66 books like X-Men

By Christopher Golden,

Here are 66 books that X-Men fans have personally recommended if you like X-Men. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Wild Cards I

Blake M. Petit Author Of Other People's Heroes

From my list on superheroes outside of graphic novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and teacher from Ama, Louisiana, who has also been a reader of comic books since I first learned how to read. I spent many years as a columnist, reviewer, and podcaster for a now-defunct comic site, while also working on my own novels, humor columns, and even the occasional stage play. My time these days is split between my day job as a high school English teacher, my dream job writing, and my full-time job of being the father of a five-year-old.

Blake's book list on superheroes outside of graphic novels

Blake M. Petit Why did Blake love this book?

In the days after World War II, an alien device explodes in the skies above New York, blanketing the planet with an extraterrestrial virus. Most of the victims die horrible deaths. A smaller percentage – the “Jokers” – find their bodies mutated in various unpredictable ways. And a scant few draw an “Ace” – superpowers without the consequences of a Joker mutation. Wild Cards is the first in a series of “mosaic novels,” books of stories featuring the work of several writers contributing their own pieces of a larger tapestry that helps build and flesh out a remarkable world. The Wild Cards series is perhaps the most elaborate and provocative superhero universe that exists in prose fiction. 

As much as I love comic books, it's always bothered me how many people think comics are superheroes and vice-versa. This was one of the first really successful attempts at doing something with…

By George R. R. Martin (editor),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Wild Cards I as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Soon to be a TV show on Hulu!

Back in print after a decade, expanded with new original material, this is the first volume of George R. R. Martin's Wild cards shared-world series

There is a secret history of the world—a history in which an alien virus struck the Earth in the aftermath of World War II, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Some were called Aces—those with superhuman mental and physical abilities. Others were termed Jokers—cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. Some turned their talents to the service of humanity. Others used their powers for evil.…


Book cover of When Strikes the Warlord

Percival Constantine Author Of Heroes Forged

From my list on superheroes that aren’t comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by superheroes. Maybe it’s because as a bit of an outcast myself growing up, I gravitated towards stories of people who were outside society, yet actually more powerful because of it. Perhaps I’m drawn to the idea of people who work outside the system to make the world a better place, regardless of if it’s dangerous to them or if they don’t reap any kind of personal reward. Or maybe I just like to watch beautiful people in colorful costumes beat the crap out of each other. You can always listen to me on the Superhero Cinephiles podcast to hear me talk more about superheroes.

Percival's book list on superheroes that aren’t comics

Percival Constantine Why did Percival love this book?

The next Avengers movie is a few years away and there’s no way of knowing when (or if) there will be another Justice League movie. So if you’re looking for some epic, superhero team action to hold you over until then, look no further than Van Allen Plexico’s Sentinels series. This is the kind of widescreen superhero action you’ve come to expect from the MCU and Plexico’s love of the genre drips off every page.

By Van Allen Plexico, Chris Kohler (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Strikes the Warlord as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The power-mad Warlord stands poised to conquer-- or destroy-- the universe itself. Can anyone stand in his way? Enter the Sentinels: College student Lyn Li... Brilliant inventor and smart-alec Esro Brachis... Beloved national hero Ultraa... Flamboyant showman Damon Sinclair... and mysterious alien powerhouse Vanadium. When at last they clash atop the Warlord's floating city, can the world itself survive?

The biggest and boldest superhero novel series ever written begins here! The first book in the critically-acclaimed Sentinels superhero novel series introduces the core of the team and the most dangerous-- and insane-- villain of them all: the Warlord!

"Grandiose storytelling…


Book cover of Shadow Legion

Percival Constantine Author Of Heroes Forged

From my list on superheroes that aren’t comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by superheroes. Maybe it’s because as a bit of an outcast myself growing up, I gravitated towards stories of people who were outside society, yet actually more powerful because of it. Perhaps I’m drawn to the idea of people who work outside the system to make the world a better place, regardless of if it’s dangerous to them or if they don’t reap any kind of personal reward. Or maybe I just like to watch beautiful people in colorful costumes beat the crap out of each other. You can always listen to me on the Superhero Cinephiles podcast to hear me talk more about superheroes.

