FCBD 2104: Read It or Leave It? Part Three

And here are the final 24 (of 60) Free Comic Book Day titles!

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INTRINSIC VOL 2

fcbd 2014 intrinsic

Publisher: ARCANA STUDIO
(W) Sean O’Reilly, Chris “Doc” Wyatt (A/CA) TBD
THE PHILOSOPHERS are an ancient secret order of magic-users who protect Earth. One of their number, ISHMAEL STONE, known as PHILOSOPHER REX, has assembled an elite team, called THE INTRINSIC to deal with the most serious threats from the outer realms. The team includes: KADE – the immortal warrior, KORE – the massive Demon-spawn, KINETIC – master of mental powers, JAS – a young spiritual warrior monk, and CANDICE CROW – the living embodiment of heat. But how will the Intrinsic react when they are called not to protect the Earth, but to protect themselves from it?

A slim volume, with character introductions and a brief comic story. Not interesting enough to grab my attention, and the artwork seems half-baked.

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IPSO FACTO (MR)

fcbd 2014 ipso facto

Publisher: AUTOMATIC PICTURES PUBLISHING
(W) J.R. Rothenberg (A/CA) Jason Badower, Annette Kwok
A peaceful alien race secretly inhabiting Earth suddenly begins to flee when a satellite intended to eliminate nuclear war is launched. Meanwhile, a boy in Colorado, a lovestruck rebel without a cause, believes he’s going insane; his mind replaying a single message: “remember who you are… or this world ends.”

Some mystery, some conspiracy… Worth a look, but not my thing.

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LES MISERABLES FALL OF FANTINE

fcbd 2014 les mis

Publisher: UDON ENTERTAINMENT CORP
(W) Victor Hugo (A/CA) Sunmei Lee
18th Century France-REVOLUTION! The Monarchy has been overthrown, society has collapsed, the people are destitute… and desperate! In 2014 UDON Entertainment will bring Victor Hugo’s classic novel Les Miserables to comics in a bold new graphic novel adaptation! But this Free Comic Book Day, learn the story of Fantine, the beautiful, fragile, doomed heroine of Les Miz in this special stand-alone chapter. She will fall into poverty… and worse… and she will find salvation in the deeds of a stranger named Jean Valjean! This issue will be printed at UDON’s standard manga size of 5.25″ x 8.25″, and feature 48 pages of gripping story and brilliant artwork.

Les Mis has the generic uniform-line-width/colored-with-screens style. P&P has much more interesting artwork.

[Oooh… crazy idea: DC Elseworlds: “Batman: A Song of Angry Men”! Fantine=Catwoman]

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MAGIC WIND

fcbd 2014 magic wind

Publisher: EPICENTER COMICS
(W) Gianfranco Manfredi (A/CA) Pasquale Frisenda
With a shard of metal in his brain allowing him limited access to his past memories, and only being left with an astonishing ability to foresee the future through visions and premonitions, Ned Ellis is no ordinary man. Once a U.S soldier, he is now a Sioux Shaman who goes by the name of Magic Wind. This FCBD edition will give you an exciting extended preview of the thrilling upcoming graphic novel!

Spaghetti western comic from Italy.  It might read better as a graphic novel.

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MOUSE GUARD LABYRINTH RUST HC

fcbd 2014 archaia

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT
(W/A) David Petersen & Various (CA) David Petersen
When Archaia released their first hardcover FCBD offering two years ago, it was a rousing success with fans and retailers alike. Now they’re doing it again! Readers will get original, all-ages content from a powerhouse lineup of Archaia creators. Plus, the debut of FARSCAPE comics under the Archaia imprint!

Mouseguard, as expected, offers a nice story with a message.  The Rust story is a snippet… but probably fits in somwhere in the bigger story.  Labyrinth features Ludo and the Four Guards.  Bolivar is about a dinosaur?  Will O’ The Wisp features Missy, a normal raccoon, while Farscape is just a nice interlude.

