Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday in May when Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. actually does something good for the world of comics and works with the big and small publishers alike to produce and distribute free comics to be obtained at participating comic book shops around the nation.
But don’t take my word for it. Listen to famous celebrity Hugh Jackman!
About 40 different comics were made for the day. I could only get my hands on three of them before my guilt of taking too many would kick in. Here’s the rundown on what I got.
Blackest Night #0
Hal Jordan and Barry Allen (He’s back if you missed a step) discuss the loss of friends and colleagues, as well as their own respective funerals, over Batman’s grave. Hal makes note of how vulnerable the JLA has become since Barry’s death and despite he and Bruce not getting along much, Hal still considers Bruce a friend. Then Black Hand of the Black Lantern Corps. comes to raid dead heroes’ graves for fresh recruits
(Side note: Sue Dibney has a slightly bigger, more imressive tombstone than her husband Ralph, a.k.a. Elongated Man. Poor Ralph.)
The rest of the book is a mini enclypedia covering the different colored lantern corps. It’s a good catch up for people who didn’t know green and yello weren’t the only colors anymore.
This book pits the New Avengers and the Dark Avengers (What, no Mighty?) begrudgingly working together to defeat a frost giant and save the world. Oh, and Thor’s there for a little bit. The story is told from Spider-Man’s view, which is obviously a great vantage point to see how screwed up it is to have Norman Osborn lead the Avengers, and even moreso when he actually makes sense (Those must be some powerful meds).
Also, just have to say, I love Venom back to the old spider symbol on his suit. Is anyone else waiting to see the Iron Patriot be painted green and purple though?
Shonen Jump Special: Karakuridoji Ultimo
Stan Lee’s manga drawn by Shamen King creator Hiroyuki Takei makes its stateside debut. This crazy, old scientist (who bears an uncanny, amazing, incredible, fantastic resemblance to a certain comic creator) creates two mechanical boys that embody perfect good and perfect evil, names Ultimo and Vice respectively. Then time jump 1,000 years and Ultimo shows up to fight a giant monster.
Not much to the story in these few pages. However, this free comic has some neat extras, namely an interview of Lee by Takei, as well as a two-page wide centerfold with the Lee-esque scientist on the front. Finally, the book contains liner notes of other Shonen Jump series in the back.
So there you go. Three of the many books available for free from comic shops around the nation. If you want to know what the others are like, head to your local shop and see if they have any left. They are free after all.