For the 12th year, Free Comic Book Day will be celebrated at comic shops throughout the world, with millions of comics planned to be given away. The event falls on the first Saturday in May, and this year coincides with another geek-friendly holiday.
Many “Star Wars” fans celebrate May 4 as “Star Wars Day,” based on the fairly humorous premise that “May the 4th be with you” sounds similar to the phrase from the films, “May the Force be with you,” referring to the unseen energy field that flows through the “Star Wars” universe.
This year's Free Comic Book Day features a “Star Wars” story from Dark Horse comics, written by regular “Star Wars” writer Brian Wood. The issue will also feature “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “Captain Midnight” stories. It's one of 12 “gold sponsor” Free Comic Book Day books that should be available in all participating stores, at least as the day begins. Including “silver” sponsor books, which are available at stores that chose to bring them in, there are 52 total Free Comic Book Day comics from which to choose. Major characters including Superman, Batman, the Avengers, the Simpsons and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are featured in this year's event.
Free Comic Book Day was created by Concord, Calif., comic book retailer Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff.
Since its inception, Free Comic Book Day has given out over 27 million free comics to nearly 8 million people. Diamond Comics Distributors, which sponsors the event, said in a news release that more than 4.6 million comic books are expected to be given away this year.
A dozen stores in the Oklahoma City area are participating.
“There are so many cool things about comics — the art, the stories and then sharing comics with friends and family,” Field said in an email. “That's the heart of Free Comic Book Day. There's a lot of preparation and a lot of care going into making FCBD special for all those who attend. And that's what makes the event seem more like a holiday year after year.”
More than one million people are expected to visit 2000 comic book specialty stores in 60 countries all over the world on Free Comic Book Day.
“Superman: Last Son of Krypton” No. 1 will feature a sneak peek at the new DC Comics title “Superman Unchained,” set for release June 12. The Free Comic Book Day exclusive also includes the first chapter of graphic novel “Superman: Last Son Of Krypton,” written by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner (director of Superman: The Movie), illustrated by Adam Kubert and featuring Superman's epic battle with General Zod.
DC's younger fans can try out “DC Nation Super Sampler” No. 1, which features Batman from the upcoming “Beware the Batman” animated series.
Marvel Comics fans excited by “Iron Man 3” may want to check out the “Avengers Assemble/Hulk: Agents of SMASH” No. 1, which previews two new animated series. And Marvel will kick off a new series on FCBD with “Infinity,” a story by Jonathan Hickman and Jim Cheung that leads into a new Marvel Comics event featuring Thanos.
“I'm very excited about ‘Infinity' for a number of reasons,” said Hickman in a news release. “First, I think it's wonderful that the story is coming organically out of what's been going on during Marvel NOW!. Things that we've seen unfold in ‘Avengers,' ‘New Avengers,' ‘Thanos Rising,' ‘Guardians of the Galaxy' and others are the catalyst for ‘Infinity.' And second, for me personally, ‘Infinity' is the first big step in a series of big steps that make up the long term plans for the Avengers books I have the privilege of writing. It should be a lot of fun.”