Percival's book list on superheroes that aren’t comics

Percival Constantine Why did Percival love this book?

If your superhero tastes run more to the weird and dark, this is definitely in your wheelhouse. Deja’s Shadow Legion could best be described as “superhero noir.” It’s got aspects of the supernatural and horror mixed in with pulp hero archetypes and intriguing interpretations of classic super powers. Plus, it features one of the best villains in any piece of superhero media, bar none.

By Thomas Deja, Chris Kemple (illustrator), Mike Fyles (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shadow Legion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WELCOME TO
NOCTURNE, FLORIDA

There has always been something strange about Nocturne, Florida: the City That Lives by Night. It is an entertainment nexus luring tourist from around the world to its night clubs, music venues and other, more adult entertainment venues. But there is a darker side to which these carefree revelers never see; one of dark doings, violence and eldritch evil.

Now a new sinister force threatens Nocturne and only a handful of unique, gifted beings can protect the city’s innocent.
Nightbreaker; a radio star turned vigilante, he exist in a strange limbo world. The beautiful Dreamcatcher who…


Book cover of Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

Blake M. Petit Author Of Other People's Heroes

From my list on superheroes outside of graphic novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and teacher from Ama, Louisiana, who has also been a reader of comic books since I first learned how to read. I spent many years as a columnist, reviewer, and podcaster for a now-defunct comic site, while also working on my own novels, humor columns, and even the occasional stage play. My time these days is split between my day job as a high school English teacher, my dream job writing, and my full-time job of being the father of a five-year-old.

Blake's book list on superheroes outside of graphic novels

Blake M. Petit Why did Blake love this book?

Not a novel, but Supergods is one of the most intriguing books about the superhero as a concept that I’ve ever read. In Supergods, the always thought-provoking Grant Morrison digs into what superheroes actually are by picking apart archetypes, delving into the history of the medium, and exploring their place as a sort of modern mythology. Having written countless superhero comics, including some of the most surreal such stories ever to exist, Morrison is in a unique position to dissect the genre in a way that leaves you thinking about what superheroes mean and why they matter. It's the kind of book that makes you examine what the building blocks of superheroes are, and as someone who enjoys playing in that sandbox, it makes me look at one of my favorite genres in new and unique ways. 

By Grant Morrison,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Supergods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, and the X-Men—the list of names as familiar as our own. They are on our movie and television screens, in our videogames and in our dreams. But what are they trying to tell us? For Grant Morrison, one of the most acclaimed writers in the world of comics, these heroes are powerful archetypes who reflect and predict the course of human existence: Through them we tell the story of ourselves. In this exhilarating work…


Book cover of Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute: Lunch Lady #1

Ken Lamug Author Of Born to Be Bad

From my list on unexpected superheroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professional dabbler who has tried things from beekeeping, duck herding, race car driving, coding, and filmmaking. But I am famously known as the author and illustrator of imaginative and fun children’s books and comics. My latest book is the hilarious supervillain graphic novel Mischief and Mayhem. It’s a story about Missy who gets kicked out of superhero boot camp and ends up as a supervillain (a nice and friendly one). I’ve always enjoyed reading about unexpected heroes and characters who flip the script. We all have challenges in our lives and when we face them head-on is when we truly find the heroes in ourselves.

Ken's book list on unexpected superheroes

Ken Lamug Why did Ken love this book?

The place you least expect for a hero to turn up is the lunchroom and that’s exactly what we get here. In this issue of a long-running series Lunch Lady and Betty, her assistant, investigate the strange case of a missing teacher, a creepy substitute, and how this all connects with the Teacher of the Year award. Scenes in the story revolve around the school which will make it relatable to school-going readers. Kids will have a new respect for people around them as they identify who could potentially be a hero in their own small way. 

By Jarrett J. Krosoczka,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

From the author of National Book Award finalist Hey, Kiddo.

