The most recommended superhero books

Who picked these books? Meet our 86 experts.

86 authors created a book list connected to superheros, and here are their favorite superhero books.
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Book cover of The Bad Guys

Barbara Elsborg Author Of The Story of Us

From Barbara's 7-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Gay Romance Writer Ex-seller of cyanide Avid reader Funny Imaginative

Barbara's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Barbara's 5, 7, and 10-year-old's favorite books.

Barbara Elsborg Why did Barbara's 7-year-old love this book?

This is fun, easy to read, has lots of characters, and the author gives each one a distinctive voice. He’s always asking for the next in the series.

By Aaron Blabey,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Bad Guys 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?

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!

"I wish I'd had these books as a kid. Hilarious!" -- Dav Pilkey, creator of Captain Underpants and Dog ManThis New York Times bestselling illustrated series is perfect for fans of Dog Man and Captain Underpants.They sound like bad guys, they look like bad guys . . . and they even smell like bad guys. But Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, and Mr. Shark are about to change all of that...Mr. Wolf has a daring plan for the Bad Guys' first good mission. They are going to break two hundred dogs out of the…


Book cover of Tom Strong - Book 1

Liam Francis Walsh Author Of Red Scare: A Graphic Novel

From my list on graphic novels for adventurous kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my opinion, a good adventure story does two things at once: it compels you to turn pages, while, paradoxically, also enticing you to get off the couch and go out into the beautiful, magical world, pregnant with unlimited possibilities, right outside your door, just waiting for you to notice it. I’ve hitchhiked, I’ve been lost in the jungle, I’ve sailed, I’ve run whitewater rivers, and I’ve written and drawn New Yorker cartoons and picture books. I hope these books are as hard for you to put down as they were for me, and when you do put ‘em down, it’s only to throw on your rucksack and head out in search of adventure!

Liam's book list on graphic novels for adventurous kids

Liam Francis Walsh Why did Liam love this book?

Tom Strong is a throwback to classic pulp heroes, and the closest thing to a superhero you’ll find on my list. Tom is super strong, super smart, and super white, but that’s where comparisons to the heroes from which the author drew inspiration end! Tom’s Black wife and daughter are fully realized characters with thoughts and feelings of their own. Tom doesn’t punch out the bad guys, he doesn’t even believe in bad guys! Instead, he uses his intelligence to recognize that conflict arises not from malice, but from misunderstanding and incompatible needs and desires. With this in mind, Tom can use his super-intelligence to craft a compromise that reestablishes order. Far from preachy, eat-your-vegetables sermonizing, these stories are witty, layered, thought-provoking, and hilarious.

By Alan Moore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a first volume featuring a popular physical and mental super-human, Tom battles with the Nazi super-woman Ingrid Weiss and her pre-human monster called the Pangean. A Graphic Novel. Original.


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…


American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason

By Brett Dakin,

Book cover of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason

Brett Dakin Author Of Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Lawyer Traveler Dog lover Reader Swimmer

Brett's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Meet Lev Gleason, a real-life comics superhero! Gleason was a titan among Golden Age comics publishers who fought back against the censorship campaigns and paranoia of the Red Scare. After dropping out of Harvard to fight in World War I in France, Gleason moved to New York City and eventually made it big with groundbreaking titles like Daredevil and Crime Does Not Pay.

Brett Dakin, Gleason's great-nephew, opens up the family archives—and the files of the FBI—to take you on a journey through the publisher's life and career. In American Daredevil, you'll learn the truth about Gleason's rapid rise…

American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason

By Brett Dakin,

What is this book about?

MEET LEV GLEASON, A REAL-LIFE COMICS SUPERHERO!

Gleason was a titan among Golden Age comics publishers who fought back against the censorship campaigns and paranoia of the Red Scare. After dropping out of Harvard to fight in France, Gleason moved to New York City and eventually made it big with groundbreaking titles like Daredevil and Crime Does Not Pay.

Brett Dakin, Gleason's great-nephew, opens up the family archives-and the files of the FBI-to take you on a journey through the publisher's life and career. In American Daredevil, you'll learn the truth about Gleason's rapid rise to the top of comics,…


Book cover of Leon the Extraordinary

Brandon T. Snider Author Of Rube Goldberg and His Amazing Machines

From my list on middle-grade reads full of humor & heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

As someone who was both a funny kid and a lover of superheroes, it was always exciting to find a book where those two things crossed paths. In the young readers' books I’ve written for Marvel and DC Comics, I always try to inject humor where I can. Humor can be healing. If I couldn’t laugh, especially about things that have caused me pain, I don’t know that I would be around today. I love books about funny, sensitive kids with big hearts. The world is a cold place sometimes, but whenever I see a young person making positive change and having fun along the way, it reminds me that anything is possible.

