Best Comic Books Ever (This Week) is our weekly guide to the best new comics in stores, but today we're taking a special look at the best free comics on offer at this year's Free Comic Book Day on Saturday 7 May.
Free Comic Book Day is an annual event in which publishers offer readers a chance to pick up free comics and samplers at local comic book stores. To find a participating store near you visit FreeComicBookDay.com. Most stores will only let you pick up a limited number of free comics, so that there are enough to go around, so here are our recommendations of the cream of the crop.
The first Saturday of May is Free Comic Book Day, the day when fans of all ages converge on their local comic book stores to sample the finest wares of a host of publishers, all for free. The event has been taking place every year since 2002, and each year it gets bigger and better.
The event began from the germ on idea suggested by retailer Jim Field in an article for Comic Buyers Guide, in which he noted superhero franchises such as X-Men and Spider-Man were reigniting interest in superhero comics following the boom and bust of the '90s.
What a week! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to sit back and read some comics. The weekend is finally here, and the world can relax and rest once more - but the comics industry has been busy too, you know, and the last seven days have seen a flurry of comics-based news and announcements fly past at high speed. ComicsAlliance have got your back, though: when it comes to comics, we never slow down, and so here’s a look back and just what’s been going on. New comics, new stories, new hirings, new podcasts, new art being made - it’s all part of the ComicsAlliance Weekender!
Marvel Comics has been teasing its big Spider-Man event for 2016, "Dead No More" for a few months now, but over the last week information has slowly trickled out in the form of teasers by Alexander Lozano, seemingly showing Spider-Man's closest loved ones and deadliest enemies returned from the grave. The last of the teasers has been released today and with it comes the reveal of the return of Peter Parker's greatest enemy.
Marvel released a bafflingly oblique teaser image on Tuesday, the words 'DEAD NO MORE' against a black background, prompting fans to speculate which of Marvel's heroes is next in line for a resurrection, even as they're debating which hero will die (for a while) in the pages of Civil War II.
Before any kind of consensus could be achieved, Marvel released a second teaser today, 'BEST BEWARE MY STING', against a black and yellow background. A quote from Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, the line and colors both suggest the character Wasp, aka Janet Van Dyne. But Janet already came back from the dead; surely the first teaser can't be about her? So what other theories do we have? Well... is it possible that Marvel is hinting at a relaunch of Slingers?
Z2 Comics will offer its first ever Free Comic Book Day title in 2016, Comics Lab, featuring work by Ian McGinty (Welcome to Showside), Chris Hunt (Carver: A Paris Story), Jarrett Williams (Super Pro KO), Alexis Zirritt (Teen Dog), with a cover from Tyler Boss (Lazarus). The anthology is built around the theme of... comics, with all stories featuring Z2 Comics characters.
Exclusive to Comics Alliance, Z2 also revealed the covers and synopses for its March releases:
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Free Comic Book Day, Diamond Comic Distributors is offering commemorative T-shirts featuring designs by Art Baltazar (Aw Yeah Comics!) and Francesco Francavilla (Afterlife with Archie), which will be featured in the January issue of Previews and arrive in comic book stores in April 2016.
Diamond Comics Distributors and the Free Comic Book Day Committee have announced the twelve Gold Sponsor comic book titles for next year's Free Comic Book Day. FCBD is held on the first Saturday in May at participating comic book shops, and the next one happens on May 7th, 2016.
The Gold Titles represent the industry's top publishers, and feature a variety of styles and stories for all kinds of comics readers.
As has become a tradition for Valiant over the last couple of years, the publisher's Free Comic Book Day offering closes with teasers for new books launching later in 2015. This year's comic teased returns for Archer & Armstrong, Eternal Warrior, and Harbinger; it looks as though Valiant is bringing it all back harder than an S Club 7 reunion tour.
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