Updated: Dec 17, 2019
Every year, on the first Saturday of May, everyone can walk into their local comic book store and get some free comics.
Well, certain comics.
You can’t just go to the store and pick up five omnibuses and walk out of there without paying a cent.
I learned that the hard way.
Point being that every year on that first May weekend everyone can get some comics for free… and while you’re there, you can (and should) support your local comic book store. Plus they could be having special deals on products and fun events.
Okay, so what comics were out for the taking this year?
A lot actually.
Each company had at least one comic specifically made for FCBD and some had more than one. This year I only picked up 5. I blame brand loyalty and familiarity for not getting any more but hey I still wanted to read them.
Let’s get on with the review, shall we?
First up, is The Amazing Spider-Man by Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley.
Peter Parker is out looking for a new apartment with Randy Robertson (Robbie Robertson’s son) when their house hunting is interrupted by Boomerang, Rhino, a new Big Wheel, and Electro’s robbing spree. Spidey is able to simultaneously fight the baddies and crack wise at their expense before saving a family from a malfunctioning Wheel. In doing so, the villains get the drop on him but he’s saved by the Mayor of NY, a.k.a. Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. The Kingpin (This takes place before Daredevil #601). Old Michelin Man himself seems to be very lenient and makes sure the cops don’t arrest Spidey. He then turns his attention to Boomerang’s bag of stolen goodies which is glowing like Quentin Tarantino’s suitcase of kryptonite. This leads to Boomerang getting away and Spidey going back to his house hunt. That house they find is great with only one caveat, they need to add a roomie to help pay the rent.
That roomie is … Boomerang!
This first foray of the new Amazing Spider-Man team’s work was okay! It’s for FCBD so it’s not a hugely important story but as a preview of what we have to look forward to when Spencer takes over writing for Dan Slott it’s just fine. The jokes hit well enough, and the dialogue works. Ryan Ottley’s art however, is, excuse the pun, amazing and fits the book well.
This issue also has some extra info on the Infinity event currently going on, as well as an ad for some Ant-Man and Wasp books because movies.
FCBD Amazing Spider-Man verdict: 6.5/10 Spider-totems.
Next is the double deal of Avengers and Captain America.
This Avengers story picks up from Marvel Legacy #1 with Odin inviting the Black Panther to the deserted ruins of Asgard to discuss the business of the Mad Celestial that the “Avengers B.C.” downed back in the aforementioned Marvel Legacy. It turns out they defeated it but did not kill it. The Black Panther wanted to heal it while Odin wanted to pin the body to the moon as a message to outside forces. The sorcerer Agamatto came up with the great idea of burying the Celestial under continental Africa, a fact which T’challa is not so happy about.
So why is Odin worried about this?
Because Loki, the God of ever-shifting loyalties, dug up the Celestial and is now in control of it, visiting Odin to mock and belittle him. The all-father commissions T’challa to kill Loki but not necessarily kill/stop the Celestial calling it a fool's errand. Luckily, The King of Wakanda knows some pretty mighty fools. In fact they’re Earth’s mightiest fools, the Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), and the Black Panther himself.
The Captain America story shows Cap looking over a Hydra vs. Anti-Hydra demonstration/riot while juxtaposed to flashbacks of the past, both Steve’s and another narrator. The narrator monologues about how Captain America was right because America was right, going on to say how things have changed and reveals herself to be monitoring the clash between the two groups from her science lab/evil lair. As it turns out that this woman is Russian as she reveals in her monologue/flashback and she talks about the Russian Revolution and the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. being allies during the war. She goes on to say how she likes the U.S. because they’re strong but because so much has changed and the strong are “plagued by the feeble minded and Captains of nothing” there must be an alliance of certain sectors who love this country to … ahem… “Make America Strong Again, right again, and born again”. And while she spouts all of this, she's been sending out either clones or robots of Nuke.
Both stories in the free issue were great! The Avengers story is a nice little prologue for the upcoming new series and it puts on a great show. Action, plot, whit, it’s all there. Jason Aaron’s done an awesome job here and I can’t wait to see how the rest will play out in his new series. Nothing but compliments for Sara Pichelli’s art, it’s just lovely.
Verdict: 9/10 Avengers Assembled.
Cap’s story was really good too. I love when the writers get to use Nuke as a villain, even though it seems that here he’s just an underling for this new main villain. This is Ta-Nehisi Coates first time on the Captain America book and while some people might be sick of “politicized” comics because of events like Secret Empire, I for one am excited to see what the rest of Coates run will look like. I was a fan of Nick Spencer’s run and his dark mirror of the Captain. Looks like Cap will be fighting some of his dark mirror aspects as well as possibly address what happened with Secret Empire more in the future.
Verdict: 8.5/10 Vibranium Shields.
To Be Continued…
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