I was never really into comics until recently. As a child, I would pick up a “Double Digest” of Archie on trips to the local Cumberland Farms convenience store, but after a certain age, I lost interest in comics and graphic novels. I never paid much attention to superheroes, either. All that changed recently, and to be honest, I’m not entirely sure when. But I started immersing myself in the Star Wars fandom, reading comics, and even dipping my toes into the superhero worlds. I’m still very much a newbie, but I’m learning every day, and loving the journey.
When Wonder Woman came out, I knew I had to see it—and it didn’t disappoint. I loved it, and want to see it again. I had read The Legend of Wonder Woman prior to seeing the movie, and have read Wonder Woman 77 Meets the Bionic Woman (after whom I’m named, actually). Since seeing the movie, I’ve also picked up Rucka’s runs of Wonder Woman, as well as the absolutely gorgeous watercolor book by Jill Thompson, Wonder Woman: The True Amazon. But one cannot live on Wonder Woman alone, right? Here are some comics to dive into if you loved the movie.
Kamala Khan is just your ordinary, average teenager living in Jersey City. Going to school, trying to be a dutiful daughter, having crushes, and attending classes at her local mosque. Except for the fact that she has superpowers and is a superhero called Ms. Marvel. No biggie. I bought volume 2 as I was halfway done volume 1, because I wanted to be able to dive right into the next chapter when I finished.
Faith Herbert, blogger by day and superhero by night, has a psionically gifted alter ego, Zephyr. When she finds out that other psychically gifted individuals have gone missing, she decides she needs to investigate. Smart and self-aware, perhaps the first thing one realizes about Faith is that she doesn’t fit the mold of a stereotypical superhero – literally. Her body size is bigger, and that’s only the beginning of the questioning of typical superhero/comics elements.
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Bitch Planet. This was one of the first comics I read, and especially in today’s political climate, it’s an interesting read. In this sci-fi series, women who are deemed “noncompliant” for some reason or another (too loud, too fat, too feminist, etc) by the ruling patriarchy are sent to prison on another planet. Subversive, snarky, and powerful, BP is kickass all the way. Volume 2 just came out, but start here, with volume 1. If you get the individual trade copies, there’s back matter in each one, like letters to the creators, essays, and pictures of noncompliant tattoos from fans.
One of the first comics I got into, this is a fun story of five teenage friends at a summer camp, except the camp is a bit…magical. The characters are punk-rock, nerdy, take-no-crap girls, and the storylines are well-paced and enjoyable. Not quite a superhero story per se, magical realism abounds in Lumberjanes. Read at least one volume before moving on to the mashup of Lumberjanes and Gotham Academy – a must-read comic in its own right.
Described as “Blade Runner meets Jem and the Holograms,” Kim & Kim is a sci-fi story about two best friends who find themselves in interdimensional law enforcement. Spirited, rebellious, and quirky, Kim (a cisgender bisexual) and Kim (a trans woman still figuring out her sexuality) are dynamic characters with fun storylines. The art is fantastic, and it’s a truly enjoyable read.