When it comes to suggesting comics for individuals to check out, it’s often good to start with what they like in other media like television, movies, books, or video games. Enter If/Then, where we’ll throw out suggestions for you to check out! First up, the film Hidden Figures which opens in wide release this coming weekend!
Hidden Figures is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)-brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.
If you enjoyed the film, or interested by the subject matter, here’s five comics for you to check out and why!
March – The celebrated and award-winning graphic novel by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell recounts Cong. Lewis’ experiences during the Civil Rights Movement. A first-hand account of pivotal history brought to life through graphic art, the graphic novels consist of three volumes taking you through the turbulent times and delivering an educational and emotional read.
Each volume seems to improve on the next not just taking you through history, but is presented in such a fashion that’ll leave you speechless as you ride through the emotional roller coaster within.
This is a prime example of the power of comics and graphic novels in helping preserve and teach history.
CBLDF Presents: She Changed Comics – If you want to learn some history about women in comics, check out CBLDF Presents: She Changed Comics which was put together by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
She Changed Comics is the definitive history of the women who changed free expression in comics, with profiles of more than 60 groundbreaking female professionals and interviews with the women who are changing today’s medium, including Raina Telgemeier, Noelle Stevenson, G. Willow Wilson, and more! She Changed Comics also examines the plights of women imprisoned and threatened for making comics and explores the work of women whose work is being banned here in the United States.
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has also put together a web page as a resource where you can find out more about women in the comic book history.
The Unstoppable Wasp #1 – A superhero comic might feel like an odd choice for this one, but hear me out as to why. Written by Jeremy Whitley with art by Elsa Charretier, the comic features the newest Wasp, Nadia Pym, as she attempts to find her way in the superhero world.
What makes this comic make the list is the focus on STEM, women in science, and smashing the patriarchy. The comic has Nadia finding her role and throws it out there that until recently the Marvel Universe was dominated by men (and mostly white men) until recently and it’s time to get some women recognized when it comes to the smartest people in the Marvel Universe.
What’s also great is each issue will feature real women who work in STEM fields in real life through a Q&A. The comic not only entertains but also hopefully will encourage more women to enter this world for a career.
Captain Marvel Vol. 1: In Pursuit of Flight – Ace pilot. Legendary Avenger. One hundred percent pure bad-^&*. Carol Danvers has a new name, a new mission – and all the power she needs to make her own life a living hell. As the new Captain Marvel, Carol is forging from a challenge from her past! It’s a firefight in the sky as the Banshee Squadron debut – but who are the Prowlers, and where has Carol seen them before? And how does secret NASA training program Mercury 13 fit in? Witness Captain Marvel in blazing battlefield action that just may change the course of history! Avengers Time Travel Protocols: engage!
Written by Kelly Sue Deconnick with art by Dexter Soy and Emma Rios, the story is fun action, but also explores the little known history of the women who attempted to join the Apollo program.
Laika – Laika was the abandoned puppy destined to become Earth’s first space traveler. This is her journey.
Nick Abadzis masterfully blends fiction and fact in the intertwined stories of three compelling lives. Along with Laika, there is Korolev, once a political prisoner, now a driven engineer at the top of the Soviet space program, and Yelena, the lab technician responsible for Laika’s health and life. This intense triangle is rendered with the pitch-perfect emotionality of classics like Because of Winn Dixie, Shiloh, and Old Yeller.
Abadzis gives life to a pivotal moment in modern history, casting light on the hidden moments of deep humanity behind history.
While the graphic novel isn’t perfect when it comes to the history it’s a great introduction to this part of history of space flight and great for kids who may be interested in learning about it and being entertained.
What did we miss in our suggestions? What would you suggest? Add yours in the comments!
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