(Note: The first ones are free, Kid. After that, you gotta pay.)
I’ve been under the impression that our family made Free Comic Book Day a tradition and that we’ve gone every year for the last couple of years. Now that I look at this picture of our first (and only recorded) visit, I realize that memory is, once again, the worst witness. That was at least two–and maybe even three–years ago. A visit to Facebook to check the time stamp confirms that we took a year off from the annual celebration of five finger discounts on the funny pages and I’m not sure why. It might have been birthday parties or something. It definitely was not the quality of comics. Those were actually very good and quite impressive for free.
We missed last year, as mentioned, but I put it on the calendar this year. I also reminded everyone for days leading up to the big event. Some of he story of how the actual day went are told in my previous post. If you can’t–or don’t want to–read the story right now, I’ll give the TL:DR version. We got stuck in parade traffic, got to the comic book store late, got our comics, and didn’t stay for anything else. I almost got suckered into buying a set of Dice Masters. Bound to happen eventually.
So, what about the books? I don’t know if it was just because we were late, but the selection seemed quite underwhelming this year. Maybe it is because I haven’t been collecting for at least a decade. I didn’t recognize many of the comics. The ones that I did know didn’t look that appealing. I mean, really, they’re doing Secret Wars again? Come on, have some originality. In the end, I got TMNT (to see if the hype is real), Divergence, and Secret Wars because I’m a fraud. The boys got Pokemon, Transformers, Sonic/Megaman, and Teen Titans/Scooby Doo. Truth be told, their comics look more interesting, so I’ll leave those for last.
First up is Divergence. This is some DC book that contains three separate stories about their most popular characters. I’m a little frustrated that they’re rebooting again, but it is also maybe a good idea. How much are comics now? $3 isn’t bad. I’m intrigued. Wait, they killed Batman? And Joker? What the hell is this? I agree with Gordon. This is dumb. A reboot is good because it gives a good place to get back in, but will I? The next story is about Superman. The first thing that I notice is that JRJR is now with DC. That seems odd. Lois gave up his secret identity? Maybe I do want to check this out. The Wonder Woman story is also good and I actually write Chris that I’m considering a return to the comic book store. If only the Marvel books are as good.
Yeah, about that. They are not. Secret Wars is terrible. Ultimate End is awful. Inhumans is ridiculously inane. These are all previews and none of them make me want to buy the actual book. In what universe do we live that I’m more interested in DC books than Marvel? Clearly Marvel has given up on comics and prefers to exist in movies and television.
That brings us to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Both Chris and I had strong things to say about Donatello being killed off in a recent story line, but this is actually a pretty good book right now. The only name that I recognize is Eastman, but that might actually be a good thing. I still think that it could have been done without killing Donatello. Still, I might pick up some of the trades to catch up on the story.
Now, onto the books that the boys picked up. Liam read Pokemon as soon as we got back in the car. He called it weird and said that it didn’t follow the main story. It is one of the comics that reads backwards, but I don’t think that’s what he meant by weird. Many of the Pokemon comics are like that. I suspect that he meant the same thing with both statements. I haven’t read it yet, but I trust his judgement.
The Transformers comic is a full story one similar to the DC books that I read and they illustrate just how old I am. I only recognize Bumblebee, but I suppose that many of the characters are from the Transformers Prime. I’ve always meant to watch the show. Maybe this will be the introduction and reason that I need to start. There is also an interesting little introduction to Transformers vs. GI Joe. The book isn’t bad, but it’s definitely a kid book.
Both the Sonic/Megaman and Scooby-Doo/Teen Titans books follow the same format as the Transformers. They are full story introductions into the new stories that are coming during the summer. One thing that I notice is that there are multiple Sonic titles. They also blatantly plug a new video game, which is to be expected, I suppose. Megaman is much darker and more intense. Seems like it might be better for older kids and I’m somewhat interested to see how the comics and worlds will cross over. Finally, Scooby-Doo is much more like the older TV show that I remember than some of the more recent TV shows have been. That’s a good thing. I couldn’t even do Teen Titans. There was far too much happening in that book, color and insanity wise for my old brain.
In closing, other than TMNT the adult books were disappointing. DC was better than Marvel, but that’s not saying much because Marvel were awful. The kid books were all full story, mostly decent, fun, and more interesting than the adult ones. I doubt that I’d enjoy any of them as a month to month. There is some glimmer of hope. They are doing what Chris and I thought they should do and trying to hook young fans into comic books. I don’t know how successful, but both boys have asked to read some of my old books. I also asked them if they wanted to start collecting comics and they both said yes. Once again, they failed to hook me enough to get me to start collecting, but I might invest in trades of TMNT, at least, so that’s something. Also, definitely going to sign up for Marvel Unlimited because they have another free month trial. I’m not fully back and I might never be. However, I’m at least partly still in, so there’s hope for us old guys, too.