First up on the block is DC Universe #0, which was being given away for free. Sweet zombie Jesus, it's awful beyond words. No idea what the fuck is going on. Even at zero pence and zero pounds I feel overcharged!
TF Animated: The middle bit of the pilot movie in screengrab vision, presumably lifted from the digest book. The point of this eludes me, but it's well done for that sort of thing and fine for a free bit of tat.
It may be worthwhile to check your local comic shop (er, if you have one) to see if they have any free stuff. I shall be at FPG bright and early. If previous years are anything to go by, the free stuff is usually gone by 10am. Though, shockingly, last year the comics were on a table rather than thrown on the floor.
I was there at 9:10am so the full spread was available. Picked up one of everything available, except Sonic. Sorry, even for free I won't read Sonic the arsehole Hedgehog.
It seems churlish to kick things that were free, but here we go!
Nancy/Melvin Monster: old comedy reprints from Drawn and Quaterly. Always nice to see old material being revived, though this is not for me. Kids might love it though.
Resurrection (Omni): Aliens invaded Earth, they left. Intrigue ensues. Decent premise but in execution feels like a fan comic with clunky dialogue but has a certain something. Unexpected ending though. It does advertise a trade at $6 for 184 pages. May check it out.
Love and Rockets (Fantagraphics): I had no idea what the fuck was going on. Pretentious.
Worlds of Aspen (Aspen): Ahahahhahahahahhahahahhaha. No.
Shonen Jump Special: This has to be seen to be believed. It features a manga from Stan 'The Man' Lee and a pull-out glossy poster featuring Stan drawn in 'the manga style'. Dabel Brothers Showcase: Hohohohohohohohohoho. Nay. Includes an excert from a Star Wars novel featuring the line: "She felt a tickle in the Force, warning of imminent attack."
Warhammer Online: Prelude to War (Boom!): Screamingly funny sword and sorcery bollocks. Not sure it's meant to be funny though. Choice line: "I am matter and meat. Flesh and bone. Meat I need, to swell and grow large, grow and breed. I live to pass the blessings of Grandfather Nurgle, to build a world of decay. But you will not harm me!"
Archie presents The Mighty Archie Art Players: Pain. Paiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin.
Hot Lists (Wizard): So the Twisted Toyfare Theatre feat Transformers is raising a few chuckles when it stops suddenly: 'Find out what happens next in Volume 10 of 'Twisted Toyfare Theatre, due out in July.' No, Wizard, that's not how you do it. By July, I will have forgotten.
Dark Horse 'Free Comic Book Day': Featuring Star Wars, Usagi Yojimbo, Emily the Strange, Beanworld and Indiana Jones. Decent variety of complete stories, accessable to younger readers. That's how you do a sampler.
Aliens/Predator (Dark Horse): Trailer for the relaunches of these two dormant franchises. The Aliens strip has a decent premise. May check out the title.
Savage Dragon #148 (Image): Full regular issue, no ads, the premise of the book clearly explained in an intro and a text piece re: the Golden Age origins of a featured character. That's how you do it, Image. Well played.
William Shatner Presents (Bluewater Productions): The cover features Shatner gurning in the skies above a city on fire, as a hot chick is struck by lightning and things explode. There are also some comic strips inside.
Owly and Friends! (Top Shelf Productions): Absolutely wonderful. Heartwarming. I'll pick up some Owly off the back of this.
Transformers Animated/GI Joe (IDW): Couple of readable trailers for Joe minis, but the TF strip cuts off with: 'To be continued in the trade paperback Transformers Animated: The Arrival'. Um, bugger off I say.
Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Mirage): Highlight of the FCBD selection. Excellent reproduction of the original Turtles comic from 1984. Nice paper stock, surprisingly enjoyable comic tale (hadn't read it before) and intros from the creators. Worth paying money for.
DC Kids Mega Sampler (DC): Promos for younger reader titles. Shazam is decent, Brave and the Bold lacks the flair of the cartoon and Tiny Titans is fine.
Wolverine: Origin of an X-Men (Marvel): Inexplicable younger readers version of Wolverine. Very bland.
The Avengers (Marvel): New Avengers meet Dark Avengers. Mostly played for laughs, quite fun. Enjoyed it.
Blackest Night #0 (DC): Readable, accessable, but I can't say it particularly excited me or makes me want me to read more.
And that's your lot. Decent amount of variety this year. Couple of gems.
I'd have to agree with you regarding "Blackest Night". There is nothing wrong with what they have done, they've created a nice little trailer for the forthcoming Green Lantern event - and an effective primer for getting folk who are a bit out of touch (like me) with the new status quo re all the extra Lantern Corps, but it doesn't really do anything that grabs the attention. I think if I was already reading Green Lantern and looking forward to the event it would have been quite exciting. But it doesn't really do anything that engages with the uncommitted reader.
The Gi:Joe preview reprints were decent. The second one made me toy briefly with the idea of trying out IDW's new Joe material. As to the Wolverine thing...I read it, I put it down and thought to myself "What is the point of this. Why does it exist?" I'm still not sure that I can come up with a satisfactory answer.
I do agree that the Turtles#1 reprint is the standout of this years haul though. It has been a few years since I have read the issue (and one day I must actually read all of an issue of Turtles that isn't this one....) but it was quite fun to re-read it, and it is very well presented.
The Avengers comic did surprise me though. I was anticipating not liking it - as I dislike the entire premise of the Dark Avengers, and the Dark Reign storyline. The comic was surprisingly entertaining. Doesn't make me any more well-disposed to the Dark Avengers as a concept, but taken on its own merits it is actually quite a fun little story.
Yeah Blackest Night was more a buildup rather than an exciting trailer, which was a shame. However Green Lantern is constantly the best thing on the shelves at the moment, so I have no doubt it will be amazing.
Well, Marvel have later released their last few FCBD original content titles (Spider-Man, X-Men) in the direct market. Perhaps having a different sized FCBD edition makes the direct market edition more sellable.
Of course, they did not bother. I saw lots of people stream in, take a quick look round and quickly leave again!
Thor/Captain America, 2000AD, Adam West comic, Green Lantern grabbed from Ebay. Would have grabbed more FCBD stuff but the cost would have mounted up. No Owly this year? Shame. Only A Place In Space have Spider-Man, but they will never get my money.
the Boom comic, as it has the creative team from Guardians of the Galaxy - Abnett/Lanning and Walker so should be pretty good as it is apparently in the same ballpark. 2000ad FCBD edition, the Bongo Comics issue as well as the Archaia Mouse Guard HC and another copy of 80.5.