Strong Female Protagonist Comics You Should Read…Now!September 25, 2016
Today is National Comic Book Day! Comic books have been through a lot over the past couple of centuries, that’s right…centuries! For years the comic industry consisted of guys, and I’m not saying it’s a bad thing! But in the last 20+ years there have been more women creators getting into the industry. Young girls (and boys) are getting more interested in comic books thanks to the people that create more diverse characters. It’s not just in the world of superhero comic books either. There are many great graphic novels with strong female characters.
In honor of comics and all the fantastic ladies that are in the business, I thought I would pick some of my favorite strong female protagonist comics.
Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill
This graphic novel is about Amira–a princess who doesn’t want to be a princess but wants to be brave and rescue people–who saves another princess, Sadie, from her prison tower. First off, I love the art style! It’s adorable. Secondly, I knew I had to read this when on one of the first pages Amira says, “I am no prince!” What’s even better about this story is that the princesses end up falling for each other. The story is short and sweet and is perfect for diverse LGBTQ kids, teenagers and even adults.
Zodiac Starforce by Kevin Panetta
Zodiac Starforce is my favorite current comic book. It has everything: super cute magical girls, adorable art, EVERYTHING pink, Sailor Moon references, an interracial lesbian couple and monster butt-kicking. I even wrote a review about it when it was released as a trade! It’s the story of a group of high school friends who have magical powers and can kick butt. They have sworn to protect the world but an evil force from another dimension comes and threatens them and their friends. Zodiac Starforce has so much more story to it than what it seems. You get thrown into the story after the girls had broke up the team and now they’re getting back together to save the planet. I can’t wait for the next issue to come out!
Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi
After Emily and Nevin’s father dies in a car crash they move into their deceased great-grandfather’s house with their mother. They soon find out the house is more dangerous than they would’ve thought. Some kind of creature lures their mother into another world through the basement. Emily and Nevin go after her and an adventure begins. I was reluctant to read this one. I saw it and thought ‘Oh, it’s just another kid graphic novel and it’s going to be boring.’ Boy, was I wrong. Currently, it’s a seven-volume epic with beyond gorgeous art. The two siblings go on an incredible adventure and find out things about their true selves. I highly recommend this graphic novel to people of all ages.
Fresh Romance edited by Janelle Asselin
Fresh Romance is a romance anthology that includes five stories. Editor Janelle Asselin assembled a very talented group of creatives including Kate Leth (Bravest Warriors, Edward Scissorhands), Marguerite Bennett (DC Bombshells, Insexts) and Sara Vaughn (Alex + Ada, Sparkshooter). Some of the stories include an interracial lesbian couple, an inter..species couple (between a witch and a human), Sailor Moon references and an arranged marriage where neither person is happy about it.
Batgirl: The Batgirl of Burnside by Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher
This has got to be one of my favorite superhero comics that is currently in print. The art by Babs Tarr is amazing, the story is perfect for any 18-25 year old that maybe has never read comic books before. College student and superhero, Barbara Gordon starts a new life in the up and coming district of Burnside. But soon discovers new bad guys attacking her and her friends. I always recommend this to people who are just getting into the giant world of graphic novels, or specifically superheroes.
Power Up by Kate Leth
If you love magical girls and adorable art, then you will love Power Up. It’s the story of three strangers…and a goldfish that mysteriously get turned into magical warriors! They have to save the planet while still managing their lives, what a struggle! I really enjoyed this comic because it has such a diverse group. Sandy, a single mom, Amie, an African American woman, Kevin, a man who when he transforms into a magical warrior wears the best magical girl outfit since Sailor Moon and there’s a gay couple who live right next door to Amie. It’s everything you could ask for in a comic!