I had been avoiding this comic for as long as possible, but eventually it was time to take the plunge. This one brings several comics with it, but unfortunately none of them looked very good. Still, maybe they would have potential right? It didn’t get off to a good start though as the first comic is about a guy who catches a cold. He asks people for help, but nobody knows how to help him. Someone gives him tea, but it doesn’t work. The art is quite bad and the story is not engaging for an instant. Let’s hope that it gets better from here.
The next story is about a mouse who is alone and doesn’t like to be alone. The main reason why this comic is bad is due to the very hard to read font. You’ll be very tempted to just skip it all since the dialogue doesn’t add anything to the story and simply wastes your time. The art isn’t very good here either and comes across as lazy since the panels aren’t too large and don’t have a lot of details. Yep, another strike for the comic. The next story was from Cloud and at least it had an actual plot, but the art was reeeeeeeeally bad. I really can’t emphasize enough how poor the whole comic looked and that hurt quite a bit. The actual premise has potential as a prince wants a wishing stone to change something from the past as well as the future, but a thief shows up and steals the orb. The Prince will now have to try and find the thief to get it back. This could be fun, but the art ensures that I won’t be checking this series out anytime soon.
Adventure Time got a story next and naturally it was about the heroes going to a place that stinks. The dog doesn’t want to go, but he’s coerced into doing so and as a result, he loses his job to hit it big as a writer. Them’s the breaks I suppose and he should have known better than to have gone to an interview like that right after jumping in a swamp to fight the living embodiment of filth. Still, this story was relatively decent and it had the best art yet so that’s a good thing.
The next story was about a group of hikers who decide to tell each other ghost stories after eating plants all day. It’s about the Shining so everyone dies and that’s the cliffhanger. I know that the story was (not) thrilling….but that’s not much of a cliffhanger since it is all just a story. The main characters seem incredibly unlikable as well and bringing up the fact that they may have just eaten something disgusting doesn’t help the issue either. The art was decent though so that’s something.
The final story is a mystery title that seems to be similar to Nancy Drew and a Suite Life on Deck. The art is fairly good and the main character seems decent. I don’t like the little kid and his lollipop since he seems like a huge ingrate, but luckily he’ll probably never appear again so that’s not much of an issue. Once the cases actually start, I could see this story actually being good. It’s easily the best one in the batch if you ask me. Unfortunately, it certainly cannot save the rest of the stories in this collection. Free Comic Book Day 2016 has ended on a rather low note, but it was still a decently good batch overall. I look forward to seeing what the next batch has in store!
All right, it’s time for another anthology collection from Valiant. They like to take short chunks out of several comics instead of picking one or two which means that each adventure only gets 3-4 pages at best. Naturally this also increases the chance that you’ll run into a bad story so it is a risky strategy. The first story is about a guy who was banished to Earth and now he wants revenge on his father for doing this. Earth is pretty warped now in its false Utopia state so he wants out of there pronto. This story could theoretically have potential, but who am I kidding, it’ll probably be quite bad and ultra violent by the end.
The next story is horrendous as it starts with a rat being eaten and I couldn’t be bothered to care about the Star Trek ripoff planet afterwards. Seriously, starting a comic out with an animal being eaten is poor form. The next comic is about two guys yelling “It’s Miller Time” (Practically anyway) as they down some drinks. Unfortunately, 60+ years later one of those guys fell inside his super large backpack so the other one jumps in to fight some demons and to find his friend. This could be tricky! This story could be decent, it’s certainly a unique adventure I suppose.
Next up was about a super heroine who likes helping people, but she also wants to keep up with her human job instead of just living as a hero 24/7. It’s her choice I suppose. Unfortunately, she can’t save everyone and gets down about it, but for once the town and the cops are on her side so the situation isn’t all that bad. This could be a happy superhero adventure, but this is Valiant so I doubt that it will stay happy for long. The final comic is about Bloodshot (I think that’s his name) who is in the forest at this time. He is running, but ends up running into a clone of himself who immediately has a censored line since his potty mouth can’t be stopped. That’s the clone’s only line by the way so it is an….interesting way to be introduced. I liked the dog, but I’m worried about how things will ultimately end for him. There better be a happy ending here!!
