The Top 5 Science Fiction Comics

Recently, I’ve been on a huge sci-fi kick.

Hahahahahaha. Ha. Ha.

Okay, sorry. It’s just that I said “recently”, and if you know even a little bit about me you know that sci-fi fandom runs in my blood perhaps more dominantly than comic book nerdism. It’s such a major part of my life that I even have a Star Wars tattoo – yeah, I represent the Fett.

But while my obsession and love for the crazy futuristic is always there, my specialized fixations come and go. As of late it has been reignited with a little thing called Battlestar Galactica – somehow I missed the boat on that one and I’ve only just started watching it for the first time, and it has my heart beating fast for futuristic spaceships and self aware machines.

Naturally, I try to marry my fandoms as often as possible, combining one thing I love (in this case, genre) with something I think it would be well suited to (see: comics). Sci-fi comics are old news, a genre that has been pretty prominent in the expanse of titles since at least the 1930s. I’ve dedicated my life (well, okay, a few hours a week curled up in my favourite comfy chair) to finding the best scifi comics – the ones that make me just as excited as I was the first time I saw Star Wars or watched Spock logically deduce.

Sci-fi itself is a broad genre. It differs from fantasy in that while fictional, the scenarios presented in a sci-fi story are scientifically possible. For example: futuristic worlds, advanced spaceships, sophisticated robots sporting artificial intelligence, etc. For me, the appeal is in this – that perhaps in my lifetime NASA will make the “impossible” possible. We may inhabit other planets or invent something akin to a holodeck. Even while I was at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) last week I was looking at 3D printers and paper thin televisions – and in my head I was envisioning space colonization and the pew pew pew of blaster rifles.

But for now I will stick to the more fantastical side of sci-fi, which brings me to the list below. After much digging through my shelves and chewing of my lower lip, I have decided on the five most essential Science Fiction titles in comics. Prepare yourself for a trek into the probable.


Flash Gordon

It seemed something of a sin not to include this classic on my list. Flash Gordon has been around since the early 30s, prevailing even through the angry uprising against comic books in the 1950s (thanks to Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent, in which he stated that comic books cause juvenille delinquents). It’s stayed true for many years, and remains a pop culture icon even today – most people (in my age range, at least) immediately envision battling dinosaurs and crazy space travel when you say the words “Flash Gordon”.

It has spawned publications in other countries, TV shows, cartoons, movies, toys… and it doesn’t seem like Flash is going anywhere.

If you’ve never picked up a Flash Gordon comic, I highly recommend you do. It starts off in the sci-fi cliche of a meteor shower that is bombarding earth, and focuses on the futuristic adventures of Flash Gordon – an all American Yale graduate. He’s kidnapped by his half mad scientist friend, Dr. Hans Zarkov, and taken on a rocket ship that Dr. Zarkov created in order to find the location of the meteors. What awaits are many adventures with aliens, dinosaurs, and royalty as they traverse the various kingdoms of Mongo (the planet they discover via Rocket Ship).



The Adventures of Tintin

While Tintin straddles a wide range of genres – from swashbuckling adventures to straight up fantasy, there have been some amazing scifi forays from this beloved series. Specifically Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon.

I’ve loved Tintin long before the movie came out (ugh I sound like such a hipster), and I haven’t actually seen the movie yet. It’s a Belgium comic strip that is akin to Calvin and Hobbes in terms of belovedness, and featured unique characters, slapstrick humor, and undercurrents of political commentary.

It’s a children’s comic that follows the adventures of a young boy and his dog. It also has a cast of unique and beloved characters that quickly become friends to you as you read through this awesome series.

If you want to read one of the most popular European comics of all time, pick up Tintin. If you want to read one of the best children’s comics of all time, pick up Tintin. And if you’re just in it for the Science Fiction, pick up Tintin: Destination Moon and Tintin: Explorers on the Moon. You won’t be disappointed.


Aphrodite IX

I may just be a sucker for hot androids with green hair, but Aphrodite IX is one of the comics in college that brought me back to full blown comic book geek (as opposed to just my habitual reading of X-men every Wednesday and not much else). So while it may not be one of the most amazing, sweeping works of science fiction comic books out there, I feel I owe Aphrodite IX a debt. And it features a super badass ass kicking female, so what more could you want?

It follows the convoluted and twisted life of Aphrodite IX, a buxom android who is programmed to assasinate. She suffers from amnesia, but as she learns more of who she is and what she is done she is thrown into a moral dilemma about whether or not the killing she does is right. However, she is a slave to her programming and must carry out her missions no matter what.

Set in a futuristic world of flying cars, corrupt politicians, and self aware androids that look like hot green haired chicks, Aphrodite IX is a sexy little sci-fi gem.


The Incal

The Incal is illustrated by Moebius, world renowned French comics artist, so that alone makes it hit this list. But if there’s two things I like more than Moebius, it’s 1) good, solidly written sci-fi that still manages to surprise me with elements that I have not seen before and 2) introducing American readers to International comics.

