As promised I’m going to give you a look at what you can get for Free Comic Book Day this year. I want to thank Mike at The Core for getting these too me early enough that I could read them all so you all would know what your in for this weekend. Because of the amount of the books to read and review the reviews will be short and sweet and to the point.
First up on my list is a reprinting of the first issue ever of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I’m sure we all remember these four characters and their master Splinter, but this was my first time actually reading the book that spawned the fame. And folks, it’s far more adult than you would at first imagine. Plus it is very dark and very violent. I thought it was great, I’d definitely recommend it to teenage readers, the young ones should stay clear of this one. These are not the same Turtles that have been in movies and TV. If I had read this when it came out, I might actually have some of the actual comics in my collection.
I don’t know a lot about Bongo Comics but it appears to be the label that does all of Matt Groening’s characters. This book basically has three separate stories. Two Simpson’s stories involving Bart and Comic Book Guy with Krusty and one with Homer and Bart as superheroes. Both are disposable and actually aren’t all that good. I was kind of bored by them. In the middle is a Futurama comic sandwiched between the Simpson’s stories. Blah.. Meh… I like the Simpson’s and I kind of dig some of Futurama, but this comic stank. It felt like a free comic. Step it up here folks, if you’re giving it away for free, then you better entice me to keep reading. Not recommended for younger viewers, not because of anything objectionable, it would just be too hard to keep it straight.
I’m a fan of Star Wars, I’m a fan of Dark Horse Comics, this should be a home run. It was close but not 100%, more like it bounced off the wall and rolled into the center fielders glove. Again I know it is suppose to be in and out and lets get back to normal, but I just wasn’t floored by the book. Nor was my interest spiked to go buy any of the books. Although I blame George Lucas more for that than Dark Horse here. The art is great and the story is self contained. I’m sure Star Wars fans apart from me will eat it up, I just thought it was too representative of the less than stellar Clone Wars Cartoon that is on the air right now. If you flip the book over though you get four short stories one for Usagi Yojimbo: One Dark and Stormy Night that was at least linear, Emily the Strange: Emily Tree, which was exactly like you’d expect strange, Beanworld, wow, I have no idea what to say about it, and finally Indiana Jones and the Temple of Yearning, I was yearning to flip the page. Dark Horse has a lot of good stuff, Hellboy? Godzilla? So much other stuff they could have pulled from but instead they decided on these. Meh… I would recommend this for older younger readers, say around the age of 10 and up.
I’m starting to see a pattern here. Another kids comic. I know I know get em young and keep em the rest of their lives. It works, believe me, I got my first Spider-Man comic in 1979 and I still have it and read it with my son (it was an Electric Company Spider-Man crossover book). This one at least is a prequel to the story that is going to be issued in the actual Cars comic, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. For one thing, car racing isn’t really high on my list of subjects that provide me with interest or entertainment, but I can see the appeal and I can definitely see the appeal with the marketing cross over with Disney, neither myself nor my kid has seen the movie, but I know who Lightning McQueen is! This book would be perfect for younger readers though so it gets my seal of approval.
This is so far my least favorite of the comics. First it’s nothing but a giant advertisement for the Sonic comic universe. Which, yeah OK, if you’re giving it away for free then give em something right? But it’s not even a comic, it’s more words than pictures and it’s confusing and boring. If I was a kid and I got this I would be so disappointed. No story, barely any pictures, and no action. Does anyone remember the Who’s Who in the DC Universe when they were kids? I tried to collect everyone of them, and they were great, kind of like this comic book except, you know cool. Meh, skip this one and leave it on the shelf completely, unless of course you collect everything Sonic the Hedgehog, then buy all means run and and swipe this one up. I can recommend it to younger readers, but they better be able to read well, and a lot.
And just to let you all know that I can be un-biased this was my second least favorite so far. I love the X-Men, I had a subscription to the comic book when I was 10 years old. I’m even OK with the Ultimate X-Men comics that take my beloved original stories and modernizes them. What I’m not OK with is a crappy recap of the origin of Wolverine. I know why they did it, I mean they totally have to have a Wolverine comic book for Free Comic Book day that happens to coincide with the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but couldn’t they do something cool like a reprinting of a seminal issue? This book is totally focused on the kids and the art style in the book is my least favorite with rounded lines and day glow colors. No grim, no grit, not Wolverine. Meh. I do recommend this for the younger readers who have been bombarded with Wolverine merchandising for the last four months and this may just satisfy the youngster who is too young to see the PG-13 movie being released on Friday.
And the final one for this round is The Avengers. I liked this one second best next to the Teenage Age Mutant Ninja Turtles. It has a pretty cool story line that actually involves the Dark Avengers which would just take too long to explain it and make sense to everyone. Needless to say out of the other books so far this is definitely second on the list to pick up. The art is done well, there is action on almost every page and there is Spider-Man and Venom as well as Iron Man, Wolverine and others. Good show Marvel at least you got this one right, hopefully I can forgive you for the Wolverine travesty… hopefully.
Stay tuned comic fans, the exciting conclusion is coming in Part 2 soon!
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This post was written by Gabe Wilkinson on April 27, 2009