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April 30, 2010

Geek Out!: Five picks for Free Comic Book Day

Posted: 03:29 PM ET
Iron Man and Thor, part of Free Comic Book Day
Iron Man and Thor, part of Free Comic Book Day

Editor's note: Geek Out! posts feature the latest and most interesting in nerd-culture news. From sci-fi and fantasy to gadgets and science, if you can geek out over it, you can find it on Geek Out! Look for Geek Out! posts on CNN's SciTech blog.

Tomorrow is a magical day at your local comic book shop. You can walk into the store, load up on some comic books and walk out without paying ... completely legally!

That's right, it's Free Comic Book Day, and many comic book publishers are offering very special issues of some of their hottest titles for fans to enjoy without paying a dime.

This event has taken place since 2002, after retailer Joe Field was inspired by Baskin Robbins' "Free Scoop" night. For an ailing industry, it seemed like just the ticket: If it works for ice cream, why not?

Every year, many comic book stores make Free Comic Book Day a big deal, and with so many major and independent publishers out there, there's a lot to choose from. There's literally something for everyone, from Archie and the Simpsons to a sampling of comics from small publisher Oni Press to a comic book about Lady Gaga. Here are a few suggested titles to check out:

– War of the Supermen #0 is the beginning of what is promised to be one of the biggest Superman events ever, the culmination of a years-long story arc, involving the arrival of 100,000 super-powered Kryptonians living on Earth. The idea behind these free comics is usually to make them accessible to new readers, so if they can pull this off, that will be quite the feat. Younger readers might want to check out the DC Kids Mega Sampler instead. (DC is owned by Time Warner, which also owns CNN.)

– This year, Seth Rogen will star as the Green Hornet in a major motion picture. However, this is hardly the first time Hollywood has tried to bring the Hornet to the big screen. At one point, writer/director Kevin Smith had a script for a big-budget treatment of the classic radio character before dropping out, reportedly due to getting cold feet about such a big undertaking. As Smith told, he was approached to try a new take on the Hornet and ended up putting his script to the comic page. The Green Hornet #1 is the first part of that effort, and having read it, I can say it's definitely an intriguing story so far, about a Hornet for a new generation.

– For G.I. Joe fans, it doesn't get much better than Larry Hama's treatment of the characters, which started in 1982 for Marvel Comics. After Joe fever died down, the series ended with the 155th issue (now highly sought-after by collectors). G.I. Joe #155 1/2 is Hama's attempt to continue that story after the G.I. Joe team has shut down and Cobra runs rampant. Should be very interesting reading.

– And now for one of the classics. If you watched the Fox Saturday morning lineup back in the 1990s, you should be very familiar with the Tick. You may have even seen the short-lived, critically acclaimed prime-time series in 2001. Now readers can see where it all began with a special reprint of The Tick #1, especially for Free Comic Book Day. Spoon!

– Invariably, Free Comic Book Day is timed to coincide with a major comic book-based motion picture release. This time, it's "Iron Man 2." Marvel has a possible sneak preview of the upcoming "Avengers" movie with Iron Man/Thor, as the two heroes team up for a special free story, promising a "bold new direction" for both characters. Younger readers are encouraged to read old Shellhead's adventures in Iron Man: Supernova.

Like I said, there's more where that came from, but that should get you started. Happy reading!

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Filed under: Geek Out!

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Bill   April 30th, 2010 7:31 pm ET

War of the Supermen sounds like it'll be pretty interesting, but as far as that hackless Smith's book I wouldn't even use it for toilet paper if push came to shove.

John   April 30th, 2010 8:14 pm ET

Another tip: Don't miss the very first Free Comic Book Day comic from Overstreet – a guide to collecting comics – with sweet Mister Miracle cover art by the enormously talented Brendan and Brian Fraim!

MrSnow   April 30th, 2010 10:05 pm ET

People tend to forget (for some bizzare reason) to mention the most influencial modern comics, Neil Gaiman's Sandman. Also, some of the greatest science fiction writers of the 60's wrote for comics, see Vic and Blood. In the search for popularity in super heroes we tent to forget the landmark events and publications that set the precedents which allow these figures to be far more interesting and human than their ancestors.

sandy   April 30th, 2010 10:12 pm ET

anyone know if there are online sites where you can get the free comic books?

sandy   April 30th, 2010 10:20 pm ET

I just found a website where you can get up to 3 free comic books:

Dawn   April 30th, 2010 10:30 pm ET

My favorite comic is online.
Dr. McNinja! Hilarious.
Google it.

Gigglemethis   April 30th, 2010 11:43 pm ET

Not sure if you can simply walk out with Free comics, legally per se' or as the article says. Maybe check with your local retailer first since he paid 16 cents each for them.

Maybe the word Free is the only thing free left. What a bad article. Boo!

Lia   May 1st, 2010 12:20 am ET

The comics are free, although in my experience most stores limit you to one per person. The retailers do have to pay for them though, so it's not a free promotion for *them*. It's to get people into the store and interested in comics.

Tim   May 1st, 2010 12:30 am ET

I'm sure it depends on the comic book shop. I know the ones that I usually go to, you can get one of each.

Maria   May 1st, 2010 7:46 am ET

I'm SOOOO excited!

Hal Jordan   May 1st, 2010 9:16 am ET

My local comic book store lets you pick 10 for free.

Stephanie Fries   May 1st, 2010 10:58 am ET

If you are in Tucson go to Charlie's Comic Books 22nd and Craycroft. Charlie lets everyone get 5 books each and he's got the best selection too!!!

