5 Great Murder Mystery Comics to Sink Your Teeth Into

1. Scalped (DC/Vertigo)

Written by Jason Aaron with gritty art by R.M. Guera, Scalped is set on the crime-ridden Prairie Rose Indian Reservation. The series follows FBI agent Dashiell Bad Horse as he goes undercover to infiltrate the criminal underworld on the rez. What makes Scalped such an excellent murder mystery comic is how Aaron weaves complex ongoing plots involving organized crime, corruption, and murder throughout the 60 issue run. Nothing is as it seems on the reservation and readers are constantly left guessing whodunit. Aaron excels at crafting twisty, layered crime stories that keep you guessing until the very end. If you’re looking for a longform murder mystery comic with great characters, Scalped is a must-read.

2. 100 Bullets (DC/Vertigo)

Brian Azzarello’s 100 Bullets is arguably one of the greatest crime comics of all time. In this 100 issue maxi-series, a mysterious man in a black trenchcoat named Agent Graves approaches people who believe they have been wronged and offers them a chance at revenge using an untraceable gun with 100 bullets. What follows are twisted tales of vengeance, double-crosses, and murder. Azzarello expertly crafts intricate crime plots that keep readers guessing until shocking reveals. With its noir tone and morally ambiguous characters, 100 Bullets is perfect for fans of crime fiction and murder mysteries. The long-form storytelling allows Azzarello to weave a very complex web of secrets, lies, and murder.

3. Blacksad (Dargaud)

This award-winning French series is set in a beautifully realized world of anthropomorphic noir. Blacksad follows a private eye cat in 1950s America as he solves mysteries involving organized crime, racism, and murder. What makes Blacksad such a great murder mystery comic is the level of detail in both the writing and artwork. Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido have crafted a living, breathing world reminiscent of classic noir stories. The cases Blacksad takes on are layered with twists and intrigue worthy of the best crime novels. With its gorgeous artwork and complex cases, Blacksad is a cut above your average detective comic.

4. Queen & Country (Oni Press)

Greg Rucka’s espionage series centered on British secret agent Tara Chace is full of political intrigue and assassinations. While not every story involves murder, the ones that do see Chace covertly investigating high-level killings that could spark international incidents. Rucka excels at crafting realistic spy stories and the murder plots always have high stakes. Readers are kept on their toes trying to figure out who is really pulling the strings behind various assassinations. Queen & Country is a great pick for fans of spy and espionage fiction looking to get their mystery fix in comic form. Rucka’s realistic approach makes the crimes feel high stakes and plausible.

5. Criminal (Image Comics)

Ed Brubaker’s long-running Criminal series tells self-contained crime stories each issue, often involving murders the protagonists must solve or get tangled up in. What makes Criminal such a great mystery comic is Brubaker’s ability to craft noir tales reminiscent of the best pulp fiction. The gritty artwork also helps set the mood. Readers never quite know what to expect from issue to issue but can guarantee Brubaker will serve up twisty crime plots and morally ambiguous characters. Some stories are told from the perspective of cops while others follow criminals. Fans of mystery with a pulp flair will find much to love in Criminal’s everchanging tales of murder and intrigue. 

In conclusion, these 5 comics prove that the comic book medium is perfectly suited for complex, character-driven murder mysteries. From long-form crime epics to self-contained noir tales, each title utilizes the visual storytelling of comics to keep readers guessing until shocking reveals. For fans of crime fiction and whodunits, these graphic novels should not be missed.