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OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK MARKETPLACE

fcbd 2014 overstreet

Publisher: GEMSTONE PUBLISHING
(W) Robert M. Overstreet, J. C. Vaughn
A stunning visual representation of Batman’s 75th anniversary, a look (way) back at the origins of The Winter Soldier, a 20th anniversary chat with Billy Tucci about Shi, a look at the long and sometimes hidden history of Archie’s “Red Circle” line, a forgotten first appearance, and much more are featured in this FCBD 2014 issue of Overstreet’s Comic Book Marketplace!

Almost all text, as should be expected from a magazine such as this.

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PREVIEWSWORLD SPECTACULAR

fcbd 2014 previews

Publisher: DIAMOND PUBLICATIONS
There’s no place like your favorite local comic shop, and every month PREVIEWS celebrates the cool comic books and merchandise available in stores! Now the team behind PREVIEWS and PREVIEWSworld.com takes an enthusiastic look at the worlds of FCBD and your local comic shop in this FCBD 2014 special! First, you get a primer on PREVIEWS with our comics story on how to use the PREVIEWS catalog and buy through your local comic shop’s subscription service. Plus, a “FCBD & Collecting Comics” story from the folks behind the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide on what makes reading and collecting comics so cool! Finally, we’ll take you behind the scenes of 2014′s FCBD titles with interviews with some of this year’s creators, including FCBD 2014′s Commemorative T-Shirt artist, Skottie Young! And we top all of that off with invaluable info on online resources, 2014 convention dates, cool contests to enter and more – all for FREE! Features a cool, Skottie Young cover celebrating FCBD!

A comic book guide to Diamonds Previews.  Not a bad primer to comics, comics shops, and the industry.  (Look!  Charts!)

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SCAM CROSSWORDS #0

fcbd 2014 scam

Publisher: COMIXTRIBE
(W) Jason Ciaramella (A/CA) Joe Mulvey
Spinning out of the pages of the super-powered con-man series, SCAM, Eisner-nominated writer Jason Ciaramella (The Cape) and “the most dangerous man in comics” Joe Mulvey bring you an explosive one-shot featuring SCAM’s ultimate villain: Crosswords!  After being exiled from “Sin City”, Crosswords makes a power grab in Europe, using extreme means to take what he wants. His focus, however, never strays far from his ultimate goal of revenge on his old crew back in Vegas.

So Crosswords is a hitman/crime lord?  Not quite sure what’s going on here.

The backup feature, “Hammered”, features a conman who muscles up by drinking copious amounts of alcohol.  Popeye gets pickled?

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SCRATCH 9

fcbd 2014 scratch
Publisher: HERMES PRESS
(W) Rob M. Worley (A) Jason T. Kruse (CA) Armand Villavert
He’s back for Free Comic Book Day! The world’s greatest superhero cat returns in this all-ages, all-cat, all-free funny-book featuring all-new stories! Scratch is an ordinary cat who can summon his nine lives to get himself and his pet posse out of a jam. This new edition is a direct lead-in to the summer’s monthly Scratch9 series: Cat of Nine Worlds! The fur starts flying here!

Scratch can access the abilities of his former lives. There’s supervillains, and a cameo by President Obama and Bo! The flipbook features Run & Amuk, featuring an orphan and his giant monster. When the monster gets worked up, the duo get zapped into the time stream.

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SHERWOOD TX BOONDOCK SAINTS DOUBLE FEAT

fcbd 2014 12gauge
Publisher: 12 GAUGE COMICS LLC
(W) Shane Berryhill & Various (A) Daniel Hillyard, Toby Cypress (CA) Andrew Robinson
A story older than all of us, told now for the first time… After the same biker gang who murdered his father leaves ROB HOOD for dead, he returns to seek revenge on an epic, blood-soaked scale. Combining the biker gang epic with Spaghetti Western sensibilities, SHERWOOD, TX retells the legend of Robin Hood as a modern day, noir-action opus.  Hood is joined on his quest by Padre Elvin Tuck, Will Scarlet, and Little John, as they take on the crooked Sheriff of Nottingham, TX and his partners in crime, The Nobles biker gang and their leader John Prince.  Included in this 12-Gauge FCBD issue is a special BOONDOCK SAINTS co-feature, written by film-franchise creator/writer/director Troy Duffy and comic scribe J.B. Love, with art by Toby Cypress! Fans of the film series won’t want to miss this short story/deleted scene from the original cult-classic film, as the MacManus brothers bring their brand of justice to the criminals of Boston, MA.

