The LEGO Batman Movie came out almost two weeks ago and has already grossed over $110 million. The LEGO franchise has grown not only in films, but also in library book collections. The LEGO Batman, LEGO Ninjago, and LEGO City lines of kid’s books fly off the shelves at most libraries. Kids can’t get enough of them, and if there’s one thing that warms my librarian heart the most, it’s seeing kids excited about reading.
Do you have a little one in your life who saw the LEGO Batman Movie and you want some all-ages superhero comics for them to read? Here are five suggestions for all-ages, fun comics with a hero twist.
DC Superhero Girls
Written by Shea Fontana
Art by Vancey Labat
Colors by Monica Kubina
Lettered by Janice Chiang
There has been a recent uptick in the number of traditional female superheroes available to an all-ages audience. DC Superhero Girls follows the female pillars of the DC Universe; Batgirl, Bumblebee, Harley Quinn, Katana, Poison Ivy, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman, as they navigate their high school for the strong and powerful. This series does a great job of bringing real world situations into the teenaged superhero realm. How does one balance being them self, handle forces outside their control, and maintain good grades? Many young readers have dealt with, or have friends, who come from split families, so Wonder Woman spending the summer break with her dad, who happens to be Zeus, is a very relatable storyline. This series is also great for the novice comics reader who also wants regular novels as many of the DC Superhero Girls have their own novel lines as well.
Mouse Guard Series
by David Petersen
Not all heroes wear capes, but in this case, they do wear cloaks. Though not strictly a “hero” book, Petersen’s Eisner Award winning series Mouse Guard is sure to entertain readers who enjoy fantasy heroes like Frodo or Link from the Zelda video games. If you suspect a young reader will eventually read Brian Jacques’ classic fantasy series Redwall, you can put them on the right path with Mouse Guard. The anthropomorphic mice of these stories live in a medieval world of blacksmiths, scribes, and shield-bearers. Since the mighty battle between the mice and weasel overlord has ended, the soldiers of the Mouse Guard now channel their energy to protect the mice people from other dangerous predators who lurk outside, and inside, the mouse villages. I really love Petersen’s art, which has a very Jim Henson vibe, the characters maintain their animal state while emitting intense human emotions.
Aw Yeah Comics!
by Art Baltazar and Franco
Art Baltazar and Franco are the royalty of all-ages comics. With titles like Tiny Titans, Superman Family Adventures, and Itty Bitty Hellboy, they have the ability to distill the nature of these heroes to child friendly storylines. But, it’s their Aw Yeah Comics! in which their originality shines. Inspired by their comic book stores in three states, Aw Yeah Comics! follows Cornelius and Alowicious, two comic book store employees who transform into Action Cat and Adventure Bug when the need strikes. With the help of Adorable Cat and Shelly Bug, no foe is too great for our heroes. This book is just fun and entertaining for children and adults alike. Be sure to check out all of Baltazar and Franco’s work.
Various authors and artists
I used to run after school programming at an elementary school before becoming a librarian and quickly discovered that elementary school is when you learn to control your emotions and be empathetic, which is just as important as learning to spell words and memorize facts. Bravest Warriors follows four teenagers from the distant future who travel as heroes-for-hire, using their emotions as their superpowers. In volume one, the Bravest Heroes must rescue a clown world from their nemesis, Sadness, while one of their own must face his coulrophobia. The use of witty and conscious dialogue can be a little over the top, but creates a light, fun-filled, and socially conscious comic. Originally a web series on YouTube from the creator of Adventure Time, this comic is sure to please adventurers of all ages.
Written by Kate Leth
Illustrated by Matt Cummings
Powerhouse duo Kate Leth and Matt Cumming’s comic Power Up will feel pretty nostalgic for many Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans. No, there are no vampires or demons, but there is the common thread of “the chosen one”. But what happens when those chosen ones, long foretold and prophesied, superheroic powers aren’t given to the strong, mighty, hyper intelligent hero-ing types? When art student Amie, single mom Sandy, aging athlete Kevin, and goldfish Silas, are imbued with ancient magical powers, they aren’t quite sure how to react, but discover themselves and their powers, throughout their adventures. Touching on topics of bullying, gender identity, and love, Power Up will spark critical conversations with your young reader.
What are your favorite hero comics for kids? Be sure to share them with me on twitter @librnwithissues or in the comments below.