41 books directly related to superheros 📚

All 41 superhero books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

Thor The Mighty Avenger

By Roger Langridge,

Book cover of Thor The Mighty Avenger

Why this book?

The God: Thor

Marvel doesn’t always get it right, mythologically speaking, but this all-ages title was a fantastic introduction to the superhero version of everyone’s favorite Norse God, Thor. Romantic and full of adventure, with peeks at Thor’s goat chariot and guest appearances by a handful of other superheroes along the way, paired with the gorgeously expressive artwork of Chris Samnee, this is definitely a graphic novel worth gifting to both the young and young at heart in your life—if you can find it to give!


Steelheart

By Brandon Sanderson,

Book cover of Steelheart

Why this book?

What’s that you say, Steelheart isn’t urban fantasy? Even when it’s written by the emperor of fantasy himself, Mr. Brandon “I’ve written over fifty bestselling novels in twenty years” Sanderson. Well to that I say: Sparks! You’re like a rabbit doing maths equations instead of looking for foxes. And if you love ridiculous metaphors like that, then Steelheart is like a banana farm for guns. What’s not to love about this book? It’s a world filled with superpowered humans and every single one of them becomes an Epic villain. If that’s not dark enough humour for you, then David’s attempts at analogies will keep you entertained for days. I mean, who hasn’t looked at motorcycles racing towards you and thought “They looked dangerous, like alligators. Really fast alligators wearing black. Ninja alligators!” 

I absolutely love this book and all of the Reckoners books that follow.


Superman Smashes the Klan

By Gene Luen Yang, Gurihiru (illustrator),

Book cover of Superman Smashes the Klan

Why 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.


Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

By Kate DiCamillo, K.G. Campbell (illustrator),

Book cover of Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Why this book?

Clever, comic-book reading, word-loving Flora is more cynical than ever since her parents’ separation. She’s sure her mother loves a shepherdess lamp more than her own daughter. When Flora saves a squirrel sucked up by a neighbor’s vacuum and he returns with super strength and the ability to understand language and write poetry, she finds a kindred spirit. I love this book for its colorful (human and squirrel) characters and subtle exploration of family dynamics. And I love that Flora’s journey, which is emotional rather than physical, isn’t wrapped up with a tidy bow at the end.


One (One Universe)

By Leigh Ann Kopans,

Book cover of One (One Universe)

Why this book?

In a world with superpowers, two abilities mean you’re a Super and none means you’re Normal.

The Twist? Merrin Grey has a single power, meaning she’s half a Super called a One. And when she’s forced to transfer to a normal high school she meets Elias who is also a One. When they combine their powers, they can fly! 

One is a love letter to superheroes and comics and plays with the idea of what makes someone a superhero vs a less than. I loved all the sci-fi tropes stood on their heads in this book. And Merrin and Elias are the cutest. This was one of the first indie-published novels I read. It showed me the art of possible, and how fantastic the world of indie publishing is.


Watchmen

By Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons (illustrator),

Book cover of Watchmen

Why this book?

An underappreciated genius who helped breathe life into the dying comic book format, this dark tale of public heroes gone wrong delves deep into the psychology of those who pretend to have our best interests at mind.

It's no exaggeration to say that this work completely revamped an aging format for a new generation, winning accolades all along the way. To this day, Alan Moore's storytelling techniques (including scale models, notes and rough drawings, and well-crafted interludes that only later reveal their worth) are still unrivaled in the realm of comic books. A master of the craft that originally convinced me that comics were the preferred medium in which to craft a story.


Ex-Heroes

By Peter Clines,

Book cover of Ex-Heroes

Why this book?

Zombies plus superheroes. ‘Nuff said, right? It’s like figuring out that peanut butter and chocolate are really, really good together. The humor comes from the author’s snark and wit, and the whole book series is just a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it looks like the continued adventures are on an indefinite hold, but I’m still keeping hope alive that this will one day be a big-budget TV show.


Dreadnought

By April Daniels,

Book cover of Dreadnought

Why this book?

