Saturday, May 7, 2016

Free Comic Book Day!

   It's everyone's favorite holiday - Free Comic Book Day!

   I managed to score seven of them - feel free to send in your list, either in the comments below or via email to us as!

   Here's my take:

- Captain America (Marvel)  

   Hey, it's the real Captain America (sorry, Falcon), Steve Rogers, back in action just in time for his new movie release!

     Here he tackles a new and rising threat from Hydra, using a new shield - but thankfully, he's still the classic hero we love so well.

   It also brings back some familiar faces - though I'm not sure why Sharon Carter is depicted as being a bit older than usual. It's great to see Rick Jones again, although his characterization here is a bit suspect.

   This looks very promising.

   The second half of the book previews an Amazing Spider-Man story that I'm happy to miss.

- Civil War (Marvel)

    Hey, it's a comic based on Civil War, but not anything like the (excellent) movie.

   This previews the upcoming mini-series, and it gets things off the a rousing start as a group of Avengers squares off against Thanos, who's looking for one of his favorite cosmic gizmos.

   The art is terrific, but I'm not sure where the story is going from here. But I'm intrigued enough to pick up the series now, so mission accomplished.

    The backup feature focuses on the new Wasp, who I was prepared to hate - but I may have to rethink that, after this turn (with great art by Alan Davis). We'll see.

    (But is it true about Hank Pym? Me no like!)

- Suicide Squad (DC)

   Just in time to promote the upcoming movie (do we sense a running theme here?), we have the dark and bloody story about the Suicide Squad, a team of criminals assembled to tackle the dirty jobs that no hero would tackle.

   This is (mostly) an introduction to the team - a grim and grisly bunch that includes a version of Harley Quinn that's barely recognizable to the one appearing in her own title these days.

   It doesn't do much for me, but as the legendary Don Thompson wrote, if you like this sort of thing, here it is.

- DC Superhero Girls (DC)

   It's always nice to see a book aimed at young readers (they're few and far between), and this issue previews an upcoming graphic novel and toy line (and maybe an animated series).

   DC Superhero Girls is set in an alternate reality where all the heroes and villains are attending high school, so you get lots of angst and teenage concerns, along with lasting friendships.

   Think Archie comics if they were published by DC.

   It's a fresh, fun take on the classic characters, and young readers will probably enjoy it, even if it ends on a cliffhanger.

- Serenity / Hellboy / Aliens (Dark Horse)

   Probably the best of this year's crop of Free Comics, this one is loaded with fun, fan-favorite characters.

   It starts with the cast of Serenity, as baby Emma gets a fun bedtime story all about her parents and their allies - and how they were rescued by a big damn hero.

   The Hellboy short story teams up writer / creator Mike Mignola and artist Rich Corben for a grisly tale of a deadly mirror. Good and scary!

   An Aliens short story rounds out the issue, as a grim battle for survival is waged in deep space between a warrior and some murderous creatures.

- Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Archie)

   It was a bit of a shock when the usually fresh-faced Archie Comics line introduced a line of horror comics - and equally shocking when Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (of cartoon and live-action squeaky-clean TV show fame) popped up in her own grisly comic.

   And this issue pulls no punches, with horrific visuals, death and destruction - and some of the characters involved are downright shocking.

   As horror goes, it's very well done - but it makes it difficult to look at the Riverdale gang in the same light again.


   Back after a long absence from comics is ROM, the Spaceknight.

   The series featured an invasion of Earth by creatures known as the Dire Wraiths - shape-shifting, murderous aliens who plan death and destruction for our home.

   This new series seems like a restart for the series, as it features ROM showing up on Earth to fight - against impossible odds - to rid the Earth of this terrible infestation.

   It's nice to see ROM back in action, and touching to see a promotion in the comic in support of the character's original writer, Bill Mantlo.

- Bongo Free-For-All! (Bongo)

   One of the most reliably entertaining Free Comics is always the entry from Bongo Comics.

   This issue features a treasure of Simpsons antics by some of the company's top creators - it's always loads of laughs!

   And Bart and company wraps up the day for me - that's all for my list of Free Comics.

   Did I miss any treasures along the way?  



El Vox said...

If, like me, you missed out on the FCBD swag, you can access them online at the publishers, here's some links:

I was curious about what Dark Horse had to offer, among some others.

Billy Hogan said...

I didn't get a chance to go to any comic book stores on FCBD, but I will be getting the Phantom and The Tick FCBD issues in my shipment from Discount Comic Book Service at the end of the month.