On the other hand...FREE COMICS!

If you don’t recognize the special guest star in panel 4, click on the comic. The comic tells all.

So yesterday was Free Comic Book Day, when all good little boys and girls get free comic books (and maybe buy some, which actually was happening at my local store). Naturally, I went up (although this year it was after work, since my boss doesn’t understand the importance of getting free comic books) and brought a few home, including one for a friend of mine. Instead of news links, I will be bringing you some quick shot reviews of the comics, since it’s not like you can get most of them now anyway. 🙂

For fans of my “This Week’s Cracked” links, I won’t be doing those today. But I will post a bunch of them tomorrow, because my folder has too many URL shortcuts in it right now. Of course, we will have the Best Scene at the end of the article, featuring the stuff I paid for last week. So let’s get on with it.

I’m going to post links to ComiXology (despite the site going down on me while trying to write this article–just a warning) so you can see the covers. I won’t get a decent format trying to post the covers here.

  • Fraggle Rock/Mouse Guard (Archana): This is the one I picked up for my Fraggle-loving friend. Luckily, knowing I wasn’t going to be up there until the afternoon, I asked the awesome ones of my comic store to put my choices aside. I don’t usually mention where I go because I fear stalkers (ego moment), but Legend of Superheroes in Middlebury is the best comic store I’ve ever gone to, and recommend it to anyone in the area (just over the Watertown line). This comic was all gone by the time I got up there, and people were still looking for it. I don’t know if figures are released for FCBD comics, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case all over.
  • The Fraggle Stories aren’t from the first issue, but original tales that find Goober trying to be a Doozer and Red trying to come with an art contest entry. The flip side is David Petersen’s Mouse Guard, and while the story itself isn’t all that intriguing, it does make you more curious about the series, so at least the FCBD mission is accomplished. It has some beautiful artwork.
  • Atomic Robo (Red 5): I actually briefly met Brian Crevanger at ConnectiCon last year, but we didn’t discuss much. It was at a webcomics panel that I missed the first half of. But I had heard about Atomic Robo, was curious to check it out, never could make room in the comic budget, and missed last year’s FCBD comic. This year they had it, and it looks like a lot of fun. I may have to look into it. This story has Robo and his teammates looking for extinct birds…who find them first. The backup stories included Neozoic, a story set in a world where the dinosaurs didn’t die out before humans arrived. Box 13, which I don’t have a link for because ComiXology is kind of down at this writing, started life as a iPhone exclusive but will soon see print. Neozoic looks interesting enough, but not enough to fit into my budget. Box 13 really does nothing for me, but it looks well done.
  • Iron Man/Nova (Marvel): For some reason, solicits and the indicta refer to this comic as Iron Man: Supernova, but that’s not even the story title, or what it says on the cover. This is what used to be a “Marvel Adventures” story, set in the Super Heroes comic universe, as the Red Ghost tries to get his super apes back. Joining Iron Man and Nova is Igor, the shapeshifting ape who has decided he wants to be a good guy. (We have better candy.) I rather liked it. The back-up is a Super Hero Squad story that appeared in that title already. It has the Hulk being a jerk by destroying a machine Iron Man created to repair everything in the ship that Hulk smashes. This I didn’t like so much.
  • Iron Man/Thor (Marvel again): Another Iron Man comic? You’d think there was a movie coming out or something. Actually, this is probably to promote Matt Fraction’s taking on of both the Iron Man and Thor comics. It also shows off the new armor design. The story itself, where an effort to terraform the moon is causing havoc on Earth, is actually pretty good, as is the art. The problem is the same one I had when I reviewed the freebie copy of Invincible Iron Man #1 some time ago–politics. There’s actually a line where some guy goes “we’re rich, we have more rights than you”. Also, Tony invented the machine in order to terraform Mars, but in order to sell it he showed it off as a weapon? What? Then Iron Man and Thor just…leave. I don’t think they even destroyed the machine, much less convinced anyone not to build another one. Mr “we have more rights than you” doesn’t care about the Earth. It could have been a great comic, but there’s just too much stupid sewn into the details.
