It’s Comic Book Christmas!
Today is Free Comic Book Day, the annual tradition of the comic book where, every first Saturday in May, publishers offer free comic books to readers in the hope of enticing them into checking out the rest of their books.
This year marks the 11th year the industry has done this event and it has grown immensely since then. Over the past few years, Marvel and DC have been using FCBD as a platform to launch their big event books. Last year saw preview issues “Avengers vs. X-Men” and “Trinity War.” This year, Marvel took the opportunity to prime readers for “Infinity,” a Thanos-centric mini series starting in August. But DC, in what is probably a nod to the impending “Man of Steel,” just had a reprint of the first issue of a Superman storyline that saw DC big gun Geoff Johns and “Superman” director Richard Donner as co-writers. It’s easy to see why they would do this, but also feels like a missed opportunity, considering that the story basically has much less value being pre-New 52 and thus, no longer relevant in the current line of Superman books.
But Marvel and DC aren’t the only ones in the game. Some fine books were released for FCBD by some of the smaller publishers. Dark Horse released a “Star Wars”/”Avatar the Last Airbender” combo book. Archie Comics had a great sample of their Archie Digest books. Reprints of classic comic strips series “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” and “Prince Valiant” were also on the shelves and Aspen Comics offers a extensive preview of it’s line, along with celebrating “Fathom’s” 15 years and it’s late creator, Michael Turner.
Free Comic Book Day is always a great day. Even if the books are less than stellar (which, if we’re being honest, they were those first few years), it gets comic book fans into their local shops and engaging with each other. It might also create a new reader or two by day’s end. So head into your shop and get your comics. What do you have to lose? They’re free.