comic books for adults

Comic Books For Adults

Comic books are not just for kids! Here I’ve collected 30 comic books for adults that are all to violent, sexy, or just plain complicated for children. Many of these are longer comic book or graphic novel series that have been completed. These are perfect for binge reading!

I’ve also tried to mix up the list a little. You’ll find some classics that you might have already heard of or read before, but I’m hoping you’ll also find some new hidden gems that will be great to check out as well.

Enjoy all of these comic books for adults, I’ve tried to pick a bunch of good ones that are solid reads in addition to being not family friendly. This list is presented in alphabetical order.

The following list contains affiliate links, please check them out so I can get a little commission for the effort of making these posts.

Alex + Ada graphic novel cover
Alex + Ada graphic novel cover

Alex + Ada

Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn is an adult friendly graphic novel about one of my favorite subjects, can Artificial Intelligence beings find love.

This is a hard sci-fi romance and it doesnt skimp on either genre. I really enjoyed the creative storytelling that makes this story unique.

What makes it for adults?

Complicated legislation! In addition to being a hard sci-fi book that delves into the machinations of AI sentience it also dives into the legality of granting AIs rights. This complicated subject matter will likely go over the heads of younger readers. It’s important to be a little familiar with how government is as complicated as it is heartless to fully appreciate this comic book for adults.

Buy it here: Alex + Ada: The Complete Collection

alter ego the other me book cover
alter ego the other me book cover

Alter Ego: The Other Me

Alter Ego is part comic book and part novel. The pages are divided with the comic book panels on bottom and blocks of text on top. This lends itself to a unique form of storytelling with the words not always telling the same story as the pictures.

It’s a mix of sci fi and mystery that takes some very dark turns. There are 3 full volumes and one short companion piece available so far, in early 2022. There will be 8 volumes total so you’ll still have plenty to look forward to.

What makes it for adults?

Violence and sociopathy! Although the entire series deals with many adult themes there is one character who really takes the violence to a whole new level. Her sociopathy knows no bounds and frequently ties in to her sexuality.

This cross of sex and violence should make you very uncomfortable. If it doesn’t, I’m worried about you.

Buy it here: Alter Ego: The Other Me, Issue 1: A Superhero Detective Mystery (The Alter Ego Series)

american vampire horror graphic novel cover
american vampire horror graphic novel cover

American Vampire

American Vampire is a comic book for adults that is also strictly for fans of the vampire genre. It’s not likely to convert anyone to a love of vamps but it will provide an ultra violent horror binge for those who are already enticed.

It’s a long running series that has concluded but since had offshoots of various plots and characters. American Vampire is widely available so you’ll even likely be able to try it at the library before you commit.

What makes it for adults?

Scary vampire designs! The best part of this series is the vampire designs. They have sharp teeth, long claws, and are incredibly violent. These are more monsters than seductive immortals.

Buy it here: American Vampire Vol. 1

animal man jeff lemire cover
animal man jeff lemire cover

Animal Man

Animal Man is a lesser known DC hero. He can access a sort of dimension called the red which allows him to use any power of animal. For instance, he can fly like an eagle but also have the eagle’s great eyesight. He can be a strong as a gorilla but also as fast as a cheetah. You get the idea.

But he’s also a family man and this book is far more grounded than you might expect.

What makes it for adults?

Body Horror! The transorfmation into different animal powers, as well as the villains of this story, are pretty grotesque. It really utilizes one of my favorite genres and drags body horror into the mainstream line.

Buy it here: Animal Man by Jeff Lemire Omnibus

batman damned dc comics cover
batman damned dc comics cover

Batman: Damned

Batman Damned is part of DC’s black label that aims to be darker, grittier, more violent, and more mature. It has phenomenal art and makes the Dark Knight even darker.

What makes it for adults?

Batman’s penis! This is what this book is mainly known for. It was originally published with a page of Bruce Wayne changing out of all his bat gear. A single panel of which depicts him completely nude with his penis out. It’s not in your face, it’s tasteful, and I would say it portrays him with a vulnerability we don’t see often.

