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You can’t fault DC Comics for trying with Hawkman. He’s had five different solo series since 1964, including the most recent, The Savage Hawkman, which went from 2011 until summer of 2013. However, none of the attempts lasted especially long. Volume 4 of Hawkman, which ran from 2002 to 2006, was the longest, peaking at 49 issues. Hawkman is a fascinating character, but he’s also one whose history seems to be constantly being rewritten and getting more complex. Some fans may find Hawkman’s backstory too convoluted. I feel like a Hawkman series could thrive with the right creators. However, given his recent failure, it might be a little while until we see Hawkman in his own book again.
Considering how many Avengers have their solo series, it’s somewhat surprising that more X-Men haven’t sprung their own series. Wolverine is the only one who has been able to sustain a long title. Some of that’s due the perception of the Avengers as a super-group rather than a regular team. Maybe this is changing. Magneto is due to get his own series, so what about Hank McCoy? Beast’s combination of brains, strength, and personality certainly make him a compelling character. Additionally, he hasn’t been afraid to take a stand against both the X-Men and Avengers. He’s been at the center of All-New X-Men, but at some point I’d like to see McCoy get the opportunity to explore more of a personal life and backstory in his own series.
Black Canary has usually had a very prominent role in the DC Universe. She’s been a member of the Justice League of America and the Justice Society. She has been a part of the Green Arrow world and even shared a series with GA from 2007 to 2010. Of course, she’s also an important and longtime member of the Birds of Prey. She’s even had a limited series of her own in 2007. However, Dinah Lance hasn’t ever received a long-term solo series. Given her place at the center of so many teams in the DCU, maybe they feel she works better in groups, but I think she’s one of DC’s best female characters and one who needs to be given chance to shine, outside of the Justice League and outside of Oliver Queen.
This one will probably seem out of nowhere to many, but I think Misty Knight is a great character who, given the right angle and talent behind a title, could make for a tremendous series. She is probably most associated with Iron Fist (with whom she’s often had romantic relationships) and Luke Cage, as a part of the Heroes for Hire agency (along with her friend Colleen Wing). Currently, she’s a member of the Fearless Defenders. So it’s not as though Misty has been left to idle. Still, she’s got a bionic arm, take-no-nonsense attitude, and police training that could make for a great detective series.
Stephen Strange is another character who is still getting a lot to do in team books, as he was an important member of the New Avengers from 2010 to 2013 as well as a member of the regrouped Defenders during Matt Fraction’s 2012 limited series. He’s also had three long ongoing series and a few limited series. The challenge with Dr. Strange is often that magical superpowers are ill-defined and confusing for readers. However, there have been many great solo adventures for Dr. Strange, and based on his track record and history within the Marvel Universe, he seems like the most likely character in this list to eventually get another crack at his own series. Usually when fans say that a superhero character deserves their own series, it’s a criticism of the publishers. “Why don’t you give my favorite character his own series?!?” However, as I’ve shown, many of these great characters have had their own series at points. In many cases, the reason that the series was cancelled was low sales numbers. So it’s not simply a case of publishers not caring about these characters, but also a situation where not enough fans of those characters have bought the title. Hopefully, these five get solo series that fans can support.