVP. The former leader of the Justice Society was a breakout star in the ’00s but fans never expected him to a solo book, despite fervently praying for it. That’s why it was such a shock that Mister Terrific was going to be a part of the New 52. Written by Eric Wallace with art by Gianluca Gugliotta, Scott Clark, and Oliver Nome, the series was canceled after only eight issues.
Cancelations were common in the early years of the New 52, as DC kept trying to throw stuff against the wall to see what would stick. Mister Terrific wasn’t selling great, but it deserved a little more time to grow.
1 Supergirl: Woman Of Tomorrow
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is exceptional. Written by Tom King with art by Bilquis Evely, the eight issue miniseries followed Supergirl as she helped a girl named Ruthye hunt down her father’s killer. It’s the most unique Supergirl story ever, a sci-fi Western that grabbed readers and didn’t let go, full of deft writing and killer art.
This was supposed to be a twelve issue miniseries, but DC didn’t have faith in Supergirl to sell, so they cut it to eight. That is a travesty. This book easily numbers among the best DC books of the 2020s, and deserved to be a 12-issue masterpiece.
NEXT: 10 Canceled DC Comics We Still Want To Read