Marvel Girls

While I’d say that Marvel Comics hasn’t been having a great few years overall, there’s one area where the publisher has been kicking ass: comics with female leads. Here are some recommendations, with links to their pages on comiXology:

Hawkeye by Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero stars Kate Bishop, who first appeared in Young Avengers and was a co-star of Matt Fraction’s superlative Hawkeye, to which Thompson’s book is very much the proper successor. You don’t need to know much about the character to jump in. She’s trying to be a private detective in L.A.

Mockingbird by Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk stars Bobbie Morse, agent of SHIELD, and it’s rad and tragically only lasted a few issues.

The Unbelievable Gwenpool by Christopher Hastings and Gurihuru started out as a joke. Deadpool was over-saturated, and then Marvel made a character called Spider-Gwen, an alternate universe version of Gwen Stacy who got bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker. They did a “Gwenpool” gag featuring a lady wearing a pink Deadpool costume and then Hastings ran with the idea, creating the character of Gwen Poole, a girl from our universe who mysteriously winds up in the Marvel Universe possessing the advantage of knowing everyone’s secret identify and understanding how stories work, so she knows that she can’t be killed as long as she keeps doing important enough things to remain worthy of being the star of her own comic. It’s fun.

The Unstoppable Wasp by Jeremy Whitley and Elsa Charretier features Nadia Van Dyne, daughter of original Ant-Man Hank Pym. Nadia is a scientist and every issues features interviews with real-life female scientists at the end.

Ms. Marvel has been out long enough that she’s been rebooted, so here’s her first volume, and her second. Created by G. Willow Wilson with art by Adrian Alphona, it follows Kamala Khan, a Muslim Pakistani-American Jersey girl who can change her shape.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur by Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder, and Natacha Bustos follows smartest person in the world nine-year-old Lunella Lafayette and her sorta pet dinosaur.

Honorable mentions go to The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Spider-Gwen (volume one, volume two), and Thor, which is a little more involved.