The 7 Best Modern Fantasy Comics and Graphic Novels

Comics and fantasy make the best combination. If you’re looking for a modern take on the genre, look no further.

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Having images accompany a fantasy story allows you to better understand the environment. You can easily visualize a mystical world and its characters when there’s detailed artwork to go along with the narration and dialogue.

If you’re sick of the same old tropes fantasy comics have to offer, you might want to try reading a newer one. These modern fantasy comics and graphic novels give you a refreshing take on the genre.

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1. Rat Queens

Medieval fantasy worlds are sometimes a bit too serious. Rat Queens puts a raunchy and hilarious spin on the fantasy genre, with four drunken maidens as the stars of the story.

These reckless women, known as the Rat Queens, have traits that can only be described as “medieval millennial.”

When the girls get assigned a quest as punishment for their bar brawls, they learn that it’s a ploy to get them killed. Hannah, Violet, Dee, and Betty get ready to roll up their sleeves!

2. Coda

In this post-apocalyptic fantasy setting, the world has become devoid of magic and mystical elements. Hum, the disgruntled ex-bard, lives in this wasteland with his mutant unicorn.

As he embarks on a journey to save his wife’s soul, the comic quickly spirals into a very twisted fairytale.

3. Die

Did you ever want a Jumanji remake involving adults? Die satisfies the craving for a mature, dark take on the classic board game film.

The story begins when six teenagers play Die, a Dungeons & Dragons-esque tabletop game made by one of the teens. After getting sucked into the game for two years, they barely survive.

25 years have passed, and the group is now in their 40s. They revisit their trauma and land themselves back inside Die.

4. Middlewest

Middlewest is centered around Abel, a paperboy growing up in the middle-of-nowhere town of Farmington. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, Abel also lives in a trailer with his abusive dad.

So, how does this comic involve fantasy? The author, Skottie Young, slowly unveils the magic within the Middlewest, including Abel’s friendship with a fox.

5. Birthright

The Rhodes family is devastated when their son, Mikey, goes missing. Mikey’s brother watches as his family breaks apart over the loss of his brother. When it seems that no hope remains, Mikey reappears after one year.

Mikey isn’t the same kid that he was before. After becoming a warrior in a different world, he brings danger back with him.

6. Fables

Although Fables contains some of the most well-known characters and creatures from traditional fairytales, it offers a whole new perspective on their roles. These fantastical characters live happily in Fabletown until The Adversary destroys it.

Now the inhabitants of Fabletown are forced to blend into present-day New York, where they’ve taken up residence in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

7. Locke & Key

Before Locke & Key became a Netflix Original series, it made its mark as a best-selling comic. The Locke children lose their father to a violent murder, which brings them back to the family’s old home, Keyhouse.

Now that they’re in the isolated Lovecraft, Massachusetts, they have to deal with a grieving, alcoholic mother and a strange home. This dark fantasy will have you hooked as the siblings start to unlock the mysterious doors throughout the house.

Fantasy With a Modern Twist

Once you start reading these fantasy comics and graphic novels, you won’t want to return to real life! You can expect each story to take off on an unpredictable path that’s never been treaded, and that’s what makes them so readworthy.

Must-Know Comic Book Terms

Like most hobbies, the world of comic books and graphic novels has its own language full of jargon, phrases, and acronyms.

Most people can get by without learning those terms. But if you want to be a comic book enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to understand what CGC, TPB, and gutter loss mean.

We’ve compiled the most essential comic book terms to know, both industry terms and collector’s terms. Download the printable PDF below and keep it on hand for whenever you forget!

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