What Would the Avengers Read: A Superhero Book List

With this past weekend’s Toronto Comics and Arts Festival and the recent release of the Avengers: Infinity War, we got to thinking: what graphic novels would superheroes read? 


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Natasha Romanova aka the Black WidowTrained as a secret agent in her early years, Natasha Romanova’s earliest missions were opposite Iron Man at the height of the Cold War so she knows a thing or two about spy life. Between listening for top secret info and “martial arting” the Black Widow might be seen hiding behind the cover of David Lester’s The Listener (ARP Books), a graphic novel that hops between 1933 Germany and a political scandal in 2010. There’s art, power, and murder at the core of this story – just perfect for Natasha’s downtime reading.
Tony Stark aka Iron Man
We know Iron Man’s pretty busy running his tech company Stark Industries and being a self-proclaimed “genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist,” but he’s still got a few spare minutes to read (even if he does it in his powered suit of armor). We see him reading Mike Holmes’s True Story (Invisible Publishing), a graphic novel that’s all about near-death experiences (check), bad dates (check), reunions (check) and day-to-day faux pas (check, check).
Professor Charles Francis Xavier aka Professor X
The founder of the X-Men is a deep thinker: he runs a school to help mutants learn, he’s got telepathic abilities, and he’s all about promoting the coexistence of humans and mutants. That’s why you might find him questioning the philosophical politics of comic books with a collection of essays like Douglas Mann’s Great Power and Great Responsibility (Wolsak and Wynn).
Scarlet Witch and Vision
Zvaine’s graphic novel For As Long As It Rains(Pow Pow Press) about forbidden lovers who elope to a remote cabin for a weekend is a story Scarlet Witch and Vision can relate to. With their own unlikely romance, these two might find themselves shedding a few Avengers-style tears between page flips.
T’Challa aka Black Panther
As King of Wakanda, Black Panther has been somewhat detached from the Black experience, but after meeting Killmonger who’s motivation to claim Wakanda arguably lies in larger questions of racism, African diaspora, and systemic issues, Black Panther’s interest might have been piqued just a little. That’s why he’d opt for a heavier read like Blank (Book*hug), a collection of essays by M. NourbeSe Phillip on Black diasporic politics, racial capitalism, and racism.