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Free Comic Book Day 2015: Read It Or Leave It? Part Two: Silver Titles, Part One

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Silver sponsors are titles which are optional for stores to order.

Not all stores will have the following titles, and many that do will probably order smaller quantities.

Please remember that stores pay for these free copies, so be sure to check out the cool merchandise while you visit, and maybe buy a comic or t-shirt!


FCBD 2015 2000 AD SPECIAL

Publisher: REBELLION / 2000AD
(W) Matt Smith & Various (A) Norm Breyfogle & Various
The galaxy’s greatest Eisner-nominated SF anthology returns to Free Comic Book Day with a 48 page zarjaz line-up of stories. In Through the Out Door, a brand new story from Matt Smith and Norm Breyfogle, Judge Dredd uses the iron fist of the law to settle a block dispute; in 3000 AD some jobs are murder, as proved by The Traveller from Mick McMahon; galactic frontiersman Ajax Bloodthirsty meets his match on the astronomical object of oblivion known as the Death Rock in a new tale from Ben Willsher and Barry Krishna; the Grand Master of Termight is sickened to find that his final resting place has been defiled by the legendary alien freedom fighter, Nemesis the Warlock in Tomb of Torquemada  by Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill; wizened master of the occult, Doctor Sin returns to pass on his mantle (and battle a demon) in Don’t Call It A Comeback by Rob Williams and Luca Pizzari; pilot of the future, Dan Dare, discovers an alien satellite in Star Slayer by Dave Gibbons and Gerry-Finley Day; Celtic warrior Sláine acquaints more enemies with his axe in A Simple Killing by Pat Mills and Simon Davis; Judge Dredd upholds the law in some classic Dredd newspaper strips by John Wagner, Alan Grant and Ron Smith; and Prepare your mind to be melted by Tharg’s Alien Invasions from supreme craz-o-naut Henry Flint.If this wasn’t enough each strip comes with a FREE digital story attached!
Rating: Teen+
Wow!  What a stellar bang!  This is just like the weekly comic, with a variety of stories! Unfortunately, Norm Breyfogle suffered a stroke, so the lead story was reassigned. And as the summary above states, there are free digital comics available!  Just scan the Q-codes!

FCBD 2015 AVENGERS #1

Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
WHAT BETTER WAY TO CELEBRATE FREE COMIC BOOK DAY THEN BY ASSEMBLING EARTH’S MIGHTIEST-AND MOST POPULAR-HEROES?!
Iron Man! Captain America! Thor! Black Widow! Hawkeye! Hulk! Vision! Everyone’s favorite heroes take on a dangerous new threat!
Rating: All-Ages
They left out “Mark Waid!”  Judging from the advertising blurbs, this is part of the new Marvel Universe?  Part of Battleworld?  Doesn’t matter.  We have the camouflaged Spidey, Ms. Marvel, and teen Nova are on the Avengers, partnering with “Crystal” Iron Man (“Sam”?), Lady Thor, Vision, and the new Captain America.  Fun stuff!
The backup story is from the Uncanny Inhumans.  Beautiful artwork!  The story is a nice tone-piece, explaining the Terrigen cloud that is turning ordinary humans into Inhumans.  I’m a bit confused by some of the social dynamics, but I’m sure that will be detailed in the ongoing series.
There’s also a short preview of “Max Ride: First Flight”, and a two-page ad for the Disney Kingdoms titles.
My advice?  Grab this instead of the Secret Wars prologue.

