Earlier this week I wrote about the adventures that were had on Free Comic Book Day. Now I’m going to talk about the free comics I picked up. I managed to grab 12 of the comics that were being offered.
One thing that stuck out to me was the different approaches that Marvel and DC took. Both companies had movies to promote through the free books and that’s just what they did. DC published the Green Lantern Special Edition. This special issue reprinted an issue of the Green Lantern story; Secret Origin, which has had an influence on the Green Lantern film. Along with the reprint the book had a preview of the Flashpoint. I would have preferred to have had a new story, but I can completely understand why they reprinted this issue of Green Lantern. Free Comic Book Day is about bringing in new readers and this issue was a good intro to Green Lantern.
Across the street Marvel published Captain America/Thor: The Mighty Fighting Avengers. This book showed off both of the title characters of the Marvel films this summer. It was an all-new story that was all ages friendly. I really enjoyed the story, but it seemed kind of strange to me that the story was essentially the next issue in a cancelled series; Thor the Mighty Avenger. The book did what it was supposed to do and it was a very solid read.
Marvel also put out a special issue of the Amazing Spider-Man. It was just like getting an extra issue of ASM this month and it was free. How cool is that?! Very, the answer is very. It was a fun story that you didn’t need to read in case you missed the issue, but it adds something to the overall story. The book also brought potential new readers up to speed fairly quickly. After the Spider-Man story there were a couple pages of Fear Itself issue 1. Not only did they promote one of their main characters, they stuck in a plug for their big event. Marvel managed to give exposure to everything that they needed to and managed to keep their current readers happy by putting out new content.
Now that the Big Two are out of the way I can look at the offerings from the indies. Dark Horse published the Baltimore/Criminal Macabre flipbook. I’m not hugely familiar with what Dark Horse puts out and I had never heard of either of the two titles in this comic. After reading this I’m interested in checking out both Baltimore and Criminal Macabre. Good job Dark Horse, you informed me about two different comics and made me want to read more of both of them.
For the past couple of years Aspen has been putting out samplers of their titles on FCBD and this year was no different. World of Aspen: 2011 showed me what I already knew; Aspen has pretty art. I’ve never really been interested in anything by Aspen, but after reading the preview I kind of want to see how Lady Mechanica is and that’s saying a lot seeing how steampunk stuff makes me want to punch myself in the head many, many times. Aspen did a good job of showing off what they’re publishing, but the looks at each book weren’t long enough to leave a lasting impact in my mind.
Last year Oni Press launched their hit series, The Sixth Gun, on Free Comic Book Day. This year they were hoping lightning would strike twice when they put out the first issue of their new series; Spontaneous. The book was an entertaining enough read, but I probably won’t be buying the rest of the series. This book could get lost in the shuffle of the indie comic scene, but this free issue might get it enough readers to make it pretty successful.
Coming Later This Week: I’ve made it through six of the comics grabbed and I’ve got six more to go. Look for part two of my thoughts on the comics of FCBD 2011 very soon.