Unfortunately, people complained because we can’t have nice things so it has since been republished with the penis covered. Give it a google search if your copy has been censored.

Buy it here: Batman: Damned

blue in green graphic novel
blue in green graphic novel

Blue in Green

Blue in Green has some of the most spectacular artwork I’ve ever gotten to see in comic books. It’s worth reading for that alone. It’ss about a jazz musician who has yet to have a big break. He suffers with the best of them and is fearful and resentful of those around him.

I truly enjoyed the story of this book and recommend it to any creative who has lost themselves to their muse.

What makes it for adults?

Jazz music and psychotic breaks! Jazz is the most adult music genre. We all know that. Kids should like the choas of jazz, they should enjoy the spastic nature of it but they don’t because they don’t “get it” yet.

Aside from jazz the story deals with very adult themes like grief, heartbreak, lost dreams, unrealized potential, and destructive self medicating.

Buy it here: Blue In Green

the boys graphic novel cover
the boys graphic novel cover

The Boys

The Boys was a long running popular series that became an even more popular show on Prime. It’s characterized by crass humor, foul language, extreme violence, extreme sex, and crossing every line you could think of. This comic book for adults is adult in every way but it’s also a smart satire.

What makes it for adults?

Just about everything! Seriously, if you have a line it’ll find it and stomp all over it.

Buy it here: The Boys Omnibus Vol. 1 TPB

Pinhead shielding kirsty cotton's eyes
clive barker’s hellraiser omnibus cover

Clive Barker’s Hellraiser Omnibus

Hellraiser is known for its intense horror imagery and BDSM themes. This comic book continuation of the universe has great demon designs. It deals a lot with the religious themes from the movies so decide if it’s right for you. But it is written by the original creator so you don’t have to worry about it not hitting the mark.

What makes it for adults?

Violence and equal opportunity nudity! Obviously, this series is going to contain a lot of violence. But it also has a bonus of lots of nudity. From all genders! I’m the kind of feminist that believes in sexualizing everyone equally so this book is perfect for that.

Buy it here: Hellraiser Omnibus Vol. 1

colder omnibus horror graphic novel
colder omnibus horror graphic novel

Colder

Colder is a horror graphic novel series available in one complete omnnibus volume. It’s supernatural in genre as well with characters that go between our reality and a land of insanity. The colder in the title is a sort of super power that the protagonist has.

What makes it for adults?

Violence and horrific images! The art in this one is so freaking grand. I mean, just look at that cover! It’s got pages and pages just like that! Graphic horror imagery with real imagination.

Buy it here: The Complete Colder Omnibus

come into me comic book body horror
come into me comic book cover

Come Into Me

Come Into Me is a sci fi graphic novel for our modern age. It deals with going so far into social media that you can literally become someone else. You know all of their thoughts, all of their memories, full brain meld. I’ll pass but it sure is interesting to read about!

What makes it for adults?

Body horror and lots of nudity! The way that the sci fi aspects work is through body horror. People are connected through strange flesh tubes. It’s all very Cronenburg-esque, my favorite.

Buy it here: Come Into Me

ed brubaker fatale graphic novel
ed brubaker fatale graphic novel

Fatale

Fatale is a graphic novel by the Brubaker and Phillips team. All of their collaborations could be entries on this list. They’re known for gritty noir, dark dramas, even westerns. But the thing that unites them all is disturbing violence and mature plots. Fatale just also has monsters.

What makes it for adults?

Monsters and adult themes! Lovecraftian monsters combine with classic noir to create this memorable comic book series. It’s sexy and cool and oh so adult.

Buy it here: Fatale, Book 1: Death Chases Me

girls graphic novel
girls graphic novel

Girls

Girls is truly one of a kind. It’s a horror book in the vein of zombie apocalypse but it has so much more to say. This comic book for adults is pretty polarizing, either love it or hate it. It seems to depend on how you choose to interpret the key conflicts and whether or not you can find the irony in the characters. Girls is a horror challenge.

What makes it for adults?

