dc-legacy

DC Comics Legacy Numbering

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While not as bad as Marvel, DC has had their own history of restarting and rebooting series, and later reverting numbers back.  There have been many attempts online to figure out legacy numbering for DC series, but many of them use different sets of logic, sometimes flawed.  The goal isn’t necessarily to count every appearance, but to determine what the issue number would be if a series had never been renumbered.  Some folks in the binding hobby like to use the legacy numbers when they’re listing contents of their bound volumes.

There are two types of series here.  The “official” series have had their legacy numbers acknowledged at some point by DC either by reverting to previous numbering, a variant cover, or a special issue.  The “unofficial” series have not had any acknowledgement by DC.  Specially numbered issues, such as #0 or #1000000 are not counted, as they would not be counted for a series that was never relaunched.  Due to this numbering system, several series will have multiple #0 issues (mainly any series that was published in both 1994 and 2012).

Official series

Superman
The original Superman series was renamed as “Adventures in Superman” in the post-Crisis era.  A new “Superman” series (also known as volume 2) was launched at the same time.  Both the renamed “Adventures of Superman” and volume 2 series spanned 226 issues.  Only one of those series can count in the overall numbering.

volume 1:  #1-423
Adventures of Superman:  #424-649
volume 1 continued:  #650-714
volume 3 (New 52):  #1-52 (766)
volume 4 (Rebirth):  #1-45 (811)
volume 5 (mostly Bendis):  #1-32  (843)

Milestone issue:
-#800 – volume 4 #34 (acknowledged by variant cover)

This series is currently on hiatus, replaced by “Superman:  Son of Kal-El”, which will end after #18. A new “Superman” series is set to debut in early 2023, so #1 could be either #844 or #862.  If DC decides to celebrate the next milestone issue, we could either see #850 on “Superman” volume 6 #7 be #850 (if Son of Kal-El doesn’t count), or #900 on #39.

Batman
volume 1:  #1-713
volume 2 (New 52):  #1-52  (765)
volume 3 (Rebirth/current):  #1-131* (896)

Milestone issues:
-#800 – volume 3 #35 (acknowledged by variant cover)
-#900 – projected to be volume 3 #135, likely published in early 2023

*as of the January 2023 solicitation.

Wonder Woman
volume 1: #1-329
volume 2 (post-crisis): #1-226 (555)
volume 3 (post-Infinite Crisis):  #1-44 (599)
volume 1 reverted:  #600-614
volume 4 (new 52):  #1-52 (666)
volume 5 (Rebirth):  #1-83 (749)
volume 1 reverted again:  #750-current

Milestone issues:
#400 – volume 2 #71
#500 – volume 2 #171
#700 – volume 5 #34 (acknowledged by variant cover)

Flash
Flash Comics:  #1-104
volume 1 (Barry Allen):  #105-350
volume 2 (Wally West):  #1-247 (597)
volume 3 (Barry Allen/Brightest Day):  #1-12 (609)
volume 4 (new 52):  #1-52 (661)
volume 5 (rebirth):  #1-88  (749)
volume 1 reverted:  #750-current

Following Infinite Crisis, volume 2 was seemingly cancelled with #230 and replaced by “Flash:  The Fastest Man Alive” starring Bart Allen.  That series lasted for 12 issues before Wally West returned and his series was restarted with #231.  Due to that, the Bart Allen series is not included in the legacy numbering, as confirmed by DC when they created the variant cover for the hypothetical #700 and later when they reverted the series to the original numbering with #750.

Milestone issues:
#400 – volume 2 #50
#500 – volume 2 #150
#600 – volume 3 #3
#700 – volume 5 #39 (acknowledged by variant cover)

Action Comics
volume 1:  #1-904
volume 2 (New 52):  #1-52  (956)
volume 1 continued:  #957-current

Detective Comics
volume 1:  #1-881
volume 2 (New 52):  #1-52  (933)
volume 1 continued:  #934-current

Milestone issue:
#900 – volume 2 #19 (acknowledged by special issue)

Unofficial series

Green Lantern (option #1)
There is much debate about whether or not to include the Golden Age numbering in Green Lantern’s legacy numbering, and whether or not the concept remained the same between the Golden Age and the Silver Age. I have chosen to include it here based on the precedence of the Flash series, as the Silver Age version picked up on the numbering of the Golden Age series which featured a different version of the character.  As far as I can tell, DC has never acknowledged any GL legacy numbering.

volume 1 (1941):  #1-38
volume 2 (1960):  #1-200 (238)
Green Lantern Corps:  #201-224 (262)
volume 3 (1990):  #1-181 (443)
volume 4 (Johns run):  #1-67 (510)
volume 5 (New 52):  #1-52 (562)
Green Lanterns (Rebirth):  #1-57 (619)
The Green Lantern:  #1-12 (631)
The Green Lantern Season Two:  #1-12 (643)
volume 6 (Infinite Frontier):  #1-12 (655)*

Milestone issues:
#100 – volume 2 #62
#200 – volume 2 #162
#300 – volume 3 #38
#400 – volume 3 #138
#500 – volume 4 #57
#600 - Green Lanterns #38

*As of the March 2022 solicitations.