FCBD 2015 AND THEN EMILY WAS GONE (MR)

Publisher: COMIXTRIBE
(W) John Lees (A) Iain Laurie (CA) Ryan Stegman
A chilling prelude to the cult horror sensation, And Then Emily Was Gone!  Bonnie Shaw is a terrifying creature of Scottish folklore who would grant parents their hearts’ desire… in exchange for their child.  Young Billy McTaggart has nothing to fear from Ol’ Bonnie, as his mother and father love him, don’t they?  DON’T THEY?! Featuring a cover by superstar artist Ryan Stegman (Inhumans, Wolverine.)
Rating: Mature Readers
Horror’s not my thing, and I wasn’t really shocked by the cover story.  It doesn’t explain who “Bonnie Shaw” is, as told in the above solicitation, so it’s just a simple bogeyman story.  If that that been explained, perhaps it would have had more depth.
The solicitation also omits the Oxymoron prologue story, where he sets about time traveling to “muck about”.  If I come across the trade later, I’ll give it a read.  Think “Deadpool meets Quantum Leap by way of Doctor Who”.

FCBD 2015 BODIE TROLL & FRIENDS

Publisher: RED 5 COMICS
(W/A/CA) Jay P. Fosgitt
With a mix of playfully irreverant humor, attention-grabbing art and incredible heart, BODIE TROLL is a perfect first comic to give to a non-comic-reader of any age. In an all-new exclusive adventure, things turn ugly for cute BODIE TROLL when he gets hijacked into that most agonizing of events – a little girl’s tea party! Plus, an all-new adventure from the world of DRONE and previews of 2015 Red 5 favorites and new faces.
Rating: All-Ages
Bodie gets drunk!  (On root beer, so it’s okay.)  Seriously… after you read this, you’ll want to buy the trade!  Jay P. Fosgitt is a master of cartooning, on a level with Jeff Smith.  Humor, amazing figure drawing…  you almost wish it were a cartoon, but this is better, because you can linger over every panel at your leisure!
Oh… right…. there are two more stories!  “Drone” sets up an interesting premise…the military uses remote-controlled robot soldiers. The main protagonist is a gamer, not a soldier, and thus the misfit of the squad. This looks promising.  Also, “Creature Academy” has nice art, but the story is a bit lacking.

FCBD 2015 CAPTAIN CANUCK

Publisher: CHAPTER HOUSE PUBLISHING, INC
(W/A) Kalman Andrasofszky & Various
  Captain Canuck is a hero born in battle, tested in war, and granted the choice of how to use his incredible powers and advanced technology, which could alter the fate of the world.Tom Evans is a brave but troubled Canadian soldier. When he and his brother Michael gain superpowers from an alien artifact, they both must work through a lifetime of differences to ensure their gifts are used for the betterment of all humankind. Thrust into battle by Equilibrium, a fledgling intervention agency, Tom must find his way as figurehead and hero Captain Canuck to save humanity- and his brother’s soul- from the machinations of Mr. Gold… and even more dangerous forces that lurk in the shadows.The complete reboot of the classic comic book hero featuring words and art by Kalman Andrasofszky, George Freeman and Ed Brisson, premieres with #0 on FCBD and the ongoing monthly later in May 2015. Don’t miss out!
Rating: All-Ages
One of TWO Canadian comics this year!  Here, Captain Canuck, forgotten hero of Canada, is re-imagined for a new generation.  He’s got powers, but nobody else has, so he’s a special ops agent for the Canadian (?) government. A good start to what looks like an interesting series.

FCBD 2015 CBLDF DEFEND COMICS

Publisher: COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
(W/A) Various (CA) Dean Trippe
For over 25 years, the CBLDF has fought to protect your right to read, and that crusade continues with this light-hearted look at a serious topic. Defend Comics is a sampler of the great YA comics available, and explores the censorship of comics with some of today’s most talented creators!
Writers on Defend Comics include Andi Watson, Gene Yang, George O’Connor, Dan Parent, Larry Marder and Jorge Aguirre, with art by Watson, Sonny Liew, O’Connor, Parent, Marder, and Rafael Rosado.
Stories include “The Green Turtle Fights for Free Speech!” by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew, “Rabbids!,” “Princess Decompsia and Count Spatula” by Andi Watson, “Beanworld” by Larry Marder, “Archie Presents Kevin Keller” by Dan Parent, “Giants Beware!” by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado, and “A Tale of the Olympians: The Ears of King Midas” by George O’Connor.
Rating: All-Ages
Only the Archie story is a bit preachy (which is okay).  The rest nicely express the themes of the CBLDF.  I want to read more Princess Decomposia stories!  (And Beanworld, of course, but it’s worth the wait!)