Brandon's book list on middle-grade reads full of humor & heart

Brandon T. Snider Why did Brandon love this book?

Leon is a big dreamer. He’s a good kid with a zest for life who truly wants to help people. The only problem is he doesn’t have superpowers. But! He does have a cool homemade costume and a keen mind.

I can relate as someone who used to tie towels around their neck and jump off the back of the couch. Don’t try that at home, by the way. Leon’s passion is infectious. His positivity is inspiring. Does it annoy the jerks and bullies? It sure does. But Leon isn’t one to act without considering all the angles. I love that about him.

Jamar Nicholas has crafted a super charming story that explores what it means to be a hero, a villain, and whatever lies in between.

By Jamar Nicholas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leon the Extraordinary 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?

Leon is an ordinary kid who becomes extraordinary when he fights a supervillain to save his school!

"Leon is a superhero, whose powers are kindness and common sense. It's a really good book about a really good kid!" -- Jerry Craft, author and illustrator of New Kid

"A heartfelt and hilarious hero’s journey. LEON is super!" -- Lincoln Peirce, author and illustrator of Big Nate

In the city where Leon lives, superheroes -- and supervillains -- are commonplace. So how does an ordinary kid like Leon, who has no superpowers himself, become the superhero he wants to be? When all…


Book cover of Amethyst

Tim Hanley Author Of Not All Supermen: Sexism, Toxic Masculinity, and the Complex History of Superheroes

From my list on heroines who have yet to hit the big screen.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a comic book nerd forever and a comic book historian for the past fifteen years, specializing in the history of female superheroes and writing books about Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, Catwoman, and more. A lot of amazing heroines have been featured in adaptations that have introduced them to a larger audience, but there are so many other great characters still waiting to get their chance to shine. I’m excited to share a few of them that I really love with you here, as well as spotlight a diverse collection of creators and characters that deserve a closer look.

Tim's book list on heroines who have yet to hit the big screen

Tim Hanley Why did Tim love this book?

We’re finally starting to see superhero movies and TV shows featuring the amazing heroines of the comic book world, but some have yet to make the jump. One of these heroines is Amethyst, and Amy Reeder’s recent reinvention of the classic 1980s series is a great distillation of the character. The book is colorful and action-packed, an amazing introduction to a unique setting and heroine that melds the real world with a fantastical realm unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Reeder’s writing is engaging, and her art as she explores and populates Gemworld is gorgeous and immersive. I automatically pick up anything Reeder draws, and this book is her at her best.

By Amy Reeder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Reintroducing Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld! Teenager Amy Winston lives a second life in the magical realm of Gemworld, where she is known as Princess Amethyst. Or at least she did. When she tries to return to Gemworld to celebrate her 16th birthday in style, she discovers that the Amethyst Kingdom is mising! Her subjects have vanished, and no one in any of the neighboring lands note evenher best friend remain loyal to her house. Left alone and dejected in this colorful fantasy realm, Amy must find new allies and confront dark secrets if she is to restore what's been taken...…


Book cover of Alvin Fernald, Superweasel

Bob Smiley Author Of Average Boy's Above-Average Year

From my list on growing up.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a goofy-looking kid growing up.  My ears were so big that someone once said I didn’t need an alarm clock because I could hear the sun coming up. On top of that, I was also very average at everything I tried.  However, I found that being funny made people like me. I also realized that, as long as God loved me and had a plan for me, I could be a superhero despite being average at everything. So when Focus on the Family asked me to start writing, I knew exactly what I’d write about…me! Average Boy!  

Bob's book list on growing up

Bob Smiley Why did Bob love this book?

Who doesn’t like a kid trying to be a superhero? Alvin is assigned a pollution project for school. Instead of writing a paper or doing an art project, Alvin becomes a superhero who fights pollution in his small town.

Alvin is a kid in a small town with a giant imagination and we get to go along for the ride as he tries to expose the biggest polluter in town-the chemical plant. And he does it with a funny mask and cape. Growing up, I didn’t need Superman because I had Superweasel as my inspiration.  

By Clifford B. Hicks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Alvin Fernald, Superweasel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alvin's pollution project is geared to expose the biggest polluter in town--the owner of the chemical plant.


Book cover of Chicken Nugget

V.P. Morris Author Of ShadowCast

From V.P.'s 3-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Thriller novelist Horror enthusiast Over thinker

V.P.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, V.P.'s 3-year-old's favorite books.

V.P. Morris Why did V.P.'s 3-year-old love this book?

The title character, Chicken Nugget learns to be brave and stand up for his family even when he feels small and helpless.

