[Movie still from Wonder Woman, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment]
Wonder Woman was the most anticipated movie of the summer and it didn't disappoint. And while we fully intend on repeat viewings of this action-packed film, nothing will replace our first encounter with Princess Diana of Themyscira and her home planet of badass women. On the way home from the movie theatre – just as the popcorn hangover is beginning to kick in – take a detour to your local comic store and immerse yourself in the vibrant worlds of these incredible superheroes. They’re the perfect companion to this summer blockbuster. And since these women haven’t enjoyed multi-million dollar adaptations – yet! – you can count yourself as an early adopter when they finally receive the recognition they deserve.
Looking for a deeper dive into the feminist superheroes we all deserve? Pick up a copy of The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen by Hope Nicholson for a decade-by-decade look at women in comics.
Saga #1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
While not a superhero in the traditional sense, Saga’s pistol-wielding Alana is so damn rad that you’ll quickly forgive us including her on this pull list. Alana and her husband Marko are members of adversarial extraterrestrial races. With planets Landfall and Wreath engaged in a war of epic proportions, soldiers from both sides are furious to find that Alana and Marko’s relationship has born a mixed-race baby girl named Hazel – the omniscient narrator of the Saga series. Alana’s badassery stems from the drive to protect her daughter’s life. And she’s not afraid to put herself in danger in order to protect her family. Did we mention Alana’s an AWOL soldier? Her army isn’t too fond of that.
Ms. Marvel, Volume Five by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona, and Nico Leon
We’re tempted to tell you to start from the beginning with the incredible Ms. Marvel, but volume five of the series celebrates Kamala Khan’s initiation as the newest member of the Avengers. It’s also the volume that feels the most socially relevant and politically urgent. In addition to dealing with gentrification and the appropriation of celebrity, this volume of Ms. Marvel takes a deep and heartfelt dive into the Muslim American experience – navigating conversion, arranged marriage, love, prejudice, and family. And of course, it’s packed with brilliantly paced action sequences of Ms. Marvel saving Jersey City. You won’t want to miss it.
Mockingbird, Volume One by Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk
Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Bobbi Morse has an incredible arsenal of secret weapons at her disposal. From her scientific mind to her martial arts training, Mockingbird is here to outsmart, outmaneuver, and knock out anyone in her way. Chelsea Cain’s series was sadly cancelled in its prime, leaving readers with just two trade volumes of this kickass superhero story. But what this series lacks in breadth, it makes up for in depth. Each issue in this volume packs a punch, leaving readers with Hamilton references, feminism, and enough sarcasm to fill a swimming pool. There’s no two ways about it; Mockingbird soars.
America #1 by Gabby Rivera, Joe Quinones, Joe Rivera, Paolo Rivera, and Jose Villarrubia
America Chavez fans have been clamoring for this Young Avenger to get her own solo series years and boy was it worth the wait. The publication of America #1 on March 1, 2017 shattered comic barriers, making her the first lesbian Latina superhero in Marvel’s nearly 80-year history. Listen up, Marvel: the more queer superheroes, the better. The first issue of the new series lauds America Chavez as the newest leader of the Ultimates. And while punching the lights out in the name of justice is deeply satisfying, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for self discovery. So what does America do? She goes to college, natch.
Jessica Jones #1 by Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos, and Matt Hollingsworth
Most of us know Jessica Jones from the incredible Netflix series, but this superhero turned private investigator got her start in the Alias comic series back in 2001. We’d like to turn your attention, however, to her solo series, which began just last year. As a private investigator, Jessica Jones uncovers the seedier sides of the Marvel Universe, tackling themes of exploitation, lust, sex, and murder. If you’re looking for something a little darker on these long summer days, Jessica Jones is the comic for you.