Gender politics, sex, and violence! Lots of sex, violence, and nudity in this one. But it also deals with gender politics and the roles of traditional men and women in society. Topics that kids shouldn’t really have to deal with yet.

Buy it here: Girls Complete Collection TP

harleen dc comics cover
harleen dc comics cover

Harleen

Harleen is another entry from the DC black label. It’s a story of how Harley Quinn met the Joker and how that level of toxic relationship could begin. It’s an amazingly accurte and relatable portrayal of a real abusive relationship and highlights why no one shoud idolize this couple.

What makes it for adults?

Consequences of an abusive relationship! The adult content of this one is mostly in themes of mental health struggles, lonliness, depression, and abusive relationships. If you’ve had a bad partner in the past you’ll relate to this one strongly.

Buy it here: Harleen

highwayman graphic novel
highwayman graphic novel

Highwayman

Highwayman is an immortal. He observes eternities but keeps to himself. This comic book for adults is largely philosophical and thought provoking. It has a little violence but is mostly sad because life is sad a lot of the time. Can Highwayman see the good that’s hidden behind the bad?

What makes it for adults?

Nihilism vs Existentialism! The themes in this graphic novel are very mature just because a child wouldn’t really understand them yet. Get ready to question your place in the universe and whether or not life is really worth living.

Buy it here: Highwayman

i am not okay with this graphic novel cover
i am not okay with this graphic novel cover

I am not Okay With This

I am not Okay With This is a short and complete graphic novel that has since been turned into a Netflix series. It’s supernatural but mostly absolutely overflowing with teenage angst. This is going to be another love it or hate it book. I loved it and the more I think about it the more I love it. But based on many other reviews I’ve read many other people would disagree. You’ll have to decide for yourself.

What makes it for adults?

Extreme mental health problems, violence, self harm, and very uncomfortable sex!

This comic book for adults is designed to make you uncomfortable. It’s ugly

Buy it here: I Am Not Okay With This: (Netflix Series Tie-In Edition)

locke and key volume 1
locke and key volume 1

Locke and Key

I’ll be honest about this one, it’s probably the most family friendly one on the list. It is a horror series and has some scary or unnerving parts but it also has just the cutest boy protagonist around. I just love this series a lot so I recommend it all the time on any list it’ll fit onto.

Joe Hill has since come out with some more adult friendly horror graphic novels but this is still his best so this is where you should start.

What makes it for adults?

Grief and family problems! The main theme throughout this book is grief. We can deal with grief at any age but it will certainly make you grow up a lot quicker. It also contains some alcoholism, child abuse, and general trauma.

Buy it here: Locke & Key Master Edition Volume 1

messed comic book follow the flush
messed comic book follow the flush

MeSsed

MeSsed is an indie comic that takes us into the sewers. The awesome female protagonist works down there and is damn good at what she does. She may also have a special skill set that allows her to communicate with the creatures of this underworld.

This is a truly original series with captivating black and white artwork.

What makes it for adults?

Literal toilet humor! If anyone has ever had a pottymouth, it’s the caracters in MeSsed.

Buy it here: MeSseD

Nailbiter murder edition cover
Nailbiter murder edition cover

Nailbiter

Violence is the common factor on this list of comic books for adults. Nailbiter is one of the most violent of the bunch. It’s a horror series that doesn’t skimp on the gore and the impresively staged crime scenes.

The artwork is an absolute win with creative variant covers and lots and lots of blood. It’s fun to flip a page and be startled by what you find.

What makes it for adults?

So much violence! Nailbiter taakes a page from the Hannibal book and uses a serial killer to catch other killers. This means there’s no shortage of murder in this series.

Buy it here: Nailbiter: The Murder Edition Volume 1

no 1 with a bullet graphic novel
no. 1 with a bullet graphic novel cover

No. 1 with a Bullet

No. 1 with a Bullet is the uncomfortably real story of what could happen when a sex tape is leaked. In this case a poor young professional has her life completely destroyed by this act. The series explores the double standards of scandals and how people react under extreme pressure.

