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Required Reading: 50 of the Best Sci-Fi Comics

From cyborg sexuality to superhero futurism, these comics represent the best the genre has to offer.

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Science fiction and comics have been close bedfellows since both genres’ infancies in the pulp markets, with heroes obtaining bold powers from strange elixirs, villains constructing death rays and a cosmos full of bizarre beasts. And both sci-fi and comics matured quickly, offering countless examples of the ways genre conventions can be used to tell not only thrilling escapist tales, but also thought-provoking stories that turn a mirror back onto the reader. Unlike a list of the best horror comics of all time, compiling comics’ best science fiction isn’t as simple as asking, “Is it scary and is it good?” A quick glance at contemporary comic shelves proves the breadth of what might be considered science fiction, from all-too-real near-future dystopias where women are punished for breaking gender norms to optimistic superhero futurism and breathtaking worlds in which science and magic have become indistinguishable. Nearly every major publisher—as well as some small press outlets and foreign pubs—is represented in the gallery above, as we attempt to pin down 50 examples of the best that science fiction comics have to offer. Be sure to let us know on Twitter if we left off anything egregious enough to earn us a one-way trip out the nearest airlock.

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