This is as much a scheduling thing as it is a logistics thing. Being lazy is just a bonus.
Scheduling is also why it took until Tuesday to go over my Free Comic Book Day haul…at least here at the Spotlight. I live-tweeted my reviews of this year’s haul, and I’ll be posting the tweets plus any other thoughts because I don’t know how much I can really add. This years comics were mostly short previews, sometimes even a set of previews, with only the rare stand-alone story packed in. I didn’t get the Disney or Ninja Turtles offerings because of how things turned out.
I went to the first comic store, my regular store back when I had income, to get some advice as to selling a bunch of comics I want to get rid of and he may take a look at what I have in the future. Also, two people were there selling art that I forgot to mention in the update for last Sunday’s Jake & Leon so let me fix that right now. The first was artist Tom Ryan, who had pins and posters for sale. Take a look at some of his stuff. I’ll put it in a gallery to save space. Click for a full-size look.
The other artist was Frank Malec, who just had posters.
If you like something there, track them down. This store had a two comic maximum so I had to choose carefully. I’m not convinced I did. Max Meow: Cat On The Street I picked up because of this site. I wanted to see if this indie title was worth promoting since smaller and self publishers seldom get attention. I should have chosen Disney or Ninja Turtles for the other. I was curious what’s been going on in the Turtles title since I was forced to stop getting it as it was one of the IDW titles I still enjoyed, but the Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck comics in the style of the old Carl Banks comics (the Ducktales reboot took on more of that style) was also consistent. However, I’ve always enjoyed Udon Studios’ take on Street Fighter so I went with that one.
I went to the second store but by the time I got there between when I got to the first store and doing some shopping along the way most of the good stuff was gone. I picked up Dark Crisis from DC and the Incal Universe preview for review purposes and since they didn’t have a limit I also picked up a Sonic The Hedgehog and a Three Stooges comic. In both stores I bought comics you’ll be seeing in the usual “Yesterday’s Comic” spots once I have a opening because comic stores pay for these free-for-readers comics and make no money from them unless people buy stuff. I already reviewed a Robotech comic yesterday. The free comics I reviewed live via Twitter and I’ll be posting those tweets with a few extra thoughts since I’ve time to think about them. They were reviewed in alphabetical order, so let’s begin.
Dark Crisis #0 FCBD Special Edition
To be fair it was one of the better stories. Clayface is part of a plan to steal a Mother Box (which now looks like the one from the DCEU rather than the pocket pager size it usually is) some time after the Justice League is dead. Yeah, if you haven’t heard that’s currently going on at DC Comics
Also now learning that the way I tried to from a thread was wrong, so you may end up seeing that intro message every time. Sorry. Anyway, Flash (Wally West) manages to stop him and tells a tour group of kids that isn’t a case of whether a new Justice League will form or when but who will be on it. This comic could easily fool me into thinking writer Joshua Williamson actually wants to tell a superhero story but this is modern DC and I’m going to have to be convinced. He and Dennis Culver did a second story that did something I wasn’t expecting.
If you read the live tweets I was also surprised they had the Hall Of Justice and didn’t blow it up. It seems to be what they usually do, like a middle finger to Super Friends. The last “story” is just some talk about Crisis On Infinite Earths because darned if we aren’t going to go back to that well yet again. Too bad they still fail to get right what they got wrong post-Crisis but that’s DC for you.
The Incal Universe
This is already an example of what I came across as a problem here. All of the stories in this preview are about worldbuilding but darned if I could follow most of it. There’s some kind of multiverse, the “Incals” are gems of great power, a dude with a concrete seagull–who talks by the way–on the run from some dude with a huge chin, some former assassin with an androgynously son because the boy’s mother was also androgynous, some space pirate who tries to steal a ship run by those immortal guys from Zardoz (I saw a review and that was more than I needed to know about that film), the whole problem boiled down to…
Yep, there’s a character called Kill Wolfhead and we don’t get to follow him. That’s the biggest failing of all I think. Still I did give credit to Mark Waid for making the first story fascinating enough to possibly draw readers to check this out…if only in the desperate hope to make sense out of, well, anything really.
