Fans of Nickelodeon's Avatar franchise have been excited recently by news that the sequel series, #LegendOfKorra, is set to continue in the form of a three-part graphic novel: Legend Of Korra: Turf Wars.
Ending in 2014, Korra, while building a strong fan base, never quite reached the same level of popularity enjoyed by its predecessor, Avatar: The Last Airbender. The series struggled in its final season, most of which premiered online rather than television. The reason for this was likely due to the series' darker subject matter, or the reveal of the romantic relationship between Korra and Asami, as homosexuality is (for the most part), still considered taboo when it comes to children's shows.
With that in mind, taking the comic book route seems a wise choice for Korra, with the creators now able to avoid the limits placed upon them by television.
Many other popular series have also taken this road, continuing their stories in comic book form, whether it be because they were cancelled too soon, they wanted to do things that couldn't be accomplished on TV, or there was simply more story to tell.
1. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
TV Series Ended: 2003
Launching four years after the #cultclassic TV series ended, the Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Eight comics expanded the world of the franchise, producing a story of a much greater scale than anything seen on the TV show.
Working in the comic book medium meant that core aspects of the series — such as Willow's magic or the appearance of various demons — no longer had to be limited by a special effects budget. Characters long absent from the show, like Willow's werewolf first love, Oz, could easily appear in the comic without the need to wait for a gap in the schedule for actor Seth Green. The comics also offer a chance to spend more time with popular supporting characters like Faith or Spike.
The comics have been popular, now running for three "seasons," as well as the companion series Angel & Faith, which began alongside Season Nine.
A fourth series, Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Eleven, is due to begin in November.
2. Avatar: The Last Airbender
Series Ended: 2008.
Just as it's sequel, Legend Of Korra, is set to do, the hit series Avatar: The Last Airbender has continued in graphic novel form.The comics follow Avatar Aang and his friends as they try to help their world rebuild in the days after The Hundred Year War. They also deal with mysteries left unsolved in the TV series, such as the whereabouts of Zuko's Mother, Ursa.
The series thus far includes five three-volume stories. The last two volumes of the fifth story, North And South, are due to be released in 2017.
TV Series Ended: 2006
Following in the footsteps of #Buffy, the Charmed: Season Nine comic series launched in 2010, four years after the TV show had aired it's final episode.
The comics were an instant hit, with the first issue selling out within three weeks of its release. Free from the budget cuts that had plagued the show in its final few seasons, the #Charmed Season Nine writing team had nothing to stop them from reintroducing the more elaborate monsters and spells from the show's early days.
Also free from any disagreements between actors, the comics were able to reintroduce the character of Prue, albeit in a new form, as Shannon Doherty declined permission for the use of her likeness.
A second comic series, Charmed: Season Ten, concluded in September 2016. It is not yet known if more comics will be produced.
5. Teen Titans
TV Series Ended: 2006
Originally produced as a tie-in comic for the Teen Titans animated series, the comic Teen Titans Go!, not to be confused with the later animated spin-off of the same name, continued for two years after the series had ended.
While initially consisting of collected stories in no particular order, plucked from various points in the show's five seasons, many of the later comics took place after the show's finale movie, Teen Titans: Trouble In Tokyo. This allowed for stories that explored the fledgling romantic relationship between Robin and Starfire.
The comic ended in 2008, though some omnibus editions were released as late as 2013.
6. Doctor Who
TV Series: Ongoing
Comics: Multiple ongoing series.
Comic books have long been an important part of the #DoctorWho expanded universe. Between the classic series cancellation in 1989, and the revival in 2005, a comic strip was featured regularly in Doctor Who Magazine.
Nowadays, the Doctor Who comics are mainly used as a medium to portray the unseen adventures of Doctors past. Four separate books are currently running, featuring the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors. The stories are often said to be set in between what we see on TV.
Whether the comics stories are canon is sometimes debated, though many comic-exclusive characters can be unlocked in the Doctor Who Legacy mobile game.
Series Ended: 2003
Rarely has the demise of a television series been so deeply mourned as Firefly. The series received so much fan support that a theatrical film, Serenity, was released in 2005. Sadly, the film was not successful to result in a series revival.
Lucky for the series' dedicated fans, then, that a series of comics were released from 2006 onward. The comics filled in the gaps between Firefly and Serenity, finally revealed the backstory of the secretive Shepherd Book, and let fans see a little more of what happened to their favorite characters after the credits rolled.
The first issue of a new six-part story, No Power In The 'Verse, is due to be released on October 26, 2016.