Superhero Fatigue? Try These Non-Superhero Comic Series!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pitt chapter.

I’ve been a fan of graphic novels and comic books since I was a kid! Before I could even read that well, I would keep piles of comic books in my bed just to look at the pictures. For the most part, these were DC and Marvel superhero comics. While I still thoroughly enjoy an action-packed superhero story, we are without a doubt in an era of superhero fatigue. Below is a list of some complete and ongoing non-superhero graphic novel series. Whether or not you’re a comic book fan, these series are fantastic and great for any level of interest!

paper girls

A very Stranger Things-esque series, Paper Girls follows a group of tween newspaper-delivery girls as they uncover the supernatural happenings in their town. The day after Halloween, the four girls find themselves time-traveling from their home in the 1980s to 2016. This was one of the first non-superhero comics I remember reading and really enjoying! The story is a wonderful combination of action, drama, and general coming-of-age themes. There are six trade paperbacks, so the story is short enough to keep your attention, but it always keeps you wanting more!


I just finished reading this series, and even got one of my roommates (who isn’t a huge comic book reader) to start reading it! I bought the first trade paperback at my local comic book store because the description looked interesting, and boy was I right. This series follows Maude, a 12-year-old girl whose just gotten her period. The problem? In this world, women turn into ravenous man-eating panthers while menstruating. This series is an interesting combination of traditional graphic novel style and graphic design (for example, there are fake ads for “estrogen-free water for boys”, hilarious, I know). At only three trade paperbacks, this series is an excellent start for people new to comics! 

The oddly pedestrian life of Christopher chaos

Although this series is still ongoing, it’s been super interesting so far! I’ve read issues #1 through #4, and they’ve all been excellent. The protagonist, Christopher Chaos, is a high school student struggling to fit in with the monsters and super-powered teenagers of his high school. After one of his classmates turns out to be an evil monster, Christopher must find his way as the evils of high school are exposed! League of Comic Geeks describes this series as an “LGBTQ+ horror-hero coming-of-age series that’s Invincible meets Doom Patrol.” Although both Invincible and Doom Patrol are technically superhero comics, Christopher Chaos is more of a coming-of-age drama than a story about people with superpowers. The trade paperback for this series comes out in May, but the single issues through #4 are out now!

Purr Evil

Another ongoing series that I highly recommend! I bought the first issue on a whim because the cover looked interesting, and I was immediately hooked. This series is largely about the consequences of an interesting Satanic ritual. Rita and her daughter, Deb, are at odds with their next-door neighbors. But when Deb sneaks out to hang out with the neighbor’s son, Robert, her mother must find her before she dooms Robert and the rest of the world! Only two issues are out so far, so I don’t have all the details, but both the writing and the art have been fantastic. Because who doesn’t love a story about evil, satanic witch cats who may or may not take over the world? No trade paperback release date is out at the time of writing, but I expect it’ll be sometime in early 2024. 


Some argue that Fables is one of the best comic book series of all time. Although technically published by DC Comics (more specifically under their imprint Vertigo Comics), this series has nothing to do with superheroes. Fables follows fairytale characters (think princesses, folktales, etc.) as they live amongst humans in the real world. It may not sound too exciting at first, but the amount of drama and turmoil is unreal. Marriage, divorce, murder, war–this series truly has it all. This series has 22 trade paperbacks and a number of spin-off issues and series. It may seem overwhelming, but time truly flies reading these. I’ve read the first four trade paperbacks and have liked each one! Also, if you’re not convinced, here is a review from the biggest Fables fan I know, my dad: “I love how Fables blends classic fairy tale characters with Game of Thrones style intrigue. Mark Buckingham’s art is fantastic and with a possible cast of thousands, you never know who will show up in the next issue.”


Saga is another fantastic series, and it’s written by the same author as Paper Girls. One review describes this series as a combination of Game of Thrones and Star Wars, but I view it as a unique work, unlike anything I’ve read before. Saga follows two parents, whose alien identities are on either side of an intergalactic war. Saga is a beautiful story of family, strength, and loss, as these parents raise their daughter, Hazel, in such a tumultuous time. I read the first hardcover book (the first 18 issues), but it’s been a while. However, this series definitely stuck with me and I am eager to read more! 

The Sandman

This is the only comic series on this list I haven’t read, and even I know it’s one of the best ones out there. Also, this one technically isn’t superhero-free, because it is set in the same universe as DC’s superhero comics. However, from what I know about the general plot and its characters, it doesn’t feel like a superhero comic series to me. The Sandman is the anthropomorphic personification of Dreams and a member of The Endless. Some of the other Endless include Destiny, Death, and Desire. There really is no way for me to do this series justice, so…just read it. This is a fantastic mix of horror, fantasy, and mythology, so if you’re interested, read it. You won’t regret it!

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