2015 was a great year for comic books, and 2016 is shaping up to be just as exciting — and financially ruinous. Seriously, take a deep breath, look longingly at your wallet, and get ready to write up your pull list of some of 2016's coolest sounding comics. We may be in March, but we're going to take it from the top, looking back from January up until the new year, so that you don't miss out on any back issues from the start of 2016, too.
Dragon Age: Magekiller #2 (Dark Horse)—This series started late last year, but we can’t help including this fascinating exploration of a side of the Dragon Ageuniverse that’s not really touched in the video games: the magic-ruled kingdom of Tevinter. (Greg Rucka, Carmen Carnero, Terry Pallot, Michael Atiyeh)
Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1 (DC Comics)—Poison Ivy is one of Batman’s most iconic villains, but this is her first ever standalone series, as Pamela Isley finds Poison Ivy framed for the death of one of her colleagues. (Amy Chu, Clay Mann)
Gutter Magic #1 (IDW)—Urban fantasy set in a modern New York, in a world where World War II was fought with magic. When a man who’s desperately tried to learn magic all his life finally finds a way, he finds himself targeted by a sorcerous crime lord. (Rich Douek, Brett Barkley)
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers #0 (Boom Studios)—Boom’s highly anticipated series, set in the classic iteration of the Power Rangers, promises ‘90s nostalgia in spades. This preview issue sets up what to expect from this ongoing series. (Kyle Higgins, Mairghread Scott, Steve Orlando, Hendry Prasetyo, Daniel Bayliss)
Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel)—The showrunners behind Agent Carter turn their talents towards Carol Danvers, in her new “All-New, All-Different” series. She leads Alpha Flight, as Earth’s first line of defence against cosmic threats. (Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters, Kris Anka)
The Walking Dead #150 (Image)—The last milestone issue of The Walking Dead featured the death of a major character who had been in the series since issue one. So what horrible nightmares might happen, when Rick Grimes finds himself betrayed by the people he holds most dear? (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, Cliff Rathburn)
Red Sonja #1 (Dynamite)—Dynamite is shaking up its three big female-led series this year, starting with a new Sonja adventure that sees the warrior defend a kingdom from the brink of destruction, at the hands of threats both inside and out. (Marguerite Bennett, Aneke)
The Vision #3 (Marvel)—The Vision’s new series only put out two issues last year, but they were so mindblowing we counted the series as one of the best comics of the entire year. This is like nothing Marvel has ever released, and in 2016 The Vision should be on every comic reader's pull list. (Tom King, Gabriel Walta, Jordie Bellaire)
Adventure Time: Ice King #1 (Boom/Kaboom)—One of Adventure time’s most enigmatic characters finally gets his own series. (Emily Partridge, Natalie Andrewson)
Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis #1 (Dark Horse)—This smash hit series about the survivors of a city ruled by formerly benevolent superheroes returns. This time, the escaped survivors must return to Megalopolis to rescue more trapped victims. (Gail Simone and J. Calafiore)
The Legend of Wonder Woman #1 (DC Comics)—The first issue of the physical version of DC’s digital-first origin-story comic. This series explores how the Princess of the Amazons became one of Earth’s most dazzling superheroes. (Renae de Liz and Ray Dillon)
Ghostbusters International #1 (IDW)—The Ghostbusters get franchised! After helping out the U.N. with a haunting, the Ghostbusters find themselves being hired for missions all over the world. (Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening)
Cry Havoc #1 (Image)—The tale of a lesbian werewolf who goes to battle... or is it? This dark fantastical war series promises to mash up mysticism with war stories in a whole new way. (Simon Spurrier, Ryan Kelly, Emma Price)
Devolution #1 (Dynamite)—In a world where humankind has devolved into a feral and savage species, the remaining humans must find a way to survive before they fall victim to the change. (Rick Remender, Jonathan Wayshak, Jordan Boyd)
Justice League 3001 #8 (DC Comics)—The Justice League of the future is reborn, as an all-woman fighting team! But can they survive an unstoppable, hellish assault long enough to actually be the Justice League? (Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Scott Kolins)
Tomb Raider #1 (Dark Horse)—Lara Croft’s adventures continue, in this comic that takes place after the events of her latest game, from Eisner Award winning writer Mariko Tamaki.
