Currently Trending: Superhero Books

Posted September 27, 2017 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Features / 12 Comments

Currently Trending is a new feature where I discuss certain trends I’ve noticed in the YA world and offer my completely unsolicited opinion on it. Enjoy!

Since I’ve started blogging I’ve seen many a YA trend come and go. Some memorable ones include sick lit, fairy tale retellings, heist stories, etc. It seems like the close of 2017 is bringing about the new trend of Superhero books (both original stories and retellings) in the YA world, which is honestly no surprise given the rising popularity of Marvel and DC movies over the past few years. The Superhero sub-genre is one I have mixed feelings about, so I decided it would be great content for a blog post so I can chat with readers and see how you guys feel about this trend that is gaining steam!

Initial Thoughts

I have REALLY mixed thoughts when it comes to the superhero genre in general. I’ve never been a comic book reader, so I didn’t ever have much exposure to superheros growing up (unless you count Sailor Moon or the occasional episode of Teen Titans). When Disney acquired Marvel and the first few movies began coming out, I tried watching them but found myself really bored during the first Avengers and Captain America movies. And I stay far, far away from things like Fantastic Four, Guardians of the Galaxy, and generally most movies that feature a lot of explosions and special effects- they’re just really not my thing.

Now, as a juxtaposition to all of this, I happen to be dating someone who is is VERY into certain superheros, especially Batman. Through dating Max for so many years, I’ve been become pretty educated on the DC universe and can totally join a Batman related conversation and look like I know what I’m talking about (same with Game of Thrones though I will doubtfully ever read those books- way too violent for my taste). I’ve slowly started warming up to superhero movies (Wonder Woman slayed me, obviously, and Spiderman: Homecoming was excellent) and have considered dabbling in comics. However, I still think that superhero stories have the potential to bore me (especially because I’m not the biggest on fighting scenes) so I’m a little nervous to see them dominate the YA space.

Upcoming Releases

Obviously Renegades is at the top of every bookworm’s Fall 2017 TBR list right now, mine included since I’ll be purchasing a copy as I’m hoping to see Marissa on tour this fall for her new title. The synopsis gives off sort of X-Men vibes, but it also seems like it’s sort of set in a Dystopian world? (I’m 9000% over Dystopians so I have grave reservations if that’s the case). However, we all know Ms. Meyer can write a mean retelling so this could also be really fantastic.

The new DC YA adaptations caused quite the stir when they were announced, and with a superstar cast of YA writers tackling these tried and true superheros, it does feel like it would lend itself to a successful venture. The next one up in the series is Batman-Nightwalker and it will be interesting to see a take on a very young Bruce Wayne. However, Max has a copy of the Wonder Woman book and still hasn’t finished it because he finds all of the characters aside from Diana unlikable, which is always a risk when reading a superhero book that’s set before the common canon and lacks the traditional cast. We’re still going to pick up the Batman novel but may have more realistic expectations going into it (although I am 100% on board with SJM’s upcoming Catwoman because Sarah can do no wrong in my eyes <3)

Let’s Discuss!

Do you think YA Superhero books are the next big thing? Are you excited for them or are they a trend you’ll be sitting out on? Do you prefer original superhero stories or retellings/adaptations? Do you think YA novels are the right medium for superhero stories, or do you prefer them in movies/comics? Let’s discuss in the comments!



12 responses to “Currently Trending: Superhero Books

  1. I definitely agree that there is a trend. I think we, the book world, may be on the tail end, because think of all the movies and TV shows that have been popping up over recent years. I am not a huge superhero fan, but they did enlist so amazing YA authors for this task. I went to the panel and BookCon, and each author totally sold their book to me, because they are doing such interesting things with the characters’ early lives.

    • You’re totally right- we are on the tail end compared to movies and tv shows (I can’t even keep track of how many Marvel shows there are right now!) I bet the panel you attended was amazing! I haven’t had a chance to hear any of the authors speak about their books but I’m really excited for Catwoman (because I love Saraj J Maas) and Superman (since I feel like that’s the title out of the 4 that gets the least amount of attention!)

  2. I don’t really know if superhero books are a trend, but if the Batman and Catwoman ones end up beign as good as the Wonder Woman one them I’m happy to read them all. It is refreshing reading good material about super people though, after all I thought Forever Red (the Black Widow book) was such a miss. But I guess we’ll see in time.

    Moonlit Library |

  3. Fight scenes bore me too! I’m glad I’m not alone! I think there is a fine line between sci-fi and dystopia, so Renegades might be erring more on the sci-fi side, but of course I won’t have a real idea until I read it.

    • Yeah I think we’re all not 100% sure what genre Renegades will really fall under, (maybe more sci fi since Marissa Meyer’s past series was) but I’m hoping it doesn’t have TOO much action in it because I love her writing but fight scenes just do much better in movies and tv shows for me!

  4. I tend to gravitate towards action movies when I’m watching, however I feel like the enthusiasm towards superhero genre has been waning recently. I don’t think books are the perfect medium though, because as much as I enjoyed watching fight sequence, I can’t read them! I tend to skip or skim read action scenes haha.

  5. I started reading Marvel/DC comics about two years ago, but before then I STAYED SO FAR AWAY because I thought it wouldn’t be my thing. Oh, how I was so wrong …

    I actually haven’t read any of the YA superhero books yet, but I have WONDER WOMAN: WARBRINGER from the library right now … not sure when (or if) I’m going to get to it, but I’m really interested to see what Leigh Bardugo decided to write about. I think this trend is going to be around for another couple of years, if not for a really long time, at least while superhero movies are hot. I’m excited for them, especially because I’m a big fan of the Marvel and DC movies that have been released already. I think I prefer movies to books, if we’re talking about superheroes, because I like the visual aspect!

    Amaris ( recently posted: Book Review: Invictus by Ryan Graudin
    • Same, I’m starting to slowly enjoy the superhero trend more and more, but much more so in movie format than in books (I feel like they just don’t hold my attention as well in book format)? Ever since Disney acquired Marvel I think it became clear that superheroes are here to stay, so I’m trying to tolerate the trend, haha.

  6. I have mixed feelings when it comes to superheroes in general. I loved Wonder Woman and the first Captain America, but other than that I’m always meh about them. I’ll absolutely read Renegades, but I don’t think I’ll be jumping on the YA superheroes, retelling or otherwise, unless the storyline’s actually compelling! I sort of think that superheroes stories need to be visual because they often involved a lot of fast-paced action scenes, but I’ll be curious to hear about how they work in YA books. Great topic, Cristina!

    • Thank you, Cilla! I admit, Wonder Woman was AMAZING and put me in more of a superhero mood than I usually am this summer, and I really loved Spiderman:Homecoming too! But I agree- the narratives really need to be much more visual for me rather than in a book format.

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