Today’s graphic literature fans are enjoying a golden age of television undreamed of. Whether you’re a fan of superheroics, spy-thrillers, or horror, there’s something for virtually everyone. But what happens when someone goes looking for the books that inspired their favorite shows? More often than not they get confused,.

It’s fairly simple to track down The Walking Dead books. iZombie and Preacher (soon to be a series on AMC) have been collected into neat little volumes. Even the various volumes of Hellblazer aren’t too difficult to navigate for those proud Constantine fans still hoping for a revival on The CW Network. But where do you send the little girls who want to see more Supergirl? The tweens who want to read about The Flash? The teens who want more Green Arrow?

Face Front, True Believers! We’ve got the reading lists to help you save the day!

Supergirl

The good news is that DC Comics is doing a lot to put more Supergirl books on the stands in the wake of the hit CBS series! The bad news is… well, there isn’t a lot out at the time of this writing in early 2016, but the coming months will feature plenty of both new and old material being printed.

tvSupergirl: Digital First

Written by Sterling Gates
Art by various

Vol. 1 (due out 08/09/2016) ISBN: 9781401262655

DC Comics, 2016

A must have. Not only is it written by Sterling Gates, whose work inspired a lot of the Supergirl TV series, but it is directly based on the TV show! Unfortunately it won’t be out until August.

 

 

 

cosmic

Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade

Written by Landry Q. Walker
Art by Eric Jones

Old edition ISBN: 9781401225063
New edition (due out 05/10/16) ISBN: 9781401263201

DC Comics, 2016

This fun little series should be a must-have for any children’s library graphic novel section. The artwork is cute and the writing is suitable for all ages. A new edition of this hard to find series is due out in May 2016.

 

 

 

sterlingSupergirl by Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle

Written by Sterling Gates and Greg Rucka
Art by Jamal Igle and others

Vol. 6: Who Is Superwoman? ISBN: 9781401225070
Vol. 7: Friends And Fugitives ISBN: 9781401227951
Vol. 8: Death & The Family ISBN: 9781401229139
Vol. 9: Bizarrogirl ISBN: 9781401231699

DC Comics, 2009 – 2011

These four volumes, taken from the pre-New 52 comics, are probably your best bet for teen readers. This was the run that inspired a lot of the Supergirl TV series mythology, particularly her rivalry with Cat Grant. Indeed, writer Sterling Gates has been tapped to write the upcoming comic based on the Supergirl TV series! Another bonus is that artist Jamal Igle eliminated most of the fan service that plagued the book in its early days and was careful to design a more realistically proportioned Kara.

[The following is a look at the other titles available, or soon to be available. They’re not essential titles like the ones above, but your library might still want to have them.]

New 52 Supergirlnew52

By various creators

Vol. 1 – Last Daughter of Krypton ISBN: 9781401236809
Vol. 2 – Girl In The World ISBN: 9781401240875
Vol. 3 – Sanctuary ISBN: 9781401243180
Vol. 4 – Out Of The Past ISBN: 9781401247003
Vol. 5 – Red Daughter Of Krypton ISBN: 9781401250515
Vol. 6 – Crucible ISBN: 9781401255411

DC Comics, 2012-2015

This is included mostly because, as the most recent series, it is the series most librarians will be tempted to order. We can’t recommend this one in good faith, as this Supergirl series is a far darker beast than the more optimistic TV series, with a Supergirl who intentionally tries to separate herself from her more famous cousin and works to help people grudgingly. Additionally, due to continual crossovers with the other Super Family books, the storylines tended to be all over the place.

 

Supergirl: The Girl of Steel51Z0VlDLdcL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

By various creators

Superman/Batman: Vol. 2 – Supergirl ISBN: 9781401202507
Supergirl: Vol. 1 – Power ISBN: 9781401209155
Supergirl: Vol. 2 – Candor ISBN: 9781401212261
Supergirl: Vol. 3 – Identity ISBN: 9781401214845

DC Comics, 2005-2007

Supergirl: Vol. 1: The Girl of Steel (due out 1/27/16 or 2/2/16) ISBN 9781401260934

DC Comics, 2016

The Girl of Steel collects the first 12 issues of the 2005 Supergirl series. Unfortunately, this series was a bit of a mess with the writer and direction changing four times over the course of the first year. They’re not completely without merit but they are largely inaccessible to new readers, requiring a good general knowledge of the DC Universe at the time. A larger issue is that Kara isn’t so much a character in most of these stories as she is an object to be fought over and the artwork by Michael Turner and Ian Churchill objectifies her even more than the stories!

Supergirl: Vol. 4 – Beyond Good And Evil ISBN: 9781401218508
Supergirl: Vol. 5 – Way Of The World ISBN: 9781401221294

Much like the first three volumes collecting this Supergirl series, the fourth volume by Kelley Puckett suffers from being overly dependent on knowing the events of other comics. By contrast, Way of The World is an excellent stand-alone story in which Kara attempts to use her powers to save the life of one terminally ill boy.

 

9781401260927Supergirl by Peter David and Gary Frank

Written by Peter David
Art by Gary Frank

(due out 05/31/16) – ISBN: 9781401260927

DC Comics, 2016

We’re mentioning this one only to warn you off.  This series wasn’t bad but it is bad for newbie comics readers. This volume collects the first eight issues of the 1990s Supergirl comic, starring a version of Supergirl that has no relation to Superman! This Supergirl is a combination of a shape-shifting artificial lifeform from a parallel universe called The Matrix and a teenage girl named Linda Danvers, who died in the middle of a Satanic ritual. And then she becomes an angel. So yeah… the whole thing is confusing as all get out and will undoubtedly annoy your more conservative patrons. So don’t get it.

The Daring Adventures of Supergirl

Written by Paul Kupperberg 
Art by Carmine Infantino

Vol. 1 (due out 07/19/2016) – ISBN: 9781401263461

DC Comics, 2016

This volume reprints the first 12 issues of the 1982 Supergirl series. While it’s unclear how well these stories may have aged, they’re probably safe for all ages having been printed in the pre-Crisis DC Universe. For older readers the fact that they feature artwork by Barry Allen’s co-creator and long-time DC Comics editorial director Carmen Infantino might make them worth a look. 

Supergirl: The Silver Age

Omnibus Vol. 1 – (due out 06/14/16) ISBN: 9781401262464

By various creators

DC Comics, 2016

At $75 this hardcover collection may be beyond the means of most libraries. It may be of interest historically, but unless you have a large population of older comic fans it may be best to give this one a pass.

  • Matt

    | He/Him Librarian

    Reviewer

    A librarian with over 10 years experience in public and academic settings, Matthew Morrison has been blogging about comic books for nearly as long as they’ve had a word for it.  Over the past two decades, he has written regular columns, commentary, parodies and reviews for such websites and blogs as Fanzing, 411 Mania, Screen Rant and Comics Nexus.  He has served as an Expert in Residence for a seminar on Graphic Novels and Comics for Youth and Adults at the University of North Texas and has given several lectures on the history of comics, manga and cosplay culture at libraries and comic conventions around the country. In addition to his work for No Flying No Tights, he is the Contributing Editor of Kabooooom.com and maintains a personal blog at MyGeekyGeekyWays.com.

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