The Most Historic Comic Book Moments in 2021 | Screen Rant

With the dawn of a new year, never is there a better time to reflect on the previous one and see what Marvel and DC events have earned a place in comic history. It's been a time of great change, filled with bold beginnings, shocking endings and daring artistic choices that gave several comics what they need to stand the test of time. With that said, it's time to look back on some of the most historical comic book moments of 2021.

New Lanterns. A new Batman and Superman. If one word defined DC in 2021, it would be "legacy" for all the new heroes the recent relaunch has lifted up and given a voice to. The Infinite Frontier push was DC Comics' massive line-wide reshuffling after the events of Dark Knights: Death Metal and a harkening of a new era for the company. Emphasizing creative freedom for the future, stories could be crafted without being held back by the constraints of the past. Not only were existing heroes taken in exciting directions, but room was made for a new and more diverse generation to rise and take the lead.

Related: The New Superman Just Proved He'll Be Better Than Clark Kent

In the past year, DC has had more legacy characters in lead positions in its books than ever before. Jace Fox is a future Dark Knight in I Am Batman. Sojourner "Jo" Mullein and Teen Lantern Keli Quintela took the lead to save the Corps in Green Lantern. And Jonathan Kent made a huge splash taking over for his father in Superman: Son of Kal-El. These characters and more have been integral in giving voices to underserved audiences and bringing the spirit of DC's history to every reader possible.

Donny Cates' and Ryan Stegman's journey with Venom came to a dramatic conclusion earlier this year with the King in Black event that saw Eddie Brock take on the God of Symbiotes, Knull. The battle ended in Brock's victory after being imbued with a cosmic force that temporarily made him Kull's opposite, the God of Light. Since his victory over Knull, Brock has assumed the role of the new King in Black, becoming one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. But where exactly did that leave Venom?

While Eddie journeys across space, his son Dylan assumed the mantle of Venom on Earth. The young Brock faces his own trials, being pursued by the authorities and the Life Foundation with no one by his side but the symbiotes Venom and Sleeper. It's a new era for the symbiotes with Eddie as the King in Black and his son carving out his own path as Venom and fans are no doubt excited for the changes this new status quo could bring.

Related: King in Black: Marvel's New Venom is Eddie Brock's Son

Ever since the shuttering of the original Milestone Comics line in 1997, appearances for the heroes of the Dakotaverse have been sporadic at best. Static's popularity got him a comic during the New 52 reboot, as well as a spot on the Teen Titans. Beyond that, heroes like Icon, Rocket and Hardware have largely been missing in action. Rumors had been circulating for years that a resurrection was on the horizon, but the outlook seemed dim amid lawsuits and a general lack of information on Milestone's future. That is, until 2020's publication of Milestone Returns #0, which was primed fans for a big relaunch that would come the following year.

Summer 2021 saw Year One of the Milestone Returns imprint hit the ground running with Static: Season One, Icon and Rocket: Season One, and Hardware: Season One. Critics and fans alike were pleased to see the comeback for the heroes and with second seasons of the titles already in the works (along with a return of Blood Syndicate), 2021 has been a banner time for fans of Milestone Comics.

It took nearly three years and fifty issues, but Al Ewing and Joe Bennett's Immortal Hulk closed out its run with an ending that was just as grand and cosmic as the journey itself. As Bruce Banner and his various personas struggled against the machinations of the enigmatic One-Below-All, they finally had the chance to confront the Gamma-powered force and ask why it tormented them so. The shocking answer came only as the One-Below-All revealed himself to be the other face of Marvel's most godlike being, the One-Above-All.

Related: Marvel Reveals The Shocking Truth Behind Its Most Powerful Character

The revelation that the two über-powerful deities are opposite sides of the same coin wasn't just a great way to bring it home for Immortal Hulk, it was an addition that gave greater depth to the mysterious being. With the One-Below-All serving as a metaphorical Hulk, the One-Above-All finally achieved a cosmic balance. One side representing creation, the other destruction. The ramifications of the One-Below-All's existence have yet to be further explored, but its presence as a cosmic counter to the most powerful entity in the Marvel Universe makes it one of the most notable additions of the year.

Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo's work on Nightwing has been critically lauded and become a fast favorite among fans of the eldest son of the Bat-Family. Taylor has emphasized the fun, lighthearted aspect of hero and Redondo's art has given the book the kinetic energy an acrobat like Dick Grayson should convey. While the book has made some dramatic changes to Nightwing's life, the creative team made some narrative choices in an issue that became one of the most talked about comics of the year.

Taylor and Redondo's Nightwing #87 features an experimental technique that told a story in one continuous image. Redondo draws Dick jumping, climbing and running all across a beautifully drawn cityscape while Taylor's dialogue works with the art in tandem to create one of the most exciting comics of the year. Fans went wild for the book, raving over its innovation and execution. Finding a storytelling device that so expertly embodies a character is hard, but Taylor and Redondo's joint effort hit it out of the park. It's a certainty Nightwing #87 will be looked back on as the comic that sent 2021 out in the most dynamic way possible.

Where these things will lead to in 2022 remains to be seen, but for now these DC and Marvel events are what will stand out as some of the most historic moments of 2021.

Next: Screen Rant's Best Comic Books of 2021

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