Free Comic Day is here. DC and Marvel revealed their latest events in samplers for fans across America.
May 2 is Free Comic Book Day across North America and 2015 offers a sneak peek into Marvel and DC's latest comic universe events.
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Started in 2002, Free Comic Book Day allows independent vendors the opportunity to offer free comics and previews for upcoming series. And it's not just Marvel and DC, either. IDW Publishing's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers: Robots in Disguise #0 alongside Antartic Press's Steampunk Goldilocks and New England Comics ever-popular The Tick.
The official website puts up a list of available titles every year. This year's also includes media titles like Bob's Burgers, the Simpsons, Doctor Who, and Fight Club. And that's just some of the fifty titles up for grabs.
There's a mashup of adult, young adult, and children titles. Even some classics like The Phantom'll put on a show next to Sonic the Hedgehog and the reboot of Chapter House Publishing's Captain Canuck. Drawing in fans for a lot of different demographics is smart.
But there's a catch: you have to walk into the store and each store limits the supply per customer. The idea is to drive sales up while keeping the focus on specialty shows. It's a win-win for all parties, especially the fans. After all, with the major events coming up, it's like a peek into industry minds.
And about those events? Well, DC Entertainment announced in February that the universe would be converging together with 24 all-new titles to mix with the 25 ongoing titles. And new ones are on the way in Divergence.
That's just how co-publisher Dan Didio wants it. "Whether you’ve been a DC fan your whole life, or whether you are new to comics – there will be a book for you beginning in June."
Fans are invited to follow classic heroes like the Trinity (Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman) and introducing titles focusing on reinvented characters like Starfire and Cyborg.
Co-publisher Jim Lee focused on the fact "fans are being exposed to our rich portfolio of characters through multiple sources," such television, movies, and video games. It makes sense to cash in on that appeal. "We are looking to extend that experience within publishing to ensure there is a comic book for everyone."
Some older, legacy characters like Black Canary are going to be reinvented in the latest event, along with Starfire. It's a whole new world for some fan favorites.
Lee added that it's more than just a remake, a divergence of what fans known. "Beyond character and creators, the June slate will showcase different styles and approaches to storytelling as we add offbeat, irreverently funny titles such as Bizarro, Bat-Mite and Prez."
And on Free Comic Book Day, DC is offering 3 8-page previews of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman, Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s take on the Darkseid War with the Justice League, and Gene Luen Yang and John Romita, Jr's Superman. Samplers of key titles seems to be a good idea.
Didio described Divergence as an event where each "story will trump continuity as we continue to empower creators to tell the best stories in the industry."
But what about Secret Wars? Is there really such a thing in the world of Marvel? Well, it turns out there may be. Since the publishing powerhouse decided to blow up the Marvel Universe, fans have been curious on what to expect.
With the FCBD glimpse, more questions were asked than answers revealed.
While DC is waiting until June to set off the event, Marvel's on the run with a May debut. Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic have opened up Battleworld, where the remnants of forgotten and obliterated worlds must fight to leave Battleworld and return home to a completely different world than left. Trying to repiece the Marvel Universe's doors shut nearly 30 years ago will take a bit of time. But this time the creators aren't playing around.
Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and Tom Brevoort, SVP Executive Editor, revealed at a January press conference that Hickman’s run of Avengers and New Avengers has been dropping clues for the past four years of what was in the works.
“Secret Wars is the culmination of the storyline that Jonathon’s been telling, beginning with the first issue of Avengers and the first issue of New Avengers that he wrote,” said Brevoort. Alonso added that “it’s the most coordinated event we’ve ever done” with all divisions on board and communicating in this new shared universe.
Many fans have been clamoring for news on the latest upsets, like a new Captain America and Thor, Brevoort and Alonso noted the significance is the feat is pulled off. After all, it’s hard to make all the events and issues work together to create a single event in the background.
Messing with parallel universes can be pretty tricky. Sometimes people win, sometimes they lose, especially with Earth as the center point. In the incursion, there’s a few options: no one does anything and both earths are destroyed, there’s a smaller multiverse, or something happens and “one universe is one Earth fewer than it was.”
Thus Battleworld was born. Black Panther reforms the Illuminati with “the smartest and the brightest superheroes in the Marvel universe” to find the best solution and reason for the event at all. Sounds pretty awesome, really.
And since Secret Wars is only running until December, the aftermath may be larger than previously assumed.
Marvel’s looking to offer some tidbits on reframing the universe through a sparring of heroes as DC looks to recreate a multiverse with a few new old faces. Including Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti’s runs on Harley Quinn, Starfire, and Harley Quinn/Power Girl. Hopefully, they’ll both succeed and this year’s FCBD will do big things.
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