Cosmic and sci-fi Marvel and DC superhero comics

This is an appendix to my main list of science fiction comic books. It includes mainstream American superhero comics from the “Big Two” publishers, Marvel and DC, that can be broadly classified as science fiction.

The vast majority of them belong to the so-called cosmic subgenre, in which characters travel through outer space, encountering alien species and primordial supervillains while attempting to avert galaxy-level threats. Over the years, both publishing houses have developed extensive mythologies about the entities that populate these “cosmic” strata of their fictional universes.

Some titles, however, delve into other areas of science fiction, sometimes paying homage to celebrated media franchises. On the list, one can find riffs on Doctor Who, Aliens, or Burroughsian planetary romance.

At the present, the cosmic regions of the Marvel universe are far better known. This is due to the enormous popularity of several of its major events in the 1990s and 2000s, as well as the success of Marvel movies. The most recognizable space-themed comics published by DC are Green Lantern and its related titles, but in fact DC has a much richer history when it comes to sci-fi storylines. When gathering data for the list, I tried to maintain parity between the two publishers, which effectively meant giving more attention to the under-represented DC series.

I must admit that I am neither an expert nor a fan when it comes to this type of comic books. This could explain why I’m haphazardly mixing titles from two competing publishers on the same list. However, I’m approaching them as someone who is broadly interested in science fiction stories, rather than as a fan of specific characters or in-universe continuities.

Having professed my ignorance, it’s probably best if I refrain from making any further uninformed remarks. Based on my limited experience with the comics listed here, I can only state the obvious: they are superhero stories first and foremost. To appreciate them, a reader should have a taste for the type of action, dialog, and plotting that are typical of the genre.

The list