I agreed to do this list because I wanted to promote April’s book so much. Seriously. If I could recommend it in every slot I would. Trans superhero dealing with her rage and powers in an alternative USA where superheroes are real? Yes, please. The writing is like so good that sometimes I type chapters of this book as a warm-up (and writing procrastination technique). I re-read it as a treat to myself as a way of surviving the pandemic.   


Almost Super

By Marion Jensen,

Book cover of Almost Super

Why this book?

Rafter, Benny, and Juanita protagonate (yep, that’s a word) in a bizarre amalgamated world that could have been dreamed up by Stan Lee, the Andy Griffith Show writers, and Beverly Cleary. Dreamed up as a joke. Abandoned with a good comeraderific laugh (also a word). Then picked up, dusted off, and polished by Marion Jensen. But that’s not what happened. Jensen created the whole adventurous, hilarious, uplifting, good-buddy superhero story with his own solitary brain. My kids and I have laughed at his story many times.


Ghosted

By J.M. Darhower,

Book cover of Ghosted

Why this book?

Jonathan isn’t your typical tortured hero, as much of his brokenness is self-inflicted. But that doesn’t make his journey to redemption any less painful or heart-twisty. We follow his progress in real-time while simultaneously discovering everything he did to fall from grace in the first place. You equally love him and hate him in the most soul-crushing way. And if that little bit of catnip didn’t sway you, give five-year-old Maddie a chance.


Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero

By Larry Tye,

Book cover of Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero

Why this book?

Larry Tye brings a lifelong fan’s passion and a renowned journalist’s research skills to the ultimate biography of the Man of Steel. It’s comprehensive and full of amazing stories and facts that weren’t known before, but more impressively it’s entertaining to read, from start to finish. It’s a great book for anyone interested in Americana, pop culture, or Superman.


Amethyst

By Amy Reeder,

Book cover of Amethyst

Why 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.


Batgirls Vol. 1

By Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, Jorge Corona (illustrator)

Book cover of Batgirls Vol. 1

Why this book?

I love all of the different Batgirls DC has introduced over the years, and this book brings them together in one delightful adventure. Barbara Gordon is the original Batgirl mentoring her two protégés, the snarky Stephanie Brown and the martial arts master Cassandra Cain. The trio is a mix of different personalities and strengths, but teamwork and sisterhood come first. Cloonan and Conrad craft a rollicking story in this first volume, and Corona’s bombastic artwork is a perfect vehicle for all three of these enjoyable characters.


Faith, Volume 1: Hollywood and Vine

By Jody Houser, Francis Portela (illustrator), Marguerite Sauvage (illustrator)

Book cover of Faith, Volume 1: Hollywood and Vine

Why this book?

Superhero comics are known for hyper-sexualizing female characters and limiting them to one uniform, impossibly curvaceous figure. Valiant’s Faith Herbert is a direct reaction to this, the first plus-sized heroine to star in her own comic as she patrols Los Angeles as the high-flying Zephyr. Beyond this meaningful step for the genre, Houser has written a compelling story and Portela and Sauvage deliver great artwork that brings Faith to life. The character is a game changer for superhero comics, and this first collection of her adventures is such a fun read.


Out of the Ashes

By Keren Hughes,

Book cover of Out of the Ashes

Why 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. 


Stanley Will Probably Be Fine

By Sally J. Pla, Steve Wolfhard (illustrator),

Book cover of Stanley Will Probably Be Fine

Why this book?

This is the only realistic fiction I’m recommending on this list—and there’s a very good reason why. It’s wonderful! Pla writes a thoroughly engaging, charming book that manages both to suck readers in and, at the same time, destigmatize children who present non-neurotypically. Stanley is a loveable boy who, despite more than his fair share of challenges, manages to become the hero of his story in his own unique, delightful way. 


Renegades

By Marissa Meyer,

Book cover of Renegades

Why this book?

