My top three in 2021: Joshua Lapin-Bertone

We can all agree that 2021 had lots of good things for DC fans. From the growth of DC on HBO Max, the emergence of spectacular new characters and another DC FanDome that was even more spectacular than the first, DC Multiverse is now bigger than ever. But with so many amazing comics, movies, and TV series in 2021, we do not all agree on what we liked best.

We all have our own unique tastes as fans, even here at, so we asked members of our writing team to share their personal three favorites. Look for a different top three every day this week! For our final list, we hear from DCTV fan and Gotham Gazette writer Joshua Lapin-Bertone.

How do you measure a year? Some of my friends look back on quarterly reports or how their favorite sports teams have fared. Good for them, but here at we are nerdy and proud, so I’m not afraid to say that when I look back on the year, I think of all the cool DC releases I enjoyed along the way. Do not ask me what the weather was like or what was in the news, but I can remember you completely when it comes to Superman and Batman. DC absolutely crushed it in 2021 and I’ve had a great time every step of the way! Here are my three favorite DC releases from 2021 …

Stargirl: Summer School

When Star girl returned for another spectacular season, it felt like reuniting with old friends you have not seen in a while. The moment Courtney, Yolanda, Rick and Beth came on screen in the season premiere, I could not help but smile – I had fallen so in love with these characters in season 1. The new Justice Society had their work cut out for them , when Eclipso set his sights on the Blue Valley, bringing a genuine sense of horror to the series’ second season. The season also introduced new allies, such as Jade, Jakeem Williams, Thunderbolt and Shade. Old enemies like Solomon Grundy, Sportsmaster and Tigress also returned. This year was especially fun for me personally because I not only got to see Stargirl: Summer School, I also got to talk to many of the cast members on this very page.

Star girl season two (subtitled “Summer School”) proved that the series had not lost any of the high quality from season one. Eclipso split the Psychological Justice Society apart and beat them through their deepest fears and insecurities. One of the biggest surprises was Milo Stein, the child actor who played Eclipso’s young form. When you see Milo mock JSA, you find yourself believing that this little boy poses a real threat to these powerful heroes. The final match of the season finale had everything I had ever wished for when all the heroes (and some villains) came together to stop Eclipso. As the dust settled, the show presented us with a bunch of interesting cliffhangers to whet our appetite for season three. Something tells me this series will be back on my top three list for 2022!

Young Justice: Phantoms

Ever since the fourth season of Young Justice was announced at the San Diego Comic-Con 2019, fans like me have been anxiously awaiting news on when the new episodes would be released. All eyes were on the DC FanDome in October 2021, which promised news of the critically acclaimed animated series. Fans expected a premiere date or a new trailer, but they got more than that. During the DC FanDome presentation, it was announced that Young Justice: Phantoms was here – as in right now! The first two episodes had been released on HBO Max as a FanDome surprise, and the man made the show hit the ground running.

Young Justice is a show that never stops growing and maturing. This new season has dealt with trauma, religious identity, sacrifice, addiction and depression in thoughtful ways. Just look at the conversation Perdita had with Beast Boy about his pill addiction in the section “Kaerb Ym Traeh!” (however, prepare to be crushed). If you know me, then you also know that I love Easter eggs, and Young Justice always goes hard with them. This season spent Penny Randall, a girl who only appeared once in the 1966s Teen Titans # 2. Talk about obscure! This whole series is a love letter to fans of the DC Universe, and as one of those fans, I can tell you that romance is alive and well.

Batman: Wayne Family Adventures

Batman: Wayne Family Adventures was a surprise that neither of us saw coming! This charming little webcomic was released on the Webtoon platform this fall and I instantly fell in love. This heartwarming series focuses on the Bat family in those moments between their fights. What happens when Gotham’s greatest heroes have to decide who gets the last cookie? What kind of rituals do they have after taking down the Joker or Penguin?

As a longtime Bat fan, I live for this. I have always loved the moments when Batman and his partners relax and enjoy each other’s company. This webcomic feels like a Tumblr blog, and it’s a good thing. If you have not checked this out yet, do yourself a favor and take a look. I guarantee it will make you smile ear to ear.

Wasn’t 2021 a good year for DC? There were so many great comics, movies, and TV shows that it was hard for me to limit it to three. I can not wait to see what fun things await us in 2022.

Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about television, movies, and comics for, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club, and writes our monthly Batman column, “Gotham Gazette.” Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.


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