Free Comic Book Day 2021
Silver Sponsor Comics
Here are the Free Comic Book Day titles aimed at teens! Some is “teen”, some of it is “teen plus”. Some of these comics even have actual teenagers inside!
(W) Al Ewing, Rob Williams, Michael Carroll (A) Simon Fraser, John Higgins (A/CA) Caspar Wijngaard
2000 AD Presents All-Star Judge Dredd is a thrill-powered showcase of the past and shocking present of the iconic lawman of the future! Witness the birth of the world of Judge Dredd in an incendiary preview of upcoming prequel graphic novel Dreadnoughts by Michael Carroll with art by Watchmen’s John Higgins. Fan-favourite Judge Hershey travels to the ends of the earth to dispense her own brand of justice in long-anticipated blockbuster spin-off, Hershey: Disease by Rob Williams (Suicide Squad) and Simon Fraser (Doctor Who). Along-side these teases for Fall 2021 epics enjoy a bone-rattling all new stand-alone Dredd caper from elite writer Al Ewing (Immortal Hulk, Marvel’s Empyre) and Caspar Wijngaard (Star Wars, Home Sick Pilots)!
Three stories. The first is a decent stand-alone story about undercover Judges. Following that is a story about the Chief Judge (which I never considered), who has a terminal disease, but she’s travelling the world to fight corrupt Judges. Ending with “Dreadnoughts”, the origin story of the Judges, set in the not-too-distant future of 2035.
If you like dystopian futures with a bit of dark humor, give it a try. 2000AD has a long history of publishing interesting and entertaining science fiction comics!
(W) Kwanza Osajyefo (A) Matteo Pizzolo
Side A: “BLACK: Interlude” What else was going on the night Kareem Jenkins was shot by police and discovered only Black people have superpowers? Find out in this FCBD one-shot!
Side B: “CALEXIT: Hollywood Babylon” Once California refused to be ruled by the US government, its resistance fighters became overnight celebrities. Zora used her infamy for recruiting, but Emmie-X has other ideas.
Exclusive original content
Black tells the story of a world where only black people have superpowers. This story is a complete story that introduces the world, and the protagonist, and a racist President who is trying to change the power dynamic. Calexit is set in a California which declares itself a sanctuary state, with the federal government staging a military intervention. Both series have spinoffs, and explore interesting themes.
(W) Ivy Noelle Weir (A) Kelly Williams (CA) Andrea Mutti
Crewed by teenage geniuses frozen in cryosleep, the JEMISON is on a mission to terraform other worlds and provide hope for the human race. But when the ship is mysteriously stopped over a planet that isn’t on any of their maps, the crew finds themselves suddenly awoken ten years early. One half remains behind to try and assess the damage and the other is dispatched to the planet below to figure out the answer to a perilous question: What stopped the ship, and is it friend or foe?
This seems to be a reprinting of the first issue, and we’re given a good introduction to the plot and characters.
(W) Lewis Trondheim, Joann Sfar (A/CA) Boulet
The epic saga spoof of Dungeons & Dragons and an inspiration to the likes of Adventure Time, is back with a highly anticipated all-new volume in the height of Dungeon’s power coming in November!
In this preview: to reclaim the Dungeon that fell to the scheming William Delacour, the plan is simple: Marvin the dragon, Isis and Herbert the duck must find some magic ‘fugus purit’ and use it to dislodge the current occupants of the fortress. But is this really the Guardian’s plan? Our heroes will have to fight against everyone to save the Dungeon. Meanwhile, will Marvin succeed in his engagement blast-of-firebreath ‘Tong Deum’?
Wow. If you’re not familiar with Trondheim and Sfar, and like humorous, funny animal fantasy, definitely give this a try! Lots of volumes already available! There’s also a brief preview of Zombillenium, a theme park which employs the supernatural. Arthur de Pins deserves greater fame (and I’m waiting for NBM to translate Péchés Mignons).