Look, Marissa Meyer is the queen of action-adventure found-family stories. No matter which of her books you pick up, you’re going to have a good time. The Renegades series is a dope sci-fi, superhero genre story that has a surprisingly serious theme. Our two protagonists, Nova and Adrian, live on opposite sides of the villain-hero dichotomy in a world where superheros and supervillains are commonplace. Cue angsty literal enemies-to-lovers drama and some pretty amazing character building. Seeing the way Meyer dives into the backstories and drives of these characters means the romance is absolutely stellar. Buckle up for this ride.


Sidekicks

By Dan Santat,

Book cover of Sidekicks

Why 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. 


The Bad Guys: Episode 1

By Aaron Blabey,

Book cover of The Bad Guys: Episode 1

Why this book?

They may look like bad guys or even smell like bad guys - but this crew of animal predators (Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark, and Mr. Piranha) are trying their best to change that negative perception. This series by Aaron Blabey is a wonderful introduction to the graphic novel format. It’s easy to read, fully illustrated, has lovable characters, and has an action-packed storyline. I love how Aaron flips the script and makes the bad guys the actual heroes. 


The Unforgettable Logan Foster #1

By Shawn Peters,

Book cover of The Unforgettable Logan Foster #1

Why this book?

Logan Foster is a character who will stick with you. His story is an exciting, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride that belongs in the halls of great comic-book-level adventure. And it is also an emotional journey for young Logan, who is seeking a family, wondering about his lost sibling, and looking to find a place in the world. His world just happens to be extraordinary in many action-packed ways. This book is laugh-out-loud funny and, yes, sometimes dad-joke groan-worthy too. Because of its combination of excitement and heart, this book has earned a well-deserved spot on this list.


The Gospel According to St. Rage

By Karen Eisenbrey,

Book cover of The Gospel According to St. Rage

Why this book?

Loser girl turned punk rock superhero... Those six words should sell you on The Gospel According to St. Rage alone. But that still doesn't do this book any sort of justice because this isn't really a superhero book. Sure, Barbara may have the powers to cause flocks of birds to release their...um...payload onto her enemies with the simple flick of a finger, but she's not out to save the world, she's just out to finally live the life she's been hiding from.

Eisenbrey brought me back to my own high school days with this book that feels like a punk rock song. To those days of trying to make friends, of trying to define who I am. And she does so with rock star class.


Collateral Damage

By Taylor Simonds,

Book cover of Collateral Damage

Why this book?

This book feeds my Spider-Man obsession while asking the question, “How do normal folk fare during those cataclysmic superhero battles?” Answer: Not well, but Meg’s gut-busting adventures as a powerless human surrounded by heroes and villains had me laughing from page one. After finding a superhero murdered in a dark, creepy alley (as one does), Meg is dragged kicking and screaming (not literally, but this girl really doesn’t want to get involved) into a fight between good and evil. Luckily, she has an indestructible umbrella, a radioactive rat, and some snarky friends at her disposal. She’s going to need all the help she can get. Want a story that reads like your favorite Marvel movie? Then run out right now and buy a copy. Right. Now. 


Tom Strong - Book 1

By Alan Moore,

Book cover of Tom Strong - Book 1

Why 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.


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power

By Ryan North, Erica Henderson (illustrator),

Book cover of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power

Why this book?

Marvel’s wide array of movies and TV shows have brought many of their heroes to life, but unfortunately, Squirrel Girl has yet to make the jump. This is a shame, since she’s defeated some of Marvel’s most dastardly foes in incredibly creative ways. She eats nuts, she kicks butts, and she uses her squirrel-based abilities to tackle villains with her own optimistic, STEM-infused perspective. North’s writing is charming and hilarious, and Henderson’s art is a perfect pairing that sets the book’s fun, energetic tone. It’s such a good time, basically joy distilled into comic book form.


Avocado Baby

By John Burningham,

Book cover of Avocado Baby

Why this book?

The baby in this book won’t eat anything he’s offered – a situation most parents will identify with – until, in despair, his mother finds an avocado in the fruit bowl. From then on he has a favourite food – and it turns him into an immensely strong superhero!