The initial story gives a decent introduction to the series, setting up the conflicts. Boondock Saints… no idea what’s going on, but it’s a nice story with some gratuitous violence.

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SHOWA HISTORY OF JAPAN

fcbd 2014 showa
Publisher: DRAWN & QUARTERLY
(W/A/CA) Shigeru Mizuki
Shigeru Mizuki’s Showa: A History of Japan FCBD 2014 will offer a rare preview of the 2,000 page masterpiece on the history of modern Japan. The D+Q series will be published in four separate volumes throughout 2014 and early 2015 and this special FCBD edition will offer an excerpt of the harrowing period covering World War 2 and beyond. Award-winning author Shigeru Mizuki writes affectingly about the impact on the Japanese populace of world-changing moments including the devastating Second Sino-Japanese War, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the first half of the Pacific War. Mizuki is one of the early pioneers of manga and is one of the most beloved creators in Japanese comics.

http://www.drawnandquarterly.com/shopCatalogLong.php?item=a514204cdae83d Biographical, depicting the artist’s enlistment in the Japanese Navy.

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SKYWARD & MIDNIGHT TIGER

fcbd 2014 midnight tiger
Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT
(W) Jeremy Dale & Various (A) Jeremy Dale, Ray-Anthony Height (CA) Jeremy Dale
Behold the Berserkers! Quinn and crew find themselves facing uncomfortable truths as sins of the past come back to reveal themselves.  Fans old and new won’t want to miss the first look at what’s on the horizon for Quinn and Jack!   And in Midnight Tiger, sometimes all it takes to become a hero is an unfortunate incident and a single split second decision.  The origin of Midnight Tiger!

Skyward is a fantasy tale, in the style of Vikings or Game of Thrones (although not as ruthless). Midnight Tiger is the story of a teen who gets slashed by a super villain, then saved by a serum from a super hero.

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SONIC THE HEDGEHOG MEGA MAN FLIPBOOK #1

fcbd 2014 sega
Publisher: ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS
(W) Ian Flynn (A) Gary Martin & Various (CA) Tracy Yardley, T.Rex
Its TWO free comic books in ONE! Hot off the heels of the ultra-successful Sonic/Mega Man crossover event, “Worlds Collide”, comes a showcase issue of the hottest new storylines in both characters’ universes – exclusively for Free Comic Book Day! Sonic stars in “Blast to the Past” and the origin of his Freedom Fighters! Then, on the flipside of this issue, get ready for the “Mega Man X” crossover event with this primer story!

Mega Man X looks like a next-generation character (possibly the original Mega Man locked away until the world is ready for him). Sonic acts as a introductory primer, telling the backstories of the Freedom Fighters.

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STEAM WARS

fcb 2014 antarctic
Publisher: ANTARCTIC PRESS
(W/A/CA) Fred Perry
A not so long ago, in a galaxy relatively close by began an epic struggle on a world seized in the grip of an evil Victorian empire.  Only a ragged alliance of rebels oppose the emperor and his black guard, but hope is fading.  While fleeing from the steam-driven war machines of her imperial pursuers, Duchess Imoen stumbles across the home of the last Dragoon: the legendary storm foil warriors of ancient lore!  This new (but strangely familiar) steam-fantasy epic will give thrills that haven’t been felt since 1977!

Cybersteampunk (yup… there are spaceships) version of “Star Wars”, with a few twists in the DNA to keep it legal and fun. If you like manga and/or parody, grab a copy.