(W) Emma Vieceli (A/CA) Claudia Leonardi
The comic adventures of Max, Chloe, and Rachel from the award-winning video game Life Is Strange continue in this exclusive lead-in to an epic new story arc! This FCBD special features the first comic book appearance of an all-new character who will feature heavily in the Life is Strange universe in 2021!
Exclusive Original Material
There’s a timeline/recap at the beginning of the comic, and the story kinda does the same thing, but I’m still not sure what’s going on. If you’re a fan of the video game, you’ll enjoy this?
(W) Al Ewing, Ram V. (A) Bryan Hitch
Free Comic Book Day is the perfect chance to dive deep into the Marvel Universe with new stories and exciting adventures alongside some of Marvel’s most acclaimed creators – and this year, Marvel is bringing you the biggest and boldest stories yet!
Starring Spider-Man and Venom!
Exclusive Original Material
A preview of the upcoming “Beyond” storyline in Amazing Spider-Man, as well as an update of Venom, plus a teaser of what’s to come in Daredevil. Plus a letter column chat between Devin (ha, almost typed “Devom”) Lewis and Nick Lowe slapping each other silly.
(W) Timothy Snyder (A) Nora King [sic]
A comic market exclusive excerpt from the upcoming graphic edition of historian Timothy Snyder’s bestselling book of lessons for surviving and resisting America’s arc toward authoritarianism, featuring the visual storytelling talents of renowned illustrator Nora Krug.
Nora Krug illustrates a textbook on how to fight, but it’s not really comics. That said, it makes the ideas more accessible. This sample has four lessons. (And I’ll probably take a look at his work listed in back.)
(W) Reiji Miyajima (A/CA) Reiji Miyajima
The official spinoff manga of Rent-A-Girlfriend, the rom-com turned hit anime, features fan-favorite Sumi, the shy girl longing to come out of her shell. Written and illustrated by original creator Reiji Miyajima! Catch up on the manga before Rent-A-Girlfriend returns for a second anime season, coming soon!
This preview is all from the point-of-view of Sumi, as she nervously navigates numerous challenges on her quest to enjoy an Angel French donut.
(W) J. Michael Straczynski (A) C. P. Smith (CA) Rahzzah
The Resistance takes an intimate look at a very special species of the super-human race known as The Reborn. Emily Kai is what is known as a “Moth.” She was granted immense power by the global pandemic known as “The Great Death,” but with a caveat: The moment she taps into the power that resides within her, a clock starts and Emily will have only six months to live. Granted the opportunity to bring immense beauty into the world, but only by paying the ultimate price, Emily embarks on a harrowing journey of self-discovery that will test her to her core and take her to places way beyond her wildest imagination.
Three stories. The Resistance is similar to Rising Stars, except these specials are underground and known to the general public, but also of interest to most governments. The Moth is less clear on the plot, but might read better once collected. Not All Robots is created by Mark Russell and Mike Deodato Jr., and features a future world destroyed by Mankind, and now under the control of robots. Recommended for readers looking for something different.
(W) Jeremy Whitley (A/CA) Jamie Noguchi
Jeremy Whitley (Princeless, My Little Pony) and Jamie Noguchi (Yellow Peril) return for another semester at The School for Extraterrestrial Girls. When secret government operatives discover young aliens hidden amongst us, they offer the teen illegal aliens a choice: deportation back to their homeworld or attend a special school that will help them fit in on Earth. For Tara Smith, life has gotten really complicated. Still recovering from discovering that she is from an alien reptilian race and her life up until recently was a big lie; dealing her feelings for her best friend, Misako; and adjusting to her recently revealed fire powers; all while her school is forced to relocate to an all (alien) boys school. Located on a hidden island in the Arctic north, the new campus has a mysteriously warm summer climate, a beautiful lake, and dozens of sinister mysteries (not to mention strange boys)! Romance, magic, self-discovery, and near-death experiences are all part of a regular school day at the displaced School for Extraterrestrial Girls.
