459 Lexington Ave., nr. 45th St.; 800-411-3341
Here, and at the Times Square sister store, Marvel mavens scout back issues, comic art, and crowded glass cases housing armies of action figures. Dark Knight and Speed Racer figures are snapped up quickly ($9.99–$14.99), as well as Iron Man apparel. On June 26, the Grand Central store hosts an appearance by Brian K. Vaughan, creator of the acclaimed comic series Y: The Last Man.
St. Mark's Comics
11 St. Marks Pl., nr. Third Ave.; 212-598-9439
Owner Mitch Cutler recommends comics for every level of fandom, from the Ultimate Universe trade paperback series for kids ($15–$25) and the comprehensive Essential reprints for newbies (around $20) to the hardcover, full-color Marvel Masterworks line for true devotees ($50–$60). For post-bar hoppers, the shop stays open until 1 a.m., Wednesday through Saturday.
208 Smith St., nr. Baltic St., Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn; 718-797-1348
This well-stocked bookstore specializes in indie comics and graphic novels, but also has a decent selection of superhero favorites, like the All-Star Superman and Astonishing X-Men series. The shop holds regular cartoon-art exhibitions and signings by contemporary artists like La Perdida creator Jessica Abel and graphic novelist Matt Madden.
Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.
372 Fifth Ave., nr. 5th St., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-499-9884
This storefront for Dave Eggers’s not-for-profit writing center for kids doles out costumes and unusual kitsch fit for any alter ego. Best sellers include sixteen-ounce cans of antimatter ($10.99), invisibility-detection goggles ($12), and billowing capes ($15-$40), which shoppers model while being blasted by the wind of a nearby fan. Instead of comics, the store sells books written by the tutoring center’s young protégés, who are between the ages of 6 and 18.
249 Grand St., nr. Roebling St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-302-2913
Comics depicting Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Avengers are unfurled across hand-painted coffee tables at this vibrant shop for international gifts and accessories. The spot satisfies a range of tastes, propping up boxed sets of vintage Marvel postcards beside woven baskets of crafty home décor, plus piles of colorful Lucha Libre masks from Mexico.