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!
Publisher: REBELLION / 2000AD(W) Paul EnsForty-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.
Publisher: TITAN COMICS(W) Anthony Del & Various (A) Wellington Alves & VariousEnter 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!
Publisher: KODANSHA COMICS(W/A) Various (CA) Hajime IsayamaTitans 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!
Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT(W) Susan Beneville (A/CA) Brian HessIn 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
Publisher: DARBY POP(W) Shannon Lee, Jeff Kline (A) Brandon McKinney, Zac Atkinson (CA) Bernard ChangBruce 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
Publisher: MARVEL COMICSSteve 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!
Publisher: COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND(W/A) Lucy Knisley & Various (CA) Craig ThompsonAn 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
Publisher: Z2 COMICS(W/A) Ian McGinty & VariousCome 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!
I’ve been writing for The Beat since July of 2010.
I’ve been reading comics since 1974, collecting since 1984, and spreading the graphic novel gospel since 1994.
I’m a bookseller, a librarian, an amateur scholar, a cool uncle, and a comics evangelist.
Ask me anything!