Monday, May 08, 2017

Free Comic Book Day 2017

Having recently moved to Florida from New Jersey and not getting that many comics any more, I was at a loss as to what to do for Free Comic Book Day this year. I dearly miss All Things Fun! up in my home state, along with Ed, Dina, and Allison, who I did the All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast with (which you can still see here), but it's just too far a drive these days.

The Bride and I decided to drop in at a newer comic shop here in downtown Lakeland, Uncanny Heroes. They had Darth Vader, Chewbacca, George Lowe from "Space Ghost Coast to Coast," and a DeLorean parked out front, I was sold, let's stay a while. Having Max 98.3 FM broadcasting live and barbequed hot dogs and burgers was just a bonus as far as I was concerned – Uncanny knows how to celebrate Free Comic Book Day. I picked up a handful of the free comics, a cool Krypto shirt, and Batman/Shadow #1. Here's what I thought of some of the books:

Batman/Shadow ~ I was wary of this one as my friend and podcast partner Ray thought I might like it. Anyone who listens to The GAR! Podcast knows that's never a good sign. I can't say I hated this, but I didn't like it either. The Shadow is the antagonist here, not the way I want it, and Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando get it right except which side of the law the Shadow is on, and I did love the Maniaks reference. This book earned a second issue and a second chance, but a tentative one.

From the free comics I picked up Riverdale, which was very readable but in the long run not as enjoyable as Archie Comics of the past. Very hooked into the CW show of the same name these two tales are set in that continuity. And if you dig the show, there's a cool character guide in the back of this one.

In anticipation of the upcoming live-action The Tick series on Amazon (I loved the pilot) I picked up that comic, fun but not as good as it used to be. Hmmm, seems to be a pattern. Underdog, from American Mythology, the company that currently publishes Eagle, was fun, with both a new story and an old one. I just may pick up the new Underdog comic based on this. And then there's Wonder Woman. I was not a fan of Greg Rucka when he wrote the character before and I remain unimpressed.

The Bride picked up a few of her own as well. The nice thing about Uncanny Heroes is they had no limit on how many free comics you could get. It's important to note that even though the comics are free to customers, the stores till pay for them, so remember that every Free Comic Book Day and buy as well as get free stuff. Jenn picked up four books from the FCBD selection.

The first was Avatar, which didn't do much for me, but I am excited for the film sequels and the new park in Disney's Animal Kingdom. The next one was also Disney-related, a manga version of Descendants from Tokyopop that was interesting, but I prefer the movie. Next was Doctor Who from Titan Comics with a fun tale of four Doctors that I dug quite a bit.

The Bride's final choice was All-New Guardians of the Galaxy as a dessert to seeing the movie the night before. The comic wasn't bad, pretty much in line with the real series of the same name, but what really irked me was the second story of this Marvel FCBD book - Defenders. So Bendis is writing a book called Defenders featuring the Netflix version of that team, nothing I can do about that, I guess, it's typical Bendis, but do they have to use the original logo? To me that logo means the real Defenders – Doctor Strange, Hulk, Sub-Mariner, Nighthawk, Valkyrie, Hellcat, etc., not these guys. How about a new logo, huh?

Marvel had two other offering for the day, one a reading chronology for the "All-New, All-Different Marvel" that is basically a glossy and pretty book of ads for Marvel's trade paperbacks – in correct reading order to be sure – but still a book of ads. And then there's Secret Empire, a heart crushing addition to the Captain America as Hydra agent saga where the villain (Cap, as hard as that is to believe) defeats the Avengers by wielding the hammer of Thor. Yes, it defies logic, like all of this story. Thankfully it's followed by a sneak peek at Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man featuring Spidey, the Vulture, and the new Trapster. That's kinda fun at least.

For the most part, a fun Free Comic Book Day, thanks to Uncanny Heroes.

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