Didn’t really feel like grabbing a new image since I’m feeling a bit lethargic, so have some Guardians of the Galaxy goodness instead.
So yeah. TONS of comics.
I remember the first couple of times I sort of swung by a comic book store on Free Comic Book Day, and picked up a Keenspot anthology or some other very cheap promotional offering. I didn’t expect the literal wall of titles available yesterday at Cyborg One in Doylestown. But I’ve slogged through most of them, and most of them fall on the less than memorable side of ‘average’.
Apart from the reprint of the first issue of Invincible Iron Man, the stand-outs for me were Atomic Robo (always a beacon of clever writing and a fun action-comedy to boot), Radical’s preview of Driver for the Dead (breathtaking art coupled with chilling mysticism and the most badass hearse I’ve ever soon), the Green Hornet (Kevin Smith writes a great pulp classic), Iron Man and Thor (Matt Fraction & JR JR give us not only a preview of what’s to come in their new Avengers title but also what it might be like to see these two together in a movie) and The Tick (I almost started whistling the theme from the animated TV show). The other Marvel titles were mostly re-caps and anthologies to get new readers up to speed on things like Siege and Spider-Man, War of the Supermen came off as somewhat boring to me, and G.I. Joe, while taking things amusingly from the perspective of Cobra, didn’t really get me back into the headspace I once occupied when I was interested in them whenever I couldn’t get my Transformers fix.
I’m sure some of this stuff has niche appeal. Fearless Dawn comes off a bit like a Tank Girl wannabe and I’m sure there’s an audience for that. Archie‘s formula hasn’t really changed at all in decades and I’m sure there’ll always be readers for that, too. Ron Marz, a great writer of comics in my opinion, seems to be either trying to keep Top Cow going with his Artifacts storyline, or plotting its doom. Doctor Solar felt like he was trying to be Dr. Manhattan, and Magnus Robot Fighter has the throwback feeling of Flash Gordon, with neither one really doing anything original or all that interesting.
It’s not all bad news. Bongo does a Simpsons story that isn’t too bad, Heckraiser has an old-fashioned adventure-comedy feel that reminds me of the heydays of Groo the Wanderer and Mark Waid’s one-two deconstructionist punches of Irredeemable and Incorruptible have a lot of promise if you want to see a super-hero go bad or a super-villain go straight.
All in all, it wasn’t a bad experience, and the price was right – all of this stuff was free.
If your local comic book store still has these titles, go pick some up if you’ve an interest. Comic books are great places to tell stories, but sometimes the desire to appeal to a small audience or the legacy of older comics can get in the way of new & original things. Free Comic Book day shows the best and worst. Go check it out.