Abandon the Old in Tokyo

By Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Yuji Oniki (translator),

Book cover of Abandon the Old in Tokyo

Why this book?

This book is a classic 1960s/1970s style gekiga book, which means more sophisticated literary manga. These are wonderful moving and funny stories from the street, about everyday people dealing with the pain and disappointment that we all must face throughout life. If you have never read any comic books beyond superhero ones this book will open your eyes to how subtle and intelligent comic books can be. I was lucky enough to meet and work with Tatsumi before he died.


Miles Morales: Spider-Man

By Jason Reynolds, Kadir Nelson (illustrator),

Book cover of Miles Morales: Spider-Man

Why this book?

Okay, okay, I realize that using webbing isn’t an actual way to get around, but neither is my digger. And I wouldn’t be a reader, writer, or artist today if it hadn’t been for Spider-Man. Young Kevin spent every day imagining the freedom of spinning a web and flying through the air. Even though I grew up in a small town with two steeples and a three-story inn, it was a captivating idea.

And wow does this version of the story kick things up a notch. I mean, I already love the Miles Morales version of Spidey, but Reynolds kicks it all up a notch or five. He has such a deft hand as a storyteller with a message. Never preachy, but deeply felt and funny (sort of like a super-hero version of Jerry Kraft’s New Kid) this was a ride. 

And a cover pic by Khadir Nelson? Sign me up!


The Sheep, the Rooster, and the Duck

By Matt Phelan,

Book cover of The Sheep, the Rooster, and the Duck

Why this book?

Now for something completely different. My own book is for middle-grade readers, so I wanted to include another younger title, and it was perfect timing that this rollicking adventure crossed my path when it did. Hilariously droll, Phelan’s illustrated fiction stars characters lauded for their pivotal role in early flight—the three barnyard aeronauts who made the very first ascent in a hot-air balloon. But their career didn’t end there: the sheep, the rooster, and the duck went on to battle injustice, defeat dastardly villains, and expose nefarious plots against society. Phelan’s extraordinary farm animals are more than fearless aeronauts: they’re covert superheroes in a world of sinister secret societies, Benjamin Franklin, and the world’s first heat-ray. High-flying fun!


Early Adopters: Rogue Elements

By D.T. Wilby,

Book cover of Early Adopters: Rogue Elements

Why this book?

This book is a thrilling, action-packed ride through a merciless world ruled by nefarious corporations and filled with deadly, genetically enhanced super-humans. As well as Cyberpunk aficionados, Early Adopters will also appeal to fans of comics as well as lovers of action and espionage. No Mary-Sues here, though. Morally grey, gritty, and grueling!


Trick of the Light

By Megan Derr,

Book cover of Trick of the Light

Why this book?

An urban-fantasy about superheroes...and how horrible they are.  This story is about the “villains,” not the goodie goodie “heroes” who do nothing but leave disaster and death in their wake.  This is a fun read, packed with an intriguing relationship, thoughtful social questions, and an interesting world.  It may be short, but it’s super sweet.


The Adventures of Captain Underpants (Captain Underpants #1)

By Dav Pilkey,

Book cover of The Adventures of Captain Underpants (Captain Underpants #1)

Why this book?

Oh, really, do you have to ask “why this book?” I mean, how can I make a list of funny middle school books and not include Captain Underpants? Frankly, this list could just consist of Dav Pilkey books and I’d be fine with it, from Dog Man to Super Diaper Baby. The whimsical yet simplistic drawings make his absurd stories that much funnier. And really, any book featuring drawings of an adult in diapers is going to be funny. 


Agent 9: Flood-A-Geddon!

By James Burks,

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

Why 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.


Meet the Bigfeet

By Kevin Sherry,

Book cover of Meet the Bigfeet

Why this book?