At the very least the art was fairly good for most of these stories. Beyond that, there really isn’t a whole lot to say about them. Most of these stories don’t have a whole lot of potential and none of them had any action scenes. I miss the big crossover story that they had last year. Ah well, better luck next time guys!
It’s time to tackle the next free comic. I never got into the Avatar show and naturally that applies to the sequel as well, but that just means that I can look at it from the “General Audience” perspective. The story actually isn’t bad. It’s about Korra as a kid and how she meets a Polar Bear cub. We get to see them grow up and bond and this finally shows us how the two characters met since they are main characters in the cartoon. It’s a decent little story. There really isn’t a lot to it though as it is really just their chance meeting, but there’s nothing bad about it either. It’s a fun enough story in the end. The art is decent as well. The problem is that it has to share with two other stories which are significantly worse.
The second story is from the How to Train Your Dragon series. It is an anthology as various characters talk about the past. The main problem with this is the fact that the story is already going to be short since it is sharing with Korra and Plants vs Zombies. So, the “anthology” doesn’t have time for any of its stories. It doesn’t help that the characters all have extremely boring designs and none of them seem even remotely likable. It ends with the heroes charging towards the villains and it should have been epic, but it was rather boring instead. The art was also fairly bad as all of the backgrounds were dark and dreary. It’s a cave, but caves can still be drawn to be interesting typically.
Finally, we have Plants vs Zombies. It’s not as terrible as last year’s since it is only about 5 pages or less, but it is still very bad. The whole comic is based around the running gag that the main character smells bad since he forgot to take a shower. That’s the plot and then the characters destroy some villains along the way. You can’t go a page without that plot being brought back to the forefront yet again. It’s just quite sad and reminds me why this franchise may be one of the worst comedies that I have ever seen. It’s just truly horrible and the comic can’t survive this story mixed in with the boring middle one. I’d just stick away from this comic if I were you folks.
This comic was surprisingly bad. I expected better from Spongebob and usually his comics are fairly decent, but not this time. The comic is split into two stories. The main one is about Spongebob taking over the hamburger making at the local cafe. The problem is that he’s not fast enough to really satisfy the customers so he is forced to split his arms up and have them multiply. They finally start achieving the goal so then Spongebob eats his arms and serves the burgers. I have to say that this part was pretty gross. Why did Spongebob have to eat himself in the end? It didn’t serve much of a purpose and that was an anti climactic way to end it all. The art was also fairly terrible for this story. It may be the worst art from all of the free comic book day issues, which is a true shame. Nothing could really save the comic after this rough start.
The other half was about Mermaid Man and his sidekick in their classic Batman homage series. Mermaid Man and his partner have to stop the villains and they make some good puns along the way. Honestly, there’s not much to say here. This may be a parody, but unfortunately it isn’t a very good one. The issue isn’t funny and just comes across as generic and time consuming. The comic isn’t bad so much as it is just not very good. It’s another missed opportunity for the Spongebob comic. The art was certainly better, but it was still nothing special in the end.
It’s scary to think that titles like the Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers were funnier this year. Maybe Spongebob has lost its touch. Like Bongo, Spongebob is typically around year after year so at least it will have a chance to redeem itself for this issue. At the very least, there’s no way it can lose to this one. I’ve heard that the show has also gone downhill since the older seasons as well so maybe there is a correlation here.
Time for another FCBD issue. This one brings three stories with it and unfortunately that increases the likelyhood that one of them will be a flop. That certainly does happen as this batch isn’t particularly strong. The main story features a character telling a little kid a story. Apparently it seems like this story is basically a remake of the first arc of the series. The living embodiment of wind met a skilled heroine and a noble pirate. Together, they decided to have some fun adventures and hang out. The plot twist at the end of the short is that the story was actually real and the main character’s Mom was the heroine. The art wasn’t really my cup of tea, but there’s nothing really wrong with the story. It’s a charming little adventure I suppose even if it didn’t really stick out. It’s better than sticking out in the wrong way like the next story though.