FCBD 2015 COMICS FESTIVAL

Publisher: COMICS FESTIVAL
(W/A) Various
  It’s a Comics Festival! Continuing the tradition of featuring all-new short stories by some of the greatest comics creators in Canada! A wonderful showcase for existing and forthcoming comics & graphic novels! Here’s who’s inside:
* Cover by Isabelle Arsenault (Jane, The Fox, and Me).
* Back Cover by Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy, Teen Boat)
Plus:
* Lady’s Favor, by Kate Beaton (Hark, A Vagrant)
* The Boss, by Mariko Tamaki (Skim, This One Summer) and Gillian Goerz
* In Real Life: Con Game, by Cory Doctorow (Little Brother) and Jen Wang (Koko Be Good).
* Once Upon a Pony, by Svetlana Chmakova (Nightschool)
* Superhero Girl: The Death of Kevin, by Faith Erin Hicks (Friends with Boys)
* Costume Quest, by Zac Gorman (Magical Game Time)
Rating: Teen+
The other Canadian comic, sponsored by the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (being held next week!)
Lots of good stuff in this one, for everyone!

FCBD 2015 DARK HORSE ALL AGES AVATAR PVZ BANDETTE

Publisher: DARK HORSE COMICS
(W) Gene Luen Yang, Paul Tobin (A) Carla Speed McNeil & Various (CA) Carla Speed McNeil
All-ages action, fantasy, and humor! All-new stories that make great entry points to new worlds! Gene Luen Yang and Carla Speed McNeil deliver an Avatar: The Last Airbender adventure! Dr. Zomboss and Crazy Dave clash in a new Plants vs. Zombies battle! And the crafty Bandette stars in a tale of her own!
Rating: All-Ages
Sweet Kirby Krackle!  Check out that talent!  Four Eisner Award winners (among other literary honors)!  Zombies! Plants! Avatars! Thieves!  And I haven’t even seen the book yet!
Okay… I read the book.  Avatar has a nice story, and we learn something new about Ty Lee!
PvZ is mindless fun.  (Get it?  Brrrraiiinns, Mindless.  Thank you, I’ll be here all night, try the tartare.)
Bandette is charming, if a bit unrepentant.  Go read the books now!

FCBD 2015 GFT WONDERLAND SPECIAL EDITION ONE SHOT (MR)

Publisher: ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC
  Someone’s up to their old tricks in Wonderland and it’s up to Callie, the White Queen, to stop them! Nothing is ever as it seems in the dark, twisted, nightmare world of Wonderland, and the madness never stops reaching out to Callie’s friends and foes alike. Is there a traitor in the White Queen’s court?
Rating: Mature
Here’s the thing with Zenescope… the covers, whether sexy or horrific, generally do not reflect the content inside the books.  Apparently the Dodgsons and Liddles both have a connection to Wonderland, and this issue sums up all of what has transpired so far.
See also: Hatter M.

FCBD 2015 GRAPHIX SPOTLIGHT CLEOPATRA IN SPACE

Publisher: GRAPHIX
(W/A/CA) Mike Maihack
When a young Cleopatra (yes, that Cleopatra) finds a mysterious tablet that zaps her to the far, really far future, she learns of an ancient prophecy that says she is destined to save the galaxy from the tyrannical rule of the evil Xaius Octavian.
Rating: All-Ages
Remember those delightful Batgirl and Supergirl webcomics?  He has another series, published by Scholastic!  Full of adventure, fun, and the usual problems ancient Egyptian royalty have fitting in.
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FCBD 2015 GRONK AND FRIENDS

Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT
(W/A/CA) Katie Cook
Gronk is a monster…and not a very good one!  Follow Gronk’s continuing adventures as she learns about the world around her from her “teacher”, Dale, in this all-new Gronk story from fan favorite Katie Cook!
Rating: All-Ages
Adorable!
Hero Cats of Stellar City is intriguing.  One is a space alien stranded on Earth.  Another is a member of a family which includes a superhero. The rest…fight crime?  Nice art, and the conflict is set up well.
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FCBD 2015 HATTER M LOVE OF WONDER

Publisher: AUTOMATIC PICTURES
(W) Frank Beddor, Liz Cavalier (A) Sami Makkonen (CA) Vincent Proce
Looking Glasses shatter as heroes and villains from Wonderland arrive to aid or block Hatter in his quest to find Alyss. Hatter’s reunion with his brother Dalton leads to an epic showdown as savior meets assassin in the struggle for Wonderland’s future!
Rating: Teen
Alyss is getting married to Prince Leopold.  But, she’s also a Queen of Wonderland, and various factions are trying to fetch her back.  Alas, Alyss thinks it all a dream, until her wedding at Westminster is so rudely interrupted.

FCBD 2015 HIP HOP FAMILY TREE 3-IN-1 FEATURING COSPLAYERS (MR)

Publisher: FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS
(W) Ed Piskor, Dash Shaw (A) Ed Piskor & Various (CA) Ed Piskor
  Featuring Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree series and Dash Shaw’s Cosplayers! Piskor’s half features excerpts from all three existing HHFT volumes, plus the Rob Liefeld/Spike Lee commercial adaptation and exclusive pinups by R Crumb, Scottie Young, Jim Rugg, Ben Marra, and more…! Shaw’s side delivers an all-new, 24-page issue of his thoughtful and funny exploration of human endeavor and social interaction as seen through the lives of two cosplayers. Enjoy the works of two of the great contemporary graphic novelists of their generation! With exclusive wraparound cover by Piskor.
Rating: Teen+
Wow.  Excerpts from volumes 1, 2, and 3, mostly featuring Rick Rubin.  Also appearing: Russell Simmons, Ladies Love Cool James!
But wait…
Howabout pinups by Skottie Young, R. Crumb, Marra, and Jim Ruff?  Not enough?  How about Rob Liefeld and Spike Lee?
Not enough?  Sheesh.  Okay…  I know what will get you to read this!
Dash Shaw doing comics about cosplayers!  (And just because you were so reticent…JACK KIRBY!)

FCBD 2015 ICE BAYOU BLACKOUT

Publisher: 12 GAUGE COMICS LLC
(W) Doug Wagner, Ron Marz (A) Daniel Hillyard, Nelson Blake (CA) Jason Pearson
When a group of Chechen mercenaries attacks New Orleans, I.C.E. agents Cole and Ezra must stop them before they can complete their mission to destroy a main hub of the US power grid! To keep these murdering psychopaths from achieving their goal, Cole must let go of his fear and unleash his true self. As an added bonus, this FCBD issue includes an extended preview of the next installment of critically acclaimed anthology The Ride, from writer Ron Marz and artist Nelson Blake!
Rating: Teen
This is a prologue to an ongoing series.  Nice dialogue, but it doesn’t grab me.  What’s the conflict?  I don’t know these characters.  Once again, the solicitation text seen above doesn’t appear in the comic, and the preview doesn’t set up the bigger storyline.  (Don’t feel bad, 12 Gauge, Marvel made the same mistake with their Secret War comics.)
The backup story, part of The Ride series, tells a nice “devil at the crossroads” story in black-and-white with some crazy zipatone!  No explanation about the series itself, not even in the advertising.

