2021 was a great year for Marvel Comics. We got all kinds of great stories for some of our favorite characters and even some new ones. So to celebrate the past year, I’ve decided to take a look back at some of my personal favorites in a variety of categories.

What I’ve come up with is six different categories, with four nominees in each. So without further adieu, let’s take a look back at some of the best Marvel Comics of 2021 and pick the winners.

Best Panel

This goes to the best individual panel in a comic. A combination of art, writing, impact on the story and humor are built into my considerations here.

The nominees:

And here we go…

“Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #3” – Peter David and Greg Land

Venom catches Mjolnir

King in Black #5 – Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman

I wore gloves

“SWORD #7” – Al Ewing and Valerio Schiti

Shark Cycle

“It’s Jeff #2” – Kelly Thompson and G Gurihiru

And the winner is…

Venom catches Mjolnir

This was one of many incredibly exciting moments in one of the biggest crossover events in recent years. Venom joined the short list of worthy characters who proved they could wield Mjolnir. It was one of those jump out of your seat moments.

Best Splash Page

Taking a step up from the smaller panels, splash pages typically feature some incredible art and are often used for some big reveals, especially at the end of the issue.

The nominees:

A new King

King in Black #5 – Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman

Spider of Dragons

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #23 – Saladin Ahmed and Carmen Carnero

Doctor

Guardians of the Galaxy #13 – Al Ewing and Juan Frigeri

Cap in Space

SWORD #6 – Al Ewing and Valerio Schiti

And the winner is…

Cap in Space

I’ll be honest, the art wins out here. This is simply one of the most stunning visuals I’ve ever seen in a comic. It does also have some significant value in regards to the story, as Captain America stands on a new planet and stares out into the void of space, knowing his world is getting much bigger.

Best Cover

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can certainly judge the cover itself. Comic covers are often very different from the story behind them, but they often feature some incredible visuals and showcase the talents of some of the best artists in the world.

The nominees:

The Marvels #1

Alex Ross

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #29

Taurin Clarke

The Death of Doctor Strange #1

Kaare Andrews

Kang the Conqueror #1

Mike Del Mundo

And the winner is…

The Marvels #1

Giving legendary artist Alex Ross the opportunity to go back in time and draw some of the greatest heroes in the Marvel universe is always going to be a win. “The Marvels #1” cover is a modern take on a throwback and the result is spectacular.

Best Event

Some of the biggest stories in Marvel Comics don’t necessarily follow just one character. The big crossover events always lead to some exciting stories and some epic moments. From the main story to the tie-in issues, a lot of talented people put a lot of work into these amazing stories.

The nominees:

King in Black

Heroes Reborn

Sinister War

The Hellfire Gala

And the winner is…

King in Black

The other nominees were great, but this was an easy choice simply because “King in Black” was one for the ages. Writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman did an unbelievable job with this main storyline and a great team of creators nailed the tie-ins. If you haven’t read this story yet, I recommend you do it now.

Best New Series

2021 saw a lot of great new stories get started. We all have our favorite ongoing series but sometimes it’s nice to start out fresh, even if it’s just reintroducing us to a character we’ve loved for years.

The nominees:

Moon Knight 

Jed MacKay and Alessandro Cappuccio

Kang the Conqueror

Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing and Carlos Magno

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop

Marieke Nijkamp and Enid Balam

Way of X

Simon Spurrier and Bob Quinn

And the winner is…

Kang the Conqueror

Kang is a complicated character and the time-traveling element certainly makes this a complicated story. If you’re ok with all of that though, this is an unbelievable new limited series. Each issue comes full circle and pulls all of its complexities together in an Inception-like manner. It won’t be for everyone, but a lot of people will love this series for years to come.

Best Issue

And finally, when we’re talking about the best comics of 2021, we should probably choose a best comic. Picking a single best issue over the course of an entire year is a nearly impossible task as there are so many great ones to choose from, but there were definitely a few standouts.

The nominees:

Venom #200

Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman

King in Black #5

Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman

Devil’s Reign #1

Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto

Strange Academy #10

Skottie Young and Humberto Ramos

And the winner is…

King in Black #5

Again, there were so many great issues to choose form here, but the best issue from the best event is a safe bet to win this one. Venom catches Mjolnir, we get a new King in Black and one of the most epic crossover events in recent memory comes to an epic finale. “King in Black #5” is the best issue of 2021 and one of the best in a while.

2021 was a great year for Marvel Comics and 2022 is already shaping up to give us more of the same. You can read most of these comics now on Marvel Unlimited and the others will be along soon.