This story will likely make you uncomfortable and you’ll likely be able to tie it to many real world events.

What makes it for adults?

Sexual Politics! This addition to the list of comic books for adults has more adult themes than violence or gore. It has to do with social media consequences, workplace stress, relationship networking, and long term romantic relationships. It’s for adults because only adults will be able to sympathize with all of that bullshit.

Buy it here: No. 1 With A Bullet

junji ito no longer human
junji ito no longer human

No Longer Human

I would say that any Junji Ito book could be on this list of comic books for adults. He’s known for his gruesome imagery and nightmare fuel stories. No Longer Human may be a surprise pick for those who are already familiar with his work.

But No Longer Human is the most adult of all of his books. It’s the most mature, and I think, the most depressing. All the kinds of things adults have to deal with more than children.

What makes it for adults?

Disturbing images, alcoholism, midlife crisis! This book still has all of Ito’s classic drawing style but the story is a retelling of a novel by the same name. It has many adult themes like alcoholism, depression, suicide, adultery, and much more.

Buy it here: No Longer Human (Junji Ito)

opus manga cover
opus manga cover

Opus

Opus is a grand manga story that explores what power authors, specifically manga authors, have over their creations. It’s about the author being thrown into the very world he created, does this make him god?

He has a lot of the same characteristics of god except he’s not all powerful, he does still have to answer to publishers.

What makes it for adults?

Meta existentialism! This is another comic book for adults that is on this list because it requires some life experience to understand. It’s about the creative process and dealing with balancing creativity with the business side of things. It also deals with coming to terms with your place in the universe.

Buy it here: Satoshi Kon’s: Opus

over and over graphic novel
over and over graphic novel

Over and Over

Over and Over is the story of an adult romantic relationship. They’ve broken up, but maybe that wasn’t the best idea. Are they really meant to be together? Have they each grown enough since then to really give it another try?

Anybody who has ever navigated the rough road of partnership will be able to relate to these men. It’s a sweet story and shows just how similar we all are when we’re in love.

What makes it for adults?

Mature heartbreak! This isn’t puppy love or first love. This is are we ready to get a mortgage and pay taxes together kind of love. I need more of these mature romance stories. The ones that focus less on passion and sex and more on logistics and logical love.

Buy it here: Over and Over

panorama body horror graphic novel
panorama body horror graphic novel

Panorama

Panorama is another body horror entry on this list. It’s probably the most traditional body horror of the bunch but also has strong romance elements. Body horror has a specific edge when it comes to romance. It can show two people literally becoming entangled in each other.

We all know that love can be obsessive at times, this graphic novel takes it to the final level.

What makes it for adults?

Body Horror! It’s difficult to obtain this genre in a non visual medium. The artwork of graphic novels is well suited to horrific images of deformed and mutilated bodies.

Buy it here: Panorama

Sex Criminals cover
Sex Criminals cover

Sex Criminals

The title alone should tell you that this is a comic book for adults. Chip Zdarsky and Matt Fraction have teamed up for this passion project about people who can stop time when they orgasm. It’s a different kind of supernatural power that you won’t find in Marvel or DC.

Sex Criminals is a comedy thrill ride that still makes room for emotional detours. There is sex, nudity, a little violence, and some very crass humor.

What makes it for adults?

Sex and Crime! Duh.

Buy it here: Sex Criminals Volume 1: One Weird Trick

the sheriff of babylon graphic novel
the sheriff of babylon graphic novel

The Sheriff of Babylon

The Sheriff of Babylon is Tom King’s exploration of his time in war. As a veteran turned comic book writer he is uniquely qualified to write this captivating and tragic story.

This book is not easy. It does not dilute the horrors of war and what it means to take a life or watch a civilization burn. If you have PTSD you may want to tread lightly with this one.

What makes it for adults?

War! Not only is this book realistically violent, it deals with the politics and commands of war. There is some denser material here than you’ll find in many of these comic books for adults.

Buy it here: Sheriff of Babylon

sunstone book one cover
sunstone book one cover

Sunstone

I love the series so damn much. The popularization of 50 Shades of Grey has given the bulk of readers a very incorrect view of BDSM relationships. Sunstone corrects every one of these misconceptions.