Serving justice . . . and lunch!

Hector, Terrence, and Dee have always wondered about their school lunch lady. What does she do when she isn’t dishing out the daily special? Where does she live? Does she have a lot of cats at home? Little do they know, Lunch Lady doesn’t just serve sloppy joes—she serves justice! Whatever danger lies ahead, it’s no match for LUNCH LADY!


Book cover of Comic Book: Uncanny X-Men

Mya Chavis Author Of A Sovereign Pursuit: Stolen Justice Redeemed

From my list on comic fiction having you on the edge of your seat.

Why am I passionate about this?

Creatively formulating, cultivating, and producing high-quality fiction “masterpieces” is what I was destined to do. The art of writing is a “gift & passion” that runs rapidly through my veins. Propelled through an obitual love of reading adventurous tales and storytelling as a young child my writing voyage has expanded to writing poetry, monologues, and screen writing. Combining all imaginative inspired gifts and talents refined by a burning passion to communicate prolific narrations like no other author can. Inspirational, impactful authors that paved the way for me to be here are Maya Angelou, Roald Dahl, Theodor Seuss Geisel, Levar Burton, and Nikki Giovanni.

Mya's book list on comic fiction having you on the edge of your seat

Mya Chavis Why did Mya love this book?

I never get tired of voyaging into the next adventure with XMen Publications.

These books are ageless, exciting, suspenseful, and an engaging narrative plot that always takes you on the voyage with them. A Mutated “Crew” of superheroes. Having a unique genetic trait labeled the X-gene grants abnormal superhuman abilities and superpowers to conquer every enemy of their souls.

Their regimented loyalty and dedication to their squad, Planet, and the mission in defeating their enemies are compared to no other. Their vanquishing conquest to defeat their enemies in the midst of adversities and pain will leave you in anticipation for the next episode always.

I greatly appreciate reading these books because this superhero team set the bar for uniformity.

By Betty Melton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Comic Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Agent 9: Flood-A-Geddon!

Ken Lamug Author Of Born to Be Bad

From my list on unexpected superheroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professional dabbler who has tried things from beekeeping, duck herding, race car driving, coding, and filmmaking. But I am famously known as the author and illustrator of imaginative and fun children’s books and comics. My latest book is the hilarious supervillain graphic novel Mischief and Mayhem. It’s a story about Missy who gets kicked out of superhero boot camp and ends up as a supervillain (a nice and friendly one). I’ve always enjoyed reading about unexpected heroes and characters who flip the script. We all have challenges in our lives and when we face them head-on is when we truly find the heroes in ourselves.

Ken's book list on unexpected superheroes

Ken Lamug Why did Ken love this book?

In this fast-paced action-adventure, super-secret agent Agent 9 has to stop King Crab and his diabolical plans to melt the polar ice caps and build a massive water park. If that doesn’t grab your attention, I have no doubt that James Burks’ wonderful and dynamic illustrations will. There are chase scenes, explosions, and humor on every page that’ll surely keep the reader hooked with every turn. I love how Agent 9 has to address her own personal struggles so she can level up and win the day. A very welcome addition to any children’s graphic novel bookshelf.

By James Burks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Agent 9 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

"Funny, adorable, and action-packed!" —Kazu Kibuishi, #1 New York Times bestselling creator of the Amulet series

From the creator of the Bird & Squirrel graphic novel series, comes this hilarious and action-packed new series which follows a feline secret agent who will do whatever it takes to save the world—even if it means destroying a few things along the way.

The Super-Secret Spy Service’s mission is to keep the world safe from maniacal villains. And Agent 9 is one of its best operatives. Although Nine always manages to complete the mission, there is occasionally some collateral damage (like the priceless…


Book cover of Sidekicks

Scott SanGiacomo Author Of Bedhead Ted

From my list on navigating friendships and family.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hi, my name is Scott SanGiacomo, (San-JAH-Ko-mo) from Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Stories have always been important to me. From the ones read to me as a boy; to the comics I devoured as an adolescent; all the way to the stories I read to my own children. I’m inspired to create stories and art that explore childhood and the universal themes that follow us into adulthood. I hope you enjoy my list of graphic novels about navigating friendships and family.

