Yesterday was Free Comic Book Day 2018 – one of the best days of the year. As discussed, yesterday’s trip to the comic shop resulted in a heap of free comics all of which I am about to discuss below.
I picked up 13 comics during my trip to the comic book store, with a 14th comic coming into my possession later in the day. Below, I’m about to give a quick round-up of each book, giving you an idea of what you may or may not have missed out on.
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – Shattered Grid (BOOM! Studios)
I am a BIG fan of BOOM! Studios Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (MMPR) comics and as I am currently reading the huge Shattered Grid crossover taking place across the books, this was the main comic on my list for Free Comic Book Day. Did it disappoint? No!
The book is largely a recap on the whole MMPR storyline, so if you weren’t able to pick it up for Free Comic Book Day then don’t worry you haven’t really missed anything. However, for those that did pick it up, this book offers a nice ‘pause point’ where readers are able to remember all that has come before in MMPR lore, before the story cranks up even further.
Bongo Free-For-All 2018 (Bongo Comics)
Featuring four stories in one comics, Bongo Free-For-All is a perfect title for kids, or those who simply love The Simpsons. I have to admit, I’ve not watched The Simpsons in years (well, not a new episode anyway), but I easily slipped into this book and could imagine all of the voices as I read the dialogue.
The stories in the book focus on Lisa, Bart, Milhouse and Cletus and run enough pages in length that they don’t outstay their welcome. Overall, this is a good comic from Bongo and certainly worthy of inclusion on Free Comic Book Day. Well done.
Miraculous Adventures of Ladybug & Cat Noir (Action Lab)
I’ll be honest, I have no idea what this book is all about. I don’t know if it’s because I’m unfamiliar with the characters or simply because it’s not aimed at me, but overall this is not a top choice for me – although the art was kind of fun.
For kids, Miraculous Adventures of Ladybug & Cat Noir offers up some colourful illustrations, but to be honest I kind of think the whole thing is pointless – and none of it really makes any sense. Not great – let’s just leave it at that.
Street Angel’s Dog (Image)
Aimed at teenage readers, Street Angel’s Dog is a simple tale about Street Angel and a lost dog. There’s a bit more going on, but that’s pretty much it.
I’m not familiar with Street Angel as a character and this isn’t a book I’d pick up usually, but the artwork has a certain likeability and for the right reader it’s quirky and fun. The younger end of the teen demographic is the ideal readership for this.
The Only Living Boy (Papercutz)
Again, another title I’m not familiar with, but one with great artwork. The Only Living Boy is about a kid living on a patchwork planet and features some creepy looking characters and fantasy-style setting. Look – a dragon!
This comic is the 12th issue of the book’s run, so if like me you’ve not read issues #1-#11 you might be confused. If, however, you read this book on a regular basis then this issue is probably a welcome freebie.
The Avengers/Captain America (Marvel)
Split into two stories (both acting as preludes to new ongoing comics), The Avengers/Captain America is mixed bag. On the one hand I liked the Cap story enough that I now want to read more, while on the other hand the Avengers story left me uninterested in going any further.
Artwork wise the comic is good. I just feel like the comic should have stuck to one story rather than two and it was all a bit… ‘meh’. Come on, Marvel you can do better than this.
SpongeBob Freestyle Funnies (United Plankton Pictures)
Showcasing one main story and three (short) back-up strips, SpongeBob Freestyle Funnies is a great comic for all ages. I’m not a huge SpongeBob fan, but that doesn’t matter as the comic is entertaining for fans and non-fans alike.
As with Bongo Free-For-All, this comic benefits from being a self-contained book rather than a random issue or a primer for another tale. It also boasts great artwork and good gags.
It’s a thumbs up from me.
Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero’s Journey (Tokyo Pop)
As a fan of A Nightmare Before Christmas I love the illustrations in this comic, but I have to admit the comic itself did nothing for me. As with some of the other comics in this round-up, this book acts as a primer for a new series and as such… nothing really happens.
Of course, often the point of the comics given away on Free Comic Book Day is to encourage readers to buy the next issue and hopefully younger readers out there will be interested enough to follow this up. For me, this is as far as I go.
My Hero Academia (Viz)
Let’s get this out in the open – I know nothing about My Hero Academia or RWBY (the second story in this book), which means I have no idea what the heck is going on in this book.
Is it good? Maybe.
If you like these characters and/or understand where this story sits in the My Hero Academia world then possibly.
As with the Nightmare Before Christmas (see above), I really liked the art, but the book didn’t encourage me to pick up more. Sorry to all the My Hero Academia fans out there – maybe it’s just me.
*Note: My husband has just explained My Hero Academia to me. Yeah, still not my thing.
The Amazing Spider-Man (Marvel Comics)
Now this is more my thing and once again, this comic features a self-contained story. More like this please.
The Amazing Spider-Man sees Spidey come up against a bunch of villains, while his alter-ego, Peter Parker is apartment hunting. Fun and funny, this is the type of book that makes me want to pick up more Spider-Man comics.
Relay #0 (Aftershock)
An interesting zero issue that sets up the foundations for Relay – a sci-fi story from Aftershock. The comic is aimed at a more grown-up reader (not for kids) and blends good visuals with an engaging narrative.
Not entirely my thing, but this comic acts as enough of a primer to get me interested in the next issue and the artwork and pacing work well. This is an example of a publisher doing FCBD right.
The Mall (Scout Comics)
The Mafia + the ’80s + teen drama = The Mall. And if this sounds like your kind of thing than The Mall is probably for you.
Going into this book I must admit I wasn’t all that excited, but coming out of it I was pleasantly surprised. The Mall has a modern day Archie/Riverdale vibe about it and if teen comics are your go-to books then The Mall is worth a read.
Comics Friends Forever (First Second)
Composed of five stories, each acting as a primer for five different books, Comics Friends Forever is an all-ages book that is surprisingly effective. The artwork is fun and the stories (while brief) have enough of a hook to keep you interested, with the best tales being All Summer Long and Zita the Spacegirl.
My only real gripe is that I think the five short stories should have been cut to two longer tales. Still, a nice sampler comic if nothing else.
2000AD Regend (2000AD)
And finally, saving the best ’til last with 2000AD Regend.
Last year, 2000AD was my favourite comic from Free Comic Book Day 2017 and once again, it’s a favourite this year. Why? Because these guys completely get how to present a free comic.
From the cover to the very last page this comic has been put together with care, attention and a great deal of thought to ensure this feels like a valued item – and not just freebie! I said this last year about 2000AD and I’ll say it again now, I’d happily pay for this comic – it’s that good.
Loaded with stories, satire and some good ol’ fashioned comic book games, this is my top pick for Free Comic Book Day 2018.
So, there we go – a round-up of 14 of the 50 free comics that were given out yesterday. Power Rangers, 2000AD, Bongo Free-For-All and SpongeBob Freestyle Funnies were my favourites and my top picks – but what were yours?
Let me know which comics you picked up yesterday and which were your favourites.