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STREET FIGHTER #0

fcbd 2014 streetfighter
Publisher: UDON ENTERTAINMENT CORP
(W) Ken Siu-Chong (A) Joe Ng & Various
SHO-RYU-KEN! UDON’s Street Fighter comics are back, and bigger than ever! Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, and all of the hadoken-hurling action you love graces the pages of this oversized new comic book! Developed specially for Free Comic Book Day, this issue includes brand-new stories for hardcore Street Fighter fans, and a stand-alone chapter from Street Fighter Origins: Akuma-the perfect introduction for newcomers to the Street Fighter universe!

I’ve never played the game (too many buttons, moves, combinations), so don’t know who any of these characters are.  The stories are readable, but not memorable.

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TEEN TITANS GO #1 SPEC ED

fcbd 2014 dc TTGo
Publisher: DC
(W) Sholly Fisch, Merrill Hagan (A) Ben Bates, Jorge Corona (CA) Dan Hipp
This FCBD issue is the perfect place to start reading the sensational series based on Warner Bros. Animation’s hit animated show featured on Cartoon Network’s DC Nation Saturday morning programming block! Join Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Raven as they display their unique brand of hi-jinks, mayhem and justice! But giant pizza monsters aren’t the only dastardly and delicious villains on the menu… so dig in, Titans! Includes two exciting, action-packed stories that readers of all ages will enjoy!

A reprint of the first issue, showcasing the zaniness of the cartoon.

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THE SMURFS

FCBD14_COV.indd
Publisher: PAPERCUTZ
The Smurfs return to Free Comic Book Day! This year’s offering features never-before-seen comic stories from Péyo starring everyone’s favorite blue bombshell: the Smurfette! It’s Smurftastically Free!

A Smurfette-centric story, complete with footnotes! Annoying Orange visits Comic-Con! Ariol meets his favorite author! And you’ll learn something about dinosaurs!

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THE TICK

fcbd 2014 tick
Publisher: NEW ENGLAND COMICS
(W) Jeff McClelland (A/CA) Duane Redhead

[no summary]

This is a done-in-one story, where the Tick and Arthur must rescue their city from the Hoarder.

A fun read, as zany as the rest of the oeuvre.

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TOP SHELF KIDS CLUB

fcbd 2014 topshelf
Publisher: TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS
(W/A) Eric Orchard, Rob Harrell (CA) Eric Orchard
Here at Top Shelf, we’re celebrating FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2014 with friends old and new — the latest lineup of the Top Shelf Kids Club! This FREE comic book contains an extensive preview of the upcoming MADDY KETTLE by Eric Orchard, as well as other stories by MONSTER ON THE HILL’s Rob Harrel, and the rest of the Top Shelf crew. Come on in and join the party!

The Maddy Kettle story hooks the reader, while the Monster on the Hill story shows that not all Monsters cause the same troubles.

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UBER THE FIRST CYCLE (MR)

fcbd 2104 uber
Publisher: AVATAR PRESS INC
An ideal entry point into the world of Uber!  Kieron Gillen and Caanan White electrified the comics community with their runaway hit, UBER in 2013.  Now the creative team that revolutionized the super soldier genre is presenting a special Free Comic Book Day edition, Uber: The First Cycle!  This is a history book told with the events of the first two story arcs woven into real-World history and with tons of all-new writing from Gillen, special new art and sneak-peaks of upcoming pages.  This issue will bring readers new and old up to speed on the first two arcs of the Uber series, without ruining all the fun of reading the collected editions.  It also serves as a direct teaser into the summer 2014 Uber story that promises to be the biggest and most shocking yet!

What if, as Russian troops entered Berlin towards the end of World War II, a mad German scientist unleashed super soldiers, decimating the Russian army, thereby changing the war dynamic? Yes, there are lots of text pieces, but it is an intriguing alternate history tale.

