My freebies were:
Secret Empire FCBD issue
Rick and Morty FCBD
X-O Manowar FCBD
and one I'm really excited about, Catalyst Prime: The Event, from Lion Forge Comics. It's a solid establishing issue for what looks to be a more mature, more diverse superhero universe. Some astronauts go up into space to stop an extinction level asteroid from hitting earth; they partially succeed, but the results of their mission seem to be the catalyst for the emergence of superpowers on the planet. It's written by Priest and Joe Illidge, and drawn by Marco Turini and Will Rosado. Check it out if you can.
Every year I try to get all the FCBD offerings, so I can see what the various publishers think is worth touting so I know what to look at for future Captain Comics columns. Every year I fail.
This year I did better than most by going to two shops; I only missed four books. If anyone has a local shop that has them as leftovers, I'd be appreciate getting hold of them: 2000 AD Special, Colorful Monsters, Grimm Fairy Tales #1, The Tick.
I'm reading the other 46 as convenient, and in some cases following my wife, who made her own stack when we got home. Here's where I am:
Betty & Veronica #1: Same as the real first issue, only with character summaries of the Riverdale gang on TV. I wish Archie Comics would make it more clear that the comics versions are different than the TV versions, instead of constantly muddying the waters. That's a good way to disappoint -- and drive away -- new readers. If they know going in that these characters are different going in, they are more likely to enjoy them.
Riverdale #1: Again, same as the real first issue, and again with the character summaries in the back (which are more appropriate here).
Anyway, there are two stories, one showing what Archie did the summer before the first episode of Riverdale, and depicting the Lodge family's fall from grace. My wife's takeaway was surprise that Hiram Lodge was Hispanic; from the name she assumed he was white (and probably Jewish). Frankly, I assumed he was white also, but when he wasn't it didn't surprise me -- a lot of immigrants change their names to fit in. His original name could be Emilio Estevez for all we know.
My surprise was that Riverdale #1 established where the town was: upstate New York. I had assumed Massachusetts or New Hampshire, given Bob Montana's biography, and further assumed that they'd never tell us. Like Springfield, Riverdale could be in any state but yours, at the intersection of Ohio, Nevada, Kentucky and Maine. I suppose the TV show needed a specific place more than the comics do.
X-O Manowar: My wife read it and promptly declared it "stupid." Well, she doesn't read any Valiant comics (and probably never will). I do, and like 'em, so I was interested.
It was just a teaser for Valiant's upcoming titles, most of them new. We've discussed elsewhere on this board that a number of publishers -- Dark Horse and Dynamite, primarily -- seem to be cutting back. It's true of Valiant as well, where a number of miniseries have reached their end and a number of ongoings have been canceled at pretty much the same time. So Valiant is launching a bunch of new titles, including a new X-O Manowar, Bloodshot: Salvation and Secret Weapons. This book gave us a taste of each.
I made a video of our local FCBD (again):
Despite the rain, it turned out to be a fun day. However, I have no haul, as my "that's the guy who videotapes stuff" status gets me in/out privileges at four of five shops, and I feel like I shouldn't take anything. I'll see what's leftover this week. Check out the Harley with the malfunctioning weapon.
There wasn’t much that piqued my interest this year. The shop I went to had a limit of five, but I had to stretch to reach it. My choices were…
Secret Empire / Spider-Man
Guardians of the Galaxy / Defenders
…and something else.
Didn’t see the Doctor Who one or I would have picked that up.
IDW's Star Trek book is mostly a story about Lt. Barclay from the Mirror Universe. It shows us the state of the Empire, and some of the NextGen crew in Evil Mode. Interesting, but mostly a tease for whatever they plan to do with these characters. Then there are three pages teasing three other Star Trek books, the new post-Star Trek Beyond ongoing, Star Trek/Green Lantern and Star Trek: Waypoint.
My LCS limited people to 4 (I grabbed 5, the privilege of helping out that day). Even with those limits he was cleaned out by 3PM except for some of the DC and Marvels. Those were gone by 5.
I got: The Drawn & Quarterly comic one that has a couple of previews
Fantagraphics World's Greatest Cartoonists
I Hate Image
While not a free comic book for the day, my shop also gave away the Swordquest comic to whoever instead of charging people a quarter for it.
The fifth one I picked up was DC's Wonder Woman.
Mr. Lodge's first name is Hiram, and "Hiram Abiff" is a central figure in Masonic lore. Big Moose was originally "Moose McGee," but at some point early on, he becomes "Moose Mason." I'm not certain these references mean anything other than possible tips of the hat fez.
Emerkeith Davyjack said:
Back in the Earth-DeCarlo days of Archie I saw an a analysis that the choice of Mr. Lodge's name , not just the last , had something to do with the Masons
Or similar .
There are people with Latino backgrounds that have non-Spanish names. A lot of people have moved from one country to another over the centuries and often have names that don't match the majority population.
Emerkeith Davyjack said:
Does FCBD still have a page up listing them all ?
Catalyst Prime: Rob raised my expectations too high -- I found this serviceable, but not exciting. Pretty standard "everybody gets super-powers" origin. Aw, it was late, I was probably tired. There were a couple of characters I was mildly interested in. And there was a nice twist at the end, although it's one Valiant has already used.
Bongo Free-For-All: Actual stories, and not teasers. This read like an issue of Simpsons comics, which means it was pretty good.
Secret Empire: I found this hard to follow. It's kind of a quick-cut explanation for how Hydra defeated the Avengers and took over the U.S. Well, the first part, anyway. And I didn't follow it very well because of the quick cuts -- panels alternating between superheroes fighting (and evidently losing) and Captain Hydra America walking. Somehow Thor is dispatched, Vision is rebooted and Scarlet Witch is taken over, but I don't really understand how or why. I see one superheroine getting punched by a bad guy, but I couldn't identify the bad guy by Sorrentino's eccentric art. In fact, that's pretty much the problem overall -- Andrea Sorrentino is like Jae Lee on acid, and the colors (I assume she did those, too) are all bleached out or monochromatic fills, so that you can't even tell the colors of superhero/supervillain outfits -- which is 90 percent of how to ID them. (Is that Red Hulk or Wonder Man in the shades? Beats me!) Somebody with younger eyes (and more up to date on Marvel doings) will have to explain this to me.
The second story was an old-school Spider-Man story, where he fights an updated Vulture, who wants to go by Falcon now. (He says the name's available, but there was a new Falcon last I heard.) Lots of good jokes and repartee, just like the old days. A new Trapster debuts, who isn't quite as lame as the old one, and makes fun of Spidey's age (she's pretty young), which is good for a few laughs. I don't know where or if this fits into Peter Parker-as-international-mogul continuity, which I don't enjoy. Enjoyed this, though.
Rick and Morty: I've never seen the cartoon, which Rich Lane recommends over on Facebook. The humor apparently arises from the fact that the scientist's sidekick is the one with a moral compass. I did find it amusing, but not enough to seek out more.
Guardians of the Galaxy: There's a back-up Defenders story, and both are set-ups for new ongoing series, but manage to tell a pretty good story in the bargain. The Defenders, of course, are now the same grouping as the Netflix show, but have the comics continuity (meaning Luke is married to Jessica). That confused my wife briefly.