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Must-Read Books Based on Your Favorite DC Heroes

Do you need something to tide you over while the DCEU tries to fix itself? Give these books a try.
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While DC movies may have lost their footing after the success of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Snyder cut of Justice League, I’m still hoping for a DC Extended Universe that’s just as good as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While I wait for that to happen, I found some books with characters that remind me of my favorite DC heroes. So, if you want to switch it up, check out these books based on your favorite of these 16 heroes.

Beast Boy: ‘Talon’ by Julie Kagawa

Beast Boy from Teen Titans, Talon cover
Harlequin Teen | DC | Warner Bros. | Cartoon Network

I immediately knew what book to choose for Beast Boy. He’s the shapeshifter of the Teen Titans, so I had to choose a novel that focuses on a shapeshifting species. Talon does just that, and you’re going to love reading about the dragons living amongst humans, much like Beast Boy does.

In Julia Kagawa’s novel, dragons were once hunted to the brink of extinction, but they managed to survive. Ember is set to be inducted into Talon, but first, she has to prove her worth and abilities. However, as she’s living amongst humans for the first time, she’s also being hunted.

Cyborg: ‘Snow Crash’ by Neal Stephenson

Cyborg from Teen Titans, Snow Crash cover
Spectra | DC | Warner Bros. | Cartoon Network

I’ll be the first to say that I don’t normally read about cyborgs, aside from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. But the central cyborg in that world is a girl, so that didn’t feel quite right for the DC character Cyborg. Therefore, I went through everything I’ve read and rediscovered Snow Crash.

Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk novels features Hiro, the world’s greatest hacker. He spends most of his time in the Metaverse–at least when he’s not delivering pizzas for the mob. However, things start going haywire when a virus kills hackers in the Metaverse. Can he make it out alive, or will the virus get him too?

Raven: ‘Shatter Me’ by Tahereh Mafi

Raven from Teen Titans, Shatter Me cover
HarperCollins | DC | Warner Bros. | Cartoon Network

There are so many different iterations of Raven in media, but my favorite portrayal is from Teen Titans. So that’s where I got my inspiration from. In the show, she’s confident in her abilities but also a little scared of them at times. So, I saw a lot of her in Juliette from Shatter Me.

The Shatter Me series follows Juliette Ferrars mastering the powers she’s been terrified of for years. The Reestablishment has taken her after nearly a year to use as a weapon. But will she be able to escape and take them down before it’s too late?

See related: Must-Read Books Based on Your Favorite Marvel Characters

Starfire: ‘Three Dark Crowns’ by Kendare Blake

Starfire from Titans, Three Dark Crowns cover
Quill Tree Books | DC | Warner Bros. | Berlanti Productions | Weed Road Pictures

While there were so many ways I could have gone with this recommendation, I wanted to focus on Starfire and her sister, Blackfire. I’ve always been fascinated with their interactions and decided to find a sibling relationship that was just as cut-throat. That’s why Starfire fans should read Three Dark Crowns.

Triplet princesses are born every generation, raised to hone their individual abilities, and will eventually battle for the crown. Each princess’s power is meant to either help them or hinder the others. Three Dark Crowns starts a four-book series that you won’t be able to put down.

Nightwing: ‘Monument 14’ by Emmy Laybourne

Nightwing from Titans, Monument 14 cover
Feiwel & Friends | DC | Warner Bros. | Berlanti Productions | Weed Road Pictures

I’ve been a Nightwing fan for as long as I can remember. So, I went with a book recommendation with a main character that reminded me of his journey as Robin but also is slightly older than most of the books on this list.

This series about a group of teens had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The first book in the series sees the start of an apocalypse that has completely cut off a group of school kids from their parents. The kids must decide whether to head out to the world or stay put.

Shazam: ‘Carve the Mark’ by Veronica Roth

Shazam from Shazam, Carve the Mark cover
Katherine Tegen Books | DC | Warner Bros. | The Safran Company | New Line Cinema

I am not super familiar with Shazam in the comics, but I did enjoy the movie. I took my inspiration from the film, in which a young boy has to use his newfound abilities to step up as a hero. The story reminded me of Carve the Mark, and I’m sure fans of this superhero will love it as much as I did.

Cyra and Akos are thrown into each other’s lives by coincidence, but maybe fate had more to do with it. Cyra is a princess with power over pain, and Akos’s power is seeing the future. Will Akos save Cyra from her golden cage, or will Cyra’s family destroy Akos and his?

Green Lantern: ‘The Young Elites’ by Marie Lu

Green Lantern from Green Lantern, The Young Elites cover
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers | DC | Warner Bros. | De Line Pictures

If you are a fan of any of the members of the Green Lantern Corps, you should check out The Young Elites by Marie Lu. It focuses on a group where each member has a power of their own and a unique background, much like the Green Lanterns.

Teren is supposed to be hunting Adelina, Enzo wants to help her, and Adelina doesn’t know who to trust. With all three hiding dark secrets and none willing to back down, who will prevail in this three-book fight for survival?

Black Lightning: ‘Veterans of the Psychic Wars’ by Wayne Gerard Trotman

Black Lightning from Black Lightning, Veterans of the Psychic Wars cover
Red Moon Productions | DC | Warner Bros. | Berlanti Productions | Akil Productions | The CW

I decided to recommend Veterans of the Psychic Wars for Black Lightning fans. The main character and the superhero have a lot in common but follow very different paths in life. Veterans of the Psychic Wars is an amazing book, and I’m surprised I didn’t discover it until recently.

