On May 7th, comic book stores throughout the U.S participated in “Free Comic Book Day.” This event was kickstarted in 2002 by the North American comic book industry in an effort to encourage new readers and promote upcoming titles. As a newbie myself, I was interested in seeing what “staples” DC, Marvel, Image, and independent companies would offer to beginners and veterans alike. While I only had a chance to visit one store, I’ll be sharing both my loot and three of the series I look the most forward to in the coming months.
The first comic on my list is a sampler from Pokemon: Pocket Comics: a comedic mini-series featuring the misadventures of a group of critters in the Unova region. This book is a cute, quick read for anyone new or experienced with the franchise. As someone whose life was dominated by the anime and card game for twelve years, I guarantee you’ll find something to your taste.
Another series that took the media by storm is that of Avatar: The Last Airbender and its spin-off The Legend of Korra. Free Comic Book Day’s Legend of Korra issue reveals how our heroine came across her animal guide, the polar bear-dog Naga. Needless to say, the feisty pair has come a long way.
One Punch Man, a web comic-turned-manga-turned-anime, is quickly becoming a must-read among comic-book fans. Action-packed and absurdist, the journey of one bored superhero turns out to be more fun than you can have ever imagined. While several works in the past and present have played with the idea of how superheroes would be treated in the real world, this manga surely takes the cake.
Last but not least is Love and Rockets. Having read Jaime Hernandez’s Perla la Loca, I was already familiar with the series’ worldbuilding. I recommend this work to anyone interested in Chicano culture and/or slice-of-life storytelling.
Even if you happened to have missed Free Comic Book Day, no need to worry! It’s never too late to start reading. In the near-future, new issues of two of my favorite series as well as one I recently discovered will be released – and all three are ideal for first-time readers.
- The sixth issue of the epic high-fantasy Monstress will be released on May 25th, revealing once and for all the true intentions of the mysterious Dusk Court – and perhaps, what protagonist Maika’s mother had to do with them. This series juggles elements of action, horror, and politics in a way I’ve never encountered before. If you’d like some more insight into the series, you can read my review for Monstress Issues #1-3 here.
- My first ever superhero comic, Ms. Marvel is a wonderful means to navigating the Marvel universe through the eyes of a fangirl. Kamala Khan is charming, witty, and unafraid to embrace her own geekiness, making her one of the more relatable characters I’ve encountered from either DC or Marvel. The second volume of the series, Super Famous, will be released on July 5th. From what I’ve heard, one should prepare for feels.
- Spirit Leaves is a relatively new series that quickly charmed me with its gorgeous and atmospheric artwork. This comic spins a tale of two unusual people being drawn together – a classic setup with lots of potential. Only two issues are out so far, so now is prime time to catch up.