FCBD 2017 Boom Summer Blast Review

I always leave this one for last because it doesn’t look very interesting. I’m not a big fan of anthologies in general either so mixing these two elements together is a nice recipe for disaster. Still, maybe it would surprise me right? The first story certainly didn’t as we start the comic off on a low note. The plot is that a mouse wants to leave his village because he’s curious and a wise animal tells him about how everyone who crosses the woods…dies! Cats live out there after all and mice can’t do anything about it. Ah well, the mouse decides not to cross. The art was pretty bad and the story tried to be rather gritty and serious. No fun was to be had here and I certainly won’t be checking out the trade.

The next story was about a girl who is opening up a restaurant in monster world. Unfortunately, nobody wants to help her except a very entitles monster who doesn’t care about the business. She just wants the paycheck and isn’t afraid to say it. Again, the art is very underwhelming and I don’t see this series being very fun. None of the characters are likable and the premise will get old after the first few pages. It’s easy to see why so many comics are cancelled before they really got to run. They just never had a chance in the first place.

The final story is about a band. They were in a mysterious car accident where one member died, 3 were seriously injured, and one emerged unscathed. We then jump forward a year and the group is still playing. I guess this mystery will be addressed at some point, but I can’t say that I’m intrigued. The big problem in the issue for the characters is that they have to play in the same concert as the Boneheads. The groups don’t get along and a lot of insults are hurled from one side to the other. Great. The art’s pretty bad as per usual. We also get a gritty story about kids being drowned for no reason and all of the characters are incredibly bad. This isn’t a good recipe for success either so for those reasons I’m out. Unexpected Shark Tank reference

Overall, Boom lived down to my expectations as always. If there’s one thing you can count on from this free comic, it’s consistency. The only good thing I can think of in this comic is the Pac-Man image on the wall in the final story. I gotta admit, that was pretty classy. Still, there’s no reason to read this issue since you won’t be checking out any of the 3 series anyway. You should just get going while you can and stick to Marvel/DC for now. If you want to branch out, then read some old Mega Man or Sonic comics since both of those aren’t exactly hitting it big at the moment.

Overall 3/10

FCBD 2017 Bongo Free For All Review

It’s time for Bongo! It’s pretty impressive how you can always count on the Simpsons to show up with a comic year after year. You can also say that it’s a little worrisome how the writing in this story may be the best out of all the Free Comic books. Maybe that’s just a credit to this story rather than a diss to the others. Regardless, it was surprisingly good and reminded me that the Simpsons can be a good show when it remembers how to be one. It just so happens that it remembers very infrequently and there are probably more bad ones than good titles. (Bold statement I suppose)

The first story here is the best one as Bart Simpson breaks his back and now has to use a suitcase to get to school. The bullies have a field day with this and Bart finally learns what it is like to not be one of the cool kids. His reaction to this is on point as Bart uses the wheelies to his advantage. He can now out run the bullies to the ice cream sandwiches and also beats them in a basketball game. It’s just a very satisfying story all around and while Bart may have betrayed his new friends in the end, they got the last laugh.

The next story wasn’t quite as hype but it did its best. Homer Simpson stayed out late for some reason so he dashes home to steal his son’s sandwich. As he’s eating, Homer realizes that a burglar is outside so he goes to face him, only to be soundly defeated. The burglar in question is actually an animal and Homer finally realizes that it’s game over. The banter between Bart and Homer wasn’t bad to be honest. I also like the idea of Homer stealing his sandwich and their temporary alliance since they both should have been asleep. The execution after that wasn’t as interesting with the whole burglar nonsense.

The final story was the weakest one. Two kids are running around for some reason when they decide to start panicking over a bunch of cosplayers. They hide in the sewers and run all around town until they finally go home again. It was rather boring. The only good character was the local pastor who kept everyone in line and talked a really good game. He may let crooked cops take advantage of him, but at least the guy means well. I have a feeling that he may be the most entertaining character in the show.

Overall, This was a pretty good Bongo, I dare say that it was one of the better issues in the long series. I’m not going to become a Simpsons fan anytime soon, but at least this reminds me that the franchise always has potential when it’s handled right. Of course, you could say that about almost anything. There’s only one more free comic to get through so I’m pretty close to the end. It’s been a good run, but they all must end eventually.

