This month, I’ve read several webcomics about resistance and justice. Stories that are set in dystopian or post-apocalyptic worlds, where inequity and corruption stir protest and rebellion. Narratives that shine a light on complicity. I present to you 40 webcomics showing the various perspectives of people wronged by the system. The webcomics (most of them new!) listed are from WebToon, Tapas, and Hiveworks.*
I’m so excited for this month’s roundup because of the new webcomics I’ve discovered. Brave women! Trapped in dream worlds or virtual reality! Carving your own destiny! Reclaiming your agency and self-worth! Also, the real life injustices we’re facing today, including lack of resources and health inequities in the global south.
So here we go!
A junior doctor experiences the reality of working at a hospital in Sudan. With limited resources and access to life-saving supplies, the chaos and tragedies become overwhelming for her. Saying that this webcomic is eye-opening is an understatement. This is happening in countries outside the United States (especially in the global south). It shouldn’t be surprising.
In the city of Palacious, the citizens are split in two: those above and those below. The dead and the undead. Upper-class citizen Vera gets shot by the police and comes back to life later on. Love the complex worldbuilding in this webcomic.
Tiara has spent her life on the streets of a world recovering from an alien invasion. An organization that recruits and trains young adults to battle the remnants and remaining aliens on Earth wants Tiara to join them. But Tiara doesn’t want to be used, and a reveal of this organization’s secrets will soon prove her right. I’m loving the consistent suspense and character dynamics in this webcomic.
Monster poachers Conner and Ant stumble into trouble as they make their way through a world becoming more and more unfriendly towards witches and magic. An imaginative story that also focuses on strong relationships between the characters.
A fantasy webcomic with captivating worldbuilding and dynamic characterization. I adore the characters, especially Nanai and his mother. Their world is fantastical and yet relevant when it comes to political corruption and social disparities.
Boyfriends Morgan and Donnie revisit their hometown and excavate long-buried secrets there. A story with supernatural elements interwoven with themes of colonialism, found family, and mental health.
Juniper can see the cause of death on everyone’s chest. Her power makes it difficult to cope with her anxiety and depression, especially when she knows how she will die. When Jasper comes into her life, she wants to make sure that he doesn’t meet his fate sooner. An honest portrayal of coping with a mental illness.
In a 1960s Catholic convent, a priest and a nun fall in love. Along with the retro art style, the creator does an excellent job of handling the story with sensitivity and grace. The story questions devotion and living life for piety instead of pleasure.
Captivating and wildly imaginative, this webcomic begins with Leoline Montes revisiting his home on Earth after traveling through the multiverse. The tension, consistent from episode 1, really has me hooked.
Ashlyn finds herself having to look to friends after an incident at a haunted house. I don’t know about other readers, but the monsters in this webcomic frighten me.
The Queen of Hearts sends the Ace Alex to capture the Black Knave. Outside the palace, Alex has to fight Nightmares and confront visions of past memories she doesn’t recognize. Not going to spoil it, but this webcomic impresses me with its well-paced action and narrative turning points.
My goodness, this webcomic takes me back to the days when I’d read Tamora Pierce and Gail Carson Levine. Aurora wants to fight for justice against the Inquisition. When she’s offered the chance to leave the abbey where she’s lived her whole life, she accepts it. Aurora’s curse makes her a potential candidate at an elite academy that teaches the forbidden arts. Now she has to wade her way through a space where she must prove herself if she wants to use her abilities to help her people.
The Goblin and I by Rabong (Creator’s site is unavailable)
Jiyoo would like to get rid of her ability to read thoughts and memories through used objects, but then she encounters the new student Young. A goblin, Young introduces Jiyoo to a world where supernatural beings roam and a rebellion brews in the corners. I’m digging the women-centric friendships in this one!
The first three episodes are available to read for free on Manta.
If I Were You by Winter & Ji yoon (Creators’s sites are unavailable)
In Japanese-occupied Korea, Sunam chooses to become Lady Chaeryung’s maid. As they grow to become young women, the two resemble so much of each other that they end up switching places. The story is still just beginning, but the complex relationships and steady pacing impress me.
