Readers Den has given us a sneak peek of a few of the rather amazing titles on offer at Free Comic Book Day 2015. We will be looking at two Marvel offerings, DC’s Divergence, IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Valiant’s 25th Anniversary comic.
DC Divergence Review
DC offers a great free comic that offers three stand-alone stories. One which will answer the question as to who or what the new Batman is. Yes, that blue mech version of Batman that we saw a few months back wielding a gun with rocket launchers on the shoulders left lots of readers confused. We thought Capullo might have lost his mind, but rest at ease. All is explained in this FCBD special. The story is dark, as a new knight rises to protect what is left of Gotham City.
The second story “Exposed” deals with the aftermath of Lois’ betrayal. Lois shocked the world by revealing the true identity of Superman to the press. The world knows Clark’s secret, leading the Man of Steel to live a life out of the limelight. He and those closest to him could be in danger at any time. The art is great in this issue and it feels more like a Superman comic with its brighter colouring and less gritty looking illustrations. Could the Superman people loved be back?
The last offering is from the pages of Justice League of America as the story of Wonder Woman’s birth is told. The origin is new. The perfect child of clay was actually conceived the natural way. While the Amazons assist with the birth of young Princess Diana, somewhere on the island another birth is taking place. The birth of the greatest threat the world will ever know. Dark gritty and beautiful in presentation, this story sets up the first arc for the new Justice League of America and it does this in style.
Marvel Secret Wars #0 Review
Marvel gives us an origin into the all new Secret Wars arc. The Future Foundation prepares for the collision of worlds once more. This is a new Future Foundation, run by the children of Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Woman. The youthful Future Foundation take it upon themselves to build a ship and save those who will be able to create a future after the world as they know it comes to an end. It has good art mostly washed with a red overtone which tells the reader the current situation is critical. But it does not offer much in terms of action. This is the new Secret Wars story being told and nothing more.
The second offering in this issue makes up for the lack of action in the cover story, the Marvel universe comes into contact with a threat unlike ever before. A threat that emerged from the depths of the ocean is currently tearing its way through New York City. Titans are everywhere. Yes, the type from the hit Manga Attack on Titan; as Marvel makes one of the most unpredictable crossovers in modern comics. Nobody saw this cross over coming as the Avengers have to take on a new enemy that they know very little about. The art is excellent as the rough penciling adds to the thrill of the events taking place. The illustrations look great and the colouring produces some rather impressive looking Titans as they clash with some of the World’s greatest superheroes. Ever dreamed of the Hulk fighting a Titan? Well, your dream has become a reality!
Marvel’s Avengers Review
A new team of Avengers have Assembled in this one. Iron Man, Captain America, The Vision and Thor take some of their new recruits on their first mission. The new recruits are young and naïve as they prepare to do their best they are unaware that they are being tested by their mentors. The young Avengers consist of Spider-Man (Miles Morales), the new Ms. Marvel and Nova.
The story is average but it gets its point across as the recruits learn what it means to be an Avenger. The art is brightly coloured and sets a happy upbeat tone. Even the villain looks very friendly and approachable in this one. One thing that was not too great with the art was the weird proportions. At times the older Avengers seemed to be squashed, looking shorter and thus making them look as though they were teenagers waiting for a growth spurt. You did not really feel the difference in stature when the young recruits stood alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
The Second half of the issue introduces the Inhumans, a team that looks to be one of Marvel’s up and coming projects in comics and on the big screen. The issue tells the tale of individuals that are given extraordinary powers after they come into contact with a certain element. Some accept the powers and become heroes; while others resent the change and become villains. But according to Medusa, if you are an Inhuman you are part of her people; hero or villain the Inhumans fight for their people to be free. They will not let their people become weapons for Hydra, nor the government instead they seek to guide their brethren towards becoming the hero that they should be. Great art, backed up by a great story that is filled with all sorts of colouring techniques. This issue is a great one that features a romance nobody would have expected.
The last few pages are dedicated to a brief glimpse into one of Marvel’s latest titles; Max Ride. Honestly, there are only 3 pages on offer making it very difficult to judge this one. However, in those few pages it showcases some great art but there is not enough to critique the story on offer.
IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review
This is a must have comic, especially if you have been following the latest events that occurred in the TMNT ongoing comic.
After the Technodrome fell, there were losses on all sides. The Mutanimals are missing and Shredder is thought to have perished in the Technodrome’s final attack, leaving his henchmen on the street without a leader. The Turtles suffered a major loss, as one of their own fell victim to Bebop and Rocksteady. Whether he is alive or dead remains unknown until now. This Free Comic book day issue lets you know if The Turtles have lost a family member or not. This issue shows us just what they have been through thus far and it offers a brief summary.
The art in this one is great as usual switching artists during the course of the issue as well. Even though the change in art is quite apparent, it does not hinder the story in any way. Instead, it makes for a great visual spectacle as it sticks to the strengths of this popular ongoing comic.
Valiant 25th Anniversary Comic Review
Valiant gives you a detailed look into the current Valiant franchise. Their reboot has come with major success, as the comics seem to always get things right. This FCBD comic gives us a few, very few, pages from successful titles such as Bloodshot Reborn, Ninjak #1 and X-0 Manowar Dead Hand.
These are all new offerings by the Valiant team. In Bloodshot Reborn, we get a glimpse at the new Bloodshot. He is no longer the mindless killer he used to be. Valiant fleshes out one of their most successful stories as Bloodshot Reborn gets the most coverage in this comic. Ninjak #1 shows you just who or should I say what has led the Ninjak to take one of his most dangerous mission yet. As the World’s deadliest assassin takes on an abomination that looks like a bombshell. Has ninjak bitten off more than he can chew? It would seem so!
The final story on offer is the prequel to X-O Manowar Dead Hand. Although the story is only three pages long, it lets the reader know a little more about the Armour Hunters and their contingency plan. Aric’s days look numbered as the Dead Hand will not and cannot be stopped until any threat to the Universe has been eliminated and the X-O Armour seems to be the greatest threat…ever.
The great art extends beyond this issue as you are given an A3 poster filled with the lead characters from Valiant’s successful titles. There is also a wealth of extra visual spectacles, whether it be promotional art or cover art. One thing is certain, Valiant is looking great…Happy Anniversary!
Readers Den is the place to be to get these and plenty of other great titles at Free Comic Book Day this year. This is a fraction of what will be available on the day so best get there early to avoid disappointment!
For all things comic related, be sure to visit www.readersden.co.za. Even better, make sure you get to Free Comic Book Day this weekend!