Free Comic Book Day 2012, Part Two!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

See Part One and Intro Here.

Now, Onward!

The Intrinsic     Arcana  
Actually a FCBD issue from last year. Oops. Not terrible, a magic-based heroes-against-the-apocalypse book.    
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Probably Not

Marvel: Point One     Marvel  
Back Issue. This was released last fall as a sort of grab-bag update/teaser for upcoming happenings in the Marvel Universe. It's a pretty cool one, actually. This is a sizable issue, and each snippet is long enough to really get into what's intriguing about each plot. A couple of underwhelming apocalyptic futures, a couple cool character pieces featuring The Scarlet Spider and Doctor Strange, and an intriguing character introduction for some element-based sibling heroes. Not too shabby.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Possible

Mega Man     Archie  
Cute overall. I'm not sure the world needs a comic adaptation of Mega Man, but this seems like an okay one.  
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Nope

Mouse Guard, Labyrinth and Other Stories     Archaia  
All of the short pieces in this were at least interesting with maybe one exception. The Mouse Guard was lovely as usual, the Labyrinth piece was cute, Return of The Dapper Men was quite intriguing, Rust was really interesting and had nice poignancy, and Cow Boy was a funny idea. A really lovely sampler of titles. I also give them props, not just for putting this out as a slim hard cover volume, but for each sample being a new short piece instead of a context-less excerpt the way some free samplers do it. Archaia is in the business of producing lovely volumes with gorgeous art, and this piece definitely celebrates their strengths.    
Rating:     5     Buy another?      Yup

New-Gen: New Dawn     APNG Ent.
Back Issue. Okay, this one is apparently an issue (freebie? Unknown.) from last year's New York Comic-Con. It's signed, even. And wow, it's terrible. I mean, the art is just blah, not great but not awful. The writing is horrid. Kind of impressively, hilariously horrid. The phrasing is ridiculously clunky. Maybe.. maybe it was badly translated from another language? It doesn't say that anywhere, but that's the only excuse I can imagine at this point. And really, even that would not be adequate excuse. Plus, the layout is terrible. Narration, internal dialogue and off-panel dialogue are all represented by text boxes in a way that is difficult to follow. Did I mention that the writing is terrible? Really, really terrible? Here's one of my favorite lines of narration: “His brow is that of a tenured leader whose worries are those beyond a country's leader.” If the plot was a little more zany, I'd recommend it for laughs, though.  
Rating:     1     Buy another?      No Way

The Smurfs/Disney Fairies     Papercutz  
A collection of all ages shorts. The Smurfs was pretty lame, the Tinker Bell stories had cute art but boring writing. There was a collection of connected one-page gags from a series called Dance Class that wasn't awful, and a short piece called Ernest and Rebecca that actually had a lot of promise. That one had cute art and clever, touching writing.  
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Probably Not

Sonic the Hedgehog     Archie  
That was a pretty decent issue. Sonic and Sally breaking into Eggman's lair just in time to save the world... hopefully! Some pretty sweet moments here. I am curious about what happens next, but probably not quite curious enough to buy the next issue.
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Spider-Man: Season One     Marvel  
Okay, I guess the editors at Marvel are just idiots. If they think a straight, boring re-write of Spider-Man's origin is a compelling hook for new readers, even the often-ignored young readers, then I just don't know how to help them. Even the writers of the by-all-reports-terrible Ultimate Spider-man cartoon knew enough not to re-hash the origin straight off. This was a waste of paper and ink.    
Rating:     1     Buy another?      No Way

Star Wars/Serenity     Dark Horse
The Star Wars piece was okay, if a but dull. The art was weird. There's a short fantasy piece called Alabaster that is half here and half in the Buffy/Guild Issue. That was pretty neat. The Serenity piece was also okay, if also a bit dull
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Nope

Top Shelf Kids Club     Top Shelf
Kind of cute, but none of the pieces are really long enough to get any momentum going. Owly is always welcome, though.
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Probably Not

Transformers: Regeneration     IDW
That was better than I expected! I'm not one to get excited over Transformers, in general, but I liked this little re-cap issue. The idea is that a new story is picking up where the first Transformers comic left off... in 1991! Some of the elements here that didn't overlap much with the TV show (to my knowledge) are pretty neat.
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Ultimate Spider-Man #160     Marvel
Back Issue. This issue and the four following were being given away as a special promotion at Midtown Comics. This one features the death of Ultimate Spider-Man. It's pretty good, actually. Sad and beautiful and balanced. I liked it.
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Ultimate Fallout #1     Marvel  
Back Issue. This one was also pretty good, focusing on other characters' responses to Peter's death.  
Rating:     4     Buy another?      Probably Not

Ultimate Fallout #2     Marvel  
Back Issue. Less good than #1, but more of the same. I liked Thor's piece.  
Rating:     3     Buy another?      Probably Not

Ultimate Fallout #3     Marvel  
Back Issue. Okay, now it starts to meander off into Ultimate-verse stuff that I just cannot bring myself to care about  
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Probably Not

Ultimate Fallout #4     Marvel  
Back Issue. Yeah, despite the very cool (but very brief) debut of Miles Morales here, this mostly gets the same as what I said about #3.  
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Probably Not

Valiant 2012     Valiant  
This was only okay. Two very short excerpts and a bunch of creator interviews. Sorry, but that's just not enough to get me interested in your relaunched world  
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Nope

Witchblade: Unbalanced Pieces     Top Cow  
Not terrible, but not terribly compelling either. I appreciate one the one hand the urge to cram as much plot as possible into a free issue. It certainly beats the hell out of freebies that are just art samples. However, with all the re-capping going on, I didn't get any sense whether I would enjoy reading the actual issues.  
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Nope

Worlds of Aspen     Aspen  
Boring premises and skeevy art is par for the course for this company. Nothing new to see this year.  
Rating:     1     Buy another?      No Way

Voltron Force     Viz Media  
I admit to knowing absolutely nothing about Voltron, but did they always fight space elves? Because that's hilarious. Overall this little book was underwhelming. The writing was obvious and sloppy. Not awful, but nothing to seek out, either.  
Rating:     2     Buy another?      Nope

Yo Gabba Gabba     Oni Press  
Ugh. That was... not good. I'm completely unfamiliar with the show, and the dialogue and situations seemed like the type that could be rescued by clever voice acting or stylish animation, but on the page this fell flatter than flat.  
Rating:     1     Buy another?      No Way


Well, that's it for Free Comic Book Day 2012. I didn't feel like there were quite as many really strong books as there have been in years past, although there were a fair number of titles that might merit more investigation.

So, books I am definitely buying/buying more of:
Mouse Guard 
Superman Family Adventures
...although I was going to buy both of those anyway...

Titles I'll keep an eye out for, maybe give a try:
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Bad Medicine
DC: Trinity War (In DC New 52)
Finding Gossamyr
The Hypernaturals
Return of the Dapper Men (In Mouse Guard Sampler)
Rust (In Mouse Guard Sampler)
Ernest & Rebecca: My Best Friend is a Germ (In Smurfs/Disney Fairies)

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