Green Lantern (option #2)
If we ignore the Golden Age series, the legacy numbering is a little cleaner.

volume 2 (1960):  #1-200
Green Lantern Corps:  #201-224
volume 3 (1990):  #1-181 (405)
volume 4 (Johns run):  #1-67 (472)
volume 5 (New 52):  #1-52 (524)
Green Lanterns (Rebirth):  #1-57 (581)
The Green Lantern:  #1-12 (593)
The Green Lantern Season Two:  #1-12 (605)
volume 6 (Infinite Frontier):  #1-12 (617)*

Milestone issues:
#300 – volume 3 #76
#400 – volume 3 #176
#500 – volume 5 #28
#600 – The Green Lantern Season Two #7

*As of the March 2022 solicitations.

Justice League
Like “Avengers” over at Marvel, the key to the Justice League is determining which series was the “core” series, even if it didn’t always have the same name and there might have been two variations running at the same time.  Because the first three series equaled 499 total issues, I have bent the rule slightly to count the #0 issue of volume 2 (written by Brad Meltzer) as #500 overall.  Occasionally, there have been specials or mini-series to fill in the gaps between ongoing series, but none of those have been counted.

Justice League of America volume 1:  #1-261
Justice League volume 1:  #1-6 (267)
Justice League International:  #7-25 (286)
Justice League America:  #26-113 (374)
JLA (Grant Morrison):  #1-125 (499)
Justice League of America volume 2 (post-Infinite Crisis):  #0-60 (560)
Justice League volume 2 (new 52):  #1-52 (612)
Justice League volume 3 (Rebirth):  #1-43 (655)
Justice League volume 4:  #1-75 (730)

Milestone issues:
#300 – Justice League America #39
#400 - JLA #26
#500 – volume 2 #0
#600 – Justice League volume 2 #40
#700 - Justice League volume 4#45

The most recent series ended in 2022 as the lead up to “Dark Crisis”.  Any new series starting after that would pick up the legacy numbering with #731.

Legion of Super-Heroes
LOSH started as the “Superboy” series in the 1940s and later became “Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes” and eventually just “Legion of Super-Heroes”.   That series was eventually retitled once again to “Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes” (starting with #314) and featured new stories for 12 issues before featuring reprints of the new “Legion of Super-Heroes” series.  Since the two series were running concurrently, there’s no good way to count both, so this list follows the core “Legion of Super-Heroes” name.  Prior to those name changes, there was a mini-series reprinting earlier Legion appearances called “Legion of Super-Heroes” now known as volume 1, which is not counted in the legacy numbering due to it being reprints and concurrent with the existing series.  Some resources try to include the Legionnaires series from the 90s in the count, but there’s no logical reason to include those issues (it would be like including issues of Superman in an Action Comics numbering system).

Superboy:  #1-230
Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes:  #231-258
Legion of Super-Heroes (volume 2):   #259-313

volume 3 (Baxter):   #1-63 (376)
volume 4 (5YL + ZH reboot):  #1-125 (501) (#24 = #400, #124=#500)
Legion Lost:  #1-12 (513)
Legion Worlds: #1-6 (519)
The Legion:  #1-38 (557)
volume 5 (threeboot): #1-50 (607) (#43 = #600)
volume 6 (2010):  #1-16 (623)
volume 7 (new 52):  #1-23 (646)
volume 8 (Bendis):  #1-12 (658)

Milestone issues:
#400 - volume 4 #24
#500 – volume 4 #124
#600 - volume 5 #43

While there has never been any official acknowledgement of legacy numbering, artist Barry Kitson attempted to acknowledge on the cover of volume 5 #15 by having the character of Blok make a joke about how it should be #568.  However, his methodology is flawed. The only way to get that number is to include all of volume 2 including the non-reprint issues of “Tales of the LOSH”, volume 3, volume 4, the DnA “Legion” series, plus the 15 issues of volume 5 up to that point (325+63+125+38+15 = 566), and the overall number still comes up short.  I believe the remaining two issues to obtain that number were #0 and #1000000 of volume 4.  This list determines that particular issue to be #572 (or #554 if we ignore mini and maxi series).

One Response

  1. Jon Gorga
    Jon Gorga at |

    This is amazing. Thank you.

    Reply

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