Thursday, July 11, 2013

Reviews- FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2013 offerings Part the Fourth

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2013 offerings Part the Fourth
Note: Free Comic Book Day will be referred to as FCBD from here on out in these reviews.

The Walking Dead: FCBD 2013 Special (Image, cover date May, 2013)
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard
Colorist: Cliff Rathburn...if you consider gray tones to be a color, that is.
Ah yes, The Walking Dead...the savior of and modern day benchmark for Horror comics. I really wish that I had heard of this title before everyone and their brother hyped it up as the second coming, because by the time I was given the first deluxe hardcover as a X-Mas gift a few years ago I already had a chip on my shoulder toward this title. Instead of Hey, let me check this out, it was more like Fine, I'll read the goddamn thing to see why everyone won't shut up about it. I honestly don't see what all the hoopla is about it.
This FCBD issue is pretty good, more of a character story than a full on zombie story. I gave the first 11 issues of this title a chance but it wasn't my cup of tea. I am happy that everyone loves it, and I'm happy for all of the recognition that it has brought back to comic books. We have boatloads of Horror comic books to choose from these days, more than at any point in the past 40 years, so thank you for that, Robert Kirkman. I just don't see what makes this title mean so much to so many people. I realize that the problem must lay with me since everyone and their brother loves this book. Hey, at least folks are reading comic books again.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3 out of 5. 

Valiant Comics FCBD 2013 Special No. 1 (Valiant, cover date May, 2013)
Writer: Various
Artist: Various
Colorist: Various
This is a sampler of various Valiant titles as well as a sneak preview of their Harbinger Wars crossover. X-O Manowar, Archer & Armstrong, and Quantum & Woody are all interesting concepts and are decent reads. My plate is too full and my wallet is stretched too thin to check all of this stuff out, though. It's all well done and highly readable.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3 out of 5. 

Hulk And The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H. a/k/a FCBD 2013 Avengers/ Hulk No. 1(Marvel, cover date May, 2013)
Writers: Joe Caramagna, Paul Dini, Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, and others.
Artist: Clips from the forthcoming animated series formatted as comic book panels
Well this is interesting. Marvel/Disney use stills from the forthcoming animated series Hulk And The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H. and Avengers Assemble cartoons and issues them as a FCBD sampler. It would be nice if they used the visibility of the animated series to remind folks that comic books still exist. The general population is unaware that these things are still published month in and month out.
This is all ages reading, but the Hulk series doesn't even come close to resembling the comic book version. The Avengers is closer to the movie versions of those characters. I honestly didn't care for this comic but my six year old son loved it. Given the target audience for cartoons I'd say that this is a success. I'm happy that he is interested in superheroes. Now if only they could figure out how to make the comics appeal to adults and children again...
Junk Food For Thought rating: 2 out of 5. 

DC Nation FCBD 2013 Super Sampler (DC, cover date July, 2013)
Writers: Mitch Watson, Scott Beatty, and J. Norres
Artists: Luciano Vecchio and Todd Nauck and Lary Stuker
Colorist: Heroic Age
...and in answer to Marvel's all-ages animated series FCBD sampler, we have DC's Cartoon Network shows, the new Teen Titans Go! and the forthcoming Beware The Batman. Unlike the Marvel animated comic, this one collects two stories from DC's all ages comics. The Batman story was originally presented in DC Nation Super Spectacular No. 2 and the Teen Titans Go! story is from Teen Titans Go! No. 12.
My son loves these cartoons, and I watch some of them with him. I'm more inclined to pay attention to Batman than I will Teen Titans, which is offensive to me due to the horrid art style. Again, I understand that these are directed toward children, and since my son loves it, mission accomplished.
I have read these stories to him a few times and enjoyed the Batman one a lot. I found Anarky's costume to be a complete and total ripoff of Moon Knight, which is ironic because Moon Knight is a complete and total ripoff of Batman. Doug Moench created Moon Knight and would go on to write Batman during the 1980s.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 2 out of 5. 

Banshee Origins (IDW, cover date December, 2012)
Writer: Jonathan Tropper
Artist: Mike henderson
Colorist: Jeremy Colwell
Many stores put out all of their freebies and preview books on FCBD. I snagged this since I went to seven stores that day and I was running out of things to grab. I guess that this is a prequel to the Cinemax series.
I've got level with you: I absolutely hate it when creators use comic books as a funnel system or test market for their “IP”, and as a comic fan I find it insulting to be treated as a test market or “brand buzz builder” for Hollywood. Make a comic book or make a movie. If it is good then expand into either/or. I dislike calculated marketing like this. Worse still, I remember nothing about this title. I know that I read it on the plane on my flight home from our vacation, but when I flipped through it just now to refresh my memory I have a big fat blank. Nothing stuck in my mind and everything about this leaves me cold. That's worse than sucking, because at least that is an emotional response to a piece of work. This is just nothing.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 0 out of 5. 

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