Comics fans, it’s our day!!! It’s our Super Bowl. Our World Series. Our Wrestlemania. It’s FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!!!
Every year, on the first Saturday in May the comics industry comes together and gives out FREE COMIC BOOKS!! Depending on your local comic store, you can choose one or up to ALL of the specially selected free comic books that a slew of publishers put out. Chances are, if you’re a comics fan, you all ready know just what you’re going to pick. But, if you haven’t had the time to look over the Free Comic Book Day website, here’s a brief rundown of SOME of the titles that will be given away at thousands of shops throughout the country. In NO particular order, they are…
The Intrinsic (Arcana Studios) Arcana brings its heavy hitting characters all together for the first time! It’s a Justice League or Avengers type book as their characters are pulled into battle with a force that threatens to conquer the world. As the heroes gather, they realize that the only hope they have lies with one girl. This was a very fun read, even if you’re not familiar with the Arcana characters. The writers do a good job of introducing all the major players and the art, while not knocking my socks off, was decent. This is the first issue in what appears to be a company-wide crossover, so if you want in, make sure you pick this one up.
DC Nation Superman Family Flip Book (DC Comics) One half of this flip book spotlights the comic book adaptations of the two cartoons that make up the DC Nation block on Cartoon Network, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice. The Green Lantern story is a fun tale of Hal Jordan, Kilowog, and their former Red Lantern buddy, Razer, as they’re trapped in an other dimensional prison with a villain who’s been sentenced to spend what seems like an eternity there. Fun story, nice art, this one’s mainly for the kids. The same goes with the Young Justice story. It’s a quick 4-pager that basically introduces you to two of the characters on the TV series. Not much here, again, for the kids. BUT flip this book over and you get a preview of the upcoming Superman Family Adventures by Art Balthazar and Franco that looks like it’s going to be AMAZING!!! I haven’t been this excited about Superman since John Byrne did The Man of Steel in the ’80s. It’s what we all wanted — CLASSIC SUPERMAN STORIES. I HIGHLY recommend this one for kids AND grown-ups.
Transformers: Regeneration One #80.5 (IDW Publishing) One thing you can’t argue about is that IDW doesn’t listen to their fans. This book actually started as an internet/Twitter campaign by fans to bring back the old Marvel continuity of the Transformers that had ended 21 years ago. So, based on their hit series GI Joe: A Real American Hero, they got the original creators, Simon Furman and Andrew Wildman, to come back and continue the series! This issue is great because it not only picks up where Transformers #80 left off, it’s also a refresher as to what was going on and what has happened during the gap between the ending of the original series and now. Highly recommended for anyone that’s even remotely interested in Transformers.
Witchblade: Unbalanced Pieces (Top Cow): Top Cow brings us a flip book as well. The first story is Witchblade: Unbalanced Pieces which basically brings the reader up to date on what’s been going on with Witchblade since writer Tim Seeley took over. If you haven’t read Witchblade in awhile, I highly recommend it, and this comic. And, as expected, it’s the perfect jumping-on point for anyone. Definitely worth a look. The other story is called “Reborn” by Ron Marz and John Tyler Christopher and that brings the reader up to date on the WHOLE Top Cow Universe. Again, it’s a great refresher for fans who haven’t been able to read these books in awhile, and it sets the ground for the next chapter in the Top Cow Universe. This one is pretty good, but might be a little violent for the younger readers. Also, Witchblade doesn’t wear much in the way of clothes, so again, parents be cautioned.
Atomic Robo & Friends (Red 5 Comics) A fun comics for ALL AGES. And everyone, no matter their age, WILL enjoy this one. First, we have a Atomic Robo story by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener, which is a charming tale of betrayal. Next we have a Neozic story by Paul Ens and J Korim. In a world where dinosaurs did NOT die out, humanity tries to save itself. Very action packed and a unique idea. Finally we have Bonnie Lass by Michael Mayne and Tyler Fluharty. It’s the story of a teenage pirate with a great sense of humor. All around, this one is the PERFECT Free Comic Day Book, as it’s chock full of stuff that will appeal to everyone.
Spider-Man: Season One (Marvel Comics) This sampling of the original graphic novel by Cullen Bunn and Neil Edwards tells that the tale that we all know and love — the origin of Spider-Man. Updated enough to make it fresh and different, everyone will love to read this chapter and honestly, after reading this, chances are about 99% that I’ll actually pick up the graphic novel that it’s taken from! A sure crowd-pleaser. Even if you’ve read this story 100 times (like me), you’ll enjoy this book.
Star Wars/Serenity Flip Book (Dark Horse Comics) Part charming Serenity tale by Zack Whedon and Christian Dalla Vecchia and part awesome Han Solo and Chewbacca adventure by Whedon and Fábio Moon, this is a great book for anyone who’s a fan of either property, or anyone just looking to have some fun.
DC The New 52 Special Edition (DC Comics) This is IT!!! The big daddy of Free Comic Book Day! It’s hard to review this one, because it’s spoiler material front to back. Let’s just say that you’re REALLY going to want to pick this one up. In fact, if you can only choose one comic on Saturday, make it this one. Written by Geoff Johns with art by Jim Lee and friends, it’s the set up for some REALLY big things to come in the DC Universe! You DO NOT want to miss this one! Trust me!
Mouse Guard Labyrinth and Other Stories (Archaia Comics) This full-color 6″ x 9″ hardcover will be something you want to grab up if it’s being offered at your local comic book shop, as it’s the first-ever FCBD original graphic novella anthology and yes, it’s hardcover to boot (not to mention highly attractive). Within are 48 pages of all-new short stories from some of Archaia’s most popular titles — Mouse Guard, Labyrinth, Return Of The Dapper Men, Rust, Cursed Pirate Girl, and Cow Boy — all of which are appropriate for all ages.
Also – check out my preview write-up of FUBAR-The Devil’s Dance Floor.
And there you have it folks. Keep in mind there are TONS of other comics that I didn’t get to review because of time, and a lot of them are just as great as the ones listed above (view the entire list of comics). This Saturday, May 5, don’t just go down to your local comic store, grab a buddy, your girlfriend…Heck! Grab your mom and dad and introduce anyone you can to this hobby and industry that we love so much. With dozens of titles to choose from, there’s something for everyone, no matter their tastes or interests. But, most importantly, show them how much FUN comics and comic collecting can be. Have a great time and I’ll see you on Saturday!!!