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Dave's Free Comic Book Day 2015 CapsulesIn this installment: The Trial of Atomic Robo, Chakra the Invincible, Avatar the Last Airbender/Plants vs. Zombies/Bandette, Transformers Robots In Disguise #0, Steampunk Goldilocks, Tales of Honor: Bred to Kill #0, Divergence #1 FCBD, Secret Wars FCBD, FCBD Avengers #1, The Tick FCBD 2015 So, here's the ground rules on these reviews. As free books, they're essentially extended ads. That means they're trying to get us to buy something later, whether it be another comic, or a movie, or even a roleplaying game. Some of these books are things I had not intention of buying but could be convinced, and a few are ones I already get (like Atomic Robo). I'll be reviewing these based on how well I think they do their job, bonus points for convincing me to start picking up a book I wasn't already planning on. The Trial of Atomic Robo: Red5 Comics - With Atomic Robo shifting to online-only (well, and TPBs), this year's FCBD tale is exclusive to ComiXology. But still free. Somehow, Dr. Dinosaur manages to get a court to grant standing to his lawsuit against Atomic Robo, but naturally it goes all Dr. Dinosaur-shaped within a few pages. Also, crystals. Get this comic, even if you have to create a ComiXology account to do so. Chakra the Invincible: Graphic India - Stan Lee created Chakra, who gets his powers from a suit that draws on his...wait for it...chakras. Flight, force fields, telekinesis, energy blasts. Pretty generic. And the numerous short stories in this comic are equally generic. It's a standard New York City superhero with a search and replace of occasional terms (it's in Mumbai, use Indian snackfood that's like a pretzel instead of a pretzel, etc). Yawn. Avatar the Last Airbender/Plants vs. Zombies/Bandette: Dark Horse Comics - Set in the year or so after the end of the original cartoon, the lead story has Toph and Ty Lee visiting Ty Lee's old circus and dealing with some of her unresolved issues. Fun short piece with good art from Carla Speed-McNeil. Despite the fact I like Paul Tobin in general, I couldn't make it through the Plants vs. Zombies story. His Bandette story is, well, much like the other six I've already read, so if you're the sort of reader who would enjoy Bandette, this will let you know if you will. If you can follow that. Transformers Robots in Disguise #0: IDW - The comic is already orders of magnitude better-connected to Transformers: Prime than the show is. Like most episodes of the show so far, it's a simple "There's a Decepticon loose, the team needs to find and defeat it without blowing their cover, despite the fact it's supposed to be set in a world where that cover was at least partially blown when Darkmount showed up" story. Artist Tramontano does a good job of staying on-model while giving characters additional expressiveness to compensate for the lack of voices (for instance, Strongarm's mouth is frequently quirked to one side in annoyance). Looking forward at least to the art on the ongoing launching this summer. There's also a two-page "Transformers vs. GIJoe" pseudo-retro-Kirby piece, summarizing Stormshadow's background. I don't care for that book, to the confusion of many of my acquaintances, and this piece didn't change my mind. There's also some excerpts from recent Combiner Wars and MLP comics, a couple pages long each. And now, here's a few I didn't get in person, but later got scans of. Steampunk Goldilocks: Antarctic Press - (AP made this available on Issuu for backers of a recent AP Kickstarter). Goldilocks and Little Miss Muffet are B&E specialists who drive a WWI-style tank in case the entering requires a lot of breaking. An amusing bit of fluff, but not really up to Espinosa's usual storytelling standards. Tales of Honor: Bred to Kill #0: Top Cow - A Honor Harrington done-in- one story, from Honor's time fighting Silesian piracy between Basilik Station and Honor of the Queen. The story feels vaguely familiar, but the listed date doesn't match with any of the official story timelines, so there could be an error in the timeline, an error in the timestamp of the story, or I'm just misremembering. The storytelling is stronger than in the previous free Honor Harrington comic I read, but still not enough to get me interested in the regular series. Divergence #1 FCBD: DC - Because of COURSE after Convergence comes Divergence. We get a glimpse at the Bold New Directions for several DC mainstays...armored Batbunny, hoodie-wearing depowered "everyone knows Clark Kent is" Superman, and a retconned in evil mirror to Wonder Woman who's the daughter of Darkseid. Yyyyeah. Not interested. FCBD Secret Wars #0: Marvel - So, everything grinds to a halt so that a greatest hits parade of different eras and alternate timelines can fight it out on a patchwork world. But Marvel doesn't have a corporate HQ relocation to use as an excuse for this. The lead story in this comic has Valeria Richards and her Kids' Crew discussing how worlds are colliding and everything's going to blow up and stuff, which sort of vaguely leads into Secret Wars without bringing up Battleworld or any of the worlds other than mainline and Ultimate. All it really tells the reader is that a Big Event That Threatens Every Title is coming, so brace for cancellation and interruption again. Yay. The second story is a translation of a one-shot in which the Avengers fight the Titans from Attack on Titan. Mostly, as one might expect, they stomp the Titans (having them almost instantly figure out the back of neck weak spot is a bit cheaty, tho), then a mile-tall Colossal Titan shows up, the Guardians of the Galaxy appear out of nowhere, and the story ends. Weak fanfic, basically. FCBD Avengers #1: Marvel - Featuring the new team with lots of underaged members (Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales, etc), and thanks to the inclusion of Miles it pretty much has to be post-Secret Wars. While pretty short, the lead story did a good job of introducing the characters (except for Thor). No real explanation why half the team isn't old enough to vote, tho. But interesting enough I might pick it up. The second story is More Terrigen Cloud Origins, as Marvel pushes Mutants aside in favor something they still have the movie rights to...meh. Finally, there's a preview of the Maximum Ride comic, which I didn't bother reading. The Tick FCBD 2015: NEC - Three new stories, including one that finally answers the question of how the Tick got from the bar in issue 1 to end up in the subway (the infamous "I got a straw RIGHT HERE" sequence). Amusingly weird. There doesn't seem to be a new series in the offing, but there are new collections of the old materials (mostly 1990s). Oooh, and they'll send previous FCBD issues to anyone who sends a sufficiently-stamped self-addressed envelope. Dave Van Domelen, "I don't think Grimlock knows what 'covertly' means, but GOOD ENOUGH." "Stomp stomp stomp!" - Strongarm and Grimlock, Transformers: Robots in Disguise #0
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