Hellboy goes to these mysterious ruins where an old lady warns him not to mess with the spirits there. Hellboy scoffs and looks through the mirror where the spirits quickly begin to overwhelm him. Before he is eaten alive, he begs the old lady for help and she moves him away from the mirror. Rather than being apologetic or grateful he basically tells her to get away from him and sulks for a little while. His tough guy act was certainly shattered here since old/weak spirits can wreck him so easily. This comic certainly won’t make you a fan of the guy. The art is fairly consistent with the Hellboy franchise. The colors are faded and not very vibrant so it’s not quite up to DC levels of art, but it’s clear at the very least. A little underwhelming overall, but not that bad. This comic would have hurt the overall score a little more if the ending wasn’t so funny. It was unintentional, but you should get a good chuckle from it.
The final story was an Alien one. A crew has been sent out to exterminate the entire Alien race one planet at a time. They are going through the route that the original ships went through to retrace their steps and find every possible place where Aliens may be hiding. The only problem? They weren’t prepared for this and the Aliens quickly overwhelm the heroes. They seem so shocked that you’d think they had signed up for Mountain Hiking as opposed to Alien Extermination. There is also an android on the team who doesn’t seem to understand that humans don’t play by the rules and can’t pull off perfect pivots or incredible precision like a robot. As far as alien stories go this one was actually quite boring and uneventful. You won’t be eager to see where the story goes and the art was fairly generic as well. None of the stories make for a great draw so this ends up being one of the weaker free comics.
It’s time for another issue with the Simpsons. Bongo has been an annual tradition for FCBD. The stories have actually been fairly decent for the most part and this year’s issue actually had a very solid story. It is still the Simpsons so none of the characters are made to be particularly heroic or likable, but they don’t seem all that bad either. I doubt that the show would be even semi good, but it is good that they step up their game for the comic. The main story involves two new criminals who attack people using Donuts, Bread mix, and other food ingredients. This forces the townsfolk to have to come to terms with each other whether they want to or not. Luckily, Bart and the other Simpsons character are on the job with their food powers. The contrast of foods and snacks is pretty hype and they are perfectly matched up for this task since no donut is safe from these guys. The villains are put in their place and the day was saved. It was a very solid all around comic if you ask me. The art was good as well.
There were other stories inside as well. There was a short one about the Cops stopping an Ice Cream truck so they could get a few scoops. The poor guy probably realized that profits were going to be a little lower that day. There was also an issue where one of the kids decided to play a prank on the Principal and impersonated a Dentist so he could give the guy some fangs. The principal was not amused, but he didn’t realize what was happening until the school turned against him. Suddenly, everyone wanted to destroy him and by throwing objects at him, they realized that the principal had to be a vampire. Luckily, the kid calls off the prank by throwing some glitter on the Principal. This naturally makes him a good vampire and the blame shifts to a guy who seems to be a werewolf. He admits that he has fleas at any rate and quickly runs away. The ending was great with the way that the “Werewolf” ran away and his final lines. Yes, the humor was actually fairly solid this time around.
The art was consistent for these stories as well. The Simpsons is still a franchise that looks pretty sad on the whole and I definitely don’t support it, but even a bad apple can have a good bite or two in it right? The Simpsons flexed its creative muscles and actually got us a winner this time so that was most impressive. We’re getting even closer to the end of the Free Comic Book Day issues now folks. Just around 5 left, but we’ve gone through most (If not all) of the big titles so prepare yourself for stories that hopefully still manage to be good…but I have my doubts.
It’s time for some Bob’s Burgers adventures. Ironically enough, Bob doesn’t really get to do anything this time. The main story is about one of the girls deciding to clone herself because the dancing club needed more members and she couldn’t fill in for a whole team on her own. That’s where the clones came in and it works very for her until all of the clones want to date the same person. The original has to tell them “No” so they head off to scour the world and become experts in different fields. In the end the cloning experiment was a complete success. It’s a fun little story and having clones has always been an intriguing thought. If they were perfect clones, then there would be many uses for them.
