Saturday, May 7 is Free Comic Book Day, the annual first Saturday of May event where publishers release special edition comics designed to attract new readers.
This year, like any other, the available free issues are wonderfully varied — here’s the full list. They’re all awesome, but here are six picks that we think you can’t miss.
Civil War II
With Captain America: Civil War opening this weekend in theaters, it’s no surprise that Marvel would flood comic retailers with a special FCBD edition of Civil War II #1, a snapshot of the conflict that will split the Marvel Universe in two (again).
And that’s not all, in addition to Brian Michael Bendis and Jim Cheung’s story, you’ll also get a special second story, the introduction of All-New Wasp from All-New, All-Different Avengers writer Mark Waid and artist Alan Davis.
Nostalgia-fueled reboots are everywhere, and Free Comic Book Day is no exception. Rom the Space Night, based on a Parker Brothers toy, was first published by Marvel in 1979, now he’s back from IDW.
IDW’s EIC Chris Ryall, who worked on the book with Christos Gage and David Messina, says that the story starts out in territory that will be familar to OG Rom fans, before “rocketing into very unexpected direction.” We can’t wait to check it out.
With Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad movie on deck, mainstream interest in the title has never been greater. It’s the perfect time to reintroduce the group of super-villainous misfits to mass audiences within the pages of DC’s Suicide Squad #1.
This book, from Adam Glass and Federico Dallocchio, is NOT new. It’s a reprint already familiar to serious comic readers. FCBD’s target demo is newbies. If you’re new to comics, and want to read up on the exploits of Harley Quinn and her dangerous friends, be sure to pick it up.
BOOM! Summer Blast
You may be unfamiliar with BOOM! STUDIOS, but they small publisher out of Los Angeles is killing it with their slate these days. If you’re not already a big fan of Lumberjanes or Mouse Guard, you have some immediate catching up to do.
This Summer Blast compendium includes new original short stories, including a visit to Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, as well as sneak peaks at upcoming entries in Lumberjanes and The Cloud. Give this great collection a chance!
Another family-friendly pick that anyone can enjoy, Camp Midnight is the latest creation of comic book writing veteran Steven Seagle, the creator of the very successful Ben 10 and Big Hero 6.
New Yorker cartoonist Jason Adam Katzenstein brings to life this charming story of a normal girl who boards the wrong school bus and accidentally sets off to “Camp Midnight,” where everyone attending is a full-fledged monster. That’s basically what actual summer camp feels like growing up though, am I right?
Archie’s history goes all the way back to 1951, and if you read any of his antics growing up it may felt dated even then. Never fear though, this is not your grandmother’s Archie. Mark Waid and artist Fiona Staples have completely made the iconic teenager their own, reworking the humble town of Riverdale into a far more interesting and even tragic place than you might expect.
Don’t dismiss Archie as a twee attempt at reviving an old franchise. This is comic book storytelling and it’s most sincere.