Max Meow: Cat On The Street
Yeah, I didn’t have much to say about it. It’s a comic for kids but unlike Marvel’s comic based on Disney Junior’s Spidey And His Amazing Friends it was a regular comic and not an insult to young comic readers. Max Meow is a talk show host or something in the anthropomorphic Catropolis. Along with his friend Mindy they find a meteorite that grants them superpowers. (I guess they don’t have a Captain PSA in their universe to warn them away from stuff like that.) They become Cat Crusader and Science Kitty, which really should have been the name of the comic, and use their various powers to stop evil. This story had them going up against villains who they thought had reformed but maybe if the trio could talk they could have gone over what they were doing.
The second story set up the graphic novel in which something has happened to Science Kitty’s parents. Not a bad story to be honest and ended up being my favorite due to how little competition it had.
Sonic The Hedgehog Free Comic Book Day 2022
There isn’t much else to say. Sonic and Knuckles bicker the whole time, which got old. Knuckles does learn that there are more mysteries on this version of the Floating Island he needs to explore but otherwise it’s just Sonic, Knuckles, and best character Tails trying to discover the source of earthquakes on the island (which I remind you is floating) and fighting Eggman. The other story has a character I don’t know who apparently has a grudge against Eggman and Sonic and he’s not a nice person. Overall I’m not seeing anything spectacular here.
Street Fighter Masters: Blanka
Being the only full story I may do a proper review when a space opens up, but here’s the short version. I didn’t hate it but something didn’t work for me personally. I actually like that it’s told without dialog as it makes some scenes fun, especially when Blanka returns a missing child to her father after rescuing her from crocodiles. Then he comes across people burning down the area of the rain forest he’s in, endangering the animals. He goes to stop them, including this one really strong woman who is holding her own against him until the girl shows up again…and throws a rock at Blanka. It seems this is her mother, and fine for helping mom, but you just threw a rock at the end of a dude who saved your life. There had to be a better way to stop the fight and Blanka isn’t technically wrong. What bothers me is that there really isn’t a resolution to this. Blanka just leaves and presumably the burning continues. It was a good story but the ending just wasn’t very satisfying frankly.
The Three Stooges
Shemp even plays the Morphus role, and gets a mention in the second story while Curly Joe also gets a mention but doesn’t get to appear. I guess for the comic he and regular Curly look too much alike? The parody part was okay but I think they tried too hard to keep the smacking around schtick going. Moe usually has a reason for smacking the others around. Not always a good one, but he at least has one. Not so much in this story.
This was my favorite of the three tales, but admittedly just for the nostalgia. I’m not a huge fan of the Robonic Stooges cartoon. It wasn’t even my favorite of the shows that appeared as part of The Skatebirds, an attempt to recreate the Banana Splits with roller skating birds dealing with a roller skating cat, all in costumes. I was more a Wonder Wheels fan myself. The Stooges go on vacation and of course when superheroes go on vacation they run into bad guys anyway, a mad scientist and his cute daughter who seeks revenge on a fellow scientist.
However, it wasn’t very memorable because I had to crack the comic open again to refresh my memory. The Stooges try to convince the owner of the movie lot to allow them to make their own movies, while said owner keeps trying to run away and getting more hurt trying. As alluded to earlier the first comic was drawn to look more like the actors, the second kind of resembling the cartoon it was based on but not quite, but the third had a style more in line with the original Three Stooges cartoon, which I guess means they’re honoring the whole history (they couldn’t do the Scooby-Doo team-up of course) in…three…stories. Yeah, I’m sure that wasn’t a coincidence.
Overall, my first Free Comic Book Day in years was a mild disappointment. Mostly previews, stuff I couldn’t follow, and just in the end I didn’t come out of it feeling satisfied. It was nice to get out of the house on my own, see old friends (the second store is co-run by a friend of mine who used to work at the first before working for DC Comics for a while and now runs the Infinite Geektalk podcast), and enjoy myself for the first time this year. Plus I may have a way to declutter my comic collection. And of course I was exposed to the name Kill Wolfhead. So at least this wasn’t a total loss.