We don’t typically need an excuse to offer reading recommendations by the truckload. But as this year’s Comic-Con has just come to a close, now seemed a fitting time to take a look at this year’s best graphic novels for YA fans, because who does fandom better than YA? You’ll need some reading material to tide you over until the next comics mecca, and luckily 2015 has provided a bumper crop.
and , by G. Willow Wilson
Last year’s reboot of the series introduced Kamala Khan, a heroine for our time. Kamala is a Muslim teenager and newly superhuman. In the second volume of her adventures, she’s on the trail of the Inventor, a villain with the head of a cockatiel who’s terrorizing her native Jersey City. To nab the evildoer, she enlists the help of an older, wiser mutant: Wolverine. What’s great about Kamala and the Ms. Marvel series in general: she does exactly what we’d do in the situation—fangirl excessively.
Once you’re finished with Volume 2, move ahead to the third volume, Crushed, which brings things back to a far more sinister entity than the Inventor: Valentine’s Day. Not only must Kamala navigate the school dance, but also Loki, an imp more mischievous than Cupid.
, by Noelle Stevenson
“Quirky” gets thrown around way too much in fiction these days, but Stevenson’s debut—culled from her popular webcomic—lives up to the distinction in every way. The most unusual aspect of Nimona is its point of view, that of the villains, who you’ll find yourself hopelessly endeared to. Nimona is a spunky, punky girl who installs herself as an apprentice to Lord Ballister Blackheart, classic evil genius and arch-nemesis (and maybe something more) to Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin. As Nimona and Blackheart team up to prove Goldenloin and his ilk aren’t the heroes they’re cracked up to be, Stevenson probes stereotypes of good and evil, and gets you cackling in the process.
You thought things were strange at Hogwarts? Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters? Wayside School? Nah, they’ve got nothing on Gotham Academy. As we follow Olive Silverlock’s academic career at the prestigious institution, we learn there’s more that’s rotten here than just Batman’s attitude. Olive uncovers hidden societies, ghosts, school secrets, and, as is customary, a mysterious boy or two.
by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen
Ah, think back to those halcyon days of summer camp: roasting marshmallows, singing campfire songs, battling yetis. Well, that’s how it is at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are capable, smart, fierce young ladies, because their camp is ruled by mystery and supernatural oddities—three-eyed foxes anyone? Each of these besties have their own personalities, but they’re all part-Nancy Drew, part-Indiana Jones, which makes their adventures all the more pleasurable to watch.
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