Happy New Year! Ten New Comic Book Series To Look Out For In 2021
by Olly MacNamee
As we say goodbye and good riddance to the Plague Year of 2020, I bring you a look at 2021 and a good few titles I’m quite excited about from various publishers. DC Comics may well be restricting their own line of comics but that can only be a good thing for other publishers looking to sweep up some of those consumer dollars. Indeed, 2020 became the year my indie list outnumbered my DC Comics list. The culling of titles at DC Comics as well as the change in guard on several title such as Superman and Action Comics also gives me the chance to revise my DC list once again. That and the ending of books such as The Green Lantern, Young Justice and Hellblazer. Sadly, I can only see that resulting in even less DC titles on my pull list and more indie reading over the course of the coming year.
But, enough about my own buying habits (Although I include them only because I imagine I’m not the only reader thinking this way). On this last day of the year, I bring you my ten titles to look out for in 2020, and in no particular order.
Whatever 2021 brings, theres one thing I’m certain of. It’ll bring out some great reads from some great, talented creators.
- The Swamp Thing (DC Comics) – Written by Ram V and illustrated by Mike Perkins, anyone who has read their recent take on everyone’s favourite muck monster, as well as their forthcoming work on DC Future State: Swamp Thing will already know of the wonderfully prosaic and thoroughly American Gothic flavour these two have infused into this creature. Ram V’s writing is reminiscent of his work on These Savage Shores, mixing highly wrought emotions with tense and drawn out gothic horror. And, as for Perkins, I would watch him draw the curtains. But, his recent work on Swamp Thing has shown him ramp up his talents to eleven. I can see this new Swamp Thing series being on a lot of readers pull lists. Mine included. Coming March from DC Comics.
- The Joker (DC Comics) 2020 was undoubtably James Tynion IV’s year for coming into his own, and then some. With a smash hit run on Batman that’s seen him elevated to regular writer, I can’t wait to see what he does next with the Joker. Especially as one of my favourite Batman artists of the past decade or so, Gilleum March, is also attached as the regular artist. Out March from DC Comics.
- Crime Syndicate (DC Comics) – I just love the bad boys and girls of the Crime Syndicate from the moment I first saw them in Justice League of America #207 (1982). And, a second title making the list to feature criminals as the leads. Not sure what that says about me, but I can’t wait to see what horrors writer Andy Schmidt and artist Kieron McKeown have these anti-Justice Leaguers commit over the course of this six-issue series. I just know I want a front row seat. Coming March from DC Comics.
- Nocterra (Image Comics) – I’m just stoked to see what Scott Snyder does next as he leaves DC Comics behind him and embarks on this news self-publishing venture. I dare say 2021 will see a larger-than-normal number of big name creators announcing such projects based on the success of this crowdfunding campaign. Snyder has always been a expert horror writer (see American Vampire for proof of that) and a mean hand at sci-fi too. So, a title mixing both is a no-brainer for me as we meet “Valentina ‘Val’ Riggs, a skilled ferryman who transports people and goods along deadly unlit roads with her heavily illuminated eighteen wheeler,” in a world gone eternally dark and populated by monstrous, life threatening shades. Tony S Daniel’s has more than proved he is a top tire talent too, so his artwork on this new series sold it even more for me. Coming March from Image Comics
- Karmen (Image Comics). I mentioned I’m a fan of Guillem March, right? So, why wouldn’t I look forward to an English translation of his European work? Image Comics will be chopping up his original Spanish graphic novel into single issues, and over a 5-issue series, but if that’s the only way I get to read it in English, then so be it. Having seen his work on such European titles as Monika (for Titan Comics), you too will be amazed a the very different, and more eloquent and fine art lines of his continental output. It’s like reading a complete different artist. You love him on Batman, but you’ll adore him even more after this. One of the finest artist around today. In any country! Out March from Image Comics. Check out our preview of the first issue here to see what I’m talking about.
- X-Men: Legends (Marvel) – A chance for some of the most legendary creators of the Uncanny X-Men to come back and tie up loose ends with all the advantages hindsight brings? What’s not to love about that prospect? One definitely for more long-term fans, but with a fair few newer fans – thanks to Jonathan Hickman’s revolutionary new take on Marvels merry mutants – this could well appeal to then too, wanting to know more about the X-Men and their colourful past. The fact that on the first story-arc by Fabian Nicieza also comes with era-appropriate art by Brett Booth only adds to that fuzzy feeling of nostalgia this title is so clearly wanting to capture. It’ll be like the bombastic 90s all over again. But with less padding. Out February from Marvel.
- Eternals (Marvel) – Kieron Gillen and Esad Ribic have both proven that they can do God-level epics then and time again, but to have them BOTH working together in one of Kirby’s less well received characters, the Eternals, is a prospect too good to turn down. What “new vision of the classic Marvel mythology” these two will bring about is yet to be seen, but it’s definitely one that’s got me salivating. Forget the yet-to-be releases film, this will be the version I probably remember more in 2021. Will you too? Out January from Marvel Comics.
- Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land (Dark Horse) Having spent the summer lockdown here in the UK re-reading the whole Hellboy library editions and having fallen back in love with him, I’m looking forward to any new sightings of this demon king from Hell. Even as a kid. This new mini-series sees a young Hellboy stranded on an island, along with Professor Bruttenholm only to meet a hero of his. Or does he? A four-issue series from Mike Mignola, Tom Sniegoski, Craig Rousseau, and Dave Stewart. Out February from Dark Horse.
- The Rise and Fall of the Trigon Empire Vol.3 (The Treasury of British Comics) – a third volume in this sumptuous reprinting of a UK classic. Mike Butterworth and Don Lawerence’s classic that fuses sci-fi space operatics and the unmistakable lush painted art with the fall of the Roman Empire restored and rolling out the door this July.
- The Mandalorian (Marvel) – other than being announced back in the summer as a roll-out of a larger selection of tie-in merchandise, I’d be surprised if we didn’t see this one in 2021 given we probably won’t get a new series until 2022. Not with The Book of Fett being filmed next. But, it does give us a good excuse to post one of theses mock-up covers by Instagram user dvglzv, who has been posting different fake cover for each episode of the second series of The Madalorian. Do check out his work, and get back to me in another 365 days to see if my prediction was correct.
Well, that;s my list of comics coming in 2021. But, I dare say as the year rolls on, they’ll be new titles to add to my pull list. And, as ever here at Comicon HQ, we’ll bring you all the latest news, previews and reviews as we hare about it. Happy New Year, readers, and here’s to a less fraught and divisive 2021.