Thursday, May 10, 2012

Free Comic Book Day

I went to Free Comic Book Day on Saturday and made a few discerning choices.  Ok, some were discerning.  Others were just to see what's going on in Marvel and DC.  So here's what I picked-up and what I thought of them.

Vertigo Preview 2012 was the weakest offering of the bunch.  That may have to do with the fact that it wasn't actually a Free Comic Book Day offering.  It was just a preview that was published earlier, but it was out with the stuff for the day, so I'm including it.  Besides, I didn't see anything else for Vertigo for the occasion.  It's like an inverse relationship to the quality of Vertigo books.  The problem for me was that it was previews for Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child, Fairest, The New Deadwardians, and Saucer Country.  All four of them came out in March and are already on to their second issue as of April.  A preview of books that are already out is putting the cart before the horse or closing the barnd door after the horse has escaped.  Pick your equine analogy.  I've been buying three of the books.  They're all good but I don't think Dominique Laveau is good enough to last much longer on my list.  I would have liked an actually FCBD offering for Vertigo.

Spider-man: Season One is the Marvel selection I chose.  Still have a fondness for Spidey.  It's a retelling of the Spider-man origin, set in a modern era.  I liked Peter's fear of further mutation into something hideous as an addition, and Uncle Ben being something of a rogue was a nice touch, too, but this is something I know by heart already and I'm not likely to buy.

For DC I went with The New 52.  This was a bit confusing, but I parsed out eventually that it was a preview for the second wave books, Earth 2, GI Combat, Batman Inc, Dial H for Hero, The Ravagers, and Huntress and Power Girl.  Mostly its a jumble of things that are too brief to get a handle on what's going on in the overall story.  I did like the new Power Girl costume.  It's good to see the boob window go by the wayside.  But none of this is really grabbing me.  Dial H looked to have some new ideas that make it the most likely.  Earth 2 is intriguing mostly for those immersed in DC lore and looking to see what's different between this Earth on the main Earth.

Image didn't give their offering a title.  It's just Free Comic Book Day 2012.  The stories in it are from G-Man, Guarding the Globe, Crime and Terror, Revival, It-Girl and the Atomics, and Near Death.  Topping it off were full page ads for Epic Kill, Mind the Gap, Dancer, and Youngblood.  Some of the offerings, like Revival, are entirely new offerings.  Others, like Guarding the Globe and It-Girl, are new offerings of existing or ongoing concepts.  There's a wide variety in the sampling and something most everyone will like.  It's a good effort at getting maximum exposure for your lesser known works.

The Dark Horse choice for me was Serenity on one half and Star Wars and Alabaster in the other half.  I was impressed with how well the Serenity story captured the feel of the show, Firefly.  I'm not usually impressed with comic adaptations of movies or TV but this had the inflections and cadence of the show.  Didn't hurt having Fabio Moon on the art, either, but Zack Whedon wrote Josh Wedon's show very well.   Nothing much to say on the Star Wars bit, which was an amusing one off with Han Solo and Chewbaca.  The Alabaster story looked interesting.  It's written by Kaitlin R. Kiernan and I'll be keeping an eye out for it.

Red 5 Comics featured its best known book, Atomic Robo, in a funny story involving an alliance of our hero with Dr Dinosaur.  Any story with Dr Dinosaur is bound to be funny.  I was more happy to see a preview for a new NeoZoic story.  The first was very good but it's been a long time since it ended.  The third and final story in the book was a Bonnie Lass tale.  I've never read that one and it seemed a bit good girl in the ads I'd seen, but it was better than expected.  I don't know if it's good enough to buy, but I enjoyed this brief story that previews a return of the lead character's father.

Lastly, and far from least, was the Archaia Entertainment offering.  This is actually a small hard cover book, clearly aimed at young readers.  It goes so far as having a space on the inside cover for the owner to write his or her name, as children's books of old did.  The lead, fittingly, is Mouse Guard, with a new story that may be my favorite puppet show.  In addition are Labyrinth, Return of the Dapper Men, Rust, Cursed Pirate Girl, and Cow Boy.  All of them are very good.  All have intriguing ideas.  Best of all, all are stories that are aimed at young readers who should find these very interesting, which is the whole point, in my opinion, of Free Comic Book Day.  They also all prove that stories aimed at young readers can be very good stories for old readers like me.  Quality wins through, regardless of the target audience.

1 comment:

  1. I dropped Voodoo Child, I found it unreadable with issue #2. I seldom drop a Vertigo book.