The next story is not the clickbait cover I’m afraid. (That one never happens by the way) It’s about one of the kids deciding to explore a basement so he heads on down and discovers that some guys are testing out a car down there. The kids spoiled his chance at a new record so he is a little upset. The story was pretty boring though and the kids can’t carry their own comic. I could have told you that though, it is rare for kids to be entertaining in these kind of things. The final comic is about another kid. By night he is a musician and then he becomes himself again just in time to use the bathroom. Yeah….I don’t think that’s a very engaging story either. It’s cool that he can fly I guess, but you can’t make that a whole plot without sacrificing the epic factor.
Bob’s Burgers was tasteful at least and the humor never got iffy, but the last two stories certainly hold it back a little. I want to see more of Bob since he is probably the highlight of the show. It is his burgers that make the whole show after all right? I could go for a Cheeseburger right about now, but I had one recently so I’ll survive. The art was decently good for the three issues though so that’s good. This issue’s basically middle of the road so pick it up…or don’t, this comic doesn’t owe you a thing!
I have to say that the Doctor Who series doesn’t seem to have a lot of stakes. Every comic that I’ve read with him has typically resulted in a blowout as Doctor Who completely outclasses all of the villains. None of them even make him break a sweat. This must not be the case in the show right? You can only carry on the “Doctor is the greatest” gimmick for so long before it starts to get repetitive right? I mean, it is a lot of fun to see him wreck everyone and it makes sense since he is so experienced and smart, but I’d like to see someone give him a close fight someday. That doesn’t happen here, but as a result The Doctor continues to be a great lead. I have liked just about all of his forms to date as they are all typically overconfident or just very eager to fight.
There are four stories here. The first one has the cynical old version of the Doctor at the ready and he is mad that the humans have messed around with his toys once again. He manages to take down the enemy robot rather easily while bashing everyone the whole time. I’m glad that his new “assistant” quickly confirmed that she wouldn’t be his assistant before he even asked. That’s definitely a pretty new response to this whole predicament. This Doctor is also one of my favorite incarnations of the character. It’s good to see him so jaded. We got a nice action scene and the art was solid which helped make this the best story in the collection.
The second story had weak art and probably my least favorite Doctor of the group so it wasn’t nearly as good. One guy on the crew is having a tough time coping with his wife’s permanent frozen status so he keeps on threatening the other characters and The Doctor mentions that he reminds him of himself. You have to choose an impossible goal or you’ll be swallowed by grief. An interesting theory, but the whole thing is basically just The Doctor talking while the other guy takes a stroll. In the end, the guy realizes that his mission was too easy and pretends that he did not accomplish it. I think that the issue was trying way too hard to be deep so it ended up backfiring. The traveling guy just felt hollow and his act of “I’ll destroy you all someday…kappa” will probably get old really quick.
Next up was the most annoying Doctor. This time he has two passengers aboard the ship and one of them is actually very experienced so she is used to all of the shenanigans. The other isn’t though and she wants to know why a ghost is running around the Tardis. The Doctor scoffs at this since ghosts can’t be real and the assistant verifies his story. That’s when they run into a Tornado Ghost made from The Doctor’s tech mistakes. The art wasn’t great and the new assistant was the main character which wasn’t that good since it was an excuse for a lot of panicking the entire time. This Doctor wasn’t very sympathetic to her plight and the whole thing ended up being his fault in the end. Not his greatest moment. The art’s a little sketchy here, but passable I suppose.
In the final story, we had The Doctor and two rangers(?) walking around when they meet up with a high tech alien with a mask that lets him do just about anything. He rewrites planets just for fun. This alien’s big mistake was trying to peek inside The Doctor’s mind though which quickly shatters him. The Doctor reminds everyone that his mind is basically invincible so it is not in their best interest to try and test him. I’ll admit that I couldn’t figure out who The Doctor was for a while though since the two guys acted very similarly. It was a good story and I’m glad that The Doctor got some more hype once again. The art was fairly good as well.
This was definitely one of those collections where the quality varied. The first and last story were good, but 2 and 3 were really lacking. This cost Doctor Who its seven star grade and demoted it to a cautious 6. The franchise is still a lot of fun to read, but it seems like your enjoyment will heavily depend on which Doctor is taking center stage at the time. There are so many of them after all, but luckily most of them are likable.