My son loves this book because the evil fox gets what is coming to him and is taken away in a police car so Chicken Nugget and his family are safe again.

By Michelle Robinson, Tom McLaughlin (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chicken Nugget as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

Chicken Nugget is a hilarious new picture book by Michelle Robinson and Tom McLaughlin.

My name is Nugget. Chicken Nugget.
This is my family.
I'm the smallest.

And when you're the smallest, nobody ever listens.

When Nugget's long-lost-cousin Franz turns up, all isn't quite as it seems. There's definitely something fishy - or foxy - about this chicken. This is Nugget's chance to save the day, because sometimes the bravest hero of all is just a little chicken.


Book cover of Renegades

Jessica Salina Author Of Play With Fire

From my list on superhero books that you won’t want to put down.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was eight years old, I walked into a movie theater to see Spider-Man and walked out forever obsessed with superheroes. Specifically, I saw him kiss Mary-Jane with his mask on while hanging upside down and my tastes never changed in 20 years. Now, when not writing, I cosplay from my favorite comics, video games, and anime with my husband, who I met at a comic-con while dressed as Gwenpool (he was Symbiote Spider-Man—see, I told you my tastes never changed).

Jessica's book list on superhero books that you won’t want to put down

Jessica Salina Why did Jessica love this book?

This book came out on my birthday a few years ago and felt like a present specifically for me, and other superhero fans will feel the same.

This YA sci-fi trilogy features a world divided between those who either love or hate the Renegades, a group of superpowered humans.

If you enjoy the themes of “heroes aren’t always what they seem” present in superhero works like The Boys, then Renegades is a milder version of that, making it a great entry point for superhero fans and an action-packed, thought-provoking read about what is right or wrong.

By Marissa Meyer,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Renegades 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?

Secret identities. Extraordinary powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies-humans with extraordinary abilities-who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone . . . except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice-and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a…


Book cover of Out of the Ashes

Annabel Allan Author Of Edgeplay

From my list on strong, confident female main characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I definitely wouldn’t say I’m an expert…but I definitely have a passion for the topic of dominant, strong women! Especially when it comes to kink and BDSM, but in all aspects of life. I think most readers would agree, we are sick of seeing the Damsel in Distress and want someone who can kick some serious butt. I connect strongly with those stronger, sassier characters, and aim to write the same for other readers to connect with.

Annabel's book list on strong, confident female main characters

Annabel Allan Why did Annabel love this book?

In Out of the Ashes our heroine, Jenna Morgan, is another great example of the strength needed…this time to preserver. She starts over, which can be scary, but does it with confidence. She enjoys her newfound freedom and gets a new tattoo…which leads to meeting our hero, Nate. Drama and tension ensue, Jenna proving she’s a strong, confident woman. 

By Keren Hughes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After the divorce from hell, Jenna Morgan swears off men. But could the town “bad boy” Nate, be the one to make her break that oath?Freeing herself from the constraints of her ex, she decides to do the one thing she always wanted to but was never allowed; get a tattoo.Nate Peterson is the town bad boy and owner of the Blank Canvas tattoo parlour. Walking into his shop could change her life forever.At a speed-dating event, Jenna meets the business-savvy lawyer, Levi. Surely it couldn’t hurt to go on one date, with both men? Conflicted by the choice, she…


Book cover of Dreadnought

C.T. Phipps Author Of The Rules of Supervillainy

From my list on superheroes not from Marvel or DC.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hi, my name is CT Phipps, and I am a crazy nerd from Ashland, Ky. I'm married with two dogs and love superheroes. I mean love. I used to wallpaper my bedroom wall with Spider-Man comics in their polybags. I've been a lifelong superhero fan and just love all the melodrama, hilarity, and weird science as well as magic that are the undercurrents of the genre. I've never lost my love of the characters and their stories, so when the MCU first came out, I ended up writing this book as well as its sequels. I’ve also written a bunch of other humorous sci-fi/fantasy books but this is the series closest to my heart.

C.T.'s book list on superheroes not from Marvel or DC

C.T. Phipps Why did C.T. love this book?

Dreadnought is a fantastic story about a young trans girl who inherits the powers of the most powerful superhero in the world.

Like Captain Marvel, it bestows upon her the looks of her idealized form. Unfortunately, this goes over like a ton of bricks with her family that she hadn't revealed herself to. The coming-of-age drama doesn't take a back seat to the superheroics, though, and I absolutely love the characters created by the author. 

By April Daniels,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An action-packed series-starter perfect for fans of The Heroine Complex and Not Your Sidekick.

"I didn't know how much I needed this brave, thrilling book until it rocked my world. Dreadnought is the superhero adventure we all need right now."-Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky

Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world's greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she's transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to…