Review: Free Comic Book Day 2010


Well, I could pretty much copy my intro from last year’s FCBD coverage. I did pretty much the same thing. I didn’t go to the comic book store, instead spending my time with boxing, beer, and babes. I got my free comics early, so I can still review these things.

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Review: Free Comic Book Day 2009

I was a terrible fan on FCBD. I didn’t even go to a comic shop. You know what I did? I spent the day hanging out with friends. New friends, old friends, beer, sports, and girls culminating with the Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton fight. Yeah, remember how that went?

Sorry, that’s actually when Hatton got knocked out by Mayweather, but you get the idea. We got what? Five minutes of boxing? I would’ve asked for my nickel back, but I watched it at a friend’s house. For those who did throw down the money, blame Hatton. Anyway, my FCBD was spent doing the most non-comic book things ever, but I still got my books. Be friends with your comic book guy, kids.


Atomic Robo: I’ve heard that this was good, and it is. The nice, clean art and sharp writing is impressive. It left me wanting more. Sadly, even though it’s huge on the cover, this story wasn’t the longest in the issue.

Drone: This was the longest story. I’m a bit underwhelmed. Average art and writing, with a ton of words isn’t the best sales pitch. It’s a bit of an interesting concept, though.

We Kill Monsters: I don’t know what to think of this. It just didn’t really hook me at all. It’s not bad.


Because I like complaining about Bendis:

For a book with both New and Dark Avengers, this isn’t in continuity, is it?

This book has way too many words for kids and new readers.

Why is this book rated teen? Why not write for kids, Bendis? Why the swears?

Why does Spider-Man mention global warming? It’s not even a joke. It’ll just offend adults and confuse the kids.

This book was so damn wordy, and yet it still didn’t introduce all the characters.

Other than all that:It’s pretty good. I mean, it’s Jim Cheung drawing 24 pages of Avengers action. Throw in Thor, and you actually have a memorable FCBD comic. Oh, and we get more pages in this issue than we do in a four-dollar Avengers comic. And why is this book at reduced-size? Every publisher, large and small, is printing normal size, but Marvel? Tiny comics! Boo!


Some publishers, even the tiny ones, will put out an issue #0 for three bucks, but DC? They put out the #0 of their big, new event for free. Way to go DC! Wednesday Comics, three-dollar comics, and now this? Is anyone still reading Marvel? As for the actual issue, I would have liked to get a good look at all of the corps. We do get that, in a way, but those pages have been online for weeks. I even posted them. What we do get, is a nice conversation between Hal and Barry, an exploration of some of DC’s dead characters, and the Black Lantern Oath. Throw in some sweet Ivan Reis art, and you’ve got an awesome package. Oh, and for those who have been noticing my bitching about Aquaman being brought back in Final Crisis, that’s actually addressed in this issue. Apparently, those were just rumors. BUT I SAW HIM WITH MY OWN EYES! Oh well, way to screw with Morrison’s vision, DiDio.


“The Simpsons” is my favorite show. Having said that, I don’t think I really laughed once while reading this. That’s bad. The comic is free, features nice art, and may entertain children. That’s good.


Shazam: This was three pages! I heard this was good, but three pages! Boo!

Brave and the Bold: Entertaining, adequate art, and the kids are the hero of the story, that’s awesome. Also, just like the cartoon, it features a relatively unknown villain, the Thinker. Although, I think Batman and Blue Beetle kill him in this story. What’s up with that?

Tiny Titans: I’ve read this comic before and it’s very fun. I dig the art, too. This one? Not so much. It’s still awesome, and if any of you have kids, this is a good comic.


I have a friend who absolutely adores this book. Well, he used to. Now, even he isn’t reading it anymore. I’ve tried to get into it. I like the art and some of the pop culture references are funny, but it’s kind of boring. It’s lost its spark.


If you like Wolverine: First Class, this is right up your alley. It’s Fred Van Lente being Fred Van Lente. It also has some pretty art. I find Wolverine: First Class to be forgettable and unnecessary, so this isn’t my thing, but I think a lot of kids and adults will have a blast.

For more comic goodness, go here.

