15 for 13 Plus: Comic Books for Younger Teens

Comics for kids under 10.

Comics for preteens.

Of course we’d look next at what the comic industry has for your newly christened teenager. Whether it’s a bar or bat mitzvah around the corner, or your favorite niece or nephew about to embark on high school, these are 15 comics that are meant to inspire, excite, entertain, or educate your favorite 13+ year-old.


1. Batgirl

Written by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Hope Larson
Art by Babs Tarr, Rafael Albuquerque, and Christian Wildgoose
Published by DC Comics

Moving to the hipster suburb of Gotham City, Burnside, was only the first step for Barbara Gordon. Old friends and new friends may be converging on Batgirl’s new hangout, but the villains — and the challenges — are all-new. Welcome to your twenties, Babs!


2. Hawkeye

Written by Kelly Thompson
Art by Leonardo Romero and Michael Walsh
Published by Marvel Comics

No, not that Hawkguy. Hawkeye! Kate Bishop strikes out on her own, both as a hero with a bow and arrow and as a private investigator, setting up shop in Los Angeles. Clever, funny, and as hard luck as her mentor, Kate is the hero we need in the Marvel Universe.


3. Persepolis

Written by Marjane Satrapi
Art by Marjane Satrapi
Published by Pantheon Books

An autobiographical look at Satrapi’s own childhood growing up during the Islamic Revolution, Persepolis follows her as leaves Tehran to be schooled in Vienna, return, and eventual self-imposed exile from her homeland.


4. Maus

Written by Art Spiegelman
Art by Art Spiegelman
Published by Pantheon Books

Another historical narrative designed perfectly for young and old alike, Maus chronicles the experience of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, and his cartoonist son’s attempt to deal with this familial history. The entire story is told with Jews depicted as mice and Nazis depicted as cats.


5. American Born Chinese

Written by Gene Luen Yang
Art by Gene Luen Yang
Published by Square Fish

Jin Wang is the only Chinese-American student in his class — that is, until a boy arrives directly from Taiwan and Jin wants nothing to do with him as “fresh off the boat.” Danny is all-American, but his Chinese cousin is completely obnoxious. And then there’s the Monkey King…


6. Scott Pilgrim

Written by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Art by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Published by Oni Press

Scott Pilgrim is head over heels for Ramona Flowers. The only problem? She has seven evil exes that Scott must defeat in battle to win her hand. One per book, and the game. Is. On.


7. Kim & Kim

Written by Magdalene Visaggio
Art by Eva Cabrera and Claudia Aguirre
Published by Black Mask Studio

Twenty-something besties who are working (but not really making money) at being interplanetary bounty hunters, Kim & Kim are living the rock star life — on the way down. Fun, thrilling, and inspirational, particularly for young trans persons, this book is a wild ride.


8. Black Hole

Written by Charles Burns
Art by Charles Burns
Published by Pantheon Books

Being a teenager in the 1970s was hard enough. But when a mysterious plague starts spreading through sexual contact in suburban Seattle, the kids are not so alright. Especially once their skin starts to molt and horns begin to sprout…


9. March

Written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
Art by Nathan Powell
Published by Top Shelf Productions

Kids committed to and passionate about #BlackLivesMatter will find inspiration in this historical look at the Civil Rights Movement, from the man who was at the center of it from the beginning: Congressman John Lewis.


10. Hopeless Savages

Written by Jen Van Meter
Art by Christine Norrie, Bryan Lee O’Malley, and Meredith McClaren
Published by Oni Press

Dirk Savage and Nikki Strange were cool before cool was even a thing. Now parents living the suburban life with four kids, you’d think the punk life would be left far behind. Not so. The family is still as punk and cool as it gets — except for one. Cue drama.


11. America

Written by Gabby Rivera
Art by Joe Quinones and Ramon Villalobos
Published by Marvel Comics

Intergalactic super-teen heroine supreme, Miss America Chavez is out to get an education at Sotomayor University, along with the other super-powered kids. But after a break-up with her girlfriend, and an impromptu time travel trip to punch Hitler, America’s life is starting to get pretty complicated.


12. Afterlife with Archie

Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art by Francesco Francavilla
Published by Archie Comics

Does your teenager love the dark drama of Riverdale? Turn it up just a notch and add zombies, and you have Afterlife with Archie. Pair it with sister title The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and you’re in for a very creepy teenage read.


13. Supergirl

Written by Sterling Gates and Steve Orlando
Art by Bengal, Emanuela Lupacchino, Brian Ching, and Robson Rocha
Published by DC Comics

The Maid of Might may be on television every Monday night, but her adventures continue on — both in an adaptation of the television show called Adventures of Supergirl, and with her very own monthly title facing off against the Emerald Empress, Live Wire, and… her own father?


14. Prince of Cats

Written by Ron Wimberly
Art by Ron Wimberly
Published by Image Comics

It’s Romeo and Juliet turned upside down with a hip-hop beat, as Tybalt and his band of Capulets take center stage in futuristic Brooklyn.


15. Giant Days

Written by John Allison
Art by Lissa Treiman and Max Sarin
Published by BOOM! Studios

Susan, Esther, and Daisy are fast friends on their first day of college, but spring break is a long way off. Between nervous boys, dances, misogyny, experimentation, and a little bit of school, the women have a lot of big days ahead of them.


Want to check out some books for slightly younger kids? Check them out here and here.



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