FCBD 2015 JOJOS BIZARRE ADVENTURE AND YU GI OH

Publisher: VIZ MEDIA LLC
(W/A) Hirohiko Araki, Kazuki Takahashi
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, from Hirohiko Araki, is a groundbreaking manga famous for its outlandish characters, wild humor and frenetic battles. A multigenerational tale of the heroic Joestar family and their never-ending battle against evil! Yu-Gi-Oh! by Kazuki Takahashi tells the story of 10th grader Yugi, a game obsessed kid who one day solves the “Millennium Puzzle”, an Egyptian artifact that holds the spirit of a master gambler from the age of the Pharoahs! Possessed by the puzzle, Yugi becomes Yu-Gi-Oh, the King of Games, and battles evildoers in the Shadow Games… weird games with high stakes and high risks!
Rating: Teen
Yes, that’s Manga artwork above.  While the artwork is atypical for Japanese comics (produced in 1986), the story seems to deal with lots of the fighting of evil.  I have no idea who any of these people are, or why I should seek out the trades.
The Yu-Gi-Oh backup is a nice stand-alone story.

FCBD 2015 JURASSIC STRIKE FORCE 5 ONE SHOT

Publisher: ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC
This is the prequel issue to Silver Dragon Books’ All-Ages hit series featuring Earth’s Original heroes!
The evil Zalex has returned to shatter Earth’s peace with his army of mutated dino-soldiers. Now the Jurassic Strike Force 5 will be called into action to stop Zalex’s evil plan!
Rating: All-Ages
A nice young readers series involving dinosaurs with guns.  Overall, the story is fun, the artwork interesting, and how can you go wrong with a villain named Doctor Terror?
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FCBD 2015 KODANSHA COMICS SAMPLER

Publisher: KODANSHA COMICS
(W/A) Various (CA) Hajime Isayama
If you aren’t reading Attack on Titan, you’re missing out on the biggest manga and anime phenomenon to sweep the world in years. But don’t worry, now you have the chance to see what all the fuss is about with an excerpt from the first volume, along with samples from other top manga series, including Fairy Tail, The Seven Deadly Sins, Noragami, and more!
Rating: Teen+
A sampler.  I like Vinland Empire, which is viking manga.  (Nicely rendered.)
Inuyashiki is a story about an old man who develops superpowers.  Seinen?  Worth a read when it gets published.

FCBD 2015 LADY JUSTICE

Publisher: SUPER GENIUS
(W) C. J. Henderson (A) Daniel Brereton & Various (CA) Michael Netzer & Various
Back in print for the first time in two decades! Lady Justice FCBD edition reprints issue #1 of Neil Gaiman’s lost comics classic.
Rating: Teen+
The teen imprint for Papercutz, Super Genius offers Lady JusticeMr. HeroTeknophage, and WWE Superstars.
Lady Justice was created by Neil Gaiman, but produced by other talent.  Tekno is still around, according to the copyright.  Worth a read if you like vengeful superheroes.

FCBD 2015 LEGENDARY COMICS SAMPLER

Publisher: LEGENDARY COMICS
Working with industry-leading talent such as Grant Morrison, Frazer Irving, Matt Wagner, Simon Bisley, Judd Winick, Geoff Shaw, Jonathan Hennessey and Shane Davis, we’ve created an ever-growing library of thrilling sagas including Annihilator, Epochalypse, A Town Called Dragon, The Harvester, The Tower Chronicles: DreadStalker and more, alongside cinematic tie-ins such as Godzilla: Awakening and the best-selling Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero. Join us this Free Comic Book Day as we unveil an exclusive first look at the exciting next chapter of Legendary Comics
Rating: Teen+
UGH.  A catalog.

FCBD 2015 MARCH GRAND PRIX

Publisher: CAPSTONE PRESS
(W/A/CA) Kean Soo
A Free Comic Book Day 2015 sneak peek of the new, turbo-charged graphic novel by Kean Soo, author of the award-winning series JELLABY! March Hare wants to be the fastest and furriest racecar driver around. But first, this rabbit racer must prove his skills at the speedway, on the streets, and in the desert. With pedal-to-the-metal illustrations and full-throttle action, MARCH GRAND PRIX is sure to be a winner! Featuring a full tank of bonus materials: creator Q & A, pinup art, and much more.
Rating: All-Ages
A fun title!  Animals racing!

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