YA Superhero Books To Read While You’re Waiting For Wonder Woman: Warbringer

It’s turning out to be the year of the most glorious Wonder Woman and no one’s complaining! In honour of Leigh Bardugo’s upcoming book Wonder Woman: Warbringer (which is just released and it’s so exciting!) I’m putting together a list of other superpowered YA novels that you can gnaw on while you get your hands on the famed Wonder Woman novel.

There’s nothing quite like reading about superheroes to make you realise what your future career goals should be. Now just go fall in a vat of toxic waste or get bitten by a very special spider. You’ll be good to go.


STEELHEART BY BRANDON SANDERSON

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BUY HERE

This trilogy centres around a fallen USA, where those with superpowers are rather evil and like to conquer and destroy the humans. David is just your average regular nerd, who’s also good with a gun, and would like to stop the evil superhero (villain?) who murdered his father. David teams up with the mysterious Reckoner superpower-killing team — even though they pretty much do not want him around. His next step is to try not to get killed from (a) his team, and (b) all the psychotic superpowers blazing around.

I really adore this book, particularly because it’s funny! David is witty and dorky and the plot moves at a cracking pace with plenty of action. And the superpowers are really unique and doubly interesting.

 

V IS FOR VILLAIN BY PETER MOORE

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Superheroes are pretty cool and all that, but what about villain origin stories?! This stars Brad, who’s just a puny little worm in the shadow of his superpowered older brother. Brad is pretty smart, but since he can’t throw cars around or save screaming civilians, he’s pretty much a nobody. He ends up being caught in an undercurrent of criminal activity and has to decide which who are really the “good guys” and who is truly corrupt.

C’mon! Villains! And this is such a classic super villain vs hero story line that it was a real pleasure to devour. Also quite fun with lots of dialogue quips and fantastic explosions.

 

ZEROES BY SCOTT WESTERFELD

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BUY HERE

This is a collaboration project by three authors, Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti. And it follows the point-of-views of 6 kids with powers in a world where they have to hide them. The team of six has recently been busted apart but are now slowly clawing back together at the insistence of Scam, who hears voices that tell him what to say to make people happy. Which is a handy power but also gets him into a lot of trouble.

The exciting part about this series is definitely how interesting and creative the super powers are! From controlling crowds, to seeing through other people’s eyes, to being forgotten instantly — the book is so creative!

MS MARVEL

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Okay so these are actual comics and not novels of prose, but I had to include them since they’re some of my favourite comics ever! Ms. Marvel is all about Kamala Khan who has extraordinary skills (like shrinking and growing at will) who’s also just a teenager trying to do well in school, please her family, and also save the world. They’re fantastic because they’re so funny and relatable + superpowers. Of course.

I’m holding out hope for someone like Leigh Bardugo to write a novel-formatted story for Kamala or for her to get her own movie! It’s high time we had more diverse teens saving the world between homework and teaming up with the famous Avengers we all know and love.

Review: Secret Hero Society – Study Hall of Justice by Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen

9781760276539The cynic in me wanted to view Derek Fridolfs’ and Dustin Nguyen’s Secret Hero Society: Study Hall of Justice as a perfunctory vehicle to spotlight younger versions of DC comics heroes and villains ahead of the release of the blockbuster film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But I’m a sucker for the DC’s ‘trinity’ – Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman – and I’m a long-time admirer of Dustin Nguyen’s art. So despite my hesitations, I pulled a copy from the shelf and dived in… and I was more than pleasantly surprised. I was delighted. This is a book that’ll have both adults and kids in stitches, scouring pages for inside jokes and references, and enraptured by the core mystery. In other words, it’s a winner.

