Welcome to a special and late edition of CWPB! As mentioned, Saturday was Free Comic Book Day and my store really goes all out. We had a ton of artists and vendors, plenty of guests, two small concerts, and a lot of awesome sales. This was my first FCBD working and despite the stress, it was a blast as expected. Super thankful to have been involved. Anyway, due to setup and then the day itself and then clean up and recovery from all that at the store I am behind and that’s why this is late. As promised, I’ll talk about some of the free books. Much like the Superman Specials, I’m gonna bump that up into the main content so no post-credit. You’ve already waited extra, so let’s not waste any more time on intro; to the comics!
Action Comics Special #1
After Action Comics #1000, a lot of change is coming to the world of Superman. Mostly Bendis writing Man of Steel. Anyway, creative teams are changing so a Special was put together before #1001 to let the current team wrap some stuff up. The book had three short stories. The primary one involved an enemy from the future who figured out Lois Lane’s connection to Superman and attacked her. It was a pretty tense story and was really good. The villain is all at once obvious but still interesting to see the journey to Superman figuring it out. The writing is excellent, this story being the main event from the current team. Barring AC#1000, this particular story is probably my favorite so far. There’s a second story where Lex, Lois, and Superman as Clark Kent attend the White House Correspondent Dinner. It’s mostly lighthearted and full of jokes like the real dinner, but the story is from Lex Luthor’s point of view and it sets up something significant that happened before. The last story is just a small cute story about Superman helping someone out and then also being a great husband to Lois. This whole issue feels a little redundant, given that we literally just got a big pile of short stories. However, it’s short and enjoyable enough to get a pass. Definitely worth checking out.
DC Nation #0
Speaking of short story collections, here’s DC Nation! It’s a little $.25 issue that gives a quick “what’s going on in DC” for Batman, Superman, and the Justice League. The first story is the Joker waiting for his invitation to Batman’s wedding at some random guy’s house. It’s pretty dark since the guy is waiting to die, but the Joker is actually making jokes and it’s a good take on the character. The second story is another piece of the Bendis Superman stuff. I guess there’s a big shakeup coming in his world to mark the appearance of Bendis on the book.
I don’t really care though, not being a fan of Bendis or the Man of Steel most of the time.
The last page was the only interesting part of the story to me, but I’m sure people excited for Man of Steel got a taste of what they’re looking for. The last story is something for the No Justice event coming up post-Metal. Shit’s fucked, some “multiversal boundary” is broken, super aliens are angry, and the Justice League has broken into smaller themed teams full of weird characters like Lobo, Doctor Fate, Starro, etc. This story actually made me want to check out No Justice, it seems fucking wild. So DC Nation did its job of being so inexpensive everyone picked it up, now to see if it does its job of boosting DC event sales. Three big events at once is bold, between Batman’s Wedding, No Justice, and Man of Steel. There’s certainly something for everyone coming up this summer, so if any of it appeals to you check it out!
Astonishing X-Men #11
The penultimate issue of whatever this arc with Proteus is called. Is it still “A Man Called X”? Turns out yes, it is. Anyway. This issue is at least a little interesting due to the sheer visual spectacle of all the batshit crazy reality warping going on. The psychics, X and Psylocke, are attempting to stem the spread of the reality gardens. Meanwhile the rest of the team fights Proteus head on however they can. I have to say, it’s always nice when every member of a team contributes to an issue in a way that feels meaningful and consistent with their power set. Everybody adds what they can, trying to weaken Proteus enough while the garden is controlled. The issue ends with the world’s most obvious plot twist for the next issue, which promises to be the end of this story. Not much else to say, I’m vaguely curious about the conclusion but I’m all ready to jump off this ship.