Overall 7/10

FCBD 2017 Guardians of The Galaxy Review

With the film currently out, it definitely makes sense to have a Guardians comic. The marketing guys were definitely ready. It’s also clearly movie inspired at this point with the roster being identical. Surprisingly the comic seems to have gotten the D rank artists. The art looks terrible and I’m just wondering what happened to the series. The previous comics that I had read of it looked quite good so this is a big drop in quality. In particular, Rocket and Drax look very off. Still, you can’t say that Gamora or Star Lord look much better either.

In the plot, the team has gotten captured by the Nova Core. The Nova are finally back in biz after apparently being out of commission for a while, but now their members are all expendable green aliens who are picked on by the Shiar. The Guardians escape of course and steal a ship as well. The problem is that everyone is after them as per usual so the team is going to have to stay sharp and stick to the shadows. It’s a decent story, but the art is just a real drawback. The comic also got surprisingly brutal in one scene as someone’s eye is taken. That scene was pretty unnecessary and you can probably guess which member of the group brought this to the table. Meanwhile the “Drax is a pacifist” plot will definitely be intriguing. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Luckily, the backup story is a lot better. This time, the Defenders are getting some hype since the show is almost here. With the Kingpin out of the way, Diamondback wants to bring Hell’s Kitchen to its knees once more. The problem is that Daredevil and his friends are always getting in the way. To fix this, he heads to Jessica Jones’ office and shoots her. He also sends a message to the other members via attacks from his cronies and declares the neighborhoods to be his. If the heroes attack him…he’ll attack back!

This story was good because the art was very solid. The shading effects were great and all of the characters seemed well rounded. The writing was solid and this is a good way to hook in a new audience of comic readers. The cliff hanger was good and even if these gangsters seem a little outmatched, it could still make for a pretty good story arc. I’m not sure about Jessica losing so easily but maybe she doesn’t have any real abilities in the current comics. That or this Diamondback fellow is just that fast. Regardless, it brings some nice stakes to the table.

Overall, this was a good issue. Defenders really brought its A game and it’ll be nice to see the team get some recognition again. It’s been a long time since they were talked about in the same sentence as the Avengers or Fantastic Four so if the series gets big, then that problem will go away. Guardians didn’t really go anything for me. I suppose the Shiar vs Nova corp subplot could be good, but only if there are some actual characters on the Nova side and they’re not just all nameless aliens. Bring back the X-Men as well, those crossovers always looked pretty fun.

Overall 7/10

FCBD 2017 DC SuperHero Girls Review

I got to read one of the novels for the SuperHero Girls series so I’m finally a little more familiar with it than I used to be. It’s a fun concept and a good way to get more people to read comics. I can certainly get behind the series. It’s also impressive how it expanded so far in such a short amount of time. It appears to be going strong.

Well, the comic starts off with Wonder Woman and her pals dealing with a pair of rhyming villains. They had a lot of good burns even if they naturally lost to the Amazon warrior. After that, Wonder Woman is invited to spend the summer with her father Zeus, but is a little intimidated at this prospect. Fortunately, she is allowed to bring her friends. Nobody wants to go so Wonder Woman ends up settling for Bumble Bee. Upon her arrival, a gust of air assaults the heroes and Wonder Woman wonders if this was really a good idea!

There’s not a whole lot of action of course, but it’s a fun read that you’ll be able to blast through. It’s also very interesting whenever you see a villain since most of the characters who are usually villains in the mainstream comics are now heroes. I wonder how the writers decide which villains to keep as villains. Originally I would have thought that every character would be a hero, but I suppose that wouldn’t make sense and would take away any sense of danger.

The story isn’t quite as engaging as the one from last year’s event, but it’s still pretty fun. The friends all came across as rather unsympathetic to Wonder Woman’s plight and I’d call them mean spirited if I didn’t realize that it wasn’t intentional. They just already had plans. The artwork looks pretty solid. It’s not absolutely top of the line the way that a lot of DC comics look. It is going after the My Little Pony/Strawberry Shortcake crowd with brighter colors and more abstract designs. Maybe “simple” is a better way to describe it. It’s not all that intricate or detailed, but it makes it easier to read. All of the character models look right so I’m definitely on board with this.