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VALIANT UNIVERSE HANDBOOK

fcbd 2014 valiant2
Publisher: VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC
(W/A) Various (CA) Lewis LaRosa
The Valiant Universe from A to Z! Discover for the very first time the untold origins and secrets of Valiant’s heroes and villains, all in one place! Everything you need to know about the Valiant Universe in 2014 and beyond can be found right here in the first official Valiant Handbook release… ever! Featuring artwork from a “murderer’s row” of comics brightest talents: Doug Braithwaite, Bryan Hitch, J.G. Jones, Esad Ribic, Clayton Crain, Clayton Henry, and more!

TL;DR

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V-WARS (Net) (MR)

fcbd 2014 vwars
Publisher: IDW PUBLISHING
(W) Jonathan Maberry (A) Alan Robinson (CA) Kevin Eastman
New York Times bestselling horror author Jonathan Maberry presents the chronicle of the first Vampire War in V-Wars! This all-new tale leading into this summer’s ongoing V-Wars series offers the first salvo in the battle between humans and hundreds of new species of vampires!

A virus escapes from the melting icecaps, and uses junk DNA to turn humans into various species (!) of vampire. Some vampires are normal citizens, others have become radical. There is a prose series as well. I found the text section in the back to be boring. (It should have been formatted as a Congressional hearing transcript.)

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WORLDS OF ASPEN

WorldsofAspen2010
Publisher: ASPEN MLT INC
(W) Vince Hernandez (A) Peter Steigerwald & Various
Aspen’s popular zero issues return, and only in this exclusive Free Comic Book Day issue featuring two all new stories by Aspen’s finest! Vince Hernandez, creator of Charismagic and Trish Out of Water, offers his latest creation, the upcoming fairy-tale adventure series Damsels in Excess, along with brilliant series artist Mirka Andolfo (Trish Out of Water) in this special zero issue prelude–just in time for its summer release! Then, superstar colorist and creator Peter Steigerwald (Fathom, Soulfire), takes a journey into the furthest reaches of the universe in his first all-new Aspen series, The ZooHunters! Coming this fall, this new action-adventure series will redefine what it means to voyage beyond your wildest imagination! Get an exclusive first look with these thrilling zero issues, only available in Worlds of Aspen 2014!

Damsels in Excess, while maintaining the Aspen style of beauty, does offer an interesting setting: a realm ruled by five princesses, bereft of men.  The art is a bit cartoony, which makes it accessible, and less cheesecakey.  ZooHunters features a world of hunters and trappers, dealing in xenobiology.  This could be interesting.  I’ll wait for the trade.

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ZOMBIE TRAMP & EHMM THEORY (NET) (MR)

fcbd 2014 tramp
Publisher: DANGER ZONE
(W) Dan Mendoza, Brockton McKinney (A) Dan Mendoza, Larkin Ford (CA) Dan Mendoza
Are you bold enough to take a ride with Janey, the Zombie Tramp?!? If you pick her up, she might just share the story of how she came to be the street walking dead!! Be brave so you can be ready for her all new series following this special issue! You also get a mind shattering sneak preview from the second volume of the coolest comic series you haven’t read yet… Ehmm Theory!

Ehmm Theory… he’s a guy who can travel the multiverse. Seems that there is an evil jester chimpanzee on his trail. Apparently the universe he’s in, in this story doesn’t have backgrounds. The Dry Spell preview? It doesn’t work.

Um… Yes, she’s a zombie. She has the magical ability to appear human.  That is, a human female with inflated breasts and hips, no waist, and just enough clothing to keep her from breaking public indecency laws.  No brokeback poses, at least… Yes, I get the joke…  But if they had made her a rockerbilly rollergirl with some tats, more natural yet sexy curves, and a brain and wit, well, I would be more inclined to read it.  And recommend it.  It’s at the bottom of the list alphabetically and critically.

I guess I’m just disappointed in Action Lab.  After Princeless and Molly Danger, I expected better.  This issue could have been better.  A wasted opportunity to showcase their more adult titles.

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Comments

  1. Kate Willaert says:

    I really wanted SHOWA, but no one in town had it.

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