2020 was an unusual year for the comic world. In a year of a pandemic, fans and collectors continued to collect books during these tough times. While comic juggernauts such as Marvel & DC Comics continued to sell as status quo, other publishers and trends emerged this year. Marvel Comics is as popular as ever as their speculation is high due to the worldwide success of their movies. In addition, the popularity of their Disney+ platform has expanded their reach to fans. Indie publishers flourished as comics were pushing historic highs on certain titles. Lastly, the explosion of the Star Wars brand this year is nothing to forget. The movies turned out to be a bummer, but it appears the comic realm picked up where the movie world could not. All in all, 2021 appears to be another fun year in the comic world. The question is, are we expecting the same from 2020 or more diversity? What’s the comic outlook?
Firstly, one trend that will continue in 2021 is the speculation in Marvel Comics. Comics associated with their movie and television universe rose to historic highs in 2020. Comics such as Fantastic Four #48, X-Men #1, and Avengers #8 are a few books that have exploded due to the speculation buzz. Avengers #8 depicts the first appearance of Kang the Conqueror. This character is projected to be appearing in the upcoming tv shows and movies as a recurring villain. He is a time-traveling villain that has the potential to be linked to many of the past and future projects.
I truly believe the trend will continue into 2021 for Marvel Comics. Fans, if anything, are starving for more movies and shows due to the pandemic. We can expect books to continue to rise, as we enter the next phase of their Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Comic collectors predicting the next big independent comic is a whole separate job in itself. To me, 2020 represented that readers want more than just superhero genres. Many independent comics soared to new heights. Comics such as Something is Killing the Children #1 is hitting about $280, while Ice Cream Man #1 has benefited from a strong fan base and being optioned as a tv show on the Quibi platform. In reality, independent comics are being optioned left and right to a plethora of streaming platforms. These platforms allow for these comics to gain exposure and popularity like never before!
2021 should build on the success of the past year. Writers are hungry to show everyone how awesome their comic titles are and expect issues to be optioned just the same. It is an exciting time for independent publishers as long as they can weather the pandemic crisis. There is so much potential out there and fans are drooling for the next hit tv or movie!
So, I know Marvel owns Star Wars, but I believe it deserves its own section. The brand has exploded due to the success of the comics and the Mandalorian tv show. Due to the success, the speculation world for comics is on high alert and everyone is catching on. Comics such as Clone Wars #1, Star Wars: Heir to the Empire #1, and Darth Vader #3 are a few that exploded in 2020. These issues show the first appearance of Ahsoka Tano, Admiral Thrawn, and Doctor Aphra respectively. These issues have all benefited from the Mandalorian show. Speculation of these characters already appearing or showing up in the future has created a fan craze.
With that, the Star Wars brand should continue to rise in its comic titles. The plan to implement more spinoff shows and movies in the near future has collectors grabbing any “spec-worthy” title off the shelves of stores. The fanbase is world-wide and fans have been waiting such a long time to see if there is more than just Luke Skywalker. It appears there are more plans down the pipeline that will come to fruition.
How would you evaluate the year of 2020 for comics? Do we believe 2021 will expand on what 2020 has started or create its own path?