The Best Marvel Comics For Young Readers [Kids’ Comics]
Superhero comic books are a great way to get kids of all ages reading, while teaching solid moral lessons and giving them something to aspire to. However, it can be difficult parsing which titles are suitable for kids and teens, and which titles most assuredly are not, so ComicsAlliance has put together a list of some of the best choices.
Today, we're looking at recent offerings from Marvel Comics that cater specifically to younger readers. Over recent years there's been a significant sea-change at Marvel that has allowed more young adult, kid-friendly, and inclusive titles to spring up and carve a corner for themselves, and we've chosen six of the very best for the kids and teens in your life.
Kamala Khan is Ms. Marvel, a legacy character, and an Inhuman. Her powers are to make herself bigger, smaller, and sometimes change her appearance. She deals with her family life, religion, being a superhero, defending Jersey City, school, and relationship issues. She's Spider-Man for the 21st century.
And just like Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel doesn't hesitate to show the harshness of the world — especially the harshness shown to a young, brown, Muslim girl. Despite the potential for gloom, Ms. Marvel manages to rise above and stick to a beautiful ideal of hope and optimism — even in a world that is literally ending.
Though it tackles incredibly deep issues, it still manages to be kid-friendly and silly. Heck, its first villain is a mutated bird clone of Thomas Edison.
Spider-Man's message was, "With great power comes great responsibility." Ms Marvel's message is that good isn't a thing you are, it's a thing you do. If you ask us, that's a message kids should hear. [Tara Marie]
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is a story about misfits. Moon Girl is Lunella Lafayette, a young black girl living in New York City who happens to be a genius. And to be clear, Lunella’s not just the sort of genius who will graduate high school early and go to an impressive college. She’s a Marvel Universe super-genius, complete with a secret underground lab and a vast arsenal of DIY super-science gadgets. But what she doesn’t have is friends, because all the kids at school think she’s a weirdo.
But then she meets Devil Dinosaur, an intelligent, bright red tyrannosaurus who arrives in Manhattan thanks to a portal through spacetime. The two have a special affinity for each other, which only increases when Lunella discovers her own superpowers.
Although it’s set squarely within the Marvel Universe, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur has its own light-hearted, kid-friendly tone, and doesn’t get bogged down in crossover events and hero-vs-hero drama. There is an early guest appearance by the Totally Awesome Hulk, but it’s fun and integrated well into the story. It’s exactly the sort of comic I would have loved as a kid, and still one of my favorites today. [Elle Collins]
Squirrel Girl is Doreen Green, a girl attempting to fit in, make friends, and oh yeah, she can talk to squirrels. She engages in lots of silly super hero fights along with her friend Nancy and fellow animal-themed superheroes, Koi Boi and Chipmunk Hunk.
Starting from its first issue, where Squirrel Girl retcons her origins while parodying Spider-Man's theme song, to the Choose Your Own Adventure comic, to the pseudo-spooky Tails of Squirrel Girl, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is not only one of the most child-friendly comics being published today, but one of the most inventive and fun comics ever written.
More than anything though, this one stands above other for-kids comics because the message is shown in every single "battle" that Squirrel Girl takes part in — might isn't right, and most people doing wrong are just sad and misunderstood. Just because you can hurt someone (and Squirrel Girl literally beat up Thanos) doesn't mean you should. Doreen solves her problems by understanding what the villains really want and, in most cases, befriending them and helping them find a peaceful way to work out their issues, without endangering anyone.
If you like your kids to read inventive, awesome, fun and colorful comics, get them The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Just do it. [TM]
I’ll admit I was rather skeptical when I first saw this series was happening. “Really?” I thought. “We needed more past stories of Peter Parker in high school?”
But this book is the real deal. Robbie Thompson nails the humor and heart that is Spidey at his best and brings to mind the effortlessness of the lamented The Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon; Nick Bradshaw combines Ditko-esque awkwardness with Romita-like dynamism; and Jim Campbell gives the whole thing a bright pop that makes this book stand out.
This is the kind of comic that you would give a kid to get them hooked on the medium, same as Ultimate Spider-Man did way back when for me. Whatever the Tom Holland MCU Spidey movies turn out to be, let’s hope they capture a little of the fun that this series has offered up so far in its eight issues. [Tom Speelman]
If you're looking for a fun comic to read with your kids, Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat is well worth a try. Relaunched in 2015 with writing by Kate Leth, art by Brittney L. Williams, and colors by Megan Wilson, Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat showcases how job hunting and superheroing is always better with friends. It's a smart, feminist comic that is truly "all-ages," fun and uncomplicated but with plenty of Easter eggs for older comics readers who are familiar with the Marvel canon.
Patsy, like Squirrel Girl, realizes that punching doesn't solve every problem. She's still kicking butt and taking names, as superheroes do, but she's also living life in New York City, struggling to find work, and trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life.
The comic addresses real world issues that everyone will face, like paying rent, in a way that feels real and isn't alienating to younger readers. And it's funny! So funny. It will make you want to move to NYC and go to Coney Island with Patsy and her pals. [Emma Lawson]
I feel like a lot of people wrote off Unbelievable Gwenpool when it was first announce because the ostensible combination of Spider-Gwen and Deadpool seemed like such a blatant cash-grab that it was almost distasteful. However, over the course of a handful of issues, Christopher Hastings and Gurihiru have crafted one of the smartest comedy superhero comics of the moment.
While inspired by and resembling both Gwen and Wade, Gwenpool is her own character; specifically she’s a girl from our universe that got transported to the Marvel Universe, so she knows all its secrets. She defeats Thor by knowing she’s secretly Jane Foster, and she recognises Miles Morales on the train.
With a killer supporting cast that includes Batroc ze Leaper and a heart-wrenching approach to Gwen’s situation, Unbelievable Gwenpool is the sleeper hit of the year. [Kieran Shiach]