Foilball’s Review Roundup #37 – COMIC-CON WAS EXHAUSTING!!!

I have pictures with some HAWT-HAWT ladies that I’ll probably post up in the next few days. Panels? Panels are for suckers, fool!

Batman and the Outsiders #9 (***)

Whoa, shit just got weird. I never read the original Batman and the Outsiders series, so maybe I just don’t know any better, but does it make sense to anyone else that the plot has veered into science fiction territory? Seriously? Batman’s gonna stop an alien invasion? Really? WTF!!! Don’t get me wrong, the issue is still very well-written, because Chuck Dixon is awesome, but how the hell did we come to this? Sure, we had space shuttles and OMACs and possessed people… but there’s just something about this latest plot turn that doesn’t sit right with me. I think it just feels too “big” for a Batman and the Outsiders plot. I need “Justice League Elite” style shenanigans from my BATO, not “Authority” end of the world shenanigans. Not that any of this matters since I’ll be tossing the book after Dixon leaves.

Justice Society of America #17 (****1/2)

I really, really, really love this arc. Some of us are comparing what Johns is doing with his DC books to what Bendis is doing over at Marvel. Which is true on the surface, but there’s a subtle difference. The difference is Johns is a much more talented character writer than Bendis. Johns relies on solid scene construction and not dialogue to reveal character. Most of the time, Bendis can barely manage the dialogue, and even then he’s only hiding behind the cleverness of it. The core of the character is usually missing… the core being the meaning/message/chunk of philosophy to chew and mull over. This is why he gets slammed so much for “decompression”. When the plot is literally oozing forward at a snail’s pace, you have to rely on internal character change to move the story. Johns can do this. Bendis can not.

The Punisher #59 (****1/2)

Um, wow.

It’s all starting to make sense now. All those pages of prose from the last 5 issues, all the descriptions and explanations of how the Punisher’s birth and very existence has changed so many that knew him… it’s so obvious now that I think of it. There was really only one way this story could ever end. Of course, Colonel Howe isn’t going to use the tape. Punisher knew that. But, what the Punisher may not have known was how much the simple act of experiencing what he’s experienced would fundamentally change the Colonel. No, Howe’s not gonna release the tape to the media. It would devastate the country and cripple the military. No way in hell would a man like Howe be responsible for that. But, what he will do is this: he will dismiss his team. He will take sole responsibility for what comes next. He will help Frank Castle punish the guilty parties. Howe will become exactly like, for as long as his surely brief life lasts, The Punisher. There’s tons more to say, and tons more there that I haven’t picked up on yet, but we got to save some for next month. Powerful stuff, though. Next issue is going to be amazing!

Quick Hits:
Amazing Spider-Man #564 (***): The blurb on the cover promises the most unusual Spidey story ever… consider me underwhelmed. Roshamon Spidey anyone? Sure, good idea, guys… poor execution.
G.I. Joe #36 (***): It just didn’t do it for me. Instead of giving up a proper 3rd act, the story just kind of ended. I’m hoping the relaunch next year is awesome, and by awesome, I mean they have some top talent attached. If not, eff it, I’ll finally be done with serialized Joe fiction.
I Kill Giants #1 (***1/2): Hey kids, Joe Kelly is back! Lots of setup, it’s a first issue, but also lots of fun. I really like this little girl and the way she sees the world. And I can’t tell just yet if she’s actually crazy or the stuff she sees is real or she’s just extremely creative, but I’m more than happy to stick around and find out.
Number of the Beast #7 (**): More blatant exposition about the hokiest plot of the year. I wonder if this series would have been better served if the creators opted against revealing the (ridiculous) reasons for the WWII heroes’ incarceration. Probably. This issue slows this bullet train of a series to a crawl. Ugh.
The Boys #20 (****): Another back story issue, but just like last time, it still works. That’s probably because Ennis is such a compelling storyteller. I think that may actually the thing I like best about Ennis. I love the way he writes characters telling stories. He makes you wish you were sitting around the campfire with the characters in the book. The Boys is blossoming into a must-read book. Good times.

Foilball’s Review Roundup #33 – THE MEDIOCRES!