Trish   May 1st, 2010 11:55 am ET

Just came from the Lone Star Comics in Ft Worth. The workers setting up the table told everyone to take what they want. A few did and walked out with a bundle of comics. I stayed around to shop for other comics. The manager told me I was limited to three no matter what the employees below her said. I think each employee should be made aware of the limits for a promotion. I picked three and proceeded out without buying anything. I did get the new Superman though. Can't wait to read it. I'll be looking elsewhere for the comics I was about to purchase.

Mike   May 1st, 2010 3:02 pm ET

Captain Bluehen's in Newark, DE... Best comic shop... EVER! Best FCBD... EVER! FCBD 2010!

bailoutsos   May 1st, 2010 11:08 pm ET

"Buffett backs Goldman Sachs" - Lost all respect for him. Buffet just wants to protect his investment.

John E O   May 2nd, 2010 8:22 am ET

I just read this at the end of the day. Too bad, I would have taken my kids if I knew about it earlier. Good idea by the companies.

didnt work for us   May 2nd, 2010 9:04 am ET

the kids and I went down to the comic store very excited for this, but there was no kids stuff left in the early afternoon. a browsing patron held up a comic and said "he'll like this" for my 7 year old, and it had a man getting his face ripped off on the cover. NO THANKS we replied. i assumed that this would not be a free for all grab-bag, and that it was an all day event where appropriate-aged comics would be rationed to last all day, but not at our local store. too bad, as my kids are just discovering comics and this event seems like it would be aimed directly at them. comic book industry's loss I guess.

Comic Heaven treated us right   May 2nd, 2010 10:48 am ET

Our Comic book store – Comic Heaven in Willoughby Ohio had a huge opening for Free Comic book Day. They're policy was please limit it to six comics, or they asked for a small donation for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. This only applied to adults though children could have as many as they wanted.
They had Darth Vader and some Storm Troopers on hand, plus a rebel pilot and couple of people dressed up as characters from other comics. All Free. It was great.
They also ran a huge sale. Check them out.

Bill   May 2nd, 2010 11:03 am ET

Haven't been able to get any this weekend, as I spent yesterday working in and outside the house getting things cleaned up around here. If I need any to wipe paint brushes or clean toilet bowls with, Smith's crapfest would be perfect.

redroom   May 2nd, 2010 12:36 pm ET

I got:

Atomic Robot
GI Joe
The Tick

8yr old daughter got:
Sonic the Hedgehog
YOW (old time comics)

Probably were 20+ to choose from and we both got a Heroclix Warmachine free too. We went to Bedrock Comics in Houston, TX

amaathya   May 2nd, 2010 1:52 pm ET

This sounds like a blown-up I-Pad :D.
An un-portable tv screen with a network port or wireless chip inside.
Google would have been better off going the ISP way. comcast and AT&T are both very frustrating!

belladonna   May 3rd, 2010 8:34 am ET

Orlando's Coliseum of Comics allowed customers to select up to three comics, no purchase necessary. I'm a regular, so I grabbed my subscriptions as well as the Superman and Iron Man books. No review yet, I haven't had a moment's peace to read any as of Monday morning and probably won't get to them until Tuesday, but a quick glance at the Superman book made me tell the manager to add it to my subscription. Last year, FC day included the beginning of Blackest Night (which is right up there with Crisis on Infinite Earths), so I'm hoping DC doesn't disappoint.

cgf68   May 3rd, 2010 8:53 am ET

It really depends on where you go. I took my kids and we hit 3 local shops and the amount we could take differed per shop.

Some places had raffles and others had local (Detroit) artists/writers selling stuff.

True, most people that come out for FCBD are fans that know about it, but word of mouth (or signage in front of the stores) help bring in non-fans, so yeah, i think it is good for the industry. The books that are handed out for FCBD may not be great but if it gets people/kids reading and interested in the medium then that's what really matters.

Angelique   May 3rd, 2010 9:44 am ET

Many stores in the Twin Cities, MN, area participate, and have for years. I go annually. The Source gives away an entire bag full of free comics to each person. Free soda and snacks. Guest artists and authors. Costumed characters greet people outside. They even had the crew from Ghost Busters, including the car. Everything else in the store was 20% off. The place was packed!. New people who never shopped there before came in for ideas and suggestions on comics and games. I walked away with a free bag of 10 or more comics, a free Heroclix of Batman, and the last several month's worth of Wonder Woman comics (for which I paid).

Another, smaller, comic store on Central was giving away a limited number of free comics per person, and was also selling eco-friendly FCBD bags with 50% off 2 variant cover comics with each purchase.

One year they even had a cake, but times are tough for the brick and mortar stores. Free Comic Book Day helps get people into the stores. And I support them by getting some of my comics (the ones I pay for) from each of the stores I visit.

Stores differ, promos and offers differ, but the fun is just the same. To quote Handy, "Read a book!"

Scott   May 3rd, 2010 10:07 am ET

What's the point of still having this on the CNN site when "free comic book day" is now over!

UndercoverFanboy   May 4th, 2010 10:00 pm ET

I had a great time at Red Wolf Comics in Moab, UT – we could pick out 3 books favorite was IronMan – I can't wait for the movie.

Jessica Bailey   October 1st, 2010 10:06 pm ET

GI JOE cartoons and the GI JOE Movie are all great stuff .**

Diabetic Neuropathy    October 18th, 2010 2:17 pm ET

i remeber GI JOE when i was still a kid, this was my favorite cartoon-".

LED Grow Light ·   November 8th, 2010 5:30 am ET

the baroness of GI Joe is the character i love, she is beautiful and deadly ""

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'Buffy' meets 'The Guild,' 'Star Wars' meets 'Serenity' on FCBD – GeekOut - Blogs   November 30th, 2011 6:24 pm ET

[...] never too early to get ready for Free Comic Book Day (or FCBD, to many [...]

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