Free Comic Book Day never used to be this exciting. When the first Free Comic Book Day rolled out the major companies would simply re-release a previous issue from the past year. But now, Marvel and even some of the smaller publishers are putting out completely brand new books for fans who show up on the first Saturday in May. What used to be a cute way for comic book stores and companies to introduce themselves to new readers has become a big event for both the casual fan and the die-hard comic book nerd. This year is no exception.
While some companies still do “sampler” issues offering a glimpse at an upcoming book (like DC is doing this year with their DC Super Hero Girls) or a patchwork that represents what their company is up to, Marvel is going all out with two brand new books that will lead into major events in the Marvel Universe. Captain America is being re-introduced (again for the third or fourth or fifth time – I’ve lost track) in one of the two issues. The original Cap – Steve Rogers – suddenly regained his youth during the recent Avengers: Standoff event through the reality warping powers of the now sentient Cosmic Cube (yes, it’s WAY too much to explain here). Fans have wondered when and how Cap was going to be returned to his former glory and the wait is over. This book will serve as a prelude for a new book – Steve Rogers: Captain America due out later in May.
Also, included in this issue will be a lead-in to the summer event, Dead No More. Marvel describes the book this way: “If you got a chance to bring back someone who died, would you? And how will CLASSIFIED deal when ones they thought long dead once again walk the earth?” Part of the secret is who “Classified” is but somehow Spider-Man is tied into it all as revealed in a special PREVIEWS insert. While it will be interesting to see who comes back and how, Marvel fans are used to dead characters coming back to life so it really won’t be much of a shock no matter who they bring back. As a Silver Level book this one may not be available in all stores or at least in more limited quantities.
The other book being released during FREE Comic Book Day is Civil War II. Capitalizing on the upcoming movie, Marvel is again revisiting the Civil War plotline (for now the third time if you include the 2015 Secret Wars series). Not much has been revealed about the plot except that it involves Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and Thanos (evidenced on the cover and supporting ads). The back up story is one that features the All-New Wasp with story by Mark Waid and art by Alan Davis. It looks great, but the mystery is simply who is this new Wasp and on whose side is she on? As a Gold Level book, this one will likely be found in most stores participating in FREE Comic Book Day.
FREE Comic Book Day is a blast and many local stores will make a real treat out of it. Up in Fresno, Heroes Comics always does an amazing job. They have invited artists to come and draw sketches, have encouraged people to come dressed up as their favorite comic characters, and have offered special deals on back issues and other items. Because it’s become a real event, lines are often long at places with the most variety so be prepared to get there early and have to wait – but it’s worth it! Hope to see you in line!