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Another nerd holiday came and went, and unlike the usual December comedown, we ain’t sick of our presents after coming down from a sugar high!

Free Comic Book Day, the first Saturday in May offers an opportunity for fans and more importantly retailers to focus on what really matters, comic books!

Most stores will set up some kind of event or discount for coming by to get the free goods, while the publishers get their hooks in to greedy fans everywhere with honest-to-goodness free product!

If you are lucky, when in the shops today, there may be some leftover goods to grope.

This week’s Cosmic Treadmill merges with Triple Shot to take a look at our Saturday grab bag and also every title available for free on the ComiXology platform in honor of Free Comic Book Day!

John Barber (Writer) & Tom Scioli (Writer/Artist)

When this series hits in July, watch out kids because there will be people pushing faces out of the way at the spinner rack to grab fistfuls!

It is hard to ‘pick a winner’ or a favorite FCBD offering but this one takes the cake. From the Jack Kirby layouts, Gødland Kirby-as-genre storytelling and giant robots versus America’s #1 Special Mission Force, a fan of either of the Hasbro properties will love this take on the Joes and Autobots.

If in your mind you are thinking of the 1986 series with the swapped G.I.Joe vs. Transformers as the title, you will be very surprised. This is very much in its own world. And you’ll freak out when you see a blonde haired Snake-Eyes, unmasked in his own one page Silent Interlude.

Oh, and it isn’t a Decepticon trick. Snake-Eyes talks. You’ll see.

Jeff McClelland (w) Duane Redhead (a)


I owe my entire collection and inspiration to local New England Comics and the Tick! His friendly blue face has been on nearly every Wednesday’s comic book bag since I was a kid and if you ever need to remind yourself of why comics are fun and good and wholesome and funny and creative and I could go on….

Pick yourself up a Tick comic from New England Comics Press. This year’s FCBD offering was one of my favorite stories of the year so far. And that’s impressive because Tick comics come out infrequently and sporadically. When they do, I am grateful.

This would have made me laugh as a kid and I hope it made some new fans of the Meta-Superhero commentary this past Saturday. Tick and Arthur (his pal, an ex-accountant in a Moth costume) are eating at a diner when they realize The City is gone!

Bottled City of Kandor, The Collector of Worlds and even Marvin the Martian are all revered and parodied in this — our top contender for Indie comics for Free Comic Book Day. And there were a lot, so keep at it, Tick! We love you, you big knucklehead! Jeff McClelland carries on Ben Edlund’s themes in a fun way that is respectful to the original material and Redhead kills it with fun layouts and good comic storytelling.

Brian Michael Bendis (w), Nick Bradshaw (a) / Brian Azzarello & Various (w) Ethan Van Sciver (a) Ryan Sook (cvr)

Why waste an entire “Triple Slot” on Disney and Warner, Amiright? These guys don’t need the help. Make room for more 4th generation Kirby krackle and Spoons!

Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters in August, and it will be awesome. Or not, but seeing John C. Reilly in his Rhomann Dey/Nova Corps outfit makes a Marvel fan chuckle and tingle inside.

But who are these A-Holes?

This Free Comic Book Day intro to the Guardians was exactly what I needed. My Drax (not to be read quite as dramatically as ‘My Doctor Who’) was a creeper in Infinity Gauntlet and wore a cape. Rocket & Groot seem funny but honestly I had NO IDEA what was up with these guys until thankfully Marvel set me straight! This book is likely to be found laying about because what easier way for Disney to promote this summer blockbuster than printing a million of these things! Tony Stark introduces a much missed Venom to the crew and sends the symbiote and Flash into space…but with a catch! Star Lord holds S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Venom controller ring as a precaution.

OK, we spent some time in outer-space, an unintended consequence of reviewing a Marvel NOW! title. DC has a lot of movie business to make up for, and seems to maybe kinda be moving in the Marvel direction with a Justice League movie announcement. No surprise there really.

The odd choice for DC was to set their Free Comic Book Day comic in the future, the sweet spot where Batman Beyond Universe exists. Actually this starts in Batman Beyond’s world and he travels to five years ahead of the status quo of current New 52. Confused? So am I.

The launch of The New 52 put five year gaps in everything too. Am I crazy, or should they be mapping this out on a whiteboard somewhere?

I am a fan of Batman Beyond: Universe, especially anything involved in future Superman Beyond, so I like to see Terry and Bruce hash things out as it were. This comic is full of cameos as a future version of the Justice League (also, not to be confused with Justice League 3000) makes an appearance along with Captain Cold.

If you can stomach the Looper-esque time jumps the story is looking to be a decent crossover. The kicker is the double reverse Marty McFly/Steve Rogers moment in Times Square as Batman Beyond arrives just a little past his target time travel target. Sorry, it’s the last page, you are likely more confused than interested anyway but this series could be worth a shot, especially if we get more Grifter. We can always use more Grifter!


With all the hubbub about ComiXology kerfuffles lately, let’s not forget that the platform still exists and supports indie comics!

What makes it even better is that there are a ton of free comics everyday available for your tablet, browser or other device. And they are so easy to get to. Point your browser to Superman, Batman, Bone, TMNT, Avengers, Tiny Titans are mixed in with indie gems Fist of Justice, Rex Libris, and We Kill Monsters.

There’s hours of reading material for you there, anytime so add to your cart and iPad or Kindle for no more boring train commutes.

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