Marvel. DC. Movies. Comic Books. Superheroes are the rage right now. In a world that sometimes seems out of control, who doesn’t love a foray into a realm filled with power to effect change and maybe even save the world (or the Universe!). If superheroes have captured your imagination in movies and comic books, maybe you are ready to broaden your reading horizons to novels. Here is a sample of what you can find in this genre at the RPL Teen Scene.
Several best-selling authors have contributed their takes on our favorite superheroes as teens in the DC ICONS series. Heavy on action and adventure, these books are also backstory-enhancing coming-of-age stories.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (Leigh Bardugo)
LOIS LANE finally gets the spotlight in this 3-book series by Gwenda Bond. Lois is a headstrong and capable teen journalist, solving mysteries after the manner of Veronica Mars or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The tone of the books are lighthearted and playful, geeky with video games, sci-fi, mutants, and an online buddy-crush, SmallvilleGuy.
Miles Morales of Spiderman Multiverse fame is back in Miles Morales: Spider-man, by Jason Reynolds. This is not a retelling of the movie, but a completely new story. This is not Peter Parker. Miles’s story provides for new views of contemporary challenges through diversity of culture and race. Add to that backstory, strong sense of place, and relatable coming-of-age elements, and you have a page-turner that is easy to read and engaging.
Avenger Natasha Romanov, aka the Black Widow, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes the protag position in a 2-book series by Margaret Stohl. She is joined by Ava Orlova (the Red Widow), Tony Stark (Iron Man), and Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel). These books are action-packed, plot-driven. International black-ops, assassins, and political intrigue combine with themes important to teens including drugs, relationships, and grieving for a darker take on the teen superhero scene.
Moving away from the Marvel and DC universes, but staying true to the super-hero/super-villain genre, Marissa Meyer presents the Renegade Trilogy. Currently two books are available, with book 3 slated for November 2019. This suspenseful, action-packed series explores gray areas, challenging perspectives and hard delineations between heroes and villains. Nova and Adrian grapple with questions of justice and vengeance in a reborn world of a post-apocalyptic future in a series that counterbalances fast pace, descriptive world-building, and thought-provoking themes.
The Gone series, by Michael Grant, presents a mutation element into a survival situation creating superheroes and supervillains, and a rift between them and those who have no supernatural powers. The series is, like most books in this genre, action-packed, fast-paced, and plot-driven. It also presents more of the dark side with a disturbing and gruesome tone. The series is also much longer than the others mentioned here, with 6 books in all, making for delving more deeply into this particular battle between good and evil.
The Gone series is made up of Gone, Hunger, Plague, Lies, Fear and Light. While the Gone series may be over, it’s not the end of the story. Grant’s new series, set in the aftermath of the Gone series, the Monster series starts with Monster and continues with Villain.