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Free Comic Book Day 2015 Reviews – Part Two

Free Comic Book Day is right around the corner. With a staggering amount of releases and with some vanishing in practically no time we thought we’d give you the advanced scoop on what to grab and what to avoid. Yesterday Martian Luthor Kang checked in with his haul, today I’ll be reviewing what I was able to get my grubby little paws on.

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By clicking below you will acknowledge that you have entered spoiler territory.

Dark Circle Comics FCBD 2015

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Dark Circle is Archie Comic’s Superhero imprint. With the runaway success of their more adult oriented Afterlife With Archie series it seems they’ve thrown their hat into the ring with former superhero characters they used in the past. Pick this up if not just for the beautiful Francesco Francavilla cover.

The first portion of this comic is from Blackhood #1 which is a series I’ve been following. It’s a very good dark vigilante crime comic. If it continues the way it has it may turn into the Daredevil book that I want rather than what Mark Waid is doing now with the character on his run. The art helps support that vibe especially with Bendis partner in crime Michael Gaydos whose work strongly recalls Alias. This issue only gives you a few pages of what is the very basic outline of the character’s origin (a cop gets part of his face blown off trying to help another cop, wakes up all fucked up and becomes depressed) not enough to really get into what makes him interesting but it’s a smallish taste. The good stuff in the story happens after it ends here. 

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The Fox however is a series that I haven’t read but have been wanting to pick up. It’s been described to me as superhero noir. My guess is this excerpt is from the recently relaunched #1 that came out in March by comics veteran Mark Waid and drawn by Dean Haspiel. This preview though wasn’t enough to make me want to continue reading. Our main character, Paul Patton Jr. was taking his son to see his hometown which was about to be demolished to become a river basin. His phone (which is made by the same company that’s destroying the town) picks an assailant that’s invisible, exposed only by its camera. Paul wakes up worse for wear than suits up as the Fox.

TheFox_01-11-600x923The third portion is of the upcoming series, The Shield. Not sure what the deal is with this but it looks like the character has a Captain America thing going on. All that’s provided here are sketches.

Verdict: If you’re looking for an intro to either of those titles featured inside, give it a whirl. Likely though, it’s hard to paint an accurate portrait of a series with 10 pages. 

Mega Man/Sonic – Worlds Unite Prelude

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This is one of those books where you have to flip it upside down. Half the book is Mega Man and the back half turned upside down is about Sonic The Hedgehog. It’s put out by Archie Comics and is an all ages book.

Ok, so I’m a trade reader for Mega Man and a little behind. This is gearing up for another Sonic/Mega Man crossover. Great. I skipped the 12 issue event the first time. I think Mega Man X is involved in the new one too. This story focuses on Xander Payne a human who was a solider employed to stop Wily earlier in the series. Fighting a robot master himself he was badly beat and had to be outfitted with a new robotic eye making him (you guessed it) hate robots more. He then took up arms against all robots and some weird mix-up with a time machine put him into the future where he meets Mega Man X thinking its present day Mega Man that somehow makes him become less violent…

Now the Sonic story is even weirder. Do you know how many ongoing series this character has? 3!!! Now that’s insane. Anyway, it seems like after the events of the Mega Man crossover Sonic’s reality got fucked up. He has to get 7 gems to protect it from instability and Doctor Robotnik is creeping on him, bah blah. In the story things are ripping through his reality via portals including Silver The Hedgehog (?). They fight some creature and Robotnik schemes. Yawn.

Verdict: This seems to set up the crossover a tiny bit, pick this up only if you are up to date on one or both of the titles. If not, avoid this like the plague.

Avatar The Last Airbender FCBD 2015

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Avatar is the first kid’s show I loved as an adult that hadn’t been from my childhood. After reading that Sonic and Mega Man one all I could hope for was that this didn’t let me down.

The good news is, it didn’t. The book is split between three other series/stories but the Avatar one is a nice all ages story involving Toph and Ty-Lee. You get a little of Ty-Lee’s backstory in here too. She is thinking of quitting the Kyoshi Warriors but a chance encounter with her siblings changes her mind. It’s a bite sized fable that deals with identity and individualism but doesn’t feel like you are being taught or talked down to. Archie comics take note, Nickelodeon/Dark Horse has achieved what you have not.

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Full disclosure I skipped the second series (Plants vs. Zombies) and moved right on to Bandette. Friend of the show, Rex Mason had recommended this series to me time and time again so I was glad to finally be able to read something. I love the art here, thank you Colleen Coover! It’s like a kid’s pulp hero book. Bandette performs a caper to steal her friends affection. It’s perfect for its length and I was actually quite charmed by it. Oh and it looks gorgeous. Did I mention that already?

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Verdict: For kids and adults, this one is a keeper. 

That’s it for today’s round of reviews, but keep checking back here because we’ve only scratched the surface. Remember to get out there on Saturday and support your local comic book store!

Free Comic Book Day Issues Courtesy of:
Earthworld Comics
537 Central Avenue Albany NY 12206
earthworldcomics.com

All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners. Please click on the “About Us” tab for our takedown policy.

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About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on April 30, 2015, in COMICS!, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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