Superhero Comics for Kids

Next up in my comics series — superhero comics. As previously mentioned, I am taking a comics advising course this semester, which has inspired me to write a series of posts in which I recommend my favorite comics for kids. Here are my top picks to share with young superhero fans.

superhero comics for kids

To match the expectations of young superhero fans, I have defined “superhero” narrowly. (i.e. Superman makes the list but not Lunch Lady). On the other hand, I have defined “comics” broadly to include picture books as well as comic books, comic strips and graphic novels.

You might also be interested in perusing Common Sense Media’s lists of recommended superhero television shows and superhero movies: Best TV Superheroes for Kids and Superhero Movies for Kids.

Batman & Robin Team Up!Batman & Robin Team Up! by Donald Lemke and Ethen Beavers. A fun, quick superhero adventure for preschool-aged  superhero fans. Batman & Robin Team Up! includes a subtle message about teamwork. This is one of four beautifully designed board books featuring Batman and Superman. Others are Batman is Brave!, Superman to the Rescue! and Superman Fights for Truth!. Ages 3+

Wonder WomanJKTmech.inddWonder Woman: The Story of the Amazon Princess by Ralph Cosentino. A straightforward introduction to Wonder Woman’s origin and main super-villains. Costentino’s bold, comics-inspired illustrations make this picture book stand out. See also Superman: The Story of the Man of Steel and Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight. Ages 4+

Tiny Titans Welcome to the TreehouseTiny Titans: Welcome to the Treehouse by Art Baltzar and Franco. In these clever comic books, young Superhero offspring — many of whom resemble their parents — navigate elementary school. Tiny Titans comics feature fun, colorful artwork by Art Baltzar. To my 6-year-old daughter, several stories felt like they ended abruptly. She did not understand many of the jokes aimed at adults / true superhero fans. However, she still enjoys reading these comics because she is drawn to the colorful illustrations and entertaining cast of characters. See also Tiny Titans: Adventures in AwesomenessAges 5+ and their superhero-loving parents

ShazamShazam!: The Monster Society of Evil by Jeff Smith. A superhero/fantasy adventure story starring Captain Marvel (i.e. Shazam). When Captain Marvel is not busy fighting evil forces, he is a young homeless boy named Billy. Shazam! features an engaging storyline, sympathetic characters and the fantastic cartooning skillz of Bone-creator Jeff Smith. Bonus: Billy’s young sister Mary saves the day — much to the delight of my daughter. Ages 6+

The Incredibles_Family MattersThe Incredibles: Family Matters by Mark Waid and Marcio Takara. A series of comics starring a family of superheroes — The Incredibles — first introduced in the Pixar movie. These comic books feature fantastic characters (e.g. Mrs. Incredible’s superpower is being able to do multiple things at the same time) and artwork. The Incredibles — clad in red — jump out from predominately blue and beige backgrounds. The stories seem aimed at parents, as much as kids, and are thus fun for parents to read aloud. Ages 6+

Boys of SteelBoys of Steel: The Creators of Superman by Marc Tyler Nobleman and Ross MacDonald. A picture book biography about Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster — the two shy teenagers who created Superman. Siegel and Shuster grew up during The Great Depression. Boys of Steel describes the characters (e.g. Tarzan, Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers) that influenced Siegel and the characteristics that set Superman — the very first superhero — apart from past storybook heroes. See also Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman by Marc Nobleman and Ty Templeton about the creation of Batman. Ages 6+

Superman AdventuresSuperman Adventures (Vol. 1): Up Up and Away! by Mark Millar. The first book in the Superman Adventures graphic novel series. The Superman Adventures series features excellent storytelling by Mark Millar. This series is my pick for turning a kid not previously interested in superheroes into a superhero fan. See also Batman Adventures and the Justice League Adventures series. Ages 7+

The Amazing Spiderman_An Origin StoryThe Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story by Rich Thomas et al. One in a series of picture books explaining the origins of several of the Marvel superhero characters: Hulk, Captain America, X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Wolverine and The Avengers. These picture books feature lush illustrations and comic-like panels. Ages 7+

SidekicksSidekicks by Dan Santat. A humorous, action-packed graphic novel with a very fun plot. When Captain Marvel begins to lose his superpowers, he decides to hold auditions for a sidekick. Unbeknownst to him, his pets secretly start honing their superpower skills to prepare for the sidekick auditions. Ages 8+

 

Superman_The Silver Age DailiesSuperman: The Silver Age Dailies 1959-1961 by Jerry Siegel et al. One in a series of Superman comic strip anthologies. Publisher Library of American Comics is publishing anthologies of all of the Superman comic strips that ran from 1939-1966. These comic strips are products of their time. Set in the late-1960s, these black-and-white strips feature predictable clashes between the unstoppable Superman and various super-villains. Ages 8+