Looks like the aliens have returned! Essentially, the human race was nearly wiped out by aliens when they first arrived, but we beat them back. The second wave was obliterated with ease since we had amassed a lot of knowledge and then the aliens left towers which we plundered for tech. Unfortunately, we were not ready for the third wave, which came out swinging with everything that they had. The government is forced to call in the retired pro, Raaker. Raaker hops on a military transport, but the driver is destroyed by an alien laser and as Raaker is knocked out, he sees a hologram of a mysterious lady. She wants Raaker to help eliminate the alien threat. Meanwhile, she is on the run from a few different alien hunters, but uses her powers of forced peace and emotions to knock them out and mind controls the leader. Before she is knocked out from the strain, she orders him to find the main lead.
The story certainly has a bit of a Star Wars vibe to it with the heroine plot, but the main one is more like a Skyline or Independence Day story. The humans seem a little outgunned as per usual, but I’m sure that they’ll think of something. Never underestimate human ingenuity when it counts. We are a tough species to keep down. The art is visually pretty interesting. The first half looks rather standard, but in the Star Wars esque part the colors are a lot different. Dark and light colors mix and merge to make the interesting visuals.
Right now, I think the heroine is a little too overpowered. If she can bring anyone under her sway just by looking at them, it will be tough to defeat her. Having power over emotions has always been a tough ability to counter. As for the main character, I’m assuming that he’ll need to get a space blaster or a cool energy sword if he wants to stay relevant when the tougher villains start to show up on Earth. The series definitely has a lot of promise and who doesn’t like the concept of an alien invasion right? I’m assuming that the two plots will meet up sooner rather than later and the comic is definitely aiming to make this some kind of large expansive universe so it’ll be interesting to see how long it goes on.
It’s time for the annual Sonic comic. It is definitely commendable that Sonic is around year after year. The comics are still going strong and I don’t see it ending anytime soon. Imagine if we had a Super Smash comic like that which could have been around for over a decade at this point. That would be awesome and maybe it’ll happen someday. We just gotta keep on hoping and waiting for that day when we can see the Smash Bros cast fight and team up with hype all around.
This is a double story as seems to be the norm for Free Comic Book Day. The main comic is about Sonic helping Chip find all of the Light Gaia pieces. While Tails and Chip nab it, Sonic fends off a mean biker gang as a distraction. These guys are actually pretty tough and with their sheer numbers, they manage to give Sonic a nice run for his money. Sonic still had the victory in the end if you ask me, but I did feel good for the villains since Sonic let them think that they had defeated him this time. They even went all “Miller Time” on us as they went to break out the “good” stuff. Beating Sonic is a fairly huge feat so they definitely had good reason to be so thrilled at the moment. A stronger opponent would have been fun though since Sonic didn’t really have anyone to spar with this time. It is also a little strange to see that the comics are only just now adapting the Sonic Unleashed game. Either they are doing it once again because a reboot event changed things or this is a sequel at some point. Either way, it’s intriguing I suppose.
The backup issue is about Eggman as he finds out that one of his bases has been attacked and goes along with Metal Sonic to find out just who would dare to do such a thing. Well, it turns out that three mysterious board riders did and they have obtained a serious power up since the old days. In fact, one of them gives Metal Sonic a good fight and appears to possibly have the edge. If Dr. Eggman wants to win this round, then he is going to have to do something very drastic this time. Let’s hope that he can pull it off! After all, he’s a lot more likable than these three new villains although they are fairly decent I suppose. I like the Polar Bear, although I don’t really care for the other two all that much. Metal Sonic better win though because I consider him to be extremely strong. Getting wrecked by these three newcomers would be a little humiliating if you ask me.
As always, the art is very solid for the Sonic issues. There may not have been a lot of action, but the art ensures that every page is very easy to read. The pages aren’t busy and everything is very bright and vibrant. This universe has done a great job of adapting so many stories and the issues just keep going on and on. I haven’t read a trade paperback in a little while, but there are certainly a lot of epic stories for me to look forward to someday. I want to see more of Shadow since he seems to be a fairly rare character to spot in the comics. The Metal Sonic fight is the highlight of the comic so keep your eyes open for that.