2016 proved to be a great year for comic book-based entertainment. From February to November, superhero movies dominated the big screen and broke records at the global box office. While it may have been one of the most divisive years for comic book cinema for both critics and fans alike, audiences still showed up to theaters in droves.
Our favorite characters fared just as well if not better on the small screen. Daredevil had a successful sophomore season as it introduced an almost universally praised Punisher to the MCU; Luke Cage had a debut so strong it broke Netflix; Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. won back audiences with the inclusion of Ghost Rider and Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow all did their thing and did it well, culminating in a historic four-way crossover between the separate series.
At the end of the day, though, it always comes back to the source material. While comic-based properties may be taking over the world, the comics themselves haven’t always had as easy a time staying afloat. That’s because there are more ways to make a comic and find a readership than ever before. All you really need to make it work is some degree of talent and an Internet connection. There are so many platforms on which to read the medium now that a good portion of content just gets buried. It’s a changing industry and there’s still no real certainty of what it’s changing into.
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Comic books, in general, have always been a niche medium and even now that they’re taking over the world in some ways, not much has changed significantly. Yes, there are more people getting curious about the stories after seeing the movies, but sadly that doesn’t mean they’re all going down to the local comic shop to start making discoveries. Some titles have done very well for themselves, but then again, some always do. But this year saw many, many books end up being canceled, even from the Big Two.
Some series that got off to a great start and showed massive potential didn’t get the room to develop further. It’s not because the industry’s failing, far from it. There are so many great comics out there right now, but only so much room on the stands. It’s not a gloomy situation, though. It’s just evidence that a medium that’s been around for nearly a century is still continuing to expand and evolve on a day-to-day basis. If anything, that’s promising.
With that in mind, here are 10 books that really stuck out, gained some new fans and most importantly, made an impact in 2016.