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The Most Exciting Comics to Look Forward to in 2022 | Screen Rant – Screen Rant

Some of the most anticipated comics of 2022 won’t be from DC or Marvel, but from Image, Vault, AfterShock and creator-owned services like Substack.
While Marvel and DC Comics receive the bulk of the attention, the comics industry is vast and diverse, and after a stellar year for independent and creator-owned comics, 2022 is shaping up to be just as exciting. This year will see a number of new comics debut, continuations of popular series, and long-awaited returns of some of the best stories published in comics in the last 20 years. Here are the most exciting new comics to check out in 2022.
One of the best science fiction comics of all time, Saga finally returns after a long hiatus. The wildly popular Image Comics series Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples has been on a break for more than three years, but will kick off the second half of its story with issue #55. The epic space opera tells the story of star-crossed lovers Alana and Marko, whose home planets are involved in a massive intergalactic war. Along with their daughter Hazel, the two struggle to find peace and outrun the authorities, bounty hunters, journalists and others who are hot on their tails.
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After ending issue #54 on a heartbreaking cliffhanger, the new chapter in Saga will apparently pick up after some time has passed. Preview images show Hazel as older than she was when readers last saw her. Wherever her path takes her next, it’s guaranteed to be as exciting, emotional and visually dazzling as Saga has consistently shown itself to be over its first half. Saga returns with a special double-sized issue on January 26, 2022.
The cyberpunk sub-genre of science fiction is known for its futuristic technology such as robotics or artificial intelligence, and for its urban, dystopian setting. Seminal works include William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer, the Judge Dredd comics, the classic manga and anime film Akira, and other movies such as Blade Runner and The Matrix. Cyberpunk is known for borrowing heavily from Asian aesthetics and other cultural elements, while also lacking Asian representation in terms of both character and creators. The long-awaited Fox and Hare comic will rectify this.
Originally slated to release in November, the Vault Comics series Fox and Hare was delayed due to the pandemic and will be available this February. Written by Jonathan Tsuei with art by Stacey Lee, the comic focuses on a coder who discovers that a massive corporation has devised a way to tap into people’s past lives. After going on the run, the coder turns to notorious mercenaries Fox and Hare for protection. With gorgeous artwork and a story that aims to reframe the cyberpunk themes of technology and rebellion through an Asian lens, Fox and Hare promises to be an entertaining and culturally significant work of science fiction.
This next pick represents a trend in the industry, rather than a specific book. The back half of 2021 saw a shift in how comics creators looked to publish their works. Rather than working with one of the major comics publishers like Marvel, DC or Image, more and more creators have instead begun opting to make their comics available to their readers directly through newsletter services such as Substack. As movies based on comic books have continued to dominate the global box office, writers and artists have been more vocal about the fact that they are not seeing a fair share of the profits, despite providing the stories and characters that form the basis of these billion-dollar juggernauts. Through direct subscription services, they retain the rights and creative control over their characters.
Related: The Most Exciting Marvel Comics to Look Forward to in 2022
Substack first gained attention in the summer when Batman writer James Tynion IV announced the he would be leaving DC for the subscription newsletter service. Tynion was not the only superstar creator who announced deals with Substack, as it has been reported Jonathan Hickman, Saladin Ahmed, Jeff Lemire, Scott Snyder and Molly Ostertag also launching Substack newsletters. With so many huge talents given the freedom to create whatever they desire, the comics coming from Substack this year are sure to be innovative and exhilarating.
Ever since it first launched in 1995, Astro City has become a beloved comic for its unique perspective on superhero stories. Written by Kurt Busiek with art by Brett Anderson and covers by Alex Ross, the series presents fascinating slice-of-life stories of a city filled with superheroes and villains that resemble some of the most popular characters from Marvel and DC Comics. Through its initial run at Image Comics, to a second volume at WildStorm and a third at DC’s Vertigo Imprint, the series focused on not only the heroes flying through the air, but the people on the ground looking up at them.
