FCBD 2016: Read It Or Leave It?: Silver Titles, Part One



Once again, I have acquired the annual output of Free Comic Book Day, squirreled away in an undisclosed location last weekend, and read all FIFTY issues!

Brother…it’s not easy, reading lots of comics! Even fortified with Hot Pockets and Dr. Pepper, I had to take frequent breaks and naps! No longer am I the sprightly young nerd who trekked two miles, uphill, both ways, in stifling humidity and frigid winters to get my four-color fix!

But I persevered, because we take comics seriously here at The Beat, and we want you to have the best Free Comic Book Day possible!

So here are some short reviews…  I’ll space these posts throughout the week, ending on Friday with the Ten Best titles to grab!


FCBD 2000AD 20162000 AD SPECIAL FCBD 2016 EDITION

Publisher: REBELLION / 2000AD
(W) Paul Ens
Forty-eight pages of thrill-drenched Sci-Fi from Britain’s greatest comic! Including exclusive new stories, digital strips, and a downloadable song from MC-1’s favorite band! Creators include Alec Worley, Matt Smith, John Wagner, Alan Grant, Kek W, Barry Island, Hannah Berry, Peter Milligan, Eric Powell, Dani K, John Burns, Rufus Dayglo, Carlos Ezquerra, Henry Flint, Joëlle Jones, and Ron Smith.
Rating: Teen
This is a satisfying CHUNK of comics!
After having to downsize the issue, they packed it as full as previous issues. 40 pages! Seven stories, starting with a great satire of Hollywood and superhero cinema, as Judge Dredd must stop a fanboy civil war riot! Art by Eric “The Goon” Powell! Cover by Mike Allred! There’s even a downloadable single, so if you missed Record Store Day, here’s you chance to redeem your cred!

TITAN COMICS - ASSASSIN’S CREED FCBD 2016ASSASSIN’S CREED FCBD 2016 EDITION

Publisher: TITAN COMICS
(W) Anthony Del & Various (A) Wellington Alves & Various
Enter the shadowy world of the Assassins and Templars, two feuding factions who have battled over the centuries to decide the course of humanity! Two all-new short stories, written and illustrated by the creative teams of the regular comics, highlight a shocking event in the life of new Assassin Charlotte de la Cruz, and reveal the true extent of the mysterious Templar Black
Cross’s terrifying skills! New readers or experienced fans: strap on your hidden blades, don your cowls, and blend into the crowd to discover secrets you won’t read anywhere else!
Rating: Teen
I’m not familiar with the videogame, but I guess this has something to do with the Knights Templar and assassins from various time periods? The stories are entertaining enough, but it doesn’t make me want to read more. Preaching to the choir.

KODANSHA - AoT ANTHOLOGY FCBD 2016ATTACK ON TITAN ANTHOLOGY PREVIEW FCBD 2016 EDITION

Publisher: KODANSHA COMICS
(W/A) Various (CA) Hajime Isayama
Titans of Comics+Attack on Titan! The biggest manga of the decade, reinterpreted by the top talent in comics! Get a taste of this fall’s upcoming Attack on Titan Anthology, a collection of original stories set in the world of Attack on Titan, from creators including Scott Snyder, Gail Simone, Michael Avon Oeming, Tomer Hanuka, Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, Babs Tarr, Faith Erin Hicks, Kate Leth, Kevin Wada, and many more!
Rating: Teen
 First criticism… looking at the cover, it looks like a giant clown is attacking, because the background smoke looks like clown hair, and the face looks like greasepaint. That’s not the cover. Look for the big baby.
This is the first sneak peek at the western AoT anthology due next October.
Again… I’m vaguely familiar with the concept (humanity fighting against giants), and I know it’s a bestselling behemoth…  I might read this, just because of the amazing talent involved, because I know I’ll get a good story. Otherwise, moving on.

ACTION LAB - AWAKE 0 FCBD 2016AWAKE #0 FCBD 2016 EDITION

Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT
(W) Susan Beneville (A/CA) Brian Hess
In this prequel to the ongoing series, Awake, Regn learns to use her powers, and gets into trouble, with fellow cadet, Joppin, on the Dola training planet, Exterra, while Chay rescues young Picar from an angry mob!
Rating: All Ages
Something’s wrong with the planet, as we are introduced to two different casts of characters. Intriguing, I’ll wait for the trade.
(Also, there’s a sneak peek of Action Lab: Dog of Wonder!)

