Harry Potter may be celebrating its twentieth anniversary, but it is still as relevant and popular now as it was 20 years ago. If you’re a fan, you’ve likely read the whole series multiple times, memorized the movies, and have all the audio books. So where do you go now for your magical fix? The answer is easy: comics. There is a comic book for every taste – including the Potterheads among us.
Comics For Harry Potter Fans
Diving into the world of comics can feel a bit daunting. Depending on the series you choose, there could be up to 75 years of lore that may or may not be relevant. Thankfully, there are many stories available that don’t require an advanced degree in Comics Canon, making them perfect for those new to the medium and diehard comic book fans alike. Check out the following comic books, graphic novels, and story arcs to get your Harry Potter fix.
The Books Of Magic
Writer: Neil Gaiman
Artists: John Bolton, Scott Hampton, Charles Vess, and Paul Johnson
The Books Of Magic is a comic series created in the 1990s created by the brilliant Neil Gaiman. It’s drawn numerous comparisons to Harry Potter, but remains distinctive enough that its twists and turns are still unpredictable. The series features a young boy, Timothy Hunter, who discovers he is a powerful wizard. He even has a pet owl. Throughout the series he must realize his own abilities, manage being a teenaged boy, and defeat the forces of evil trying to take over a supernatural realm. Issue #1 was brought to life by artist John Bolton, with a new artist on each of the remaining three issues. It was initially supposed to have a limited run, but its success convinced Vertigo to give it a shot as an ongoing series. Start by picking up the first four issues to get a feel for the series. The rest of The Books Of Magic is relatively easy to find in trade paperback format by asking at your local comic book store or public library.
Journey Into Mystery
Written by: Kieron Gillen
Artists: Doug Braithwaite, Rich Elson, Whilce Portaccio, and Mitch Breitweiser
After Loki seemingly dies in the events of the Siege, he is reborn…as a kid. Kid Loki, as he is known, retained no memories of his prior, evil, adult self. Throughout the series, Kid Loki tries to be his own person, separate and distinct from both his brother Thor and his prior self. Despite these good intentions, things go wrong and Loki is dragged into a scheme involving gods and magic and mutants. There are a few options available when it comes to picking up this particular story. Marvel is releasing an Omnibus in August, containing Gillen’s entire run. Alternatively, you can seek out the individual trades or look for the following issues:
- Journey Into Mystery, Issues #622 to #645
- Exiled, Issue #1
- New Mutants, Issues #42 and #43
- The Mighty Thor, Issues #18 to #21
Written by: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Jamie McKelvie
Made up of teenaged heroes Wiccan, Hulkling, Kate “Hawkeye” Bishop, Kid Loki, Marvel Boy, Prodigy, and Ms. America, the Young Avengers are a superhero team like no other. When one of them makes a well-intentioned but ultimately horrible mistake, it’s up to this group of teenagers to save not only the world, but the entire multiverse. While the team is composed of a number of different heroes, there is no need to get caught up on years and years of comics lore. Of course, learning more about each character always adds more to a story, but Young Avengers strove to be self-contained and it does an excellent job. All the information you need to know is contained in each issue. In fact, Young Avengers was only the second Marvel title I picked up (after Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Annie Wu). Despite my lack of familarity with the Marvel universe, I had no trouble following the story or caring about the characters (sometimes a bit too much!)
Shade The Changing Girl
Written by: Cecil Castellucci
Artist: Marley Zarcone
Loma Shade, a resident of the planet Meta, is going through an quarter life crisis. Fearing that her life is headed nowhere, she astrally projects herself across space, into the body of a bully named Megan, who is pretty much hated by everyone. As if that isn’t enough drama for Loma to handle, there is trouble back on Meta, where evil forces are after her physical body. And, because bad luck comes in threes, the cloak Loma uses to remain on Earth may wind up driving her insane.
Creators: Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen
The Lumberjanes are a group of five best friends, together at summer camp for what may be the last time. They are looking forward to spending some quality time together, enjoying the normal things people do while away at camp. Unfortunately, the supernatural forces around the campsite have a few other ideas, and the girls are forced to band together to save their fellow campers, and the world. The series is incredibly compelling, and perfect for readers of all ages. You, your younger cousin, and your fun older aunt will all love diving into this incredible world.
Love Is Love
Organized By: Marc Andreyko
Featuring: A collection of stories from some of the most popular comic book creators
Love Is Love is the comic book world’s tribute to the victims of the tragic Orlando shooting. Shortly after the horrific attack occurred, writer Marc Andreyko (known for his work on Batman, Batwoman, and Wonder Woman ’77) put a call out on Twitter, asking his fellow comic book creators to contribute artwork or a story. Comedians, actors, and other celebrities including Taran Killam, Matt Bomer, and Patton Oswalt also got involved. J.K. Rowling has never signed off on any recreation of her famous characters, but this collection marks a departure from the norm. The book includes a beautiful illustration by Jim Lee, a co-publisher at DC Comics and a brilliant artist in his own right, of Harry Potter characters and a quote from Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. It isn’t an entire story, but a great incentive to pick up this moving and important anthology.