YEAR IN REVIEW: Top Comics of 2021

Reading Time: 8 minutes

top comics of 2021 But Why Tho

Comics have had a hell of a time the past two years and in 2021 they came out swinging. From the big two publishers to the indies, we’ve gotten to read many diverse stories both in characters and genre. So, we’ve rounded up our top comics of 2021 by asking our comic reviewers to submit their favorites. From stories that helped some name their queer identity, others that created a haven for readers, and some that brought back old fan-favorites or created new ones, there was a lot to read in 2021.

In order to make out top comics of 2021 list the series had to have been published in the calendar year of 2021 with at least two issues in the series at the time of publication. Additionally, the top comics of 2021 include on-going series and mini-series. For series that have had multiple creative teams we’ve include the creative teams that worked on the run submitted. Additionally, the top comics of 2021 list features comics readily available to the public and does not include comics that can’t be accessed by readers.

So, without further ado, here are our top comics of 2021.

15. Mamo

Mamo #1 - top comics of 2021 But Why Tho

Creative Team: Sas Milledge
Publisher: BOOM! Studios

Can Orla O’Reilly embrace her destiny in order to bridge the divide between humanity and the faerie world? Orla, the youngest in a long line of hedge witches, finds herself pulled back to her hometown after the death of her grandmother: Mamo. Without Mamo managing magical relationships between the townsfolk and the fae, the seas are impossible to fish, the crops have soured… and Jo Manalo’s attic has been taken over by a poltergeist! Now, Orla and Jo will both be pulled into worlds they never wanted to be part of. Can the two girls work together to save the town?

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14. Heroes Reborn

Heroes Reborn #1

Creative Team: Jason Aaron, Erica D’Urso, R. M. Guera, Dale Keown, Aaron Kuder, Ed McGuinness, James Stokoe, and Federico Vicentini
Publisher: Marvel Comics

A world without Avengers! Tony Stark never built an Iron Man armor. Thor is a hard-drinking atheist who despises hammers. Wakanda is dismissed as a myth. Captain America was never found in the ice – because there were no Avengers to find him. Instead, this planet has always been protected by Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: the Squadron Supreme of America! Now Hyperion, Blur, Doctor Spectrum, Power Princess and Nighthawk face an attack from some of their fiercest enemies – including Dr. Juggernaut, the Black Skull, the Silver Witch, the Goblin and Thanos with his Infinity Rings. But why is Blade the vampire hunter the one man alive who seems to remember that the entire world has somehow been…reborn? And what is the Daywalker going to do about it?

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13. Specter Inspectors

Specter Inspectors - top comics of 2021 But Why Tho

Creative Team: Bowen McCurdy, Kaitlyn Musto, and Jim Campbell
Publisher: BOOM! Studios via BOOM! Box

True believer Noa, her cynical little sibling Gus, credulous cameraman Ko, and skeptical Astrid head to one of the most haunted towns in America to prove that ghosts exist, for all the social media likes! The investigations of hauntings uncover something more devilish than just a couple of ghosts, something that will put Noa and Astrid’s relationship to the test… …and reveal the centuries-old sinister secrets of the town itself.

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12. The Me You Love in the Dark

The Me You Love In The Dark #2

Creative Team: Skottie Young, Jorge Corona, Jean-Francois Beaulieu, and Nate Piekos
Publisher: Image Comics

An artist named Ro retreats from the grind of the city to an old house in a small town to find solace and inspiration without realizing the muse within is not what she expected. Fans of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman will enjoy this beautiful, dark, and disturbing story of discovery, love, and terror.

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11. Monstress

Monstress #35 - top comics of 2021 But Why Tho

Creative Team: Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda and Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics

Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces.

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10. Nightwing

Nightwing: Leaping Into The Light

Creative Team: Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, Adriano Lucas and Wes Abbott
Publisher: DC Comics

Nightwing is back in Blüdhaven and his drive to keep his adopted city safe has never been stronger! But protecting Blüdhaven is no small task, especially now that it’s being menaced by Nightwing’s most terrifying foe yet-a mysterious and murderous villain with a penchant for stealing his victim’s hearts, known only as Heartless. Collected in this Infinite Frontier Nightwing evolution are issues #78-83.

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9. Venom (2018 – 2021)

vENOM #35

Creative Team: Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, Iban Coello, and Frank Martin, JP Mayer
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This is it, Venomaniacs! The landmark 200th issue starring the most sinister symbiote in the Marvel Universe arrives – and after this, NOTHING WILL BE THE SAME! From Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, and a who’s who of artists from the issues that tore Eddie Brock’s life asunder and brought the KING IN BLACK to Earth, comes the first chapter of the rest of Venom’s life. But in Knull’s wake, what even remains of the Lethal Protector?

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8. Black Widow (2020 – )

Black Widow #12 - top comics of 2021 But Why Tho

Creative Team: Kelly Thompson, Elena Casagrande, Elisabetta D’amico, Jordie Bellaire, and Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics

With a new suit, a new base of operations, new allies and a new perspective, Natasha sets her sights on a mysterious emerging villain in San Francisco known only as Apogee. But Natasha might not be as ahead of the game as she thought, and not everyone in her orbit is exactly what they seem. San Francisco desperately needs the Black Widow…it just doesn’t quite know it yet.