DARBY POP - BRUCE LEE FCBD 2016BRUCE LEE: THE DRAGON RISES #1 FCBD 2016 EDITION

Publisher: DARBY POP
(W) Shannon Lee, Jeff Kline (A) Brandon McKinney, Zac Atkinson (CA) Bernard Chang
Bruce Lee never died. And he hasn’t aged. But, he has no idea who he is, what’s happened in the world in the past 40+ years, or why so many “thugs” want a piece of him. With the help of a fly BFF from the ’70s – Joe Toomey, P.I. – and pair of precocious teens, Bruce will piece together a mystery more insidious than ever imagined, and find himself forced to do battle with both an enigmatic Villain and his very own conscience. The Dragon rises… and “walks on” once more! Co-written by Bruce’s own daughter, Shannon Lee, and Jeff Kline (Jackie Chan Adventures, Indestructible)!
Rating: All Ages
Bruce Lee returns from the dead! (Except he wasn’t dead…) A cool idea, with some fun humor. I’ll sit back and see where this leads…

FCBD Marvel Capt America 2016CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 FCBD 2016 EDITION

Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Steve Rogers is returning to comics this May, and you can get your first taste on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. This issue will get you caught up just in time for the release of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, coming to comics later in May!
Three Captain Americas fought shoulder-to-shoulder in AVENGERS: STANDOFF. Now, one rises to take his place at the forefront of the Marvel Universe! Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz usher in a new beginning for the nation’s greatest hero!
But that’s not all! FCBD CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 will also feature a second all-new story and a special prelude to DEAD NO MORE, giving fans their first look at the blockbuster storyline coming later this year. If you got a chance to bring back someone who died, would you? And how will CLASSIFIED deal when ones they thought long dead once again walk the earth?
TOP SECRET and TOP SECRET unite to bring you the opening salvo of Dead No More, a major storyline coming in 2016!
Rating: T+
I’ll avoid the wrath of Dan Slott, and just say that the Spider-Man story was intriguing, as I didn’t really know what Peter Parker was doing nowadays, and this story gets that out of the way, while setting up a return to one of the most controversial story arcs in Marvel history!
And in a somewhat related theme, we get another dunDunDUN cliffhanger, as Captain America testifies on the Hill regarding HYDRA turning into ISIS. Beautiful art, and a good introduction to Cap’s new team.

CBLDF - DEFEND COMICS FCBD 2016HELP THE CBLDF… DEFEND COMICS FCBD 2016 EDITION

Publisher: COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
(W/A) Lucy Knisley & Various (CA) Craig Thompson
An all-star, all-ages spectacular featuring the greatest in Kid’s Comics! Stand up for your right to read with some of your favorite characters, and a cavalcade of great cartoonists! Fantasy, humor, adventure and more – all about defending the books we love the most! Cover by Craig Thompson (Space Dumplins, Blankets)!
Rating: All Ages
Owly! Johnny Boo! Betty by Veronica! Spoilers! Michael Stipe!
If your comics shop doesn’t have this, check their booth at various cons (and make a donation at the same time!)

Z2 COMICS - Z2 COMICS LAB FCBD 2016Z2 COMICS LAB FCBD 2016 EDITION

Publisher: Z2 COMICS
(W/A) Ian McGinty & Various
Come one, come all, and read Z2’s first FCBD anthology featuring all of your favorite Z2 characters in stories revolving around comic books! Can Kit and friends survive being thrust into the worst comic of all time? Read an excerpt from Amazing Adventure #3 the first appearance of Francis Carver. All of these stories and more!
Rating: Teen
Who knew that Z2 published kid-friendly comics?
First we get Hyper Force Neo, battling a baddie at the local comics shop!
Then there’s a cool Welcome to Showside story, where they really get lost in a great comicbook!
Then there’s more adult fare in the back (well, Teen and up), ending with a story that’s short and sweet!


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