Beard: Free Comic Book Day offers treasure trove of titlesWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the past decade of its existence, Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) has grown from a fun comic shop event on the first Saturday of every May to a golden opportunity for comic book companies to put out instant collectors’ items. This year is no different as a treasure trove of titles for all ages awaits casual readers and die-hard fans alike at their local comics emporiums.
Marvel Comics has produced an FCBD book that not only previews its upcoming Infinity summer storyline with an all-new original tale, but also shoves the villainous Thanos all up in your face once more. He’s the big purple dude at the end of last year’s “Avengers” film and he’ll be sitting pretty at Infinity’s core. Marvel’s free book features some gorgeous art by Jim Cheung as well as a 1977 Thanos reprint and an exclusive look at a new, upcoming Avengers graphic novel.
Image Comics was also wise to wrest a brand-new Walking Dead story from the regular comic book creative team of Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard for its FCBD offering. Now, this isn’t the TV series continuity, but it is a cool story featuring Tyreese and Michonne and will most likely be a hot commodity for followers of the comic as well as admirers of the TV show. Oh, and it’s in black and white, which is normal for the comic, so don’t think your copy’s defective.
Papercutz is offering new Smurfs stories in their free book — although that means new to the United States; the stories were originally only available in Europe. Dark Horse jumps on the bandwagon with an original Star Wars story that comes with a flip-the-book-over tale of Avatar: the Last Airbender.
Strangely, major publisher DC Comics has only reprints for FCBD this year. Their Superman offering is an existing tale from a few years back, intended to promote the upcoming “Man of Steel” film. What’s odd is that they too, like Marvel, have a huge summer storyline — called Trinity War — that they might have previewed, but in lieu of that they’re offering only old inventory. They also have a DC Nation Super Sampler based on their cartoons “Beware the Batman” and “Teen Titans Go,” a move echoed by other publishers who are offering FCBD books of the Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob SquarePants. All these and more are available free on May 4 at Toledo’s comic shops for your enjoyment and edification.