Free Comic Book Day 2012, Part One!

Another year, another stack of Free Comics. Here, in alphabetical order, are the books!

If this is your first FCBD with me, each issue is listed with its publisher, my short review, a numerical rating (out of five), and how likely I am to purchase another issue. Some of the books were back issues given away as extras at some stores, and they are noted. Titles with a slash in the middle are flip-books, where half the pages are one title and half the other.

Adventure Time/Peanuts     Kaboom!  
Not bad, overall. I don't have much experience with Adventure Time, but the first two stories were cute, although I found the third stupid. The Peanuts section was split between a couple of classic strips and a bunch of newer material. It was fairly underwhelming.  
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

Anna & Froga/Moomin Valley Turns Jungle     Drawn & Quarterly  
These are okay little stories, I guess, but nothing really interesting. Just sort of dull.  
Rating:     2     Buy another?      No Way

Atomic Robo     Red 5 Comics  
Atomic Robo is a cute and snarky romp as usual. The Neozoic preview (ninja chicks and dinosaurs) is intriguing to me, while Bonnie Lass (Pirates? Unclear.) is trying way too hard.    
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

The Avengers: Age of Ultron     Marvel  
This is a reprint of an issue from last year. Not a bad issue, fairly intriguing; it's a full story that ends in a cliffhanger. Is the followup to this cliffhanger (naturally, from the title, regarding the villain Ultron) coming later this year? Next year? After Avengers vs. X-Men? I couldn't find sure information anywhere. I'm just surprised that their free offering wasn't connected to the big Marvel event that readers can buy more of right now, instead of some future event.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Barnaby and Mr. O'Malley     Fantagraphics  
A really cute reprint collection of a comic strip from the 40's. Barnaby and his Fairy Godfather O'Malley get into silly situations and misunderstandings. It's light and comfortable, although the free book only gets halfway into a plot arc.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Bad Medicine     Oni Press  
Hey, this was pretty neat! I love finding neat books that aren't even on my radar. Doctor with a guilt complex comes back from studying super-science-ish stuff to help solve a paranormal medical mystery. I'm not in love with the art and it wasn't mind-blowing, but it was neat. I read that the writers are really into the idea of short, connected stories, and I really like the sound of that.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Baron Munchausen     Balum Rancum  
Back Issue. That was... odd. It had a few moments with promise; I like the society of fanciful 1700's characters. The writing is pretty awkward, though, and overall the piece is sort of blah.  
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Nope

Bongo Comics Free-for-All/Spongebob     Bongo  
There's a little memoir comic stuck in the middle of this book that is pretty good, but the Simpsons and SpongeBob comics are pretty stupid  
Rating:     1     Buy another?      No Way

Buffy/The Guild     Dark Horse  
The Buffy story here was cute, but not as amazing as it could have been. The Guild comic I found fairly underwhelming in the writing.  
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Probably Not

DC Nation All-Ages Sampler     DC  
I was hoping there would be more to the Superman Family Adventures preview here, but it was maybe one more page than had already been released online. The Green Lantern story was the longest, and it was boring. Pretty disappointing overall, although Superman Family Adventures is a series that I'm going to look into when it comes out.
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Yup

DC New 52 Special     DC  
DC had been really super cagey about what was in this book, and to be fair, I didn't guess all of it. The largest preview is for “Trinity War”, apparently next year's big event. It, honestly, looks pretty cool. Color me intrigued by that. I have to ask, though: next year? And you're teasing it now? Did you and Marvel make a weird pact? (See Avengers: Age of Ultron) Of course, the rest of the book is little 2-4 page previews of the Second Wave books coming out now, but there is not enough to any of them to make me interested in any title I wasn't already looking at. Also, the splash page teaser for The Ravagers is really stupid-looking.
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Dinosaurs vs. Aliens     Liquid Comics  
Wow. For something called Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens there were not enough Aliens in that. Or Plot. Not much in the way of plot. Or characters. Or Story. The art is nice, if kind of silly. Because, really? You're going to tell an action-metaphor thingy with Dinosaurs who look like they stepped right out of Dinotopia?  
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Nope

Donald Duck Family     Fantagraphics  
Nice. These are reprints of classic comic stories featuring Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge, and Huey, Dewey and Louie. Some of the most fun stuff I read in this whole pile.  
Rating:     5     Buy another?      Possible

Finding Gossamyr/The Stuff of Legend     Th3rd World Studios  
Ooh, Finding Gossamyr has a lot of promise. Pretty, if computer-y, art, neat fantasy magic-through-math premise. The Stuff of Legend is beautiful as always, but the excerpt is too short for me to judge whether the writing has gotten any stronger.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Graphic Elvis     Liquid Comics  
Blah. A bunch of photos and artist's interpretations of Elvis, plus a completely corny mini-piece with no plot to speak of. Blah.  
Rating:     1     Buy another?      No Way

Back Issue, so to speak. Not actually a comic. Actually a handful of crappy promotional art pieces. Whatever.  
Rating:     1     Buy another?      No Way

Hellboy     Dark Horse  
This is actually a FCBD issue from 2008. Oops. Still as good as it was then.
Rating:     5     Buy another?      Possible

The Censored Howard Cruse     Boom!  
I totally respect the CBLDF, and the work of artists who push the boundaries of the form. However, that doesn't mean I want to read them. Personally, I found this pretentious, revolting and boring by turns. Overall: unbearable.  
Rating:     1     Buy another?      No Way

The Hypernaturals     Boom!  
Hey, as new superhero stories go, this was pretty intriguing. It suffered a little from a few ugly panels (especially at the end), but it was an interesting sci-fi hero world. I'll keep my ear to the ground on this one.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Image Sampler     Image  
The samples in this sampler are awfully short, although I'm cautiously intrigued by a few of them. It Girl and the Atomics could be a cute superhero story, and Near Death looks like it might be a decent crime-action drama. It's really hard to tell from just a few pages, though.    
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Possible

Part Two Coming Soon!


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