Exclusive Original Material
The first chapter of the second volume, which recaps the first volume, and sets up the ongoing series.
(W) Chugong (A) DUBU
BASED ON THE HIT FANTASY NOVEL, EXPERIENCE THE WEBCOMIC THAT’S CAPTURED THE ATTENTION OF MILLIONS IN ALL OF ITS FULL-COLOR GLORY!
Known as the the Weakest Hunter of All Mankind, E-rank hunter Jinwoo Sung’s contribution to raids amounts to trying not to get killed. Unfortunately, between his mother’s hospital bills, his sister’s tuition, and his own lack of job prospects, he has no choice but to continue to put his life on the line. So when an opportunity arises for a bigger payout, he takes it…only to come face-to-face with a being whose power outranks anything he’s ever seen! With the party leader missing an arm and the only healer a quivering mess, can Jinwoo somehow find them a way out?
Not much to see in this preview, but it’s a decent start, explaining the situation.
(W) Jerome Alquie, Leiji Matsumoto (A/CA) Jerome Alquie
Preview the forthcoming full color, original “Space Pirate Captain Harlock” series from ABLAZE, personally overseen by the legendary Leiji Matsumoto! In this brand-new Captain Harlock adventure, planet Earth is threatened by an upcoming invasion by the Sylvidres and despite being banished as a pirate, Captain Harlock won’t give up trying to save the world. Will Captain Harlock and his crew manage to solve this mystery and save the Earth from yet another menace? Also includes teasers for 3 highly anticipated upcoming manga/manhwa releases from ABLAZE, including The Breaker Vol 1 omnibus (critically acclaimed martial arts manhwa), Versus Fighting Story Vol 1 (Capcom e-sports shonen manga) and Crueler Than Dead Vol 1 (zombie horror seinen manga).
Rating: Mature [Teen]
Beautiful color art, and a good introduction to the characters and plot.
(W) Shima Shinya, Justina Ireland, Jon Tsuei (A) Mizuki Sakakibara, Subaru
The High Republic: A massive, interconnected cross-publisher initiative focused on an all-new era of Star Wars storytelling. Centuries before the Skywalker saga, a new adventure begins …
Guardians of the Whills:
The Force is with me, and I am one with the Force.
– Chirrut mwe
Presiding over the Kyber Temple on Jedha, the Guardians of the Whills, Baze Malbus and Chirrut mwe, had hoped to maintain a peaceful balance despite the growing presence of the Empire in their Holy City. Yet they struggle to stay true to the Force as stormtroopers threaten to take over. When a rebel named Saw Gerrera appears offering them a chance to help Jedha, Baze and Chirrut must decide if they’re willing to compromise for peace, or if Saw’s plan is too dangerous to risk??
Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills introduces Baze and Chirrut before they meet the Rebellion members who turn the tide in the fight against the Empire in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Writer Jon Tsuei and manga artist Subaru bring the origin story of this fan favorite duo to life in a new manga adaptation based on the novel by Greg Rucka.
[Oops, somehow I didn’t grab a copy of this for review. But it’s Star Wars! You know what to expect.]
(W) Tony Fleecs (A) Brad Simpson, Tone Rodriguez (CA) Tony Fleecs (A/CA) Trish Forstner
For FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, a special expanded edition of the hit IMAGE series, STRAY DOGS!
Meet Sophie, a dog who can’t remember what happened. She doesn’t know how she ended up in this house. She doesn’t recognize any of these other dogs. She knows something terrible happened, but she just…can’t…recall…WAIT! Where’s her lady? This FCBD edition also features a BRAND NEW prologue, “That Doggie in the Window” the unnerving story of the very first dog to ever come to the Master’s house.
Exclusive Original Material
WOW. What if Cruella de Vil was a serial killer? What if the dogs were the “trophy” the serial killer collects? And what if this horrific story was told in the classic Don Bluth animation style?
