I’d much rather read about thrilling adventures than actually have them. Who wants to be chased, shot at, blasted with magic, half-drowned, and battle magical robots? Not this girl! But I’m totally fine with diving into action and adventure webcomics to live vicariously. (As long as I’m warm, comfortable, and have plenty of snacks.) Here’s a roundup of my favorite adventurous webcomics, so you can live vicariously too. Happy not-really-adventuring!
Everblue by Michael Sexton
Status: Ongoing, my rough estimate was about 210 pages in Fall 2015
What it’s about: “Everblue is a story about adventure, camaraderie and exploration in a world with a potentially bleak fate. In a world of endless ocean, a young shipwright named Luna meets an odd and cheerful drifter when he crashes his flying boat on her city’s dock. When strange circumstances force Luna to leave her home, her once quiet life quickly takes a turn for the unpredictable. In an instant she is swept up in an adventure that will take her beyond the bounds of the charted world and into the Everblue, following the path of an ancient legend with the potential to change the world forever.”
Why I love it: Seriously compelling drama and such pretty art. C-Man saw this over my shoulder and said “Wow, that looks nice.” The lines and colors are just so clear and bright. I love the plot setup of town misfit plus new arrival that really understands her equals life must change. Luna has a very realistic set of conflicting feelings pulling on her, and newcomer Ten is so much fun. I read a little of this online and then bought all the PDFs that are available so far, so I could binge during an airplane ride. Great purchase!
Minor Acts of Heroism by Adriana Ferguson and K. Van Dam
Status: Ongoing, at 180+ pages
What’s it about: “The first, and wildly popular superhero sidekick Everywhere Kid; The magical ruler of Atlantis, her Royal Highness King Nilus; And Sergio…he’s very emo. These three kids have to deal with life, loss, and friendship, all while trying to figure out the hero-ing thing.”
Why I love it: I bought print copies of this at the first Geek Girl Con, not realizing it was a webcomic. (I may not even have known webcomics existed back then.) I opened the first issue, started laughing, and gave them my money for the first three issues. Best purchasing decision of that weekend! The series is really funny, but I didn’t realize until I got deeper how much heart it would also have, and how scary things would get. Ferguson and Van Dam are skilled at working all along the emotional spectrum. They give their trio of kid superheroes depth and personality. I’m buying issues of Minor Acts of Heroism in Comixology now, because it’s more convenient than reading online.
Protege by Terence Anthony and Juan Romera
Status: Ongoing, about 150 pages
What’s it about: “PROTEGE is an action comic book set in the world of high-tech espionage, international assassins and shadowy operatives. Coltrane “Trane” Wallace is an over-the-hill operative ready to put a lifetime in the shadows behind him and deal with his deteriorating health. When Trane becomes entangled with a young assassin code-named Allumette and begins to unravel a deadly international conspiracy, his retirement plans go up in flames.”
Why I love it: Conspiracies and spies are my jam. This is a straight-up no frills action comic, and I am 100% down with it. Wallace is a sympathetic character, and I was quickly pulled into his story. The black and white art gets the job done, it’s always very clear what’s happening. I liked this one well enough to start buying it on Comixology for a non-internet-dependent reading experience. It’s created by POC writers and the main characters Wallace and Allumette are also POC, so that’s icing on the cake.
Red Moon Rising by Rose Loughran
Status: Ongoing, just over 300 pages
What it’s about: “When her brother abruptly flees the capital for reasons unknown, Adrianna is dragged into a mess of politics and scandal by the nation’s military, who seem to have an unusually keen interest in finding him. Red Moon Rising is a full-colour steampunk fantasy webcomic set in the midst of a magic-fuelled industrial society, following one person’s mistake and the knock-on effect it has on the people and the world around them.”
Why I love it: So dramatic! War, magic, family, betrayal, all the good stuff. The atmosphere is dark, the characters are complicated, and the female characters are especially well done. The creator commentary under the pages is absolutely hilarious and should not be skipped.
Knights Errant by Jennifer Doyle
Status: Ongoing, just over 100 pages
What it’s about: “Wilfrid is on a quest. A quest for what, you ask? Wil won’t say, but being imprisoned in a city under siege has brought any progress to a sudden, grinding halt. Luckily for Wilfrid, there’s a prison guard on their side. Unluckily for the prison guard, and everyone else who has the misfortune of meeting this enigmatic vagrant, they’ll soon discover the bloody nature of Wilfrid’s quest…”
Why I love it: I am so into the oppressive feudal government intrigue and rebellion conspiracy vibe here! I look forward to some serious mayhem as the series unfolds. The muted color palette is gorgeous, and Doyle is skilled at bringing a character to life in just a few actions and lines of dialogue. Fans of diversity, I’d suggest that Wilfrid (pictured above) is a POC, though I’m not sure how race works in this world. Knights Errant is also classified as an “LGBT” comic, though I haven’t gotten to that part of the story yet.
Status: Ongoing, just over 30 pages
What it’s about: “StarHammer blends elements of superhero, sci-fi, magical girl, and alternate history to tell the story of an overachieving yet aimless teen who finally finds direction in life when she unwittingly becomes the successor to a washed-up superheroine.”
Why I love it: Having a magical levitating hammer randomly show up in your bathroom one morning is really, really odd. This comic does a great job of maintaining that feeling of “WTF” that any normal person would experience in this circumstance. The art is cute, the main characters are POC, and it’s about a magic hammer – what more could you ask for? Read the creators’ commentary under the panels, because often it’s quite funny. Bonus for you: this webcomic just started in October 2015, so it’s easy to jump in and get caught up!
And here are two I’ve already recommended in their print versions. If you haven’t picked them up, you can try them in webcomic form first.
Super Indian by Arigon Starr.
Status: Ongoing, unsure how many pages (but enough for two printed volumes so far)
What it’s about: “Hubert Logan was an ordinary Reservation boy until he ate tainted commodity cheese infused with Rezium, a secret government food enrichment additive. Known as Super Indian, Hubert fights evil forces who would overtake the Reservation’s resources and population. Assisted by his trusty sidekicks Mega Bear and Diogi, they fight crime the way they know how — with strength, smarts and humor.”
Why I love it: Starr isn’t afraid to play with superhero conventions, reference pop culture, and comment on racism, oppression, and cultural appropriation in a way that makes you laugh, even while you’re shaking your head because it’s so true. And it’s incredibly funny! We first meet Hubert as he’s being turned down for a date. A librarian suggests that Hubert start a blog to get chicks, but unfortunately Hubert’s still too mad about being insulted to blog responsibly. The anonymous “Rez Boy” blog stirs up all kinds of trouble, some of it involving a Brazilian rodeo cowboy. There’s also a headlock incident due to an unfortunate comment about Revenge of the Sith. In the next tale, Super Indian battles the villain Technoskin to save the reservation from generic American fashion and possibly other terrible fates.
Plume by K Lynn Smith
Status: Ongoing, about 230 pages
What it’s about: “Plume is a western webcomic about Vesper Grey and her supernatural (and reluctant) guardian Corrick. On their way to recover some stolen artifacts, they start to uncover the gritty truth about their pasts and learn that the West is anything but tame.”
Why I love it: It’s funny and touching by turns. The relationship between Vesper and Corrick is complex and enjoyable. Smith is a master of “show, don’t tell.”
And that’s the list of my favorite action and adventure webcomics. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments – and thanks for sharing this post on social media or with friends, so more people can find these great comics!