My kids and I geek out for Marvel Comics — it’s our favorite of the comic book world with superheroes that we love (Captain America!) and my favorite TV show (besides BBC’s Sherlock), the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and tons of amazing movies in the theaters. My kids and I are SO excited for the upcoming release of “Civil War”– how about you?
Marvel movies such as Civil War give us plenty of opportunities to build in literacy experiences with our kids. Encourage your kids to read comic books, comic-based picture books, or the new comic-inspired novels about their favorite Marvel characters and series. (Like this one, Civil War by Mark Willar, illustrated by Steve McNiven. –>)
Marvel Comic Books & Graphic Novels
Comic books are like episodes in a tv show — part of a larger story. Graphic novels are the entire story. Comics books will have a #number# after the title showing it’s place in the overall storyline and will be less expensive. Graphic novels might have a volume number and will be more expensive due to the increase of pages.
I suggest you buy your kids an assortment of comic books and graphic novels of their favorite characters or series. That way, they’ll get a good sense of which, if any, they prefer.
Also, the cartoonists and writers change for each series and storyline. Help your children notice how the characters evolve throughout the years.
Side note: Comic book stores are SO FUN and I highly recommend a trip and purchasing lots of comics. However, check with the employees to be sure you’re clear on the kid vs. adult sections. Not all comics are appropriate for children.
Below I’m sharing some great comic books to get your reading started but rest assured, I have only included some of the kazillion series and there are PLENTY more selections for each series!!
Marvel Comic Book Rating System
(if I haven’t indicated a rating, it’s because it’s not clear on the publisher’s info for the book)
A = all ages
T = most readers but parents may want to preview for younger children
T+ = ages 13+
Avengers Academy #1
Avenger Hank Pym leads a core team of veteran heroes in creating a place where the next generation of Earth’s Mightiest can be trained by the greatest of those who preceded them.
Avengers: The Initiative #1 rated T
After Armory’s weapon causes the death of M.V.P., she washes out of the Initiative Program. See what happens next.
Mighty Avengers #1 rated A
The Mighty Avengers assemble with an A-list Avengers villain returning for revenge.
Avengers World by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Jerome Opena and Adam Kubert
The Avengers’ first mission takes them to Mars, but the secrets of the Garden lead right back to Earth’s Savage Land. .
Captain America Comics
Captain American and the Mighty Avengers #1
Sam Wilson is the all-new Captain America. Now with the wake of the earth-shattering events of AXIS, are the Avengers they truly a team?
Captain America Winter Soldier #1 rated T
(Now up to #619!) The Red Skull lays the groundwork for his most devastating attack ever on Captain America and the land he holds dear…and with the Cosmic Cube in his possession, how can Cap hope to stop him?
Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 2 rated A
Created on the eve of America’s entry into World War II, these stories are full of jaw-busting battles against the Nazi menace, mad scientists, crazed carnivals and mysteries at the ballpark.
Guardians of the Galaxy Comics
Guardians of the Galaxy rated T
The Guardians of the Galaxy are going to find out why everyone thinks Earth is so important.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1 Legacy
Back-to-back Annihilation wars have weakened the boundaries of our universe. Dark gods and monsters are seeping through the cracks, reigning horror upon many worlds. In the face of terror, who stands to defend a desperate universe? Guardians of the Galaxy!
Iron Man Comics
Iron Man Fatal Frontier #1
Tony Stark must deal with new and dangerous threats here on Earth and beyond.
Spider Man Comics
Superior Spider Man #1 rated T
The new Amazing Spider-Man has arrived and he is better in every single way. Smarter, stronger…Superior.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Civil War
Life couldn’t be more complicated – or more dangerous – for Peter Parker. After rushing to the aftermath of the Stamford Massacre to offer aid to its victims, Peter travels with Tony Stark to Washington, D.C., and the White House – where the enactment of the Super Hero Registration Act appears imminent. As the Marvel Universe braces for the implications of legislation that will forever change the societal status of super heroes, Peter is forced to make an important personal decision – maybe the most important decision of his life. As Civil War tears apart the super hero community, will Spidey stay true to that decision? Collects Amazing Spider-Man #532-538.
All New X-Men #1 rated T
The five original X-Men have been plucked from yesteryear and sent to the present. How will they deal with the current state of Xavier’s dream, and how will today’s X-Men cope with facing their former selves?
Marvel Picture Books and Novels
Iron Man Read-Along Storybook and CD
When Tony tries to set things right with his inventions, his inventions are turned against him. In order to survive, Tony invents and builds himself a high-tech suit of armor and promises to use this technology to help those in need as Iron Man.
Marvel Storybook Collection
I just found this newly published collection and thought it was great — it’s six stories together that were previously published individually from Thor to Ant-Man to Avengers to Guardians of the Galaxy. The illustrations are NOT like the movie images on the cover but comic book style. The narration text is not comic book style at all but insets of narration and dialogue. Just in case you wanted one of the other, I wanted to be clear. That being said, the text is probably around 2nd or 3rd grade reading level if I had to guess.
Marvel’s The Avengers Storybook Collection
Seven superhero stories — Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Nick Fury.
Hulk to the Rescue by Adam Davis
A beginning reader based on the “Age of Ultron” movie.
I Am Ant-Man by Tomas Palacios
Beginning readers learn about Ant-Man and how he must protect his suit.
Spider’s New Costume by Thomas Macri, illustrated by Pat Ollie
Spider-Man received a slick new and dangerous costume.
X-Men Days of Future Past by Thomas Macri, Disney illustrators
In this 48-page Level 3 Reader, the X-Men most band together with their future selves in order to save the world!
Meet The Marvel Super Heroes
I like this handy dandy encyclopedia of Marvel’s super heroes — it’s a great book to pour over as you get to know the Marvel universe. I appreciate it’s text to picture to white space ratio — it’s not too busy, and the illustrations are fantastic.
Marvel Encyclopedia by DK
This is a very detailed, more “busy” looking guide to the Marvel super heroes which makes it better for older elementary readers and/or readers who want as much information on their favorite Marvel stories, characters, and series.
Marvel Avengers Phase One Novels Boxed Set by Alex Irvine
Boxed Set includes: Phase One: Captain America, Phase One: Iron Man, Phase One: Thor, Phase One: The Incredible Hulk, and Phase One: Marvel’s The Avengers. I haven’t read these but if they’re like the Phase Two books by the same author, they aren’t on my favorites list.
Phase Two: Captain Maraca: The Winter Soldier by Alex Irvine
Honestly, I just didn’t find the writing all that compelling in this novelization. Which is the case with the other books in this Phase Two series — Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man. So, only buy if you think your child would be SO into the character that it doesn’t matter if the writing falls flat.
Kid-Friendly TV Shows
Just for fun, here are Marvel animated shows you might enjoy with your kids.