It’s written by a man who lives the kink life with his partner. He understands the nuance different couples or poly groups can have. Sunstone is a romance between two women who meet through their mutual kinky desires but realize that there is much more between them. It’s one of the sweetest romances I’ve ever read, it’s also sexy as hell.

What makes it for adults?

BDSM Relationships! Real ones. Ones that communicate and don’t cross boundaries. Adult relationships that do what it takes to last and don’t let passion extinguish ambitions in other areas of life.

Buy it here: Sunstone Book One

francois vigneault titan graphic novel
francois vigneault titan graphic novel

Titan

Titan is a sci fi graphic novel about blue collar workers on a moon of Jupiter. They are struggling with all of the same issues many of us face on Earth. Poor pay, bad schedules, dangerous working conditions, etc.

The book follows the company man assigned to make everyone more productive and the woman who is leading the charge for change. Will they be able to find a common ground?

What makes it for adults?

Unionization! One of the most adult topics I could ever think of. Being dissastisfied with your current work situation and just wishing that management could treat you with a little more respect. Band together and fight until you get what you need!

Buy it here: Titan (1)

upgrade soul graphic novel cover
upgrade soul graphic novel cover

Upgrade Soul

I have described Upgrade Soul many times as being Shakespearean. I can’t think of a better way to describe this sci fi graphic novel with so many twists and turns, backstabs, and demented family members.

It is about the cloning process and every single ethical and philosophical conundrum that you could attach to it. It’s deep and complex but also has a wonderfully entertaining plot to bring it all together. It might be one of my favorite comic books of all time.

What makes it for adults?

What it means to be alive! Also so many taboos. Dense philosophy and commentary about the responsibbility of ethics in scientific reasearch are both pretty adult topics. But this comic book for adults also has no shortage of sex, violence, and taboos including incest.

Buy it here: Upgrade Soul: Collector’s Edition

x force sex and violence
x force sex and violence

X Force Sex and Violence

I can’t make any list of comic books and not include something Marvel. Problem is that most Marvel comics are not comic books for adults only. This sexy and violent one stands out from the rest as being definitely not for kids.

Domino and Wolverine are getting hot and heavy both as killler teammates as well as bed fellows. The artwork is fantastic and really shows off all the carnage as well as some very sexy muscles.

What makes it for adults?

Sex and Violence! Clearly.

Buy it here: X-Force: Sex and Violence (X-Force Volume)

y the last man omnibus cover
y the last man omnibus cover

Y The Last Man

This series is quite popular and has since been turned into an unsuccesful television series. It’s going to be weird to end the list on this note but I actually didn’t like this one. It is a comic book for adults so it belongs here but I didn’t enjoy it like many others seemed to.

It’s about Y, who is the last human with a Y chromosome left on Earth after an extinction event. Why is he the only one left? Is he the key to keeping humanity alive? Why do we have a book with a planet full of women with their own incredible stories only to still focus on the one cis white male?

What makes it for adults?

Gender Politics! Gender politics has been the reason for many of these comic books for adults. It’s a topic that’s being covered at an increasingly young age but to really be able to discuss it I think it helps to have a few more years of experience.

Buy it here: Y: The Last Man Omnibus

I hope you’ve ejoyed this long but not at all exhaustive list of comic books for adults. Please share it with anyone you know who reads comics or is looking for a good place to start. Also please continue to support indie authors by buying the books on this page you’ve never heard of before!

I love comic books, nonfiction, and everything in between! Come discuss your favorites!

17 thoughts on “Comic Books For Adults

  1. I’ve read some of these, but I might have to check out a few others. Y the Last Man was great … too bad they can’t seem to get a TV series made. Have you read Box Office Poison by Alex Robinson? It’s a slice-of-life kind of story, but it’s pretty cool; I guess it could be considered “adult” since there’s sex and cursing in it, but it’s really just a great look at how people live their lives and try to find some semblance of love and happiness.

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