I’d like to get my kids a few superhero comic books, but since they are very young (3-5), I’d like to get them something G-Rated. What would my fellow Dopers suggest? Please don’t suggest Little Lula, because while she is super, she is no hero (she was recently photographed smoking).
There’s Archie and Company. Disney comics. When they’re a couple of years older, they might like Marvel’s Power Pack.
My knowledge is really drying up after that. Comics aren’t really for kids anymore – even if there’s no sex or profanity, or very little violence, they’re usually written well over the heads of most 3-to-5 year olds. Even Runaways and Young Avengers (Marvel) or DC’s Young Justice are really more suitable for the 11-16 crowd.
Is it still possible to get stuff from the 50s and 60s when the Comics Code was still in force for reasonable prices?
Justice League Adventures is pretty good.
You can pick up big, collected editions in black and white from Marvel/DC for pretty cheap. Look for Masterworks and Essentials. It’s not just the Comics Code, though, since that was around for Frank Miller’s Daredevil and titles like that, and still didn’t make them child-friendly. There’s lots of comics that don’t have any objectionable material, but which a child probably wouldn’t understand, or find uninteresting.
PS 238. It is drawn by the creator of Nodwick, and it is far superior. It is about a school for super-hero children. Also, a non-hero comic, Owly is an excellent first comic
Marvel has a new line called Marvel Adventures, kid-friendly versions of Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and Avengers. An honest try, but their top talent just isn’t in it.
Image published about ten issues of a wonderful comic called Leave It To Chance about a ten-year-old girl from a line of magic champions solving mysteries and fighting monsters. Really first-rate.
The best version of Spider-Man ever was a short-lived series called Untold Tales of Spider-Man by Kurt Busiek and Pat Oliffe. Appropriate for kids without talking down to them.
Plus, any *Marvel Essential *paperbacks of Lee/Kirby or Lee/Ditko stuff from the 60s.
Teen Titans GO! is the comic based on the cartoon.
OK for kids.
Seconding Leave it To Chance, which is wonderful. As young as your kids are, you might want to investigate it first in case the monsters are too scary.
Although I haven’t read it, I’ve heard nothing but raves about Heroear and the Kid for young readers.
I’d love to recommend books like Bone and Colonia, but I suspect they skew too old. Might check into them, at any rate.
Bone would be a little scary for a five year old, with the “stupid rat creatures”.
What about Asterix or Tintin? Asterix has a lot of punching with the odd black eye but no death or blood, from memory. Tintin occasionally gets a gun shoved in his face.
PS 238 is a great comic, but perhaps a bit over the heads of the age group described in the OP. It occasionally has some moderately serious and mature content (though younger readers probably just wouldn’t pick up on it):
[SPOILER]In one issue where Revenant is training the kid who has never shown any powers, he runs a scanner gizmo on a villainess. Revenant laughs when he sees the results, and later blackmails her into handing over what she’d stolen on pain of having the scans (which are implied to reveal that she’s had nose and boob jobs) made public.
Another issue describes the career of the “first superhero” of this world, who manifests during WWI and then gets pressured into going along with the government’s postwar repressions until he finally refuses to cooperate any further and disappears.[/SPOILER]
I don’t know anything about Owly, so I can’t comment on that.
If you don’t mind older comics (they’re not that hard to find–they’re all over eBay), the old Harvey “Richie Rich” series had a title called “Super Richie.” Not technically superhero comics (Richie and his butler dress up as superheroes to do charity shows but always end up getting involved in adventures instead) but for 3-to-5-year-olds, they’d probably be fun. Personally, I’m very nostalgic about Richie Rich–I collected hundreds of the comics as a kid.
One warning, though, if you worry about such things: the older comics had a lot more prevalent occurrences of things like guns (nobody ever gets shot, but lots of people have guns held on them or occasionally get conked over the head with one).
Doesn’t DC publish a PowerPuff Girls comic? True, they’re more comedy than action, but technically they fit the definition.
Seconding Marvel Adventures.
Teen Titans Go and JLU - I don’t read The Batman Strikes, so I can’t comment on it, but it’s likely to be the same.
The current Power Pack series, written by Sumerak and drawn by GuriHiru - Power Pack v3, X-Men and Power Pack, and Avengers and Power Pack Assemble.
None of them have anything objectionable. Some of them - JLU, Avengers/Power Pack, the odd Marvel Adventures - might have plot elements beyond the kids, but there’s nothing objectionable, and there’s enough there for them to like that they probably won’t even notice unless they reread them when they’re old enough to catch it all (like I did with a lot of the comics I read at that age).
I dunno about that… That’s just a natural effect of having adults present in the same world (which, of course, they are). Both of the cases you mention we see from the children’s point of view, and in both cases, the child protagonists don’t exactly understand what’s going on, themselves. So long as you’re not afraid to field questions from your kids, I don’t think there would be a problem.
Well, Alan Moore wrote one about some kids and their adventures at the San Diego zoo with Ling-Ling.
I think it was called P for Panda-ta, or something.
One note about Tintin in addition to **First Among Daves’s ** comment: it has the cultural stereotypes of the period in which the books were written – the late 20’s and early 30’s. So if seeing stereotypical Chinamen/Japanese/black/Arabian/etc people is a dealbreaker, that’ll be a problem.
To be fair, my aunt gave me the ‘Blue Lotus’ book when I was knee high to her (and she’s five nothing), and I haven’t grown up to become a virulent racist of any stripe. On the other hand, I do still find myself muttering on occasion, “Twenty thousand suffering samurais!” or “Billions of blue blistering barnacles!”, though.
I agree – but that does imply, by definition, that the subject matter is (at least mildly) PG rather than G.
Hergé reworked all of his early Tintin stories in the 40’s and 50’s eliminating most of the early racism as well as polishing the art. (He himself was progressive politically.)
The Blue Lotus, even reworked, is still probably the worst in terms of negative stereotypes. It was written during the Japanese occupation of Manchuria and the Japanese characters are one-dimensional villains. However the **Chinese ** characters are fully-rounded and sympathetic human beings, so I don’t think it’s evidence of overt racism on Hergé’s part, but rather a by-product of the strong anti-Japanese mood in the run up to World War II.
(It’s nothing compared to, say, the ugly Japanese caricatures that Dr. Seuss was drawing in his political cartoons from the same period.)
Unfortunately the particular Japanese characters in The Blue Lotus are so integral to the story that I don’t think it could be “fixed” without wrecking it. But there’s very little that’s objectional in the modern versions of the other Tintin stories.
Dopers always come through. Thanks eveyone for the help. You will make three little boys very happy!