The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade #1 (DC Comics)—As part of the third entry in the Dark Knight Returns saga, this new miniseries focuses on the heroes and villains who are left behind in the wake of Batman’s disappearance. (Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, John Romita Jr., Bill Sienkiewicz)
Transformers #50 (IDW)—In this milestone issue, the Autobots declare Earth part of Cybertron’s empire... and only the Decepticons can stop them. Wait, what!? (John Barber, Andrew Griffith & Casey W. Coller, Griffith)
Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems #1 (Boom)—The delightful Cartoon Network series begins a new miniseries, as Steven, Amethyst, Garnet, and Pearl face a monster that turns people into glass. (Josceline Fenton, Chrystin Garland)
Spider-Man #1 (Marvel)—Miles Morales is back, in the all-new Marvel universe! Miles begins his own ongoing series, finding himself in a bizarre new world after the Ultimate Universe was destroyed in Secret Wars. (Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli)
Snowfall #1 (Image)—In 2045, it never snows, and climate disasters have reshaped the world into a corporate-ruled society. But one man with the power to control the elements fights back. (Joe Harris, Martín Morazzo)
Dejah Thoris #1 (Dynamite)—When Dejah’s father goes missing, she ascends to the Kingdom’s throne — only to discover an ancient secret that threatens her life, in this continuation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom stories. (Frank J. Barbiere, Francesco Manna)
Bill & Ted Go To Hell #1 (Boom)—It’s been 25 years since Bill and Ted went to meet the Devil, so why not again? The bumbling duo find themselves returning to Hell to rescue their friend, Death, but find themselves facing a far greater threat from the Devil than they imagined. (Brian Joines, Bachan)
Power Man & Iron Fist #1 (Marvel)—The heroes for hire are back! Just in time for Luke Cage’s Netflix series, Danny Rand and Luke are back in action on the streets of New York, kicking ass and taking names. (David Walker, Sanford Greene)
Fight Club #10 (Dark Horse)—Chuck Palahnuik’s sequel to the classic film reaches its conclusion. Tyler Durden’s new world comes to pass... but not how he quite anticipated. (Chuck Palahniuk, Cameron Stewart, Dave Stewart)
Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #1 (DC Comics)—A new event series for DC. Darkseid and the hordes of Apokolips lay waste to the world, and even Superman is overwhelmed — but not for long, as three heroes from the miniaturised city of Kandor emerge at full size, armed with all the vast powers of Kal-El, ready to become the new Supermen! (Neal Adams)
Street Fighter X G.I. Joe (IDW)—The world’s greatest fighters come up against... the world’s greatest fighters? Destro and M. Bison join forces to conduct a secret Street Fighter Tournament that sees the Joes team up with Ryu, Chun-Li, Cammy and more to stop them. (Aubrey Sitterson, Emilio Laiso)
Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1 (Marvel)—Marvel’s first big event of the year sees the myriad Avengers teams discovering the dark, mysterious secret that lies behind the gated community of Pleasant Hill. (Nick Spencer, Mark Bagley)
Wynonna Earp (IDW)—The US Marshals Black Badge division has been fighting back against supernatural threats for decades. But even the supernatural knows there’s one agent to avoid at all cost: Wynonna Earp!
X-Files Deviations (IDW)—A special one-shot comic — in a world where young Fox Mulder was abducted by aliens and never returned, and another Mulder takes up the crusade against deception. Meet Samantha Mulder, a believer who won’t stop until she finds out the truth about her brother! (Amy Chu, Elena Casagrande & Silvia Califano)
Predator: Life and Death #1 (Dark Horse)—Colonial Marines on the planet Tartarus battle extraterrestrial hunters over the possession of a mysterious horseshoe-shaped spaceship of unknown origin. The Weyland-Yutani rep wants the ship, and the marine captain wants to protect her crew. But neither objective looks very attainable, once a band of Predators attacks. (Dan Abnett, Brian Thies, Rain Beredo)
Black Widow #1 (Marvel)—The men behind one of the best runs on Daredevil in years, Chris Samnee and Mark Waid, turn their eyes to the Black Widow. On the run from SHIELD, Natasha must find out why some of her deadliest secrets have started going public. (Chris Samnee, Mark Waid)
Vampirella #1 (Dynamite)—Vampirella heads to Hollywood to tackle a mysterious plot that’s as old as the City of Angels itself. (Kate Leth, Eman Casallos)
Turncoat #1 (Boom)—It’s been 300 years since humanity was brutally subjugated by the alien race, but just two years since these invaders abandoned Earth to return to their home world. Now, a resistance fighter who helped massacre human-alien hybrids who were left behind is starting her own private detective agency. (Alex Paknadel, Artyom Trakhanov)