Overall, SuperHero Girls continues to be a fun comic series to follow. It even had Supergirl catch the villain instead of Wonder Woman which lightly hints that Supergirl is still the faster heroine. It’s always a fun matchup to think about. The Zeus arc should be pretty fun, especially since it seems as if at least one god is against Wonder Woman. My money’s on Ares personally, that guy always did have a bit of a grudge.

Overall 7/10

FCBD 2017 Wonder Woman Special Edition Review

It’s time for another year of Free Comic Book Day reviews! I wasn’t able to snag as many as I’d have liked this year, but I got 7 so that’s not so bad. Lets start it off with Wonder Woman since her film is coming out pretty soon. It’s…another origin story. Ah well, I guess this is so that new readers can hopefully pick up the series, but I always found the approach a little odd. I feel like the only people who know about Free Comic Book Day…are people who already read comics. Still, I guess I’ll assume that the company knows what it’s doing. Also, this is why I still prefer trade paperbacks if I’m being honest. Having ads every other page can be a little odd.

So the comic starts off with Wonder Woman longing to go to the outside world. Naturally, the Amazons are against this and Wonder Woman would essentially be exiled if she ever decided to go. Meanwhile, Steve Trevor and his army buddies are getting ready for another fight. Unfortunately, the planes crash on the Amazonian island and everyone dies except for Steve. Wonder Woman is left with the choice of saving his life or letting him perish. That’s how the issue ends.

It’s a pretty short comic of course and you can easily finish it in around 5 minutes or so. Based on the pacing here, the origin story shouldn’t last too many more issues. I’m not a big origin guy, but if you’re gonna do it, you may as well do it quickly. There don’t seem to be any real changes to the origin so it’s a fairly faithful interpretation. The art is fairly decent as well. There were maybe one or two faces that would seem odd when the camera zoomed in, but it looks good enough. I don’t expect that I’ll have any complaints with it and the whole thing should come to life once the action scenes start.

Overall, If this gets new readers interested then it’s worth it I suppose. I would have preferred a more plot heavy issue, but there’s always next year. I think this comic has a reasonable chance of being the best one this year, but I hope not since that would mean that the others simply raised the bar to a new level. Reviewing single issues is always tough when they’re this small since there’s not much to say. No need to drag it out I suppose, I got the main points in. I shall have the next free comic review up shortly.

Overall 6/10

FCBD 2016 Boom Summer Blast Review

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!

Overall 3/10

FCBD 2016 Strawberry Shortcake Review

It’s time for the wave of Free Comic Book Day reviews to start. There aren’t a huge amount of them this time around, but it should still take 2-3 days to finish them all. Strawberry Shortcake was the first issue that I read and it starts the event off on a good note. Strawberry’s bakery is having its 1 year anniversary soon so she decides to bake a cake. Unfortunately, her friends do not agree with this plan as they want the day to be a huge celebration. They order Strawberry to leave everything up to them and one of the friends gives our main character a new hairstyle during the wait. Unfortunately, Strawberry’s friends are always lose without her and this is no exception as they find a way to wreck the party preparations. Can Strawberry save the day before the whole town sees the mess or is it time to move to Equestria?

It’s a fun enough comic. The characters are all good although none of them have any real personality at the moment. They’re all nice friends who try their best to help out, but to learn about them as individuals you would need to take a peak at the character bios or watch the show I suppose. The art is decently good although one scene was a little iffy. Strawberry sees her new “bad” haircut and is dismayed, but it actually looks fairly good so you have to wonder why she is so sad. Personally I’d say that the design is rather busy so I wouldn’t want it to replace her current look, but it’s just about as good. It’s certainly not bad like the story was trying to suggest. Aside from that, the colors were nice and vibrant.

Strawberry Shortcake has always reminded me of My Little Pony. The only real difference being that this series is a little lighter on action and they’re all human for the most part. If you’re looking for a happy little adventure, then this is the stop for you. There are a lot of berry puns and you all know how much I enjoy a good one liner. Buy the full series to keep up with these characters and hopefully the supporting figures learn how to be a little more self reliant as the series goes on. They don’t have to be natural experts like Strawberry, but they made so many mistakes in the span of an hour that one can see how much room for improvement there is. Who knows, maybe Strawberry can personally teach them how to get good at setting up parties. Let’s see if the next few comics can match this one.

