There has been a lot of talk lately (especially on this site!) about All Ages comics, focusing on comics for young readers. It honestly feels like most people either outright ignore comics for kids, and those that want those comics don’t seem to realize that they do in fact exist – they’re just not typical for adult readers. See, the adult readers complaining about the loss of something like Thor: The Mighty Avenger enjoyed that book at all because it still resonates with adult readers. It’s fun, light hearted, full of great values, and a pleasure to read. But just because we don’t have that or Brian Clevinger’s Captain America doesn’t mean we don’t have all ages comics at all, and DC certainly has the best titles for comics for kids: Tiny Titans and DC’s Super Pets.
Normally, Friday Rec is used as an analysis area for us to take a look at comics we have loved in the past. We break them down, talk about why they matter, and the influence they’ve had over us. However, this Friday Rec is different, because Tiny Titans and Super Pets aren’t books that are inherently geared towards an audience my age. Instead, they are perfect entry point for younger readers to get into superheroes.
For a few thoughts on these fantastic kid comics, take a look behind the cut.
On the one hand, you have the adorable Tiny Titans, entertaining for young readers because the book is geared specifically towards them but also humorous to older readers who find characters like Darkseid as a lunchlady. It’s actually quite surprising how steeped Tiny Titans is in the modern DCU mythos, because as much as the book is written for kids, you’ll often find that the title is a reflection of the various different things that are happening in the DCU, from Dick Grayson’s shifting relationship status to various colored rings. If you’re looking for a comic that captures pure fun in a super heroic comic book, Tiny Titans just released it’s 36th issue.
On the other hand, you have the Super Pets, which are not only adorable beyond belief, but they’re actual prose novels for kids. The books are light hearted, fun, and wonderfully illustrated by Tiny Titans artist Art Baltazar, perfect for young kids to pick up and read – or even be read at bed time. These books are set to be released soon, and having been given the opportunity to read a few of them, I must say that I wish I had a kid to share these with. If parents are looking for something to give their children in order to acclimate them into the DCU, this is that book. Do you love Green Lantern and the character Dex-Starr? Well, there’s a whole book starring him and B’dg, a squirrel Green Lantern, who fight against the Sinestro Dog Corps at a water park. The book even includes a cameo from Glomulus, Larfleeze’s favorite Orange Lantern. This title is absolutely perfect for any child who has even remotely showed interest in super heroes, let alone has a love for their pets!
See, as much as we want to get kids into comics, we also need to give them good options for reading. While there are tons of great youth oriented books and novels (I fondly remember reading the Fudge books, personally), it’s nice that in today’s market, there are legitimate options for kids to bridge the gap between super heroics and reading traditional prose pieces. This is why a book series like Super Pets or the comic Tiny Titans is so great. There is no linear timeline, no overbearing plot. These are stories that can simply be picked up, read, and enjoyed, and that’s what kids with All Ages need before we can really worry about trying to explain to them Blackest Night and Brightest Day. I’m happy to give my nephew a copy of a book like Bone, which is a wonderful comic, because as he grows older this is the kind of comic he’ll enjoy. But in an attempt to “get them while they’re young,” I’d rather give a kid DC’s Royal Rodent Rescue, starring Streaky (not currently around in the DCU) than I would try and give them most any other comic on the shelf at the moment – including Thor: The Mighty Avenger.Continued below
When it comes down to it, no matter how you feel about any of the things going on at DC – whether it’s Superman’s walk, Wonder Woman’s reality, Batman’s myriad of titles, or even their larger events like Brightest Day – they have the corner on the market for the perfect titles for younger readers. Tiny Titans and Super Pets are available in comic shops now, along with other DC Kid titles that are specifically written to help bring kids to comics. Go take a look at some of them the next time you’re in your shop. While some might scoff at you for looking at a children’s comic, you might be surprised at how much you actually enjoy it.