Roman is a schoolteacher, but everything changes when Chi-Ro Jin tells him he’s a prince of a galaxy. Chi-Ro is set on returning Roman to his true home, but Roman doesn’t know if he wants to be thrust into a war or stay home with his pregnant wife.

Martian Manhunter: ‘I Am Number Four’ by Pittacus Lore

Martian Manhunter from Supergirl, I Am Number Four cover
Penguin | HarperCollins | DC | Warner Bros. | Berlanti Productions | The CW

Martian Manhunter manages to blend in pretty well among humans, much like the Loriens from I Am Number Four. And since there’s not nearly enough Martian Manhunter media, you’re in for a treat since there are multiple series and novellas set in this world by Pittacus Lore.

I Am Number Four follows Four as he tries to blend in with humans while the Mogadorians hunt him and his guardian down. But he can’t stay hidden forever. When his new home is threatened and Six finds him, he has to stand up and fight for his life.

See related: Six Books That Deserve a Second Chance at the Screen

Supergirl: ‘Graceling’ by Kristin Cashore

Supergirl from Supergirl, Graceling cover
Gollancz | DC | Warner Bros. | Berlanti Productions | The CW

When looking for recommendations for Supergirl, I went immediately to a comfort read. Supergirl is a strong character who is constantly doubted at first, much like Katsa from Graceling. Both characters are amazing and won’t back down from a fight if it means protecting those they love.

Katsa is the king’s niece with a gift for killing. But what most don’t know is that she hates her gift. She finally has enough and runs away. While away, she comes across Prince Po, and they decide to save the world from an even worse king than the one she previously served.

Green Arrow: ‘The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood’ by Howard Pyle

Green Arrow from Arrow, Robin Hood cover
Barnes & Noble | DC | Warner Bros. | Berlanti Productions | The CW

Would it be a cheap shot to say Green Arrow is just a rich, modern-day version of Robin Hood? Yes. Am I sticking to that? Also yes. That’s why Green Arrow fans should read the original book by Howard Pyle, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood.

Follow Robin (no, he’s not a fox) and his bandits as they steal from the rich and give to the poor. While Oliver Queen might be focused on just taking down the corrupted rich people in his city, Robin actively gives to those who are just as poor or poorer than him.

The Flash: ‘The Accidental Time Machine’ by Joe Haldeman

The Flash from The Flash, The Accidental Time Machine cover
Ace Books | DC | Warner Bros. | Berlanti Productions | Bonanza Productions | The CW

I went a slightly different route with this book recommendation. Instead of focusing on the Flash’s super speed, I couldn’t stop thinking about The CW show continuously messing up the timeline. I ran with that theme and rediscovered The Accidental Time Machine.

Matt Fuller has a dead-end life and nothing to lose. In search of a little excitement, he takes a time machine for a ride to a better future. At least, that was the plan. But the future isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Sound like Flashpoint, anyone?

Aquaman: ‘The Vicious Deep’ by Zoraida Córdova

Aquaman from Aquaman, The Vicious Deep cover
Sourcebooks Fire | DC | Warner Bros. | Peter Safran Productions

Though Aquaman isn’t technically a merman, he’s a hero who is most at home in the sea. I went with The Vicious Deep, which follows a character with a personality very similar to Aquaman. It’s the start to a series that you’re going to want to finish so you can see how the final confrontation plays out.

Tristan Hart just returned from who knows where after three days. But he doesn’t remember anything. As time goes on, Tristan realizes that he’s not the same person as when he left. He’s heir to an underwater kingdom, and it wants him back.

See related: We Need More Mermaid and Fairy Media

Wonder Woman: ‘The Immortals’ by Jordanna Max Brodsky

Wonder Woman from Wonder Woman, The Immortals cover
Orbit | DC | Warner Bros. | RatPac-Dune Entertainment | Atlas Entertainment | Cruel and Unusual Films | Tencent Pictures | Wanda Pictures

Wonder Woman was inspired by a goddess, so of course, I had to find a modern take on mythology. That’s when I remembered The Immortals. Selene reminds me of Wonder Woman, both in personality and storyline.

In The Immortals, Selene has been living a quiet, solitary life. But all that changes when she finds a dead body washed ashore, and she decides to make good on her ancient promise. Now, the Huntress is on the prowl again to find the killer of the woman she found.

Superman: ‘The Sword of Shannara’ by Terry Brooks

Superman from Man of Steel, The Sword of Shannara cover
Del Rey | DC | Warner Bros. | Syncopy | Legendary Pictures

Superman is one of the most overpowered characters in all of comics, so of course, fans of his are bound to love other very powerful characters. And while there are plenty of YA series with that, I went another direction, instead choosing The Sword of Shannara.

Terry Brooks created a fantasy world that I find to be much more interesting than most other high fantasies. In this land, Shea Ohmsford is the last hope for his world, being the last living Shannara. The series continued for several books and was adapted into an okay show.

Batman: ‘Inspector Hobbes and the Blood’ by Wilkie Martin

Batman from The Batman, Inspector Hobbes and the Blood cover
The Witcherley Book Company | DC | Warner Bros. | 6th & Idaho | Dylan Clark Productions

While all versions of Batman tend to portray him with a brooding expression and dark storyline, we rarely talk about how much of a detective he really is. And while comparing him to Sherlock Holmes would have been easy, I decided to recommend Inspector Hobbes and the Blood.

Inspector Hobbes and the Blood is the first in the five-book Unhuman series and follows Andy Caplet’s first mystery surrounding the titular inspector. But things start to go awry when Andy finds not everyone around him is human.