(W) Matt Moylan (A) Udon (CA) Hanzo Steinbach
Street Fighter heads back to school, as the world’s young fighters flex both their academic and martial arts prowess! Fan favorites Sakura, Ibuki, Karin, Makoto, and Elena come face-to-face with a new challenger – the leather-clad, motorcycle-riding Akira! It’s a square-off of (rival) schools in this action-packed one-shot!
Exclusive Original Material
I’m not a fan of the franchise, but this “back to school special” is loads of fun!
(W) Dennis Hopeless, Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Jeff Parker, Cullen Bunn (A) Emilio Laiso, Javier Pulido, Jon Davis-Hunt (A/CA) Robbi Rodriguez
This Fall, jump on board here as VALIANT UPRISING overthrows the status quo with new titles, new creators, and new takes on Valiant’s most iconic characters! The VALIANT UPRISING FCBD SPECIAL features:
A brand new X-O MANOWAR story from Harvey Award-winning writer Dennis Hopeless and breakout star Emilio Laiso. It’s the perfect jumping-on point as Valiant’s flagship hero prepares to “Upgrade the World”!
Then, get a special advance preview of THE HARBINGER #1, an all-new series from co-writers Jackson Lanzing and Colin Kelly join superstar artist Robbi Rodriguez that promises to take Valiant’s psiot rebel in a vivid new direction!
Plus, find out how the world’s greatest spy responds to being unmasked, hunted, and trapped in a first look at NINJAK #1, the pulse-pounding thrill ride from Ringo Award-winning writer Jeff Parker and legendary artist Javier Pulido.
Finally, get a sneak peek from writer Cullen Bunn and artist Jon Davis-Hunt of what’s to come when SHADOWMAN returns!
Exclusive Original Material
I never got into the Valiant superhero universe (aside from the mostly self-contained Archer & Armstrong). The Ninjak preview has an interesting art style, but nothing here intrigues me.
(W) Christopher Priest (A) Ergun Gunduz (CA) Alex Ross
In July 1969, the world was first introduced to Vampirella. 50 years later, she doesn’t look a day older!!!! As we near the big conclusion of Vampi’s gold anniversary this fall, join us in looking back at how the celebration started as we re-present Vampirella #1 by the acclaimed team of Christopher Priest and Ergun Gunduz! It all began here, and as we near the end, it’s time to revisit!
Vampirella visits a psychiatrist, who doesn’t believe she’s an extraterrestrial vampire. Oh, and we meet Vampi’s mother.
(W) Charlie Stickney (A/CA) Conor Hughes
Welcome to White Ash, a small smudge of a town in western Pennsylvania, where mining is a generational calling and the secrets are buried deeper than the coal in the mountain. And the biggest of those secrets is that elves and dwarves live hidden among the town’s population.
Join us as we journey back to White Ash, ahead of the season 2 launch. Alex, fresh off finding out he comes from a family of dwarves plans a secret romantic rendezvous in the woods with Lillian the elf… or not so secret as their meeting is witnessed by a young couple with dire results.
This issue also contains an introduction to The Game, including a QR-code. There’s also an intro to Stake Presents: Jessamy, a vampire assassin sent to late 18th Century America.
(W) Don McGregor, Mike Wolfer, Various (A) Vincenzo Carratu, Allen Martinez, Various (CA) Miriana Puglia
Welcome to the Worlds Of Zorro! American Mythology is proud to publish the adventures of Zorro! The worldwide recognized hero is returning with a brand-new tale by legendary Black Panther writer Don McGregor! This Free Comic Book Day issue previews “Flights” by McGregor, Zorro’s horror adventures from Swords of Hell, and his classic swashbuckling from Legendary Adventures! Find out the latest from the Masked Avenger and discover a world of heroic adventure coming out monthly from American Mythology! Let Free Comic Book Day introduce you to the must-read series of 2021 right here!
Zorro fights the supernatural, thieves posing as soldiers, and a dragon, all in different series.
Free Comic Book Day 2021 is this Saturday, August 14th.