Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, March 14 Edition

Marvel Rising written by Devin Grayson, Ryan North, and G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Marco Failla, Georges Duarte, Roberto Di Salvo, Irene Strychalski, and Ramon Bachs
Marvel Worldwide/Marvel
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
ISBN: 978-1302912611

This book is a prequel to the film Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors. Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel team up for the first time, forging the backstory of their onscreen best friendship. College student Doreen Green (Squirrel Girl) volunteers to teach coding to high schoolers and Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) is one of those students. Another student in the class is manipulated into becoming a villain and Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel (with the help of America Chavez and Inferno) must stop her while trying to preserve their secret identities!

Ryan North and G. Willow Wilson write for their characters, Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel respectively, in this volume. Fans of the two characters will feel at home with their writing styles while also being introduced to different writers and artists. This book also serves as a great jumping on point for new readers of either character.

Fans of the Lumberjanes series by Shannon Watters and Paper Girls series by Brian Vaughan will appreciate Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel’s jokes and puns.

—Christine Pyles


Mister Miracle written by Tom King and illustrated by Mitch Gerads
DC Comics
Publication Date: February 19, 2019
ISBN: 978-1401283544

Scott Free, son of Highfather and adopted son of Darkseid, lives the life of a celebrity with his wife, Big Barda on Earth. They are living the good life—away from the hell pits of Apokolips where they were tortured by Granny Goodness and were expected to serve Darkseid as his soldiers. But, life isn’t what Scott expected, and after Highfather is killed by Darkseid and his crew, Scott and Barda are called back to fight for New Genesis by the true son of Darkseid, Orion. Scott feels like something is wrong with him, and after his suicide attempt, a true escape attempt, he maintains, he struggles to balance his life on Earth with what Orion needs him to do.

Mister Miracle showcases the remarkable pairing of King and Gerads; their ability to bring Mister Miracle to fabulous, relatable life is evident in how well the writing is showcased by the illustrations. Anxiety, living up to family pressures, and finding yourself are all universal themes that Mister Miracle expands on in the Fourth World, a world both similar and dissimilar to Earth itself. The variety of paneling styles is wonderful; from beautiful full-page scenes to intricate 9 panel pages that all connect into one picture, Gerads does a great job at creating a world that readers can fully envelope themselves into.

Mister Miracle is a delight unto itself with the entire story contained within this volume. Fans of Tom King’s other works like his run on Batman or Mitch’s run on The Punisher will enjoy this deep look at what it really means to be a superhero.

—Traci Glass


Paper Girls, volume 5 written by Brian Vaughan and illustrated by Cliff Chiang
Image Comics
Publication Date: December 11, 2018
ISBN: 978-1534308671

The fifth installation of Paper Girls finds the girls in the distant future (2171 to be exact) and trying to figure out how to get back to 1988 once and for all. They split up in order to find a cure for Mac’s Leukemia and to find Wari, the woman they think will know how to get them home. But is it possible for the girls to change the future and their own fates and does Wari really know how to help them?

What makes this volume great is that the reader finally gets some answers. Storylines from previous volumes start to come together, but of course there is no tidy ending. Teens will appreciate the idea of being in control of your own destiny and seeing how friendships can change and develop over time. It’s an exciting and solid continuation of an already great series.

Fans of the series and/or Brian Vaughan’s other works will not be disappointed with this volume. If you like the television show Stranger Things or other graphic novel series with strong characters that develop over time like Descender, you’ll definitely like Paper Girls (but we suggest starting from volume one).

—Loren Spector

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Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.