Last week, the latest installment in DC’s film universe hit cinema screens. And it was…not good. If you love superheroes but are looking for better ways to spend your time, try one of these webcomics instead.
If you want more lighthearted superhero: The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks
This kid-friendly comic follows the crime-stopping endeavors of Superhero Girl. With powers like super strength and jumping really high, she battles ninjas, skeptical fanboys, and mask tan lines. Though it ended in 2012, there is a full color collection available to buy.
If you would rather watch a movie about Batgirl, Supergirl, or any of the DC ladies who have yet to get the big-screen treatment: Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan & Molly Ostertag
Alison Greene is just trying to balance school, family, and relationships…while also taking down bad guys. Formerly known as Mega Girl, an encounter with a particularly nasty villain convinced her to return to school and find new ways to fight crime.
If you’re looking for a Superman equivalent with any personality, even a douchey one: Captain Stupendous by Chris Jones & Zach Weiner
Let’s be honest: if superheroes were actually a thing, there would be plenty like Captain Stupendous, because superpowers don’t negate personality flaws. This 95 page comic is a short read, and perfect for some quick and dirty humor.
If you’re a fan of irreverent superhero humor: The Non-Adventures of Wonderella by Justin Pierce
This not-so-subtle Wonder Woman parody spends less time on the superhero-ing and more time on what heroes do in their down time. Running into archenemies at the grocery store, doing word find puzzles, and watching Dazed and Confused are all things she is very good at.
If you like Batman, but you like Gotham Academy more: SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki
This comic is basically a super angsty version of Harry Potter meets X-Men. Many of the comics, especially the older pages, depict miscellaneous shenanigans at the academy by a cast of super-powered students. Mostly involving crushes, tests, and bizarre art exhibits. The webcomic concluded with the release of the print volume from Drawn & Quarterly, which includes 40 extra pages of story.
If you’re more excited about Wonder Woman than Batman or Superman: Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton
Okay, so superheroes may not be the first thing that jumps to mind when you think of Kate Beaton, but she has published a few gems that detail the behind the scenes exploits of our favorite heroes. Sexy Batman and Lois Lane are some personal favorites, but you can find more under the “superheroes” section of the archives. Plus, I might have enjoyed BVS more if it was 2 hours of Bats and Supes dorking around, with 100% more Wonder Woman eyerolls.
For more heroes that may or may not be super, check out The Substitutes by Myisha Haynes, Agents of the Realm by Mildred Louis, and The Immortal Nadia Greene by Jamal Campbell. None of these webcomics are strictly about superheroes, but they combine fantasy, science fiction, and action with heroics in a way that resembles superheroes without the capes and tights (mostly). The Substitues and Nadia Greene are pretty new–both started in September of last year, so there isn’t a ton of material to catch up on. Agents is a bit longer, but fans of the magical girl genre will love this comic. All of them are lovely and well worth your time.
Other comic happenings that have nothing to do with superheroes:
Kate Leth is bringing The Cirque American to comics in a 4 issue miniseries, and Faith Erin Hicks is working on a novel called Comics Will Break Your Heart. I’m jealous of the high school students who get Randall Munroe illustrations in their science textbooks. Also, KaBOOM! is publishing their first picture book: What Is It? by Nicole Hoang and Dustin Nguyen.