Some of the best comics on shelves (or online) don’t belong to the big two. While DC & Marvel are both brimming with talent, several of the true breakout comics of the past five years have been published by smaller comic publishers such as Image and Boom Studios. The options are limitless with indie publishers, and they’re willing to push boundaries; whether it’s in the form of diversity and inclusion or explicit sex. There’s truly something for everyone. Here’s a few we’re looking forward to in the upcoming year.
The first up is by new comics publisher Vault Comics, who announced themselves at San Diego Comic-Con in 2016. The publisher’s specialty will focus on sci-fi and fantasy narratives. One of their first books for 2017 will be Heathen, written by Natasha Alterici. Heathen is a queer Viking fantasy that once existed as a self-published comic. The story follows a young Viking woman who’s on a quest to take down Odin. Sounds lofty, but isn’t that what comics are all about? Heathen hits shelves February 2017.
Next up is Motor Crush, published by Image Comics and created by the former team behind Batgirl – Babbs Tarr, Brenden Fletcher, and Cameron Stewart. The colorful sci-fi adventure series follows Domino Swift, a competitive biker vying for fame and fortune in a worldwide motorcycle racing league. But that’s just her day gig, by night, she “cracks heads of rival gangs” in intense bike wars to gain possession of a rare, valuable contraband: an engine “machine narcotic” known as Crush. We don’t get to see too many competitive racing stories in comics, especially ones with strong female leads. Motor Crush issue #1 hit stands in December, so you can pick up the first two issues now!
Boom Studio’s The Backstagers has been out for a while now. Backstagers follows Jory, your average shy teen who transfers to private, all-boys school St. Genesius. To adjust to life at the new school he figures joining the stage crew would be a great idea, nothing more than a lot of prop-fetching and fixing things, right? Wrong! Turns out the backstage is a nexus with corridors and doors leading to different worlds filled with fun and sometimes dangerous creatures. If you’re a fan of sci-fi with a light-hearted twist, this book’s the one for you.
Image Comic’s Curse Words follows a wizard that has appeared in New York City, one whose casting exotic spells and getting rich and famous off of them (think an even crappier version of Constantine). Despite his public fame and adoration, he’s secretly an evil wizard, preparing to unleash some pretty insane things on New York City. Curse Words hit stands on January 18.
Produced by Vault comics and set to debut in March, Powerless is a sci-fi story set in a world where superheroes don’t exist, as the general populous is equipped with superpowers. But now a newly emerged virus is erasing those powers, and it’s up to one quarantine agent to figure out what’s truly going on.
These are a few of the titles we are looking forward to this year, which series are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments section below and join the discussion on the Comicclan Facebook page!