Overall 6/10

Ten Year Celebration 2015 Free Comic Book Day Special Review

It is time for the final Free Comic Book! I left this one for last because the one from last year bored me to be honest and anthologies are really hard to get into. This one features a lot of stories, but most of them are extremely short so you aren’t able to really get into them. That just doesn’t seem like a winning formula. The readers won’t be enticed to buy any of the issues and I doubt that the writers like to be confined to such a small area to show off their artistic talents. I suppose that it is supposed to just be a fun little comic to read to celebrate 10 years of…something, but it just doesn’t work.

There are a bundle of stories here. The one that is the longest and also the most boring is about a few mice who listen to a story about the days of old. Nothing happens and you wonder why the story is being told. Adventure Time’s short is about a card game tournament that is about to begin and this was one of the best comics. Had we actually gotten to start the tournament, it likely would have blown the rest of the stories away. I love a good card game tournament! Snoopy got one where he is trying to write a book, but one of the kids keeps criticizing him. I would give this one points for effort, but this comic feels like it has been ripped off panel for panel from other Snoopy issues. The plot is not new or original so no points for effort.

Garfield’s story is cool because he now has the title of fastest cat in the world. It was a comedy story as he did it for the pizza, but it was still satisfying to see him take the win. I thought that his owners would lose the money somehow, but they actually kept the 10000 dollar reward. That’s pretty great! There is a story about a Kirby ripoff who decides to fight a two headed dragon, but realizes that he doesn’t have any deodorant on. That’s certainly a dicey predicament when you are about to enter the fight of your life eh!? There are a few other stories, but you get the jist and the others were all extremely short anyway. Although, the story about the Red Cardinal giving people a chocolate milk drink when they thought that they were drinking coffee was decent. It was only about a page or two though so it really went by quickly.

The art really varies as each comic has a different art style so it’s really hard to talk about it. Some had good art like Garfield, Adventure Time (Gimicky, but still good) Snoopy, and the Cardinal, but others like the Mice story had art that was very sub par. By and large, it depends on the issue, but more issues have good art rather than bad so that’s always a good thing. The writing is typically in the same boat, but I’d argue that it is the opposite. More comics have poor writing than the kind of writing that will make you grin.

Overall, This collection was just as (not) good as I expected. You simply can’t hope to cram in like 10 different stories in a comic that is only slightly bigger than the typical one. There simply isn’t enough time to develop all of the tales and a lot of them will just tend to be unlikable or uninspired. We ended the free comics on a low note, but I did leave this one for last on purpose. I knew what to expect and I put it off for quite a while. No worries though as my next comic reviews will be about much better comics. You likely won’t see another comic with a score so long in quite a long while. If you like anthologies then maybe you should pick this up, but I still recommend skipping this comic and just reading a Justice League issue.

Overall 4/10

Valiant 25th Anniversary Special Review

I’m nearly at the end of my issues from Free Comic Book Day. This is the second to last one and I had left it for the end because it looked like a long one. Little did I know that most of the pages are just celebrating the 25th Anniversary and there is only one real issue here. There’s a two page preview for two others as well, but that’s even shorter than the usual FCBD stories. It’s not a bad issue , but it is certainly less impressive than what I have come to expect from Valiant.

The main story shows us the new Bloodshot. He has finally been cured from his abilities and is experiencing what it is like to live as a human for the first time. This may be tough though as he is now defenseless and still has a lot of enemies. He decides that this is a path that he must walk alone and convinces his friends to leave him for the time being. Will he really be able to stay safe? The premise has certainly been done before with Wolverine and other heroes, but it’ll be intriguing for some to see how Bloodshot handles this.

The problem is that the comic isn’t very interesting and it isn’t a premise that would make me want to read the series. The art is good and the writing appears to be solid enough. Still, the story could not win me over. One two page story had a pair of guys talking about how the main character of X/O Man of War has to die because of the armors that are taking over the universe. It’s a quick discussion and one that could have happened in a panel, but was dragged out by the guy talking about how he forgot why he is fighting in the first place. I’m sure that the arc would be good, but there’s not enough here to really get us interested.

