Free Comic Book Day 2011 (Part Two!)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Read Part One first if you missed the introduction... Here's my analysis of the rest of our FCBD haul:

Path of the Planeswalker     Wizards of the Coast     
Not bad. More than a little disjointed, and I'm not all that interested in where it goes from here, but not a bad little issue.     
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Pep Comics     Archie     
BORING. But not quite offensively bad.     
Rating:     2     Buy another?      No Way

Phazer: War of the Independents     Red Anvil     
Back Issue. WTF? The writer was giving this away at one of the comic shops we visited on FCBD. It's a mash-up of indie characters brought together for something, but the writing was terrible and I didn't understand the plot. Maybe you have to know all the characters already for this to make any sense? The internet tells me that this guy got permission to use all these characters, but it's a cheesy crossover for the sake of a cheesy crossover, obnoxiously incoherent, incredibly poorly written, and often poorly drawn. It definitely sabotages its main premise: it makes me much less interested in reading more indie comics.
Rating:     1     Buy another?      No Way

Rated Free For Everyone     Oni Press    
Two cute kid-friendly shorts: Sketch Monsters (girl's drawings come to life) and Power Lunch (boy gets superpowers based on food). Both are fun, but not exceptional. Decent fare for little kids.     
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

Ruse #1     Marvel     
Actually an issue that came out earlier this year, this and  Sigil are part of Marvel's re-launch/exploration of the Crossgen properties. I bought this when it came out, see my reaction here. 
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Yup

Sigil #1     Marvel     
A pretty fun issue (see note for Ruse above). Dimension/time hopping? Magic powers? Strong writing? Color me intrigued.     
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Silver Scorpion     Liquid Comics     
Ok, this is going to sound mean. I think it's sweet that a bunch of “disabled students from America and Syria” got to hang out and brainstorm an idea for a new multicultural hero. However, that doesn't mean much if the guy who eventually writes the issue sucks. This is painfully badly written, though the art isn't terrible. 
Rating:     2     Buy another?      No Way

Sonic the Hedgehog     Archie     
Pretty darn fun, I'd say. Nice combination of an enjoyable action story (with an end) with a hook for pulling readers into what's happening next. Well Played.    
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Spontaneous     Oni Press     
Not terrible, not great. Kind of a middle of the road indie.     
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

Super Dinosaur     Image     
Huh. Kind of cute, but this sample was just origin exposition, nothing to say what the actual series will be like. Seems okay, but not great.     
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

The Amazing Spiderman     Marvel     
This was a decent issue. The dialogue was fun, the premise intriguing. Erin mentioned that it made him interested in what is going on in current Spiderman, so it did its job.   
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

The Darkness: Confession     Top Cow     
I was annoyed that this was just a recap one-shot, and then I realized it's a recap one-shot AND an ad for the related video game. It was okay, for all that.  
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

The Intrepid Escape Goat/The Stuff of Legend     Th3rd World Studios     
The Intrepid Escape Goat was a cute, funny story. I approve. The teaser for The Stuff of Legend was pretty, as usual.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

The Misadventures of Adam West     BlueWater Comics     
Either poorly written, or poorly chosen sampling of this title. It doesn't have enough to make me interested in more. The other feature, Things to Come, makes no sense and had ugly art.     
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Nope

The New Avengers (FDNY Special)     Marvel     
This is a cute idea, but it is so not targeted at me. A bunch of kids are in Avengers mansion getting a safety lesson when supervillains show up. Most of it is about fire safety. It's fine for what it is, but what it is, is about 6 pages of incredibly cheesy dialogue. The whole comic (more than is in the handout) is online:     
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

The Tick     NEC     
Wow, this was really disappointing. I wish this had been an actual issue, instead of a bunch of content designed to say “we've made a bunch of cool books that you should read, but this isn't one of them.”     
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Probably Not

Time of the Twins #3     Devil's Due Press    
Back Issue. When I had the chance to snag a copy of this for free, I jumped. It's entertaining, although there is a major misstep in the translation of one of my favorite moments (probably for time, They adapted an entire novel into 3 issues!) and a handful of typos. Still quite fun.     
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Possible

Top Shelf Kids Club     Top Shelf     
There's a few false notes in this six-pack of shorts, but overall it's a strong issue. Man, I love Owly. Owly can tell a better, sweeter story in 4 pages than most comic books manage in 22. Korgi and Pirate Chicken vs. Ninja Chicken were both good as well.     
Rating:     5     Buy another?      Possible

Wolverine #20     Marvel     
Back Issue. A little grim-and-gritty-er than I personally like my comics, but an intriguing and dark book, well constructed.     
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Worlds of Aspen     Aspen Comics    
I've read the Worlds of Aspen sampler every year, and it just doesn't get better. There just isn't enough of a sample of any one title to know whether I'd be interested in reading more. Crazy winged ladies fighting? Cool. Glamorous high-class assassins? Cool. Steampunk? Cool. But only seeing a page or three is not cool enough to convince me to buy more.    
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Nope

Young Justice/Batman TB&TB Super Sampler     DC     
Two shorts in this issue. The Young Justice was okay, a few nice moments, but mostly a heavy-handed mess.  Batman: The Brave and The Bold was better. It had a cute gimmick, but wasn't anything too special. Maybe fun for kids? Hard to say.
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope







So, to sum up, 42 Issues. 4 excellent books rating a full 5 for me:
  Captain America & Thor
  Darkwing Duck/Rescue Rangers
  Mouse Guard/Dark Crystal
  Top Shelf Kids Club


5 books I'll definitely buy/already bought more of:
  Avatar: The Last Airbender
  Birds of Prey (Was Already Collecting)
  Darkwing Duck (Was Already Collecting)
  Mouse Guard (Was Already Collecting)
  Ruse (Was Already Collecting)

As well as a bunch that are now on my radar, new highlights include:
  Dark Crystal
  Locke & Key
  Sigil
  Elric

So, I didn't discover an all new love this year, but I enjoyed reading across the breadth of comic-dom.

Also, we got this:

Which is... well, it's something.

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