Blizz Richards is a Yeti and he lives in Nepal. He also has a secret headquarters where he does a lot of research on other creatures like himself who hide from the outside world. I love that Blizz is a researcher as it shows the power of someone who enjoys learning about the world around them. But in this issue, Blizz has to find his cousin Brian who has disappeared after a photo of him appeared in the news. This book will open up the readers to an exciting new world outside their own.


Real Pigeons Fight Crime (Book 1)

By Andrew McDonald, Ben Wood (illustrator),

Book cover of Real Pigeons Fight Crime (Book 1)

Why this book?

The last thing you expect pigeons to do is to fight crime but that’s exactly what this secret squad of crime-fighting feathered friends are up to. The book is easy to read and has a fair amount of words but that won’t matter because the reader will be fully engaged in all the hilarity and excitement. These pigeons won’t stop until all mysteries are solved and the neighborhood is crime-free! Fun & great way of easing kids into reading chapter books.


The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin

By Julia Finley Mosca, Daniel Rieley (illustrator),

Book cover of The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin

Why this book?

As an animal lover and vegan, I am impressed with all Temple Grandin has done to help humans understand how the minds of animals work. When Grandin was a child, no one knew what to make of her. Diagnosed autistic, she looked at the world differently than many people. She grew up to be a renowned scientist and animal behaviorist who changed lives. Grandin’s unique way of seeing caused her to physically put herself at the eye level of cows being pushed into slaughterhouses. She helped redesign a more humane, less stressful loading process. Her book, How Animals Make Us Human gave me new insights as I wrote my own book, which explores how eating no or less meat would help combat climate change.


A Girl Like Me

By Angela Johnson,

Book cover of A Girl Like Me

Why this book?

I like this book because it encourages girls to dream and dream big! You’re a superhero with your own sense of style? Cool. Having an amazing ocean adventure? Awesome. This book encourages girls to hold onto their dreams despite pressure from others who wish they would conform. Dreams are where some of my best ideas come from and I’ve always thought that it’s a shame to dream about the mundane. The more fantastical, the better! Dreams can be the start of a real-life great idea. I like this book because it invites girls to think about who they are and imagine all the possibilities for themselves.  


A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee

By Danny Fingeroth,

Book cover of A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee

Why this book?

There are several biographies of comics luminary Stan Lee, official and unofficial, and this one is the best. It’s insightful, evenhanded, and engaging. As a former longtime editor of the Spider-Man titles at Marvel who’s worked with Lee in different capacities and is now a pop culture historian, author Danny Fingeroth combines an industry insider’s knowledge with a wider context. Highly recommended! 


The Great Comic Book Heroes

By Jules Feiffer,

Book cover of The Great Comic Book Heroes

Why this book?

Jules wrote this book in 1965, so it certainly doesn’t reflect the latest scholarship. But as probably the first critical history of the Golden Age, it’s a valuable read—and a lot of fun!  Jules gives a real sense of what it was like to be alive, in New York City, creating these great works.


A World of Your Own

By Laura Carlin,

Book cover of A World of Your Own

Why this book?

This book is all about using your imagination! It will surely inspire you to observe and create your very own world or city, where anything is possible. Laura Carlin’s illustrations are wonderfully witty and it shows you how you can take an everyday thing and turn it into something new and totally exciting.  


Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute: Lunch Lady #1

By Jarrett J. Krosoczka,

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

Why 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. 


Devolution: Book One of The Devolution Trilogy

By John Casey,

Book cover of Devolution: Book One of The Devolution Trilogy

Why this book?

What I especially liked about Devolution is that some spy novels portray the protagonist as a larger-than-life superhero who knows more than everyone else and is never beset by personal uncertainty and struggle. John Casey, however, has created a character in Michael Dolan who has been wounded by a past trauma, and shows his humanity. I found myself identifying with him. I have never been able to identify with seemingly invulnerable superheroes. John Wayne or 007, I am not, now will I ever be. Still, in Devolution, Michael Dolan is a man who is committed to the truth and fighting for what is right. Confronting truths about himself helps him to do that powerfully.