  • DC Kids Mega Sampler 2010 (DC): As advertised, a sampler of DC Kids titles. Most of them seem to be from other comic, however. The Billy Batson story involves cows being stolen. The Tiny Titans piece has a birthday party for Superboy’s Bizarro clone. Both stories are to be continued in their regular title. The Batman: The Brave and the Bold story, however, appears to be original. Landry told me as much. I though it was during an FCBD article, but it may have been a email where I asked him about it. (Yes, I get to talk to celebrities. Love this gig.) Batman teams with Martian Manhunter to find a White Martian general. All the stories are good, and should get kids interested in at least one title.
  • Love & Capes #13 (Maerkle Press): Another title that my budget hasn’t been able to fit in, and has been available in stores. That will soon change, as it appears IDW will be carrying the title. Also, with a couple titles ending, I may end up with an opening. (Atomic Robo vs. The Crusader–place your bets.) I though this was going to be the wedding issue, but it’s actually Mark and Abby’s  first days post-honeymoon as husband and wife. While the obvious webcomic page breaks betray the origins, it’s still a fun comic, and proof that a comic featuring married superheroes can be good (even if there isn’t as much focus on the superheroing). (Already did a Spider-Marriage rant last week.)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Hide & Seek & Destroy (Archie): Mostly a set-up to Robotnik’s return, it’s also a blast to the past as we seem some of the original Robotnik’s creations return in a merged form to challenge Sonic. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Krudzu Hybrid Hydra in the future. I have to agree with Snively here about Robotnik’s helping Sonic, but “Eggman” may have a his own schemes, or still wants his own personal revenge. I liked the story, though.
  • The Tick Free Comic Book Day Special Edition (New England Comics): Last year, Mirage gave us a reprint of the very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic. This year brings us the very first issue of Ben Edlund’s The Tick and you can see the tonal changes between then and now. If you ever wanted to know where the Tick came from and how became who he is today…well, I don’t think that story’s ever been told or ever will. But if you want to see how the comic franchise started, here you go.
  • War of the Supermen #0 (DC): Where do I begin? There are two stories, and both serve to illustrate everything wrong with the entire “New Krypton” event series. This is a prequel to the upcoming arc. It’s not fun. It’s dark and “gritty”, which Superman shouldn’t be. The first story has Superman confronting Zod, but he’s already pulled a Ozymandias and launched the attack 15 minutes ago (or however long it was). The second story has Lois dealing with events of the previous arcs in this event from the Earth side of things (including her sister and father turning evil–probably the worst part about this event next to Pa Kent being killed off) when Jimmy Olsen arrives not being dead and ready to spill the beans on everything he and Steel’s niece have learned about Sam Lane’s project to kill off all Kryptonians. THIS IS NOT THE SUPERMAN I KNOW AND LOVE! If I keep this comic, it’s only to remind myself of just how terrible the DC Universe has become in the hands of the current brain trust. This is why the DC Universe was recently declared “dead to me”.

And that was my Free Comic Book Day haul. Sorry to end it on a downer, but I read them all in alphabetical order (except for the Fraggle Rock/Mouse Guard comic, so I could get it ready to bring to my friend, and somehow “DC Kids Mega Sampler” ended up after the Iron Man comics). Now we return to daily reviews of comics I paid to read. And a cleaning of my Cracked article links tomorrow. But lest I forget:

Best Scenes of the Week

Billy Batson & The Magic of Shazam! #15

Iron Man: Legacy #1

"Don't move. You've got something on your face."

Which I forgot post in the original review. Yes, two winners this week, and similar poses for Tawny and Iron Man. I just couldn’t choose between them.

Tomorrow’s Comic: Batman: The Brave & The Bold #16

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About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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