Batman #50 (DC Comics)—Bruce Wayne is back as Batman, having remembered his past as the Dark Knight! Nothing will be the same again! (Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Danny Miki)
Superman #50 (DC Comics)—Superman is back in Metropolis’s good graces, and has all of his powers back! Nothing will be the same again! (Gene Luen Yang, Howard Porter)
Batgirl #50 (DC Comics)—In this special issue, honouring Batgirl’s 50th birthday, Barbara Gordon discovers the intentions of the shadowy forces who have been moving against her since she first moved to Burnside. This time, it’s likely that...nothing will be the same again! (Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr)
The 13th Artifact (Image)—Stranded on a mysterious alien planet after her shuttle crashes, astronaut Valentina Kedr is desperate to find a way to survive. With her oxygen rapidly running out, she decides to explore her new surroundings. After she discovers a civilisation on the planet, will her curiosity lead to her downfall? (Amit Chauhan, Eli Powell)
Circuit-Breaker #1 (Boom)—When the heroic robots that saved Japan during World War IV are outlawed, they turn against humanity, waging a campaign of terror across the last city on Earth. Their creator builds one more soldier — disguised as his teenaged granddaughter — and tasks her with dismantling this marauding mechanical militia. (Kevin McCarthy, Kyle Baker)
Army of Darkness: Furious Road (Dynamite)—20 years in the future, the Deadites have taken over the world. A united front between monsters and humans needs to track down the Necronomicon to send them back to hell... but they have to deal with its guardian first: a guy named Ash. (Nancy A. Collins, Kewber Baal)
X-Men ‘92 #1 (Marvel)—The Secret Wars miniseries that played on the ridiculousness and nostalgia of the ‘90s X-Men comics is back, and with the Xavier School for Gifted Children founded, their adventures are only just beginning. (Chris Sims & Chad Bowers, Alti Firmansyah)
Godzilla: Oblivion #1 (IDW)—A scientist has created a portal to another dimension, one where monsters rule. But when a terrifying expedition begins into a world where Godzilla is the unrivalled King of the Monsters, a baby kaiju hitches a ride back to the original, monster-less dimension. (Joshua Fialkov, Brian Churilla)
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers #1 (Boom)—Boom’s Power Rangers series reallybegins! Transfer student Tommy, aka the Green Ranger, has been freed of his mind control at the hands of Rita Repulsa. But with Rita’s magic still lingering in his mind, is Tommy a danger to his fellow Rangers? (Kyle Higgins, Hendry Prasetya)
Star Trek #55: Legacy of Spock (IDW)—IDW’s ongoing Star Trek series offers tribute to the dearly departed Leonard Nimoy. A new arc revolves around Spock’s search for a new home for Vulcan survivors in the parallel universe he finds himself trapped in. (Mike Johnson, Tony Shasteen)
Did you know that there’s a whole nine months of 2016 beyond March? Comics sure as hell do! We don’t know when some of these comics are exactly coming out, but they’re ones to watch out for.
April sees Wonder Woman’s origins explored in the latest entry in the seminal Earth One series Wonder Woman: Earth One, while Dark Horse revives the classicAlien comic for its 30th anniversary, with a complete collection. IDW is bringing back not just Micronauts, but Rom the Space Knight for their own standalone series, guaranteeing some serious nostalgia. Although we don’t know any plans for sure, Marvel’s Star Wars comics could become a potent force for the second year in a row, now that there’s the potential to explore more of what happened between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
Also in April, comics icon Grant Morrison takes over Heavy Metal with Heavy Metal #280, leading a radical overhaul of the magazine that could make it home to some of the most fascinating creator-owned stories of the year. Mark Millar is teaming up with Stuart Immonen for Empress, a new science fiction series that promises to be as gorgeous as it is grand.
Two of our most anticipated comics, however, come from writers who are delving into the world of comics for the first time: Margaret Atwood has teamed up with Dark Horse to pen Angel Catbird, a zany take on superheroics with a part cat, part bird, part human hero. And Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of the most seminal cultural writers of the modern age, turns his hand to the Marvel universe with Brian Stelfreeze to write Black Panther, in the year T’Challa celebrates both his 50th anniversary and his cinematic debut in Captain America: Civil War.
These days, comic books are all about big event series, and there’s plenty coming in the year. Marvel promises major deaths and shocking revelations inCivil War II. Valiant, meanwhile, offers time-travel shenanigans, as cybernetic hero Rai finds himself at the core of the company’s 4001 event. And DC is teasing a major event from Batman team Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. No matter what kind of comics you read, 2016 is shaping up to be a pretty awesome year.