As promised, The Mediocres. These books weren’t great and they weren’t bad. They were workman like in their execution, filled with substance but lacking the style to put them over the top.

Batman and the Outsiders #8 (***): This issue does a fine job of wrapping up the last 7 issues worth of story without actually introducing anything new or exciting. It’s a good job, but boring.

Birds of Prey #119 (***): And, Tony Bedard is back. Okay, this was not as bad as I expected. And, Scott is still doing the art, so it’s not a total loss. The following series of panels made me laugh, and not in that good way…

Black Panther #37 (**1/2): It’s mostly filler, but the back and forth between Panther and Killmonger is semi-interesting. Next issue promises to be an all-out slugfest, but… I don’t know if I care about the Panther’s solo adventures anymore. Seems to me like Hudlin is finally running out of ideas. When he first relaunched the book, it seemed to hold so much promise. Instead of rising to the level of exciting political intrigue that Captain America has, it’s slowly fallen into petty soap opera drama. It’s just not compelling. I think after the Secret Invasion tie-in issues, I will be dropping this book.

Green Lantern #32 (***): Compared with the rest of the issues in the arc, which I loved, I was very disappointed in this issue. Not much happened. Sinestro was cool, and that Yoda shit he did with Hal’s plane was very cool, but it felt… mediocre, especially for a Johns book. I’m sure this will be the exception and next issue will see the return of the level of quality we as GL fans are used to. Oh, one more thing. This entire arc is making me so sad for Hal. Like, Carol Ferris is so awesome! A part of me has to believe that another reason for this trip down “Origin Lane” is to reintroduce the Hal/Carol love story… for future reference, of course. Maybe we’ll see more of this after “Blackest Night”? I hope so.

Guardians of the Galaxy #2 (***): Great cover. And that’s about it. Everything else is middle of the road. Vance Astro? GAWD, I’ve always hated him. They should just cap his ass and take the shield. I like the modern reintroduction of the Universal Church of Truth, but I don’t like the characterizations of the leads. Warlock doesn’t feel like Warlock, Drax doesn’t feel like Drax, etc… just about the only character that even acts/sounds like they did in Annihilation is the fricking Raccoon. It hasn’t been outright terrible, so I’ll stick with it for now and see how I feel in a couple of months.

No Hero #0 (***): Too early to tell… this could be great, but there is also the possibility that it’s just a retread of Black Summer or The Order or even Kick-Ass. When he’s on, Ellis is the man. When he’s off? You get weird shit like Anna Mercury and Strange Kiss. Oh, but I do like all the backmatter in this one. Thanks! Oh, and the art is still amazing!

Number of the Beast #6 (***): All the cards have finally been flipped (well, all the cards we know about)! Tons of exposition in this one… no wonder it read so slow. This is the nature of the beast so I can’t fault the writer too much. He’d asked so many questions in the preceding five issues that it was inevitable that he’d have to slow down and catch us all up. Like Green Lantern, I’m sure the next issue will pick right back up.

Ultimate Spider-Man #123 (***1/2): There were parts of this I really liked. I loved how Bendis kept changing “listeners” on us. “Oh, what happened to that nice old man?” Um, Venom ate him, dummy. SWEET! The problem I have with this book is that the way Bendis chose to frame this story actually robs it of any suspense. Because it’s told in flashback, we know Venom gets away safely from Silver Sable and her Wildpack. Everything else still works on a technical level, and what he tried to do was a nice experiment in storytelling, but I’m just not that excited to read the next issue. So, fail?

Ultimate X-Men #95 (**1/2): Whoa… shit just got TOO weird. Cyclops flying? WHA! Rogue knows Vindicator? Like, KNOWS knows? It’s gotta be Gambit, right? Because of the purple energy blasts… but, man, that would be stupid. Northstar dead? Colossus gonna go all roid-ragin’ now? I really liked the new direction that the last issue set up, but I feel like we’re moving too fast and heading in too many different directions. Slow down, man. You’re no Grant Morrison.

I’ll be back Tuesday with The Gooders. Monday, hopefully we’ll have our Series Review of Planetary #9 up, and if we don’t then, sorry.