Scott's book list on navigating friendships and family

Scott SanGiacomo Why did Scott love this book?

A graphic novel about superhero pets? Yes, please! This is a super fun book (see what I did there?) perfect for young readers. Crime-stopping superhero, Captain Amazing is getting older. He’s starting to think it may be time to bring in a sidekick— his pets think they can help. With hilarious twists and turns - this wonderfully illustrated book is both heartwarming and laugh-out-loud funny. 

By Dan Santat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sidekicks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Suit up for this high-octane graphic novel debut by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat!

Captain Amazing, the hometown hero of Metro City, is so busy catching criminals that he rarely has time for his pets -- he hasn't even noticed they've been developing superpowers of their own!

So when Captain Amazing announces he needs a sidekick, his eager pets -- a dog, a hamster, and a chameleon -- all decide to audition for the part and a chance for one-on-one time with the Captain. But while each pet is focused on winning the coveted sidekick spot, an even bigger battle in…


Book cover of Steelheart

Ben Green Author Of Forged in the Fallout

From my list on YA with boys who defy stereotypes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a grown man who reads and writes young adult fantasy books. I believe YA stories are perfect for nearly every audience. Let me tell you why. Our teenage years are filled with growth. As we mature, we forget what such rapid change feels like. We become less empathetic toward youth. And yet, many of our characteristics—positive and negative—develop during these years. I read YA to understand myself. It also helps me be a more understanding father and teacher. That said, I'm very picky. I despise teenage stereotypes. For young men, it is particularly hard to find books that depict empathetic male characters. Here’s a list of books where young men feel genuine.

Ben's book list on YA with boys who defy stereotypes

Ben Green Why did Ben love this book?

David Charleston’s character resonated with me. He’s eccentric, passionate, and meticulous, while also being a great friend.

He’s also out for revenge against his father’s killer—A supervillain named Steelheart who has taken over Chicago. David unites with a secret group of people called the Reckoners who are trying to learn each villain's weakness to assassinate them.

David’s obsession with details is relatable, and against the terrifying powers of these supervillains, you're left on the edge of your seat hoping the Reckoner's schemes will be enough.

By Brandon Sanderson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Steelheart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics... nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.…


Book cover of Superman Smashes the Klan

Jess Hong Author Of Lovely

From my list on I wish existed when I was a kid.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up Asian American, the lack of representation I felt was constant and palpable. I think often about what it would have meant and how beneficial it could have been had I been able to see myself in picture books as a child. This is a list of books I wish little me could have read growing up because when I read them now they speak to that same vulnerable space in me that I still carry. They are a balm to my heart and mind, making me feel connected to both myself and others that look like me and share similar experiences.

Jess' book list on I wish existed when I was a kid

Jess Hong Why did Jess love this book?

This is another masterful creation by Gene Luen Yang! After falling in love with American Born Chinese, this recent work of his did not disappoint. This story based on an old radio play is a tale of self-acceptance and standing up to hatred. Yang brilliantly intertwines the narrative of the Lee family and the issues of discrimination and violence they are faced with moving into a new suburban town along with the struggles of a younger, less experienced Superman coming to terms with being himself, an alien among humans.

By Gene Luen Yang, Gurihiru (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Superman Smashes the Klan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Harvey Award winner for Best Children or Young Adult Book! The year is 1946. Teenagers Roberta and Tommy Lee just moved with their parents from Chinatown to the centre of Metropolis, home to the famous hero, Superman. Tommy makes friends quickly, while Roberta pines for home. Then one night, the family awakens to find their house surrounded by the Klan of the Fiery Kross! Superman leaps into action, but his exposure to a mysterious green rock has left him weak. Can Roberta and Tommy help him smash the Klan? Inspired by the 1940s Superman radio serial Clan of the Fiery…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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