Five mind blowing seasons, several princesses, a bit of space adventures, and a whole lot of feels later, the Noelle Stevenson remake of She-Ra is over. And, uh, some of us (me) aren’t ready to move on (me) and need to find some other great media to throw our unhealthy obsessive tendencies behind (me). Nothing except a full series rewatch will really be able to fill the Adora shaped hole in our hearts, but, well, I’m here to try with some She-Ra comic recommendations that will punch you in the feels like a Horde clone on a mission–but, you know, in a good way.
Snapdragon by Kat Leyh
Magic, family, found family feels, explorations of gender identity and sexuality–wait, are we talking about Snapdragon or She-Ra? Why not both? This graphic novel has become one of my absolute favorites, and–much like She-Ra–has a special place in my heart. Snap makes a deal with the town’s supposed witch to help rehabilitate a litter of orphaned possums in exchange for helping with the roadkill skeletons she sells online. She thinks she’s getting the better end of the deal, because that’s just the kind of kid Snapdragon is. Plus befriending Jacks just seems like the right thing to do. But Snap gets far more out of the deal than she ever bargained for as she discovers Jack’s true powers and a surprising connection to her own family.
Witchy by Ariel Slamet Ries
Secret, forest-based resistance? Check. Girl with magic, Entrapta-like hair? Check. Those with too much power hunted down by the government and either conscripted or annihilated? Check and check. In the kingdom of Hyalin, hair is power. And Nyneve, like her father who was hunted down by the Witch Guard, has too much of it. Now, she can either join the institution that destroyed her father or leave behind everything she’s ever known to fight against it. If that doesn’t have some major season one She-Ra vibes, I don’t know what does. And I mean come on, it was blurbed by Noelle Stevenson as “endlessly fascination,” what more do you want?
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu
Catradora fans buckle in for a much less angst-fueled–but nonetheless equally adorable–relationship between a witch and a werewolf in Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu’s Mooncakes. Childhood friends reunited (sound familiar?) after years apart, Nova and Tam team up to take on a horse demon, as well as some ghosts from the werewolf’s past, amidst a burgeoning relationship. Tam may be more dog than cat, but just look at those adorable ears!
Sea Sirens by Amy Chu and Janet K. Lee
*over-the-top Sea Hawk voice* Did somebody say Mermista? No? Oh, mermaids. Well, I guess that’s good too. Surfer girl Trot and her cat, Cap’n Bill, wipe out and find themselves dragged down to an underwater kingdom where sirens and sea serpents wage an unending war. And now Trot and Cap’n Bill are caught in the middle of it. Look, I don’t know that this is exactly what Salineas would be like–and we can only hope and pray for an eventual Mermista / Seahawk spin-off full of random musical numbers where we get to find out–but I like to think this is pretty close.
b. b. free by Gabby Rivera and Royal Dunlap
A Chosen One who had no idea she was chosen, a remote swamp community, and an underground radio show–that’s the world of b.b. free. Like Adora’s upbringing in the Fright Zone, b.b. has been sheltered by her father, whose insistence on keeping her good and safe turns out to be a cover for a terrible secret. On the run from her family, b.b. has to find some way to get away. But the world outside the swamp? It’s dangerous, too. And b.b.’s about to venture out into it on her own.
Star Pig by Delilah S. Dawson
If you were all about those season 5 space adventures, then may I introduce you to Vess and her new friend / savior, a giant, intergalactic water bear. Yep, that’s right: this comic features a space-faring Tardigrade. It may not be quite as bad as getting captured on Horde Prime’s ship, but with a galaxy inexplicably obsessed with American pop culture, Vess finds herself in need of a whole lot of help from her new Tardigrade friend when every alien she meets seems to want something from her. And to think she was just on her way to space camp!
School for Extraterrestrial Girls by Jeremy Whitley and Jamie Noguchi
What’s a girl who suddenly finds out she’s secretly an alien to do? Get sent to a secret government school full of fellow extraterrestrial teens if you’re Tara Smith. But getting used to your new alien biology and navigating alien politics is trickier than it seems–especially when you grew up thinking you were human.
No princesses with gem-fueled powers, but this comic has all the girl-power and science fiction vibes you could ever want.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
No list of She-Ra comic recommendations would be complete without this seminal work from the creator of the animated series, Noelle Stevenson. I’m gonna go ahead and assume most fans have already read this one, but if you haven’t, boy oh boy are you in for a great ride.
The titular Nimona has all the morally ambiguous Catra vibes you could ever hope for and the romance between Lord Ballister Blackheart and Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin is truly the stuff of legend. And like Adora and Catra, those two find themselves on opposite sides of a fight that has torn them apart–but might ultimately bring them back together with the help of a chaotic shapeshifter. It’s also a joy to see how much Stevenson’s art grew throughout the process of creating this graphic novel, originally published as a web comic.
Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag
Though they’re ultimately very different characters, former superhero Alison Green reminds me of Adora in some ways. Maybe a slightly older Adora who has learned from her mistakes, She-Ra is definitely the recklessly rush-in first, ask questions later type–much like Alison used to be. But that was before she quit superheroing. Now, life is even more complicated, if you can believe it. Between balancing life as a college student, helping people with her superpowers, and dealing with the fallout of her unveiled identity, Alison’s life is just as chaotic as ever.
The other fun thing about this comic is that it’s illustrated by Stevenson’s real-life wife, Molly Ostertag. Doesn’t get much sweeter than that.
Cosmoknights by Hannah Templer
Lady! Knights! In! Space! Now, that’s what I’m talking about. I don’t think I really even need to explain why this comic is an obvious choice for She-Ra fans. I mean, a mechanic stows away on a spaceship to try to locate her long lost girlhood crush and gets involved with a group of mech-jousters secretly rescuing princesses on the side. You with me? This graphic novel is the stuff of legends, and trust me when I say, if you loved She-Ra, you’re gonna love Cosmoknights, too.
Any more She-Ra comic recommendations to add to the list? I’d love to hear them! Let me know in the comments.