Today’s graphic literature fans are enjoying a golden age of television and movies 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!
Thanks to Thomas Maluck (TM) and Jennifer Wharton (JW) for writing the recommendations in this list.
Recommendations are listed alphabetically by title.
Content notes: Content notes for all titles listed here consist of “bloody violence and crude humor”.
Suggested Age Range: Age ranges for all titles list here are “15 and up”
Deadpool, Vol. 1: Dead Presidents
Written by Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan
Art by Tony Moore
Elevator Pitch: This is the first part of a much longer Deadpool series, kicking off here with a SHIELD-assigned black ops mission to take out reanimated ex-presidents (can you imagine the PR nightmare?). Deadpool is happy to play the absurd jester of the Marvel universe, but there’s plenty of tragedy and regret in Wade Wilson’s life in future volumes, too. (TM)
Appeals to: Fans of Deadpool! And ghosts of dead American presidents.
Deadpool by Daniel Way: The Complete Collection, Vol. 1
Written by Daniel Way and Andy Diggle
Art by Steve Dillon, Paco Medina, Carlo Barberi, and Bong Dazo
Elevator Pitch: The Skrulls are attacking and Deadpool is there to save the day. Or join the Skrulls. Or ruin the day. Or…what the heck is he doing? Well, trying to get paid for once—but he’s going to have to defeat Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers first. Also includes several short stories, including Deadpool going up against Wolverine! (JW)
Appeals to: Fans of Deadpool, Wolverine, and general violence.
[Note: This series was previous collected as Deadpool, Vol. 1: Secret Invasion, Vol. 2: Dark Reign, and Dark Reign: Deadpool/Thunderbolts in 2010.]
Deadpool Classic, Vol. 11: Merc with a Mouth
Written by by Victor Gischler and Mary Choi
Art by Bong Dazo, Kyle Baker, Rob Liefeld, Matteo Scalera, Ken Lashley, and Ed McGuinness
Elevator Pitch: Deadpool’s zombie head is getting on his…well, it’s getting annoying. It’s time for Headpool to return to the Zombieverse, but getting in is easier than getting out. (JW)
Appeals to: Fans of Marvel Zombies.
[Note: This series previously collected as Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth in 2010.]
Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Dalibor Talajic
Elevator Pitch: An asylum breached by villains attempts to brainwash Deadpool, but instead the voices in his head thin out to just one: a psychotic murderer. What use is Iron Man’s armor or The Hulk’s strength against a determined assassin who can regenerate? The pitch is in the title! (TM)
Appeals to: People who like to start debates with “Who would win?” or have otherwise been itching to see Deadpool square off with a good deal of Marvel characters.
Deadpool vs Thanos
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Elmo Bondoc
Elevator Pitch: Deadpool is finally going up against his rival for the fair, er, skeletal hand of death—Thanos. But could there be another entity in this love triangle? (JW)
Appeals to: Fans of the movie wanting to try some shorter stories, with extra violence and a fun visit to hell.
Deadpool’s Art of War
Written by Peter David
Art by Scott Koblish
Elevator Pitch: Deadpool, acting as a wafer-thin author stand-in, wants to make money from writing a book, so he decides to rip off The Art of War by employing its wisdom on several factions across the Marvel universe. What starts as a prank project starts to take on a life of its own and threatens the world. (TM)
Appeals to: Sun Tzu fans, anyone wanting to see a scheme spiral out of control.
Hawkeye vs. Deadpool
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by Matteo Lolli and Jacopo Camagni
Elevator Pitch: Somewhere out there is a flash drive containing the identities of every SHIELD agent, and it’s up to Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), and Deadpool to retrieve it! Oh, but Clint was brainwashed to sabotage the whole effort. And nobody wants Deadpool around, which leads to much bickering. (TM)
Appeals to: Fans of goofy crossovers or the Fraction/Aja run of Hawkeye (this book features some visual cues borrowed from that series).
Night of the Living Deadpool
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Ramon Rosanas
Elevator Pitch: Deadpool wakes from a coma in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and must fight to survive, riffing merrily on zombie movies and tropes along the way. Will Deadpool ever get to marathon Golden Girls again? (TM)
Appeals to: Fans of zombie fiction and black/white/red coloring.