Foilball’s Review Roundup #25

Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 (*****)

I loved this book. Shit, everyone did. I’m so late with the review on this one that I’m not even going to bother with it. I just wanted to put it up at the top so that everyone would know how much I love this book. 2nd greatest X-Men run of all-time… and that’s only because Whedon built so much of his structure on the foundation that Grant Morrison laid. Yes, eat a dick Morrison haters… this run could not exist without Morrison’s run! HAH!

Avengers The Initiative #13 (****)

Better than Dan Slott’s run? Maybe! Gage just shines here. This bunch of lovable losers is even more lovable than the last. And more losery. Butterball is my favorite new character of the last year. He’s like the ultimate fanboy. I love Yellowjacket’s expression when Butterball asks him about Captain America. And then Prodigy’s coughing comment is laugh out loud funny. I even liked the 5-6 pages with Taskmaster explaining why Butterball was a washout from start to finish. This is great character writing, the kind of writing most writers don’t bother with anymore. Even guys like Bendis, who used to be so good at this type of stuff. Even though they send Butterball home in the end, I hope this isn’t the last we’ll see of him.

Robin #174 (****)

AndStephanie’s back. BOOYA! I think I’m happy about this, but I don’t feel happy. Batman, obviously knew all along (oh, then why the HELL didn’t he go look for her?) so his response was pretty blasé. But Tim, his awkwardness was pitch perfect. They’re doing a Robin/Spoiler special to explain all this shit and show how Tim’s dead ex coming back from the dead will affect him. I just hope Tim acts realistically in it. If I was Tim, I’d totally go off on this chick. How the hell could she live with herself? Fooling her mom and Tim, making them think she was dead all these years. UGH. The way this was handled kind of makes me hate Stephanie, but only a little.

Superman/Batman #48 (***1/2)

I’ve really been enjoying this run. Call me lame, but I also really like the character design for “All America Boy”. It’s Doomsday but with Kryptonite for bones and blood. Awesome. Why didn’t Dan Jurgens think of that? Chirst, but what an unfortunate name he’s got, right? But, aside from that bit of jank, the “K” arc has been good. Two issues to go till #50… are they canceling this book? Hope not, it’s just starting to get good again.

Quick Hits:
Batman and the Outsiders #7 (***): This issue left me empty. Nothing much happened in regards to the plot… it felt like a flimsy continuation of the last issue. More filler than forward momentum.
Green Lantern #31 (*****): WOW. That’s it. That’s the only way I can describe how much I love this book. So, this arc is around six issues in length? For me, that’s not long enough. I want more old school Lantern good times.
King-Size Hulk #1 (***1/2): Surprisingly good, I think. The Art Adams and Frank Cho art was killer and I didn’t even mind the Loeb stuff that much. Maybe that’s because there was actual WRITING in this book, unlike the main Hulk series. The retelling of the Abomination origin was also cool… hmm, wonder why they felt the need to include that one? Maybe it’s because Hulk Red is actually–
Justice League of America #21 (***): SIGHTINGS! Well, this is the book that explains how Manhunter met his end in Final Crisis #1. I don’t get it, this came out before FC#1, yet everyone was bitching about how there was no lead up to his death outside of FC. I guess there really isn’t anyone reading this book but me. HAH. Anyway, McDuffie seems to be repeating himself. The “secret chamber” thing reminded me of an episode of JLU. Did the Big Three seem out of character to anyone else?
Wolverine Origins #25 (**): Let Down. I was totally on board for this arc when it was just about Deadpool and Wolverine duking it out. Now, Way tries to make it about Daken? FUCK YOU. Wolverine’s explanations about his master plan left the story limp. Have I mentioned how much I HATE Daken? Seriously, does anyone like him? Stupid mohawk… and Bucky as Winter Soldier!?! How far behind is this book?
• X-Men: Legacy #212 (***): Professor X as detective with Gambit riding shotgun? Okay, I’ll bite for now. I’m kind of sick of Gambit, but maybe Carey is finally the one to make him cool again. I love plot twist toward the “Sinister” …too bad he died at the end of Messiah Complex, or, did he?
• Young Avengers Presents: Stature #5 (*): Very weak when compared with the rest of the series.