Science fiction comics

This is a list of comic books, graphic novels, and manga that fall under the broad category of science fiction. This is an extensive genre in comics, as it is in any other medium, encompassing vastly different types of stories, creative approaches, and attitudes toward the “science” component of the term. Accordingly, various styles and subgenres are represented here, including hard sci-fi, space opera, cyberpunk, and post-apocalypse. While spaceships and aliens appear in a significant number of the titles included, the list is not limited to space-based comic books.

At first glance, the selection may appear somewhat Eurocentric to an Anglophone reader, as roughly one-third of the titles on the list come from the tradition of bandes dessinées. This, however, should come as no surprise. For a long time, France and Belgium were the true powerhouses of science fiction comics production, as well as the sources of new visions and conventions that influenced the rest of the world’s popular culture (in all media, including cinematic blockbusters). To this day, many English-language sci-fi graphic novels can be seen as love letters to Moebius and his cohorts, who first gained recognition in the United States through translations published in Heavy Metal magazine.

Manga has a sizable presence on the list as well. While in the West, the classic works of Japanese cyberpunk are by far the most well-known (see my list of cyberpunk comics and manga), sci-fi manga has a much wider range. It’s worth noting that many of these Japanese works are far more serious and grounded in tone than typical Western sci-fi comics, which frequently default to pulpy space opera or baroque science fantasy.

When it comes to American comic books, only the so-called independent or creator-owned titles were included here. While many mainstream superhero comics are based on science fiction concepts, they clearly belong in their own category, and listing them all would be absurd. I did, however, publish a separate list devoted to the “cosmic” superhero comics released by the “Big Two” (Marvel and DC).

The list