I travel a lot, and in my travels I try to expose myself to as many International comics as possible. Some of my favourite comics have turned out to be French, and I’m always really excited to share my little French comic gems with voracious consumers of comic books who are tired of the same old same old superhero game.

The Incal is a space opera mixed with metaphysics and satire, also displaying themes of Tarot cards throughout the series. It features a reluctant hero, one John Difool, who is a crappy PI in a dystopian society on an inconsequential planet in a human dominated galaxy. He is given The Incal, a mega powerful artifact that allows him to traverse the galaxy, and only survives thanks to his resourceful talking concrete seagull. Yes, you heard me right. Concrete talking seagull. Take that, classic sci-fi themes.


 Star Wars

I tried really, really hard to leave Star Wars off this list. In fact, I did a write up of an entirely different science fiction comic book in place of Star Wars. But as I was putzing around on iFanboy, getting this article ready to be posted, leaving Star Wars off felt wrong. So, so wrong. So here we are – Star Wars is back on my list, as obvious as a choice as it may be.

The truth is this: Star Wars is a huge empire that has spawned science fiction fans for generations now, myself included. It is a vast and encompassing throbbing piece of canon, and even the most knowledgeable Star Wars historian or scholar would be hard pressed to know every detail of the extended universe (that is, beyond the movies). It has spawned so many different media, and the novels and comic books are considered canon (true to the series, “canon” meaning that if it says it in the novels or the comic books, it’s true within the Star Wars universe).

I feel that even someone who hasn’t seen the Star Wars movies (believe it or not there are still people out there that haven’t) could pick up various Star Wars comic books and still get a pretty good idea of what was going on. We have comics that focus on the adventures of everyone’s favourite bounty hunter, Boba Fett. We have comics that introduce entirely new characters (like the amazing Mara Jade). We have comics that tie up loose ends. Star Wars comics are so vast and awesome and chock full of sci-fi goodness that most anyone can find something in them. And thus, it would have been a travesty to leave them off this list.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to play imaginary lightsabers in the snow.


Molly McIsaac is definitely a sith but is NOT a cylon. You can follow her weird ramblings on twitter.


  1. Starborn would definitely be on my list, and i’d put Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova if we’re counting regular superhero comics

  2. deffo digging the pulp scifi on here, if you like flash gordon try the original John Carter of Mars books, you’ll find a bunch of them for free on most digital bookstores (iBooks, Kindle, etc).

    • Second on the John Carter, it’s the mad note. The recent comics have been pretty good as well.

      I’ve also really been enjoying the new “Flash Gordon – Zeitgeist” comic, although the art in #2 was inconsistent. Imagine the 1980 movie combined in with a WWII story. It’s crazy awesome.

  3. You know, you don’t need to explain comic terms on a comics website. I’m pretty sure everyone knows what “canon” “extended universe” and “the 1950s comic crisis” are…

    • You’d be surprised. Besides, this is a community that is open for everyone — iFanboy is not just for those who are intimately aware of all the terminology and history of comics.

    • Jim Shooter used to say that every comic is somebody’s first comic. This is true in many things. Just because most of us know these things, there was a time when we didn’t. Nobody is BORN knowing what those terms mean, they have to learn it from somewhere. maybe somebody is learning it HERE.

  4. “FLASH! Ahhhh Ahhhh!”

  5. I don’t know how readily available they are, but Jim Starlin’s original Dreadstar stuff is pretty good (I don’t know about the later material they put out).

  6. I have really enjoyed readin Warlord of Mars. I just started reading Elephantmen on digital and it seems promising, especially for the Moritat art.

    In the marvel realm I would recommend Marvel 1985 for anyone who wants that good old E.T./Super 8 feeling with a marvel twist.

  7. WEIRD SCIENCE and WEIRD FANTASY from publisher EC Comics in the 1950s. Some of the stories are repetitive, but I enjoy the art and the few stories that have killer endings.

  8. My favorite recent sci-fi series have been Anna Mercury and Ignition City. I love how Warren Ellis writes sci-fi!


  10. Gotta have me some fear agent on here! love that series. but your list is pretty bad ass as well.

  11. Cool list. To be honest I think science fiction (especially hard science fiction) is one of the most undeserved niches in comics. I’m always surprised there is not more crossover with this other “geek” staple. Some of the Manga series have done a great job of filling this gap. Also there was a series (I believe translated from French) a couple years ago that I thought was great called WAR (doing a google search doesn’t bring up that title, so I might have that wrong). And another series that scratched that itch was Shrapnel, not the best comic ever, but had a cool plot in the first arc. Waren Ellis’s retro sci-fi is also pretty fun.

    Huh, maybe it’s not as undeserved as I thought ;-).

    I’m also really looking forward to the upcoming Saga series, I could use a monthly space opera floppy.

    See you later space cowboys,


  12. What, no Ballad Of Halo Jones?

  13. Laser Eraser and Axel Pressbutton!

  14. Great to see some europeans comics in the list , you just forgot to mention that besides Moebius
    Jodorowsky is one of the greatest comic book writers in the world.