Now, Astro City is returning home to Image Comics, and kicking things off with a brand-new one-shot. Astro City: That Was Then… reunites Busiek, Anderson and Ross with colors by Alex Sinclair and lettering by Comicraft. The story will set up a new mystery, centered around a group known as the Jayhawks, which will drive a new ongoing Astro City series. Featuring the award-winning series’ signature blend of superhero lore and personalized stories, Astro City: That Was Then… is sure to immerse longtime fans and newcomers into this fascinating world when it released on March 30.
One of the most surprising and rewarding series of 2021 was AfterShock Comics’ We Live, written by Roy Miranda with art by Inaki Miranda. The Miranda brothers’ science fiction tale is set in 2084 when humanity is on the brink of extinction. A mysterious message from the sky informs the world that the end of the human species is coming, but that five thousand children have been selected to survive. The bulk of the story revolves around siblings Hototo and Tala as they journey to one of a select few beacons that will transport the selected children away.
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The comic was remarkable not only for its concept and storytelling, but also for its eye-popping visuals and designs. The ending also set up an exciting new direction for the story with the introduction of the Palladions, the protectors of humanity. The Miranda brothers will be following up with a new “season” of the story this March. We Live: Age of the Palladions picks up six years after the original. The emergence of the Palladions has not put an end to the darkness of this dystopian future, and the city of Megalopolis 9 is under constant attack from hordes of beasts. The next stage in this saga will begin on March 9 with two #1 issues, We Live: Age of Palladions Black #1 and We Live: Age of Palladions White #1.
Another post-apocalyptic story from AfterShock Comics, Land of the Living Gods is guaranteed to be a completely new experience for readers.Billed as the “South African Akira,” this series blends fantasy and science fiction with African traditions, beliefs and superstitions. Land of the Living Gods revolves around Naledi, a teenage girl living in Johannesburg after it has been deserted in a dystopian future. Accompanied by an intelligent potted plant named Buyo, Naledi sets out to find a land of gods in the hopes that they can restore her world to what it once was.
Land of the Living Gods was created by South African writer Isaac Mogajane and Brazilian artist Santtos. This is the first comic for Mogajane, who has written and produced films such as Catching Feelings, Matwetwe and Netflix’s Queen Sono. Santtos is known for works such as Blackout and Samurai Doggy. Mogajane said he was inspired by Akira and how it told a groundbreaking sci-fi story without conforming to Western aesthetics, and he sought to do a similar thing with South African culture. Land of the Living Gods will be released on February 2.
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips make up one of the strongest partnerships in comics, and together they have created classic crime stories that will stand the test of time. The pair’s seminal series Criminal is a sprawling saga of the underbelly of Center City, with each arc telling self-contained stories focused on different characters. Brubaker and Phillips have continued to play with, subvert and twist crime genre tropes in works such as Fatale, The Fade Out and Kill or Be Killed. Their latest venture, Reckless, centers around Ethan Reckless, a private eye who lives in a movie theater and investigates crimes in 1980s Los Angeles.
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While it was originally believed that Reckless would consist of three graphic novels, it was announced last month that a fourth Reckless book is on the way. The Ghost in You: A Reckless Book will center around Ethan’s assistant and confidante Anna. While Ethan is out of town, Anna investigates the mansion of a Hollywood scream queen who believes her home is haunted. Given this award-winning duo’s track record, The Ghost in You promises to be another masterfully told tale. Image Comics will released The Ghost in You: A Reckless Book in April.
These are just a handful of the promising new books and series coming to comic book store shelve this year. Todd McFarlane’s Spawn will grow its expanded universe, having just launched a new team book The Scorched. Boom! Studios will continue to update and reinvent the Buffyverse with new Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen will reunite to tell a story about child vampires grappling with their immortality in Little Monsters. Legendary Batman team Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s comiXology Original We Have Demons will be available in print for the first time this March courtesy of Dark Horse Comics. For those looking for fascinating stories and beautiful artwork outside the confines of Marvel and DC Comics, there will be plenty of independent comics available in 2022.
Next: The Most Exciting DC Comics to Look Forward to in 2022

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