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7. Girl Haven

Girl Haven - But Why Tho?

Creative Team: Lilah Sturges, Meaghan Carter, and Joamette Gil
Publisher: Oni Press/Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group

Three years ago, Ash’s mom, Kristin, left home and never came back. Now, Ash lives in the house where Kristin grew up. All of her things are there. Her old room, her old clothes, and the shed where she spent her childhood creating a fantasy world called Koretris.

Ash knows all about Koretris: how it’s a haven for girls, with no men or boys allowed, and filled with fanciful landscapes and creatures. When Ash’s friends decide to try going to Koretris using one of Kristin’s spell books, Ash doesn’t think anything will happen. But the spell works, and Ash discovers that the world Kristin created is actually a real place with real inhabitants and very real danger.

6. Radiant Black

Radiant Black #10 Review

Creative Team: Kyle Higgins, Marcelo Costa, Igor Monti, and Becca Carey
Publisher: Image Comics

Nathan Burnett has just turned 30, and things aren’t great—he’s working (and failing) at two jobs, his credit card debt is piling up, and his only move…is moving back home with his parents. But when Nathan discovers the ethereal, cosmic RADIANT, he’s given the power to radically change his fortunes…unless the Cosmic Beings who created them succeed in taking them back by any means necessary. Oh, and did we mention there’s a RED RADIANT who wants Nathan dead?

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5. Teen Titans Academy

Teen Titans Academy #9 - But Why Tho

Creative Team: Tim Sheridan, Mike Norton, HI-FI, Rob Leigh
Publisher: DC Comics

Welcome to Teen Titans Academy! Packed with both new, super-powered teens and numerous dark secrets, Teen Titans Academy’s student body includes Shazam; a new Australian speedster; a trio of Goth(am) teen expatriates obsessed with Batman—and one member of this first class will become the deadly Red X. Original New Teen Titans including Nightwing, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy take on the role of teachers and mentors for superpowered teens. Their goal: to shape the next generation of heroes.

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4. Wonder Girl

Wonder Girl #3

Creative Team: Joelle Jones, Adriana Melo, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles
Publisher: DC Comics

The story of Yara Flor starts here! Raised in the faroff land of Boise, Idaho, Yara Flor has always felt something was missing from her life-and now she is headed to Brazil to find it. Little does she know her arrival will set off a series of events that will change the world of Wonder Woman forever. Her return has been prophesied, and with that prophecy comes the undivided attention of benevolent gods from pantheons beyond. Danger lurks around every corner-but is this young hero ready for her journey?

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3. Nocterra

Nocterra #6

Creative Team: Scott Snyder, Tony S. Daniel, Tomeu Morey, and Andworld Design
Publisher: Image Comics

It’s been 10 years since Val Riggs saw the sun swallowed up by darkness. Ten years since nearly everyone she knew was infected and changed into hideous shades. Now a ferryman providing transport for people and goods, she traverses the deadly unlit roads in her eighteen-wheeler, taking on whatever evils the night provides. When the promise of an illuminated sanctuary crosses her path, Val must undergo a journey far beyond the limits of any ferryman before her. But with a loved one in the throes of infection, time is running short…

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2. Nubia and the Amazons

Nubia and the Amazons #1 - But Why Tho

Creative Team: Vita Ayala, Stephanie Williams, and Alitha Martinez
Publisher: DC Comics

After the thrilling events of Infinite Frontier, Nubia becomes queen of Themyscira, but the new title also brings challenges. With the unexpected arrival of new Amazons, our hero is forced to reckon with her past and forge a new path forward for her sisters. This unforgettable miniseries from writers Vita Ayala and Stephanie Williams, along with all-star artist Alitha Martinez (Future State) brings the fan-favorite character back to the DCU for good. After Nubia, the world of the Amazons will never be the same!

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1. Static: Season One

Static: Season One #3

Creative Team: Vita Ayala, ChrisChross, Nikolas Draper-Ivey, and Andworld Design
Publisher: DC Comics

Bullied nerd Virgil Hawkins wasn’t the kind of kid you’d normally find on the streets at a protest– but like everyone else in the city of Dakota, he was fed up. Unfortunately, the first time he stood up to raise his voice, the world turned upside down. The experimental tear gas released that day left some of his classmates maimed or dead…but it left Virgil, and others, with stunning new abilities. Virgil has power inside him now — real power, the ability to channel and manipulate electromagnetic fields.
But there’s anger burning inside him, too.

That’s it for 2021! Across genre, creator, and company, these were our top comics of 2021. Did your favorite comic series make our end of the year list? Let us know what you would have added to our Top Comics of 2021 list on social media: @ButWhyThoPC.

Synopsis for the series on the Top Comics of 2021 list were taken directly from Comixology. 

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