Finding the right book for young readers is an important part in sparking a love of reading. It’s one of the reasons why I love comics so much — there’s a comic book out there for everybody, including safe and substantial options for kids. And if a kid can find a comic to inspire an interest in reading, it can open the door to a whole world of books they’ll love.

It can be hard to discern which superhero books are good to give to a young reader, with so many geared towards older audiences and with a tendency for more mature themes. But Marvel, especially lately, is producing more and more comics that readers of all ages can enjoy. These books feature young heroes with whom kids can relate. They tackle important themes and teach valuable lessons. Or, they’re just good fun for a kid to have while reading. Here are six all-ages Marvel comics recommended by ComicsVerse that are not only suitable for young readers but are also moral, relatable, entertaining, and can inspire a lifelong love of reading.

MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR

Recommended by Mara Danoff

Young Readers
MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #1. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

It’s no secret we’ve become more and more reliant on technology. We’re finding ourselves dependent on computers, smartphones, anything that’s backlit and makes a little beeping noise. Yet as STEM fields appear ever prominent as the “job of the future,” it seems a majority of those positions go to men. There are the usual claims of girls just not being interested in scientific fields, not having the capacity to learn such things: the list goes on. However, it’s arbitrary restrictions like these that make MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR all the brighter for young readers. This comic shows young girls that loving science doesn’t make them strange — it makes them strong and powerful.

Part of the importance of representation is seeing yourself in the characters on screen or on the page. When a kid sees a hero who looks like them, it’ll show that they, too, can do these sorts of activities. Sure, they probably can’t fly, but they can be brave, loyal, and capable. Lunella Lafayette, aka Moon Girl, especially shows young girls of color their value in science. She’s a feisty little elementary schooler with a huge brain. No robotics challenge or science fair can faze her, though she does face the real problem of people underestimating her.

Every copy of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR starts with a quote from a famous scientist. I just love that a whimsical comic such as this one can have such a positive mention for young girls and especially girls of color. They, too, should study science, and they should always be encouraged in it. While they may not have a huge Devil Dinosaur as their best friend, there’s a value in seeing heroes like Lunella using her brain to get out of various situations. With fun stories for all ages, MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR is the perfect children’s book for any ambitious reader.

MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #22 Review: Family Reunion

CHAMPIONS

Recommended by Eric Nierstedt

Young Readers
CHAMPIONS vol 1: Change the World. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

It was 1996. I stepped into a bookstore that no longer exists and went to the comics section. I looked through the mass of books, trying to find one that grabbed me. It was YOUNG JUSTICE, a DC team book comprised of young heroes the same age as me. Comics would have never grabbed me the way they have without YOUNG JUSTICE. Now, in 2017, kids can have that same experience with Marvel’s CHAMPIONS.

CHAMPIONS brings back all the feelings I had reading YOUNG JUSTICE. It’s no surprise really; CHAMPIONS writer Mark Waid also wrote the solo adventures of Young Justice member Impulse. CHAMPIONS modernizes the teenage search for identity and purpose that YOUNG JUSTICE did so well. This isn’t ’90s kids eating pizza — these are millennial heroes struggling to find their place in the world. Even so, CHAMPIONS doesn’t lose the humor and accessibility that was also a huge part of YOUNG JUSTICE.

Everyone in the group relates to different readers: Ms. Marvel is the over-eager leader, Cyclops brings brooding, Hulk is a smart jock, Viv Vision is the exchange student, and Spider-Man and Nova add some comedy (but never too much). The characters feel like real teenagers trying to find their place, while still making time for paintball matches and campouts. CHAMPIONS has a special appeal for a reader who is unsure about comics in general. It eases readers in with relatable characters. It’s a lot easier for a kid to identify with and imagine themselves as a Champion than as an Avenger, but it also gives them a great introduction to the Marvel Universe, like YOUNG JUSTICE did for me and DC.

CHAMPIONS is the book to open the doors to the comics medium and give young readers a glimpse of a bigger world. Hopefully, there’s a kid in a comic store right now, finding that door just like I did.

MONSTERS UNLEASHED

Recommended by AJ Zender

Young Readers
MONSTERS UNLEASHED #1. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

There aren’t enough kid superheroes. We live in a world of Deadpools and Punishers, stories so bloody and brooding that it should be illegal for people to pass them on to kids. Young readers can find it hard to find a stepping stone in the philosophical and murky battlegrounds of modern comics. For this reason, Marvel shocked its audiences at the release of MONSTERS UNLEASHED. This massive crossover event felt like Marvel tipped over the toy box, letting giant monsters do battle with their favorite superheroes. And at the center of it all are two young superheroes who step up to save the day.

Kei Kawade has the best superpower. Any monster he draws in his sketchbook comes to life before his eyes, often with destructive consequences. And with giant alien creatures falling from the sky, the Marvel universe needs Kei’s powers more than ever. Teaming up with the world’s smartest person (Moon Girl), Kei dons the name Kid Kaiju and rushes into battle.

MONSTERS UNLEASHED echoes a lot of the same elements of POWER RANGERS. The battles level cities, but never do we see a loss of life. More importantly, MONSTERS UNLEASHED is fun. The inclusion of Kei gives young readers an empowering young role model, and his creativity-based powers inspire readers of all stripes to pursue their imaginations. In all, this is a fantastic story that I would recommend to all readers, no matter how many years young they are.

