Every year around this time, the fine folks at Diamond Comic Distributors—the comic industry's largest retail distributor—show a Santa Claus-like generosity and host Free Comic Book Day. And all you need to know is right there in the name. On Saturday, May 1, 2010 (that'd be tomorrow) you can get a slew of comic books. For free. We know what you're thinking: "Oh, great, so my local comic shop can finally unload all those unsold copies of Marvel Team-Up: Howard the Duck and Forbush Man." No, no, no. These freebies have top-tier characters (Iron Man, anyone?) from the industry's top publishers (Marvel, DC, Dynamite, Image…). Here are some of our top picks, but rest assured, there are plenty