Comic books have transcended the nerd-o-sphere and happily taken their power position among pop culture’s heavy hitters. The biggest blockbuster movies are based on comic books; almost every TV network has a comic book adaptation; and comic books are even spilling over into and inspiring traditional prose books. Which is great news for those of us who love our superheroes anyway we can get them. And there’s no better time to be a comic book fan than during San Diego Comic-Con, kicking off today. Here are 6 comics-inspired YAs to make sure you’re in the mood for the festivities.
Fallout (Lois Lane Series #1), by Gwenda Bond
A YA book starring Lois Lane? Sign me up. She’s smart, competent, and good—even at the tender age of 16. When Lois moves to Metropolis, she just wants to fit it in. But, as anyone who has read the comics knows, Lois has a hard time staying out of trouble. She decides to use her new powers as a reporter to help a bullying victim in the immersive video game all the students are playing. With some help from her chatroom friend “SmallvilleGuy,” Lois tries her hand at serving up justice, in a story that has all the adventure, drama, and playfulness of the best comic books.
Black Widow Forever Red, by Margaret Stohl
We may not have a Black Widow solo movie anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get our Natasha Romanoff fix. After the world’s most lethal assassin saved Ava Orlova, Ava was placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. And when children in Eastern Europe go missing and Red Room tech starts appearing on the dark net, Natasha teams up with Ava, and the two work together to unravel their pasts. Full of adventure and intrigue, this book promises to tell the untold story of Black Widow. Pre-order your copy now, it hits shelves this fall.
Mary Jane, by Judith O’Brien
Peter Parker’s story is cool and all, but it’s been told so many times. That’s why this book, which tells the story from his love interest Mary Jane’s perspective, is so amazingly fascinating. We get an inside look at Mary Jane’s feeling both pre- and post-spider bite, as her long-time crush starts to change in front of her very eyes. While she may not be the traditional superhero, she’s definitely the hero of her own story, taking control of her life and learning to accept herself. Combining action, romance, and angst, this book is a great introduction to the world of superheroes for all of us regulars.
I Am Princess X, by Cherie Priest (author) and Kali Ciesemier (Illustrator)
Libby and May were just your average best friends who created an epic comic book hero, Princess X, who slays dragons in her sneakers and gown. But after Libby dies in a tragic car accident, May thinks that’s the end of Princess X…until she starts seeing Princess X paraphernalia on the streets of her hometown. When she learns there’s a whole underground community devoted to an anonymously penned webcomic called IAmPrincessX.com, she begins to freak out over its similarities to her and Libby’s creation. Complete with awesome excerpts of the Princess X comics, this is a fast-paced book that highlights the very best of the internet.
Adaption, by Malinda Lo
This book is sort of like The X-Files with an added bonus of super-heroics as it delves deep into the world of government conspiracies and cover-ups. After birds start crashing into planes and planes start crashing into the ground, Reese and David are involved in a near fatal car accident trying to get home from a debate tournament…and end up convalescing in a secret government facility. When the teens finally make it home, they’re greeted by an altered San Francisco, with a police curfew and people following them. Oh, and they’re starting to develop strange new abilities..
Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula, by Elise Stokes
This quick read is full of action, adventure, and plot twists from start to finish. In the vein of some of our favorite superheroes, Cassidy Jones acquires her powers in an accident in the lab of a world-renowned geneticist. She’s got super speed, super strength, and super big problems. Not only does she have to deal with her newly acquired powers, she also has to investigate the disappearance of a geneticist. And if that isn’t enough comic book fun for you, Cassidy also has a little brother who’s obsessed with comic books and comic book heroes.