Free Comic Book Day: Are DC and Marvel Worth It?

Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) 2015 is here and this year has the honour of being somewhat of a heavy hitter for the big two, DC and Marvel, by way of featuring titles connected to their respective premiere events!

Between Convergence, Secret Wars and whatever may come next, both DC and Marvel are seeing their biggest shake ups since 2011 and 2012, respectively. However, despite their prominence the biggest conundrum any comic book fan faces is the limitation of free comics a shop’s customer is entitled to.

So to help you out, here’s a quick rundown on whether DC’s and Marvel’s contributions to this year’s FCBD are worth your quota or if you should probably pick something else.

But be warned: this is a SPOILERIFIC look at the big two’s titles!

[divider]DC’s Divergence[/divider]

Divergence #1Offering us a glimpse of the post-Convergence DC Universe, Divergence jumps ahead to get us up to speed with Batman, Superman, and the Justice League.

In The Rookie we meet the replacement to Bruce Wayne’s Batman following the events of this week’s concluding issue of Endgame. Shocker, with the real Batman supposedly dead along with the Joker, Gotham finds itself in need of a new Batman and the answer seems to be Commissioner James Gordon in a full battle suit… and a mohawk.

Superman’s follow-up in Exposed continues with John Romita Jr.’s cat-scratch equivalence of art as the Man of Steel (can we still call him that?) is faced with the consequences of a public identity. Of course, it doesn’t help that his powers aren’t what they used to be… which kinda sucks since he’ll be needing them now that everyone knows how to get to the man who was once super.

And in what might be the most anticipated preview from DC, Justice League’s Darkseid War Prologue Two finally reveals the daughter of Darkseid himself, a character who has been teased since almost as long as the New 52 has existed. While I’ve never really been hot about Wonder Woman’s new origin, the idea of Amazons finally being put in the spotlight for a universe-wide event seems really cool. What doesn’t seem so cool is that we are seeing a preview of another event amidst the current 89 issue one. Also, there’s still a pretty Bruceish Batman here… so what gives?

Verdict: Patience makes this title redundant. Entirely containing content that will be found in Batman #41, Superman #41 and Justice League #41, Divergence contributes nothing to the ongoing Convergence or the universe as a whole. So consider this a waste of space and maybe pick up Dark Horse’s Avatar or something. I mean, who doesn’t love Aang, right?

[divider]Marvel’s Secret Wars #0[/divider]

Secret Wars #0Diving straight into the heart of the catastrophe that is the upcoming Secret Wars, this issue features the children of Reed Richards’ and Sue Storm’s children, Valeria and Franklin, attempting to take the matter of surviving Secret Wars into their own hands, following the failure of the Illuminati. As interesting as the characters are, the abrupt cut to the incoming collision of the Ultimate Universe prevents much revelation. However, this does offer us the first post-End look of the Fantastic Four and it’s interesting to see what Reed might be doing following the demise of the team.

A more interesting feature of the title is the English translation of the Avengers and Attack On Titan crossover that was originally published, in Japanese, for BRUTUS Magazine. Showcasing a short battle between the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the goliath beasts of the manga, this out-of-continuity tale offers itself as a far more worthy candidate than the titular Secret Wars.

Verdict: While the actual Secret Wars story is almost inconsequential to the event at large, its branding as an issue #0 makes it significant to any collector seeking to have every issue of Secret Wars. However, even if you may not be interested in the event itself, the English translation of the Avengers versus Attack on Titan’s antagonists makes it worth the pick.

[divider]Marvel’s The All-New, All-Different Avengers[/divider]

All-New All-Different Avengers #1First, in The All-New, All-Different Avengers a new line-up of Marvel’s premiere superhero team face-off against the Radioactive Man as a younger generation of heroes, Ms Marvel, Ultimate Spider-Man and Sam Alexander’s Nova, learn that being an Avenger doesn’t include as much avenging as one would think. With Sam Wilson’s Captain America, Vision, the female Thor and (an) Iron Man rounding out the team, the preview has similarities to both New Avengers and Avengers Academy.

The second featured preview, the yet to be properly scheduled Uncanny Inhumans #1, continues to land the spotlight on Medusa’s team of superpowered outsiders as they search for others like them—and they do so in no small supply. More interestingly however, as mentioned above, the fallout of the Fantastic Four has led members of the first family to joining the rosters of other teams. And Johnny Storm (still in his old costume) seems to have found his way to the Inhumans… and Medusa’s lips. Yech!

Verdict: While both previews ring better than Divergence’s The Rookie and Exposed, this still falls prey to the same flaw of being wholly unnecessary if you’re willing to wait a couple of months. Maybe try Stan Lee’s new title Chakra: The Invincible, based on the 2013 animated movie of the same name, instead.