Free Comic Book Day 2011 (Part One)

Yes, this is quite belated, but I offer it nonetheless. Here are my thoughts on all 42 comics we received on Free Comic Book Day 2011. Most were specifically released for this year's event, but there are a scattering of back issues, recent and not-so-recent, that were on offer or in grab bags as well.

Same as last year, for each book I'll tell you the title, the publisher, what I thought, and how likely I am to buy an issue, based on the experience of reading the free one.

Atomic Robo     Red 5 Comics  
I always enjoy Atomic Robo on FCBD, but never quite enough to buy an actual issue. I think it's better in short bursts. This one was particularly cute, too. The previews of Foster Broussard and Moon Girl are each interesting, but the art in Moon Girl is too busy. Foster Broussard has a nice attitude, but it takes more than attitude to carry a whole series. Which is, again, why I don't collect Atomic Robo, despite how much fun it is.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Avatar The Last Airbender/Clone Wars     Dark Horse Comics  
YAY AVATAR! I really loved the two Avatar shorts. They were funny and sweet and the dialogue was almost precisely spot on: it sounded like the characters to me. The Star Wars preview on the other side was kind of lame and silly, though. The bad dude's name is Savage Opress?  Really? I know it's from the show, it must sound less stupid than it looks. So: Avatar:TLA: Great! Clone Wars: Boring.  
Rating:     (overall) 3     Buy another?      Yup (Avatar!)

Baltimore/Criminal Macabre     Dark Horse Comics
This was pretty good! Baltimore was stylish and nicely creepy, Criminal Macabre had good attitude and nice coloring. I do appreciate books that fit entire short stories into their FCBD issues  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Birds of Prey #85     DC
A solid back issue. I actually have this in a graphic novel, but it's fun to also have this format. It's a great issue and the end of an arc, too: Oracle is laid low by the Brainiac virus, and the Birds and friends take on the Silk Brothers.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Yup

Bongo Comics Free-for-All     Bongo
Not quite as bad as the Bongo Simpsons comics have been in years past, but not good.  
Rating:     2     Buy another?      No Way

Captain America & Thor     Marvel  
Oh, I loved this! (Although some part of it might be that I had just seen Thor, and loved that...) The Cap/Thor story is fun, all ages friendly, action-packed and moving. When Marvel really nails their all-ages stuff, it's amazing. The short preview at the end for Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes was just okay, but I really liked main story.
Rating:     5     Buy another?      Possible

Captain America: Hail Hydra #1     Marvel  
Back Issue. I liked this; a solid classic-style Captain America story.    
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Civil War Adventure     History Graphics Press  
Huh. This was okay. I mean it's sort of educational, and sort of interesting, sort of good and sort of dumb. Fine overall.  
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

Daredevil Yellow #1     Marvel  
Back Issue. Solid 'Year-One' style story. Quite well done  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Darkwing Duck/Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers     Boom!  
This is a reprint of two issues I already have: Darkwing Duck #1 and Rescue Rangers #1. Both of these are good issues, although in my opinion while Darkwing keeps up the quality, Rescue Rangers isn't as enjoyable after this issue. Still, a very nice FCBD treat for anyone who hasn't been following these titles.
Rating:     5     Buy another?      Yup

Elric: The Balance Lost     Boom!  
This preview was pretty interesting, actually. I'm not familiar with the character, so the write-up of the history in the back was more intriguing than the actual comic part. Still, maybe worth keeping an eye on.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Geronimo Stilton/The Smurfs     Papercut  
Okay. Just okay. I don't know if these comics lose something vital in translation, since both are translated into English. As they are, they are mediocre and forgettable. Smurfs is a bit better than the other, surprisingly.
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

Green Lantern/Flashpoint     DC  
A reprint of Geoff Johns GL: Secret Origin Issue two, and a tiny preview of Flashpoint, which didn't help me decide whether I am interested in the event at all. The GL issue is a good issue, but I've read it before, and it doesn't make me want to buy more comics. The Flashpoint Preview is the one with the character white-washing/editing-fail. (More info here.) Come on DC, your FCBD content is severely lacking so far...
Rating:     4 (for GL)     Buy another?      Probably Not

Herc #1     Marvel  
Back Issue. How completely odd. And uninteresting. That too.  
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Nope

JLA/Avengers     Marvel/DC  
Back Issue. Super fun, well written, Marvel/DC crossover. Nice.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Kung Fu Panda/Richie Rich     Ape Entertainment  
Unsurprisingly, the Kung Fu Panda was less obnoxious than the Richie Rich, but neither really reached above derivative platitudes. Boring    
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

Legion of Superheroes #1     DC  
Back Issue. First issue of the relaunched series, one of the times it's been relaunched. I must say I did really enjoy the tone here: very superheroic.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Locke & Key     IDW  
Intriguing and fun. An interesting concept (family living in a house full of locked doors that give you different powers, some of which are highly dangerous) helped by a good amount of dark magic. One of the best surprises of FCBD 2011!  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Mickey Mouse     Fantagraphics  
Pretty Cute! It's basically an ad for the compilations, but the comics chosen in the issue were pretty decent.  
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Probably Not

Mouse Guard/Dark Crystal     Archaia
Sweet! An original Mouse Guard short that was quite adorable and hardcore. (It's that constant juxtaposition that Mouse Guard does so insanely well.) Also, the Dark Crystal short was very beautiful and intriguing. I can take or leave the little preview for the next Dapper Men book, but the teaser for A Tale of Sand makes me very interested indeed.  
Rating:     5     Buy another?      Yup

Overstreet Guide     Gemstone Publishing  
Despicable. A guide to collecting comics (as in, paying money for back issues, grading, re-selling style collecting) targeted at little kids. Yuck. Read comics. Read issues, read them online, read them in graphic novels. Don't buy into the antiquated hype of buying back issues for their resale value.  
Rating:     1     Buy another?      No Way

Coming Soon: PART TWO


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