If any of this giant monster fighting interests you or your young reader, be sure to pick up issues 1-5 of the MONSTERS UNLEASHED crossover event, as well as the ongoing spin-off series starring Kei Kawade!

MONSTERS UNLEASHED: Not Just Giant Monsters

PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT!

Recommended by Brandon Davis

Young Readers
PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT! vol 1: Hooked on a Feline. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT! is the title to read if you’re trying to understand yourself and the people around you. HELLCAT is the story of Patsy Walker, who older readers may recognize from Netflix’s JESSICA JONES. This version of Patsy, however, is a full-fledged superhero, but with a book that steers away from the grit and darker tones of the Netflix series.

This book will show young readers that Patsy is an actual superhero, but with human problems just like them. HELLCAT follows Patsy as she makes new friends, tries to restore her identity and reputation after an old friend betrays her trust, and overall just tries to survive the chaos that is life in general. With a cast ranging from She-Hulk, Jubilee, and even Jessica Jones, the adventures and lessons learned have something for every reader. It’s a book that will have you laughing and gushing at its charm, but will also have you bawling when you least suspect it. Plus, why pass up the opportunity to witness the ultimate friendship goal that is Hellcat and She-Hulk?

Written by Kate Leth and drawn by Brittney Williams, the book explores mental issues, social hangups, and the journey of being comfortable with your own self, regardless of your sexual orientation or your past history. Young readers are trying to figure out who exactly they are, and in a world where answers to identity, acceptance, and health are few and far between, Hellcat is here to help you through it. It is a book that tells you that you are not alone and never will be, regardless what life throws at you. With a colorful cast of characters and a protagonist that almost any reader can relate to, PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT! is the perfect book for anyone looking for fun and answers for themselves.

MS. MARVEL

Recommended by Kat Vendetti

Young Readers
MS. MARVEL vol. 1: No Normal. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

MS. MARVEL will always be one of Marvel’s most recommended comics for readers of all ages, and with good reason. Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, is an inspiring young hero. Her stories are full of relatability and important life lessons. As such, she’s someone any fan, especially young readers, can relate and look up to.

In MS. MARVEL, writer G. Willow Wilson takes Kamala through a journey of self-acceptance and discovery — of getting superpowers, becoming a superhero, and coming to terms with who she is as Ms. Marvel. When Kamala first gains her abilities, she struggles with accepting herself as a hero. She feels she needs to look or be a certain way in order to be worthy of wielding the Ms. Marvel mantle. But in her journey, she discovers that anyone can be a hero — you just have to be brave and willing to stand up for what’s right. And most importantly, Kamala learns that who she is, is enough; to be Ms. Marvel, she just has to be the best version of Kamala that she can be.

MS. MARVEL is full of lessons like this, and as Kamala learns them, so does the reader. The morals in this comic span from what it means to do good, to never giving up for what you believe in, to defending yourself and others in the face of bigotry. In the later chapters and as the series continues, Kamala grows more confident as a person and as a hero.

But at the same time, she isn’t infallible. Kamala makes mistakes just like everyone else. At the heart of MS. MARVEL, Kamala is just a regular kid trying to figure out life. She struggles with fitting in at school, she deals with strict (yet loving) parents, she’s a total nerd — she just happens to be a superhero while doing so. Young readers can not only see themselves in Kamala, but also learn valuable lessons about life and themselves along the way.

Dear Kamala Khan: An Open Letter to Ms. Marvel

RUNAWAYS

Recommended by AJ Zender

Young Readers
RUNAWAYS vol. 1: Pride & Joy. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Every young person has that one moment where they feel like their parents are supervillains. But did anyone stop to ask what would happen if they truly were? Apparently, Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona did. In 2003, this creative team brought the RUNAWAYS to the page, and for nearly a decade, their characters have inspired an entire generation to fall in love with comic books. RUNAWAYS was the first comic book series that I ever fully invested in. With a wealth of great characters and brilliant storylines, this team will surely speak to your young readers.

RUNAWAYS follows a young group of teenagers as they learn about the dark dealings of their parents. Alex, Gert, Nico, Chase, Molly, and Karolina find their parents sacrificing a young runaway in a dark ritual. Together, these teens escape their parents’ grasp and gather weapons to defend themselves. The team soon learns that their parents are members of a powerful criminal organization called The Pride, which holds total control of the Los Angeles area. In order to stop their parents, the Runaways decide to use their newfound weapons and powers to end their parents’ reign.

As RUNAWAYS continues on and new writers join the fold, this series slips more into the realm of Young Adult storytelling. However, the early issues are perfect for readers of all ages. This series ages with the reader, and with the upcoming Hulu original series, now is the perfect time to leap into this high energy, thrilling narrative.

Recommended Reading for Young Readers

Comic books recommended for young readers don’t stop at this list. Marvel comics past, present, and future have and will always include something suitable for all ages. In addition, what’s great about comics is how accessible and digestible they are while still delivering engaging stories. With comics, young readers can start strong with simple yet profound stories that can turn them into lifelong readers.

2 Comments

  1. BAR_DD

    BAR_DD

    November 14, 2017 at 9:22 am

    @Marvel Ew

    Reply

  2. Black Adam 4 ever

    Black Adam 4 ever

    November 14, 2017 at 9:05 am

    @Marvel 💩💩💩💩💩💩Oh’Shit those books suck. https://t.co/iqe9xhYoD5

    Reply

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