10 Short Series You Should Binge-Read

The COVID-19 pandemic has led many to change their way of life, as calls to social distance and self-isolate are leading to many staying home. For comic fans, it’s become a particularly bizarre time, as physical comics are going to be increasingly difficult to get from local shops in the weeks to come, thanks to delays and policy changes on behalf of various publishers and distributors. Luckily, there are several apps that put thousands of comics in the palm of your hand, including DC Universe. At only $7.99 per month plus tax, DC Universe offers a slew of movies, television shows, videos, and original content for fans to consume — as well as over 20,000 individual issues of comics.

Last week, we provided you with some lengthy stories on DC Universe to get lost in during your time in quarantine — but there’s certainly plenty more to explore. If you don’t have the mental bandwidth to read through dozens or hundreds of issues of a single series, there are some epic, relatively-standalone stories to take in. Some bring to life alternate versions of the DC Comics canon, while others reinvent core characters in major ways.

Keep reading to see our recommendations for the best DC Universe stories that are twelve issues or less. If there are any others that you think deserve to be recommended, let us know in the comments below!

Batgirl: Year One

batgirl year one
(Photo: DC Comics)

Issues: Batgirl: Year One #1-9

There are plenty of essential Batgirl stories to check out on DC Universe, but Batgirl: Year One provides a pretty interesting jumping-off point. The 2003 miniseries puts a new twist on Barbara Gordon’s origin story, as she butts heads with Batman and much of the vigilante ecosystem of Gotham in the process.

While Batgirl: Year One is technically a sequel to Robin: Year One, it has a lot to offer for fans of Barbara’s corner of the DC Comics canon. Plus, the art from Marcos Martin and Alvaro Lopez is absolutely delightful.

Batwoman: Elegy

batwoman elegy
(Photo: DC Comics)

Issues: Detective Comics #854-863

Even if you haven’t been keeping up with The CW’s Batwoman TV series, the “Elegy” arc the character underwent in Detective Comics is an absolute must-read. The ten-issue arc saw Batwoman taking over as Detective‘s core character, in a story that laid the groundwork for Kate Kane as we know her today. In the process, it pitted Batwoman against Alice, a villain who would forever change her life.

The story has been well-received in the decade since it first debuted — and understandably so. While the ramifications of “Elegy” certainly spin out from these initial issues, it’s the kind of gorgeous story that deserves your full attention.

Black Adam: The Dark Age

black adam the dark age
(Photo: DC Comics)

Issues: Black Adam: The Dark Age #1-6

Yes, we already recommended the Dark Age miniseries as part of essential reading for 52, but it’s absolutely worth reading on its own merit. The six-issue saga opens with Black Adam losing his powers, leading him on a tale of self-discovery — and revenge.

Peter J. Tomasi, Doug Mahnke, and company crafted a delightful intro to the world of Black Adam, with countless other DC cameos weaved in. With The Rock’s Black Adam movie finally expected to take flight in 2021, now is a better time than ever to check this miniseries out.

Black Canary (2015)

black canary dc you
(Photo: DC Comics)

Issues: Black Canary #1-12

Black Canary has been a fixture of comics for nearly 80 years, but her 2015 solo run made fans look at her in a whole new way. The twelve-issue miniseries throws Dinah into a new role as the frontwoman of a rock band, which spirals out into an adventure with ninjas, giant monsters, and self-discovery.

Dinah has had punk-rock energy for decades, but Black Canary took that to new heights (and helped inspire the character’s aesthetic in the recent Birds of Prey movie). And with a creative team that includes Brendan Fletcher and Annie Wu, you genuinely can’t go wrong. 

Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles

Snagglepuss gay

Issues: Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #1-6

Reinventing an iconic Hanna-Barbera character as a gay playwright is understandably unexpected — but Exit Stage makes the concept truly soar. Mark Russell and Mike Feehan’s six-issue miniseries follows Snagglepuss in the 1950s, as his life is torn upside down by the McCarthyism witch hunts.

The concept will make you look at Snagglepuss – as well as characters like Huckleberry Hound and Augie Doggie – in a whole new light while learning a lot about the entertainment industry in that era. It’s the kind of buzzworthy, significant series you should definitely read at some point — so why not start now?


justice 2007
(Photo: DC Comics)

Issues: Justice #1-12

Running from 2005 to 2007, Jim Krueger, Alex Ross, and Doug Braithwaite’s epic miniseries had a lot for fans to take in. After the world is overcome with nightmares that make them doubt the Justice League of America, an all-out war breaks out between the team and the Legion of Doom, which spans a tapestry of characters and planets from there.

While Justice isn’t perfect, it’s a fascinating mesh of Silver Age ideals and modern-day anxieties, with gorgeous art and heart-stopping action.

Mera: Queen of Atlantis

(Photo: DC Comics)

Issues: Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1-6

There have been countless Aquaman stories over the years, but Mera’s time in the spotlight has varied wildly. With this 2018 miniseries, the Queen of Atlantis gets pulled into a tumultuous Atlantean Civil War, and her alliances and emotions are put through the wringer.

Dan Abnett’s script and Lan Medina’s art work together in perfectly harmony, and make this the kind of miniseries you won’t regret binge-reading in one sitting.

The Omega Men (2015)

the omega men 2015
(Photo: DC Comics)

Issues: The Omega Men #1-12

Before Mister Miracle, Batman, and Strange Adventures, Tom king made a splash on the DC universe with The Omega Men. The reboot added much higher stakes to the cosmic group’s history and legacy, with genuinely heartbreaking results.

To say anything more than that would spoil the emotional thrill ride that The Omega Men has in store. With art from Barnaby Bagenda and Romulo Fajardo Jr., this is a series that you’ll definitely love.

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death

poison ivy cycle of life and death
(Photo: DC Comics)

Issues: Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1-6

Over the years, Poison Ivy has gone from a genuine villain into an antihero you want to root for — something that Cycle of Life and Death, her first-ever solo series, plays directly into. The six-issue saga follows Ivy diving into her civilian persona of Pamela Isley, just as she gets sucked into a murder mystery.

The series takes Ivy’s story into some interesting and unexpected territory, with genuinely great visuals from Clay Mann and Seth Mann.

Prez (2015)

prez 2015
(Photo: DC Comics)

Issues: Prez #1-6, Catwoman: Election Night #1

The 2015 take on Prez has arguably become more relevant since it initially debuted, crafting a practically-perfect political satire. The series follows Beth Ross, a teenage girl who accidentally gets elected President in 2036 after becoming a viral meme. What unfolds from there is genuinely zany and absurd, but oddly comforting.

While the second volume of the series was sadly canceled, the series did factor into a backup story in the 2016 Catwoman: Election Night special.


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