Superhero Comics for Kids

My six-year-old son is learning to read. I’d like to get him some fun reading material. He likes a lot of superhero stuff (carefully filtered by us parents) like Spiderman, etc.

I thought about getting him some comic books to practice his reading. The problem, though, is that as much as I enjoy modern comic heros (the X-men especially), the story-lines are too sophisticated and dark for a six-year-old.

Any suggestions for good superhero comics that are geared toward children? Stories that are one-episode, one-book would be especially good, I think.

Hie thee down to the comic book store and pick up Batman Adventures, the comic book title that’s based on WB’s animated Batman cartoons. The art’s nice, but what really sells it is the great writing – almost every issue manages to work on a deeper, character-development level that young kids might not recognize but adults will appreciate. The current series even has the benefit where every issue stands on its own, but is also part of a larger storytelling arc. And if you’re really lucky, try to find the back issues in the series – it’s a little tricky, though, since the title has changed titles and been relaunched several times over the years.

I posted a long reply, but the hamsters ate it. Basically, I agreed with rjung. All the “Adventures” comics from DC are written for readers of all ages, feature the streamlined “animated style” art popularized by Bruce Timm, and contain mostly stand-alone stories with some good character moments and less violence than their mainstream DC Universe equivalents.

rjung mentioned that the “Batman Adventures” series has had some title changes, and he’s right. Some may be “Batman and Robin Adventures” or “New Batman Adventures,” for example, and DC rebooted the series from #1 each time they did that. Still, any respectable comic shop should be able to help you find these as back issues, or you could scour eBay for better deals. There was also “Superman Adventures” for a while, and “Justice League Adventures” is still going strong, thanks in part to the animated series currently showing on Cartoon Network.

Superhero comics are not like video games. They don’t have to be new to intice kids.

While I basically agree with the choices rjung and Big Bad Voodoo Lou, I’d scour thrift stores, yard sales, and comics shop quarter bins for say, mid-70s to mid-80s runs of superhero comics from Marvel and DC. This is my method of stocking up comics for my kindergarten class.

If you don’t mind spending 10.00-12.00 bucks a pop, the Alex Ross and Paul Dini oversize Superhero editions that have been coming out the last few years make attractive comics to look at – but they’re more the “read this to me, Uncle” kind of comics than the kind they can read themselves. But they offer simple to understand lessons of heroism and human nature (good and bad) that my students have always seemed to like.

I suggest taking a look at Magic Pickle for suitability. Superhero story for kids, featuring the art of one of the most talented guys in the biz. Starring a, well, magic pickle.

If it doesn’t absolutely have to be superheroes, consider:


Clan Apis (good review here)

Thieves and Kings (another review here

I’ve also heard great things about Amy Unbounded but have never read it.

Just thought of another one: Herobear and the Kid

Another all ages popular comic, although not superhero is Bone by Jeff Smith.

I think Marvel has a series based on the X-Men: Evolution cartoon, but it may have been canned.

Dark Horse publishes two regular Star Wars series, one set during the Clone Wars and the other during the rebellion era.

Bongo publishes Simpsons comics if he’s into that, and they tend to be more “comic” geared as opposed to the pop culture of the TV series (i.e., it’s not uncommon to see a Spider-Man parody in a Simpsons issue).

Finally, Gemstone is regularly publishing Disney comics, something that’s been absent from the states for at least a decade. While they’re infrequently superhero based, they’re still a great read, and even my 68 year-old father still peruses them.

Yeah, X-Men: Evolution got the axe from Marvel.


I second “Bone”, BTW. :wink:

I like them a lot, but I wouldn’t try out the Star Wars titles on a six-year old, especially not the Republic series. They’re hip deep in the Clone Wars right now and the bodies are piling up. Good stuff, but not kid-friendly.

Also, if you’re going to go into an actual comic shop, I’d suggest “David and Goliath” from Image, about a kid and his flying pet lion. It has a very ‘Iron Giant’ feel to it. Also, their new title “Invincible” seems to be just a lot of fun in general and is 100% super-hero material (save for the occasional exploding teen).

And while I agree that modern X-Men probably isn’t suitable for a young kid (aside from certain titles being basically crap, I mean), you might want to consider picking up Essential X-Men vol. 1 from your Borders or B&N: it’s Giant-Sized X-Men and about ten of the comics following in B&W for $13. Also, Marvel’s new New Mutants title would probably be a good choice for a young reader. Give issues 1 & 2 a shot, very fun vibe there.

If you don’t mind exposing your kid to 80’s nostolgia, there’s always the new Thundercats TBP – but only the first one. The series that come after it are really rather dark. The “Thundercats: Hammerhand’s Revenge” that just started coming out looks to be about cartoon-level, but it’s too soon to be sure.

Hope this helps and happy reading!