Finally, one preview was for Ninjak and it was spent hyping up a new villain. She destroys people with her hair and is good at getting others to do what she wants them to do. The government warns Ninjak that he may be doomed this time, but he burns them with the “Should I be impressed?” line before he gets ready to fight her. It may have only been 2 pages, but it was clearly the most interesting of the three stories. This segment had higher stakes than the other two and I was ready for things to happen.

Of course, since Valiant is an indie company, you can expect that their full stories would likely be a little on the violent side. This issue is okay and that’s good since a lot of people will be reading it, but it’s still very unlikely that I will be checking out the stories in the future. The end of the comic has a poster for an upcoming event where the Valiant universe will be (rebooted) destroyed. Bloodshot is back in his super form so I guess that spoils whether or not he decides to be a fighter again eh? That should be fun as crossovers are always pretty integral to the universe.

If you’re a big Valiant fan, you’ll like the fact that this comic really does celebrate the anniversary. There are several pages for the best fights of the Valiant Universe, best team ups, best deaths, etc. If you’ve been reading all of the comics, it’ll be a nice trip down memory lane for long time fans. I would have liked a picture for each fight so I could have seen what they are talking about, but I suppose that comic covers will have to do.

Overall, The Valiant issue has an interesting start with Ninjak, but the other two stories weren’t quite as engaging. At this point, it is safe to say that Valiant is the only big super hero company besides Marvel and DC so it is good to see them grow more popular I suppose. That being said, I’d say that IDW and Archie still have a nice lead over them so Valiant needs to get busy. All of their comics are really similar at this point so maybe they should consider adding some more variety. It certainly couldn’t hurt. I recommend checking this out if you want some action, but maybe you should just check out a trade paperback and see if it is your style.

Overall 6/10

Rabbids Review

Well, something had to take the spot of worst comic from Free Comic Book Day and I think that we have found the one! The Rabbids have never looked like good characters and that did not change here. I really have no hope for their games being great, but since gameplay matters more than the characters there, that should help. Still, this issue was worse than I had expected and that’s even considering that we got some backup stories here.

The Rabbids story has no plot as the beings just do a lot of crazy things. The main reason why the story was terrible is that the jokes are terrible. Naturally, there’s nothing suggestive about being a random bunny so the writers decided to just add things. One Rabbid wears Tennis Balls and another one spies on her. It’s all just sad and definitely not funny. I really hope that this comic bombs and the sad thing is that this makes video game inspired comics look bad. It’s a good thing that Street Fighter was so good so that it could help us forget about this one. It really had no good moments to speak of.

One of the backup stories was a really short one about Garfield. Garfield had to travel to the Moon to fight off some aliens and it was a decent tale. There wasn’t much to it, but maybe that was part of the charm. The art was intriguing as it made the story appear to be in CGI. I don’t think that it is a style that I would want to see very often, but for once in a while, it isn’t bad. We got some action after all and from the 3 stories, it is easily the best. This series would definitely have some potential if it was on its own. I wouldn’t mind reading a trade paperback for this one.

The other story was the Smurfs and that really didn’t help the issue’s case. The dialogue was too small, which made reading it a little harder than it should be. The main villain’s relative comes over and then betrays the man. After all, the villain is evil so his brother (I think) couldn’t let that happen and stops him. The Smurfs aren’t very likable and the villains aren’t charismatic so it is certainly a losing combo if you ask me. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the Rabbids story and I would probably just give it a 3-4 typically, but it wasn’t good enough to bring the issue up either. The art was all right here, it was essentially newspaper style.

Overall, This comic was doomed thanks to the Rabbids. They seriously ensured that I could not like the issue and this didn’t help me gain any respect for them as characters. It will be quite a while before I buy one of their comics. The Smurfs is a series that I have never been interested either. That meant that Garfield had to really hold everything up and that was too great a task for it. A 2 is rather low, but that’s just how bad the Rabbids story was. I’d advise you to skip this comic, but Free Comic Book Day is already over so you may not have had a choice anyway right? There are only 2 more free comics left to read so I should have those reviews up at some point in the very near future.

Overall 2/10