The first four episodes are available to read for free on Manta.
As The Moon Wanes by Bokyung Kong & Yongsa (Creators’s sites are unavailable)
Hyojoo doesn’t believe that the forest keeps you from leaving…until she enters it and loses her shadow. She literally cannot return to Seoul and doesn’t know if she should tell her aunt about what happened. A mysterious man from the forest offers to help Hyojoo find her shadow in five days before she completely disappears. This webcomic does excellent with the atmospheric setting.
The first four episodes are available to read for free on Manta.
My Life as an Internet Novel by A Hyeon & Yu Han-ryeo (Creators’s sites are unavailable)
Dani wakes up one day to find that she’s not in her world anymore. She attends a different school, has a best friend who seems to be the leading lady, and a group of handsome schoolboys called the Four Heavenly Kings. Dani tries not to go along as the sidekick character, but who is really leading the story? I’m honestly not too familiar with South Korean webnovels and their common tropes, but I like the idea of fighting against a predestined fate (or plot, in this case).
The first three episodes are available to read for free on Tapas.
I’ve been granted free access to My Life as an Internet Novel. All opinions are my own.
Lilah has to leave her new life as a shopkeeper and return to her home country. Her family had to stay behind when a mysterious smoke clouded the island. Lilah, who once wanted to start over in a new place, learns that she might be the only one who can save her country. Gorgeous art style and compelling worldbuilding.
Every adventurer except for Malori wants to defeat the Demon Queen at the top of the tower. Actually, Malori is in love with the Queen. But it will take more than proclaiming her love, and when she and the Queen get closer together, things take a complicated turn. This webcomic surprised me with its dynamic characters and consistent tension.
A love between north and south, cold and hot, winter and summer. Their love seems impossible, seemingly against the laws of nature. But North and South’s growing love for each other might as well change the world for the better. I admire the mythos of this world — lyrical and captivating.
Also, check out the creator’s short webcomic, Bloody Hood.
In this re-imagining of Peter Pan, Wendy has two sisters, Captain Hook is a woman, Tiger Lily is the princess of the Amazons, and losing your shadow can become a threat to yourself. I especially like the take on the shadows.
Not to be confused with the short story listed in this post, this short webcomic is about an encounter that changes how a monster hunter sees his world. The conciseness here is impressive.
Evie searches for answers to what happened to her parents and community in Pandora City. Her search leads her to the paranormal investigation team DEVILS, and she’s teamed up with Jack. Fantastic supernatural worldbuilding here!
The first seven episodes are available to read for free on Tapas.
I’ve been granted free access to Pandora’s Devils. All opinions are my own.
A webcomic adaptation of the YA novel by Tricia Levenseller. Rasmira strives to be a warrior and take her father’s place as the village’s leader. When the trial she participates in is sabotaged, she’s exiled out in the wild. To reclaim her place, she decides to kill the god of her realm. Exciting so far!
Virginia, 1842. On her wedding day, Estelle steals her husband’s Oregon Trail map and escapes. She aims to head West for a chance at freedom from her aristocratic life. Another promising webcomic with a strong woman character. I look forward to where the creator takes this story.
Anti-Monster Force by Goaten (Creator’s site is unavailable) (NEW!)
Reagan signs an enlistment form to join the Anti-Monster Force…only that he’s drunk and wouldn’t realize it until later on. He has to go through boot camp and then deal with being a rookie. Now he needs to perform his new occupation the best he can. A nice balance of humor and action.
Masa is a princess, kidnapped at birth, but she won’t find out at first. As a child, all she knows is her older brother Sami (or so he tells her), and that they live with other orphaned and abandoned children. A tragedy separates Masa and Sami, and years later she is a young woman who discovers the truth about her blood family. Gorgeous storytelling and artwork! Also, check out the creator’s other webcomic (a companion to Peasant Queen) How to Make a Killer.
Note: There is the intended use of a word that is harmful to those with intellectual disabilities. Please know that it does not represent the creator’s views.
Alastair Sterling wakes up in an artificial body. It’s been sixteen years since he died. Since then, the world has changed: robots and humans coexist. His inventions have truly helped others for the better. But he doesn’t understand why he’s resurrected. Al seeks out his partner Brendan only to discover a (female-presenting) robot named Sulla. What’s even more puzzling is that this robot resembles Alastair.