Batman_The Brave and the BoldBatman: The Brave and the Bold by Sholly Fisch, Rick Burchett and Dan Davis. If you are looking for superhero comic books that are age appropriate for young readers, then the Batman comic books are your best bet. These comic books feature predictable plots and lots of crime-fighting action. Batman fans should also take a look at Batman Adventures, a graphic novel by Kelley Puckett and Ty Templeton. Ages 8+ 

SuperGirl_Cosmic Adventures in the 8th GradeSuperGirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade by Laundry Q. Walker and Eric Jones. The SuperGirl comics focus on teenager Kara Zor-el’s struggles as the new 8th grader in school. Kara is regularly, and often inconveniently, called to fight crime. Ages 10+

 

Marvel Adventures_Spiderman_The Sinister SixMarvel Adventures: Spider-Man Vol. 1: The Sinister Six by Kitty Fross et alThe first in a series of collections of the Marvel Adventures Spider-Man comics. In Spider-Man Vol. 1: The Sinister Six, Peter Parker is a shy high school student who is bitten by a mutant spider and transformed into Spider-Man. The Marvel Adventures Spider-Man comics are aimed at middle school and high school students but will also appeal to upper-elementary school students if you are comfortable with some of the insults aimed at Peter Parker by his fellow students. Ages 10+

Recommendations for fans of specific superheroes…

Superman

  • Superman to the Rescue! by Donald B. Lemke and Ethen Beavers. Ages 3+
  • Superman Fights for Truth! by Donald B. Lemke and Ethen Beavers. Ages 3+
  • Superman: The Story of the Man of Steel by Ralph Cosentino. Ages 4+
  • Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman by Marc Tyler Nobleman and Ross MacDonald. Ages 6+
  • Superman Adventures: Up Up and Away! by Mark Millar. Ages 7+
  • Justice League Adventures Vol. 1: The Magnificent Seven by Fabian Nicieza, Christian Alamy et al. Ages 7+
  • Superman: The Silver Ages Dailies 1959-1961 by Jerry Siegel et al. Ages 8+

Spider-Man

  • The Amazing Spider-Man (Little Golden Book) by Frank Berrios et al. Ages 5+
  • The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story by Rich Thomas et al. Ages 7+
  • Marvel Adventures: The Avengers Vol. 1: Heroes Assembled by Jeff Parker, Manuel Garcia and Scott Koblish. Ages 8+
  • Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man Vol. 1: The Sinister Six by Kitty Fross et al. Ages 10+

Batman

  • Batman & Robin Team Up! by Donald Lemke and Ethen Beavers. Ages 3+
  • Batman is Brave! by Donald Lemke and Ethen Beavers. Ages 3+
  • Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight by Ralph Cosentino. Ages 4+
  • Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman by Marc Nobleman and Ty Templeton. Ages 6+
  • Batman Adventures by Kelley Puckett and Ty Templeton. Ages 7+
  • Justice League Adventures Vol. 1: The Magnificent Seven by Fabian Nicieza, Christian Alamy et al. Ages 7+
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold by Sholly Fisch, Rick Burchett and Dan Davis. Ages 8+

Wonder Woman

  • Wonder Woman: The Story of the Amazon Princess by Ralph Cosentino. Ages 4+
  • Justice League Adventures Vol. 1: The Magnificent Seven by Fabian Nicieza, Christian Alamy et al. Ages 7+

The Incredible Hulk

  • The Incredible Hulk (Little Golden Book) by Billy Wrecks and Patrick Spaziante. Ages 5+
  • The Incredible Hulk: An Origin Story by Disney Press. Ages 7+
  • Marvel Adventures: The Avengers Vol. 1: Heroes Assembled by Jeff Parker, Manuel Garcia and Scott Koblish. Ages 8+
  • Marvel Adventures: Hulk Vol. 1: Misunderstood Monster by Paul Benjamin, David Nakayama and Juan Santacruz. Ages 9+

Captain America

  • The Courageous Captain America (Little Golden Book) by Billy Wrecks. Ages 5+
  • The Courageous Captain America: An Origin Story by Disney Press. Ages 7+
  • Marvel Adventures: The Avengers Vol. 1: Heroes Assembled by Jeff Parker, Manuel Garcia and Scott Koblish. Ages 8+
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One Response to Superhero Comics for Kids

  1. BooKa Uhu says:

    Now a specific superhero but have you come across Princeless? AMAZING stuff I found only recently – it’s a princess who basically decides hanging about in a tower waiting to be rescued is a pretty dumb idea and goes off (with the dragon guard) to go rescue her sisters from the same fate. Oh, and she has PROPER armour too, as well as much witty banter :) I loved it, cannot WAIT for the next chunk of the series to be out over here!

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