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12 TV Shows That Kept Going As Comics When They Were Cancelled

November 12, 2020 173 votes 36 voters 2.2k views12 items

List RulesVote up the comic books that add a lot to the shows that inspired them.

While television shows must always come to an end, the same cannot be said of their stories. Thanks to fandom, we've been lucky enough to get some fantastic comics based on canceled TV shows over the years. Whether it was a show that ended too early, or just a fan base that can't quit their favorite characters, comic book publishers have been happy to oblige fans with many television show continuations - especially in recent years.

When cult hits like Firefly and Jericho ended before fans were ready to say goodbye, comic books were there to fill in the gaps. When Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel were cut from the airwaves, comic books were there to delight "Buffyverse" fans of all stripes. Even though Smallville ran for an incredible 10 seasons, there were still more stories to tell in comic book form. 

Read on to discover which TV shows continued in comic books, and vote up the stories that sound worth reading!

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer hit the airwaves in 1997 and became a cult phenomenon that turned Sarah Michelle Gellar into a genuine star and kickstarted Joss Whedon's career as a showrunner after years of screenwriting. One would be forgiven for assuming that seven seasons and 144 episodes was enough material to sate the fans, but the Buffy media franchise has continued long after the show ended.

    Do you want to see Buffy and the Scooby Gang take on shape-shifting Japanese vampires? Wolves at the Gate has you covered. Want to read about Buffy destroying all magic to fend off the coming apocalypse? Last Gleaming is the comic book for you. There is even a reboot series that isn't connected to the stories of the television show, if you want to start from scratch.

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  • The 14-episode sci-fi western Firefly is one of the big cult hits of the last 20 years. When online fandom can get a sequel movie made for a television series that didn't even get to air all of its episodes, you know that show is something special. Fans initially got a single season of television episodes and one movie about the ragtag space crew of Serenity, but they've had plenty of comic books to satiate their space cowboy cravings ever since.

    Over the years, comic books based on Firefly have served many purposes. They have gone into more detail about the backstory of fan favorites like Shepherd Book in The Shepherd's Tale, as well as furthering the adventures of the crew after the events of the Serenity film in Leaves on the Wind. And with an ongoing series from Boom! Studios going strong, fans will have plenty of Firefly content for years to come. 

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  • Photo: DC Comics

    From 2001 to 2011, viewers across the world got to witness the lengthy origin story of Clark Kent's journey from an awkward teenage kid from Kansas to an awkward adult man in Metropolis. And while the show was never really one of the biggest series on television, it was a consistent performer with a dedicated fanbase. Not too shocking for a show about the Man of Steel.

    After 10 seasons of lead-up to Tom Welling putting on the blue tights and red cape, fans finally got some adventures of Superman in the "Season 11" comic book series and subsequent miniseries set in the Smallville universe. If you're interested in seeing Welling's Superman go toe-to-toe with Batman, then the Smallville comics are definitely your cup of tea.

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  • Jericho, the post-apocalyptic drama that aired on CBS in the mid-'00s, has one of the wildest behind-the-scenes stories in recent television memory. The show was canceled after the first season, but fan outcry was strong enough to bring the show back into production. However, the show was again canceled after its short, seven-episode second season. And while rumors about a movie continuation circulated for a while, fans would have to find their Jericho fix in comic books after a movie never came to pass.

    Fans got both a "Season 3" and a "Season 4" of the television show in comic book form from IDW Publishing between 2009 and 2014. While 11 comic book issues probably weren't what fans of the television show were looking for, it's better than getting nothing for the hard work of keeping a franchise alive. 

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