Tomorrow, Saturday, is a special day for the sci-fi genre! Not only is it May the 4th, the day of celebration of all things ‘Star Wars,’ but it is also Free Comic Book Day! If you’re not familiar with the concept, Free Comic Book Day is just that – a day when participating comic book shops around the world give away for free special editions of comic books to anyone who comes into their stores.
The list of comic books that will be available for free can be found on the Free Comic Book Day site. Since there are quite a few books to choose from, we decided to ask our very own comic book reviewers what comics they would suggest to pick up. So, to get you started on your pull list for tomorrow, here’s what they recommend:
Infinity‘ – Being as Marvel is my biggest area of fandom, my absolute #1 pick this year is going to be ‘Infinity’. It’s going to show off the first volley of shots fired off in the epic events that will be spanning across the Marvel Universe this year. One of the main focuses of the series is going to be Thanos who, if you are only familiar with Marvel through the movies, is one of the most evil creatures to have ever been spawned and will be a big player in the Phase 2 of the Marvel Movie Universe.
For those not into Marvel, I’ve got two runner ups. For the horror fans out there I can only point towards ‘The Walking Dead’s’ free issue which is going to give us a bit more on Tyrese as well as includes a few short story reprints. If you are a little more on the fun loving side, though, I’m going to have to strongly suggest ‘The Tick’. The insanity that ensues as the big blue hero yells SPOON is always a hit to anyone who loves a little madness in their reading.
Alison “Boom” Baumgartner:
‘Atomic Robo’ – For my first pick this Free Comic Book Day, I’m going to go with the same pick I always go for every year: ‘Atomic Robo’. There is a reason I beeline for this comic the first Saturday of every May, and it may be the fact it’s about an atomic robot that fights Nazis and villains with names like Dr. Dinosaur. It has the fun pulpy vibe of a Rocketeer comic combined with childlike imagination for days-that-never-had-gone-by, complete with science references and in-jokes that always make a nerd happy. I, for one, will never forget the Free Comic Book Day Carl Sagan was included, and I can’t wait to see what will be next.
‘Marble Season’ – For my second pick, I will be going with ‘Marble Season’ because I have always been a sucker for coming of age comics. There is something different and refreshing about how Gilbert Hernandez writes. Mostly, I’m excited to read a comic set in a era where’s people’s nostalgia is usually white washed by dominant white culture – almost an alternate universe to the civil rights struggles – and introduces a mixed outlook on the time period. Also, the piece is autobiographical, so I expect it to introduce some interesting insight into Hernandez’s other laudable works.
Star Wars/Captain Midnight/Avatar – Because everyone wants to know what is going on with our favorite emo assassin Mai!
The Tick – because SPOOOOON!
The Walking Dead – This is Image Comics’ offering this Free Comic Book Day, which is no surprise, seeing as how the television adaptation is one of the highest rated shows on the air right now. The FCBD one-shot features reprints of stories featuring newer characters like Michonne, The Governor and Morgan (boo). But the main attraction is an all-new short starring Tyreese, a fan-beloved character who, in the comics at least, didn’t stick around as long as many would have liked. Considering the character was introduced much later in the AMC series, and is embodied by the magnetic Chad L. Coleman, I suspect this cast member may outlive his original black and white inspiration.
KaBOOM! Summer Blast – I started getting comics before I could actually read them. My poor dad had to read them to me and the first I remember were the DC Comics inspired by ‘The Super Friends’, the animated Saturday morning version of DC’s Justice League. KaBOOM! is now publishing books based on some of the most popular (and wonky) cartoons on the air, including ‘Adventure Time’ and ‘Regular Show’ as well as perennial favorite Charles Schultz’s ‘Peanuts.’ Also included is a strip from ‘Bravest Warriors’, an original comic book series created by the same folks who came up with smash hit and merchandising bonanza ‘Adventure Time.’ If the comic book art form wants to survive, they need to attract actual KIDS to it. Adapting things that are already popular with kids is a step in the right direction!
‘Infinity’ – Later this year, Marvel will be unleashing one of their largest crossover events to date. From the mind of ‘Avengers’ and ‘New Avengers’ writer Jonathan Hickman, ‘Infinity’ is set to include every corner of the Marvel Universe, but especially the cosmic cast of characters that don’t get the spotlight as much as the likes of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, etc. For this year’s Free Comic Book Day, Marvel is giving the fans the very first taste of the event, along with some cool extras involving Thanos, the mighty Mad Titan that wields the Infinity Gauntlet (or the mean-looking purple guy at the end of Joss Whedon’s ‘The Avengers’). Hickman has been doing amazing work with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes since the beginning of Marvel NOW, so to get a dose of that for free is just absolutely amazing. And on top of that, the book features art from one of the business’ best artists today, Jim Cheung, who I love because of his work with the ‘Young Avengers’ and ‘Avengers: Children’s Crusade’. This is the can’t miss issue of this year’s FCBD.
‘Star Wars/Captain Midnight/Avatar’ – Dark Horse has been putting out ‘Star Wars’ books that have expanded the universe of the franchise for some time now, but recently Brian Wood has brought the comics back into the world of the movies that we know and love. His new series that takes place during the events of the original trilogy is one of the best comic book series I’ve picked up all year and it’s not even just because of the nostalgia. Now, for Free Comic Book Day, Dark Horse is giving fans an all-new story from Wood featuring two of the most iconic villains of the entire ‘Star Wars’ saga. Who knows what Darth Vader and Boba Fett have going on in this story, but I can guess that it’ll be a pretty good ride with Brian Wood behind the wheel. That’s not even all that you get in this issue either! You also get a look at the new series ‘Captain Midnight’ and a story from the acclaimed ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ which follows Mai as she deals with a broken heart. For me, the ‘Star Wars’ story alone is enough, but Free Comic Book Day is all about trying out something new, so the other stories are worth checking out as well.
Whether you are a long time comic book reader or a newbie, Free Comic Book Day is a great event and one that shouldn’t be missed. Let us know what books you plan on picking up and whether our reviewers’ recommendations were spot on!