If you thought superheroes hit big in past summers, think again. Marvel’s latest comic book movie, The Avengers, broke box office records, making over 200 million dollars opening weekend, and is the number one movie again this weekend. Although many predicted a strong opening given the director (cult favorite Joss Whedon) and actors (Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson, and Scarlett Johansson, just to name a few) and the success of previous Avengers-related films (Iron Man 1 and Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America), few expected the insane level of success. (If you’re wondering what Earth’s mightiest heroes prefer to read, check out Maria Kramer’s Avenger’s Reading List from last week.)
And this is just the beginning for Marvel. Want to find out more about The Avengers but don’t feel sure where to start? The A.V. Club (sister site to The Onion) put together a Gateway to Geekery article that highlights not-to-miss Avengers titles.
Marvel has more action later this summer as well. On July 3, the latest reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man opens with new stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone taking on the Peter Parker and Mary Jane roles.
DC is also looking forward to a busy summer. The Dark Knight Rises, the final movie in director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, opens July 20 with Christian Bale reprising his role as Bruce Wayne along with Michael Caine’s Alfred, Gary Oldman’s Jim Gordon, Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. Already buzz has started over whether The Dark Knight can beat The Avengers’ opening weekend take. After seeing the latest trailer, I’m thinking it might be very likely.
If that wasn’t enough excitement, DC will begin releasing graphic novel trade editions of The New 52 this month. Last September DC relaunched their most popular characters with new stories and started their single issues back at #1. Although reaction has been uneven to the new lines, interest has been high especially with fan favorites like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and The Justice League.
And if that still isn’t enough and you need more superheroes, check out YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens lists. Every year YALSA selects amazing graphic novels that include titles from Marvel and DC.
Here are some recommended superhero stories, both old and new.
- Batman: The Black Mirror by Scott Snyder, Jock, and others
- Thor: The Mighty Avenger v. 1. & v. 2 by Roger Langridge, Chris Samnee, and others
- Scarlet by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev
- Permanent Record: Avengers Academy v. 1 by Christos Gage, Mike McKone, and others
- Superman: Earth One by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis
- Invincible Iron Man: The Five Nightmares by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca
- Spider-Man Noir by David Hine and Carmine DeGiandomenico
- Green Lantern: Secret Origin by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis
- Superman: Brainiac by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank
- X-Men: Magneto Testament by Greg Pak and Carmine Di Giandomenico
- X-Men: Misfits by Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman and Anzu
- The Death of Captain America: The Death of the Dream, v. 1. and The Burden of Dreams, v. 2 by Ed Brubker and Steve Epting
- Green Arrow: Year One by Andy Diggle and Jock
— Amanda Margis, currently reading A Study in Sherlock, edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger and listening to Tempest by Julie Cross