If you didn’t already know, I love AI stories, and this one delights me with its approach to consciousness and identity. I especially admire the concept of a transgender android (like Sulla).
Emma befriends an AI named Turry. The friendship takes a complicated and twisty turn, leading to questions of autonomy and control. This webcomic truly goes in-depth with its ideas and concepts.
What happens to the robots left behind? A war had seemingly exterminated all humans. The robots start to construct new robots and try to build their own society. A webcomic that deeply explores autonomy.
An episodic webcomic about a nandroid (nanny android) named Emmy. If you’re a big fan of robots, the storyline is going to come across as familiar, but the cleverly crafted characters and worldbuilding are worth following. Plus, the creator might as well be providing clever hints leading to Emmy’s future.
A layered story that’s just as well stacked and cluttered as its setting — the city of Kowloon, where its conjoined buildings make it seem like a prison for its citizens. Daniel, Jin, and Ariana decide to escape, their focus on traveling through the sky.
An action-packed and thought-provoking webcomic about the ethics of human experimentation, eugenics, and cloning. The story explores the question of what happens to biological weapons after the war. Would a “cure” prevent these human weapons (called Horrors) from using their abilities for the “wrong” reasons?
The worldbuilding, character dynamics, and suspense in this webcomic are superb! The webcomic navigates colonialism, complicity, corruption among law enforcement, social disparities, injustice, agency, and more. Rookie officer Chloe finds herself in the hunt for the Marked Man, Charlotte Perry’s murderer, but stumbles headfirst into startling truths about the colony she’s supposedly helping to protect.
Noa discovers his ability to switch bodies. Slipping in and out of people’s bodies seems fun at first, but then comes the question of control and autonomy.
The Alchemist’s Chronicle by Alchemy Kat (Creator’s site is unavailable)
An imaginative webcomic with great worldbuilding! Aren needs an escape from his troubled life and abusive boyfriend, and he finally finds it in a magical book. Of course, this book is more than it seems, and Aren faces a conflict between Gods and a magic that’s been dead for centuries. Now he needs to battle both literal and figurative demons.
Probably one of the most beautiful and imaginative dystopian stories I’ve ever read. Humans with extraordinary abilities (called Demifloras) are hunted down for their body parts. Iris lives a sheltered life in a correctional facility. He has the ability to bring his drawings to life. An encounter with an outsider (also a Demiflora) gives him the chance to run away.
Bounty hunter Trigger Elliot travels across the galaxy with his friend Vahn Gavotte. When the bounty for someone dubbed the Ghost is announced, Trigger’s past resurfaces. He and Vahn then have no choice but to pursue the hunt. The strong friendships and consistent tension are impressive. I’ve grown to care so much about these characters.
Centuries after the curse that had stripped power and size from dragons, a dragon named Mal and the elf Viktor form a bond to save their world from destruction. The elves cursed the dragons following a war between the latter and humans. Mal, assuming that she’s the last of her kind, learns to trust Viktor, the descendant of the elf who cursed her kind long ago.
Now, this is a gem that more people should check out! I love the characters, the balance between humor and action, and the worldbuilding.
A story about marginalization and belonging. Born during a devastating storm, Kai is the only one among his people who can’t fly. He decides to search for answers.
Farah escapes the prison of a ship she’s been raised on and accidentally stows away on a smuggling ship. She’s then hired as a tech assistant and joins the crew as they accept a mission to retrieve an ancient artifact.
If you haven’t checked out Ashanti Fortson’s gorgeous art and storytelling, please take the time to do so. Their webcomic is on hiatus, but the story so far? Riveting and compelling.
Webcomics I’ve Reviewed This Month:
Alexander, The Servant and the Water of Life by Reimena Yee
Read any good webcomics lately? Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics archives!
*My mentioning of any platforms on this post is unsponsored.
Author: Brahidaliz Martinez
Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in creative writing program. Their cross-genre chapbook, Coquí’s Song, is forthcoming (2023) from Mason Jar Press.
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