This is another one I ended up grabbing on a whim because it’s neat looking and from Boom! who rarely let me down. Once again, lots of fun. Coda takes place in the post-apocalypse of a fantasy world. It’s over the top on purpose, with a cynical bard and his ridiculous fucking pentacorn that murders things and seems to swear instead of making horse noises. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a deconstruction or anything, it’s just very self aware. Unlike a lot of things like it though, it’s not just dumb humor and no substance. The character is at least amusing, he’s sort of an asshole but that’s part of his charm. His overarching goal is to get his wife back, by whatever means. I’m pretty into seeing where this goes, and whether the odd blend of magic and post-apocalypse manages to create a cool world or just become annoying. The art at least finds a middle ground between the bright colors of high fantasy and the dingy apocalypse pallette. I sure can always count on Boom! for something fun.
That’s it for the main section, now for some Free Comic Book Day issue reviews!
Amazing Spider-Man FCBD
I was pretty disinterested in this until my boss pointed out the writer was on Superior Foes of Spider-Man which was a damn fine book. We ended up having leftovers of this one the day after FCBD so I grabbed one for the fuck of it. It ended up being plenty of fun for what it is. Spidey cracks jokes at machine gun pace which I certainly enjoy. I do wish the character hadn’t been forced backwards so far. Last time I read a Spider book he had his own company, and now he’s back at the Bugle again looking for a crappy apartment. I wish the character was allowed to progress a bit more. That said this had all the classic Spidey toppings, and the last panel sets up for an unexpected and possibly hilarious story. Pleasantly surprised by this one!
I almost sort of liked this one at first due to the focus on Black Panther speaking to Odin. Norse stuff and Black Panther stuff are easy wins for me. Unfortunately, Avengers is still focusing on the Avengers 1,000,000 BC story that I just don’t fucking care about. At the dawn of the world there was an Avengers team because of course there was. And they fucked up and killed something they shouldn’t have because of course they did. And now Loki has resurrected said thing to spite his father because of course he fucking has. It’s a neat idea but I just don’t care at all. I read a bit of the new Avengers #1 and a few pages in Tony says something to the effect of “we could find other people that would be better heroes than us” and I want the book to end there and they all go home and fuck off. I wasn’t really reading All New All Different Avengers but I like things being different. Resetting back to be closer to the movies is boring. This is boring. As much as I wanted Odinson back none of this is worth it. The end.
Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake FCBD
Gosh I need to catch up on Adventure Time. I’ve been stalling because I know the next storyline is going to rip my whole entire heart out. Anyway this has nothing to do with that! I fucking love this!!!! The story is a Fionna & Cake special, where they have to deliver a bowl of punch to the Candy Kingdom. They run into some obstacles along the way, and Cake reads a story that’s Ice Queen’s fan fiction about not-Finn and not-Jake (not-Jake appears to be a raccoon!!! Also they aren’t explicitly named). In her story she suggests ways to get around the obstacles that are pretty in line with what you’d expect. While she’s reading, Fionna solves the problems other ways and subverts your expectations. It’s not high literature or anything but it’s cute and fun and has the heart of what made the show great. I love this book thank you.
This is the comic I was legit excited about. I have really enjoyed the Overwatch comics so far and Zarya is a strong contender for my favorite character. This ended up being really cool, as I hoped. Zarya is interesting, we see scenes of her being very kind and scenes of her being openly racist against Omnics (or whatever you call racism against robot people). The comic follows her search for Sombra following the break in at Volskaya we saw in Sombra’s short. I like the format and I really like having it be a direct sequel to another piece of Overwatch lore media. It’s not a super involved story but we see a little more of the universe and a little more of a character I love so it’s a good read. Art is excellent, definitely excited to see more of these one-shots come out over time as they have been.
Nightmare Before Christmas FCBD
This one is super short and simple and cute, and appears to be setting up for a Nightmare Before Christmas manga from TokyoPop. The whole issue is just Jack playing fetch with Zero, which is adorable and fun. It’s obviously a light little prequel to set up for the main series. I don’t know that we need any continuation of the Nightmare story so it feels unnecessary. This is cute and the art is fun though, so the freebie definitely gets a pass from me just for being nice.
That’s all for real now! As always feel free to hit me up on the Skill Floor Discord and thanks for stopping by!