Young Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent and Diana Prince form their own Junior Detective Agency in the halls of Ducard Academy in Gotham City when they realise there’s more to their new boarding school for ‘gifted’ children than meets the eye. They’re an oddball triumvirate, each displaying the divisive characteristics that’ve been portrayed in the comics for decades. Together, they unravel the mystery behind the school’s secret headmaster, overcoming the villainous obstacles in their way including fellow students Lex Luthor, Harley Quinn and the Joker, as well as dastardly school staff including General Zod, Hugo Strange, Vandal Savage, and so forth.

Secret Hero Society: Study Hall of Justice is layered with references that young fans and older will enjoy – but every element is explicated well enough to ensure the layman won’t be left lost and confused. This is fundamentally a story about friendship – how different personalities, regardless of upbringing, can be moulded into an effective team – with a good amount of super-heroics thrown in. It’s told through traditional comic book pages, journal entries, pamphlets, text messages, and report cards, and the variation enhances the tale’s readability. The only flaw I identified was the novel’s pacing. The story takes its time to get going – it’s not plodding, but necessarily measured in order to establish the characters and their world – but in contrast the climax feels rushed, like suddenly the storytellers realised they were running out of pages. It’s not a major issue, and it certainly doesn’t take away from the novel’s successes, but it’s a noticeable stumble.

This is the kind of book I wish had been around when I was a kid. It’s fun and quirky, but doesn’t talk down to readers. I’d love to see further adventures in this universe, and there’s certainly a ton more characters to explore from the DC Universe.

Buy the book here…

Comic Books to Read if You’re Excited for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

We’re mere days away from the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and if you’re like me, you’re both excited and slightly trepidatious about the flick. Thankfully, regardless of the film’s success and quality (my fingers are crossed for both despite my reservations about Man of Steel) there’re a bunch of collected editions and graphic novel worth checking out.

9781401256982Batman vs Superman: The Greatest Battles

Essentially a ‘greatest hits’ collection of some of The Man of Steel and The Dark Knight’s encounters, it includes work from writers such as Frank Miller, Scott Snyder, Jeph Loeb and Geoff Johns, as well as art by Jim Lee, Greg Capullo and Ed Benes. If you’re looking for the battles without the context, this collection is for you!

Buy from Boomerang Books.

 

 

 

 

HushBatman: Hush

Written by Jeph Loeb with art by Jim Lee and Scott Williams, Hush is the epic crime thriller that rejuvenated The Caped Crusader. And sure, while its predominantly a Batman story, there’s a brilliant battle with Superman in one of its early chapters – – which sees The Dark Knight equipped with his trusty Kryptonite ring taking on a mind-controlled Man of Tomorrow.

Buy from Boomerang Books.

 

 

 

DKRBatman: The Dark Knight Returns

There’re few Batman stories more iconic than Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Set ten years after an aging Batman has retired and Gotham City has sunk deeper into decadence and lawlessness, the city now needs him more than ever. But after facing off against two of his greatest foes, it’s his battle with old ally Superman that truly resonates… because only one survives!

Buy from Boomerang Books.

 

 

 

 

Batman v Superman LoebBatman/Superman, Volume 1

Y’know, when they’re not butting heads, Superman and Batman are actually mates. In this first volume of Jeph Loeb an Ed McGuinnes’ Superman/Batman series, the iconic super-heroes unite when Lex Luthor, now president of the United States, accuses Superman of a crime against humanity, and assembles a top-secret team of powerhouse heroes to bring Superman in – dead or alive!

Buy from Boomerang Books.

 

 

 

TrinityTrinity

When Batman’s greatest nemesis, Ra’s al Ghul, recruits Bizarro and an Amazon warrior to aid him in his plan to create global chaos, the Dark Knight Detective suddenly finds himself working with the Man of Steel and the Amazon Princess. Looking to thwart the madman’s plot to simultaneously destroy all satellite communications as well as all of the world’s oil reserves, Earth’s greatest heroes reluctantly band together. But if Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are to have any hope of stopping Ra’s’ nuclear missile assault, they will first need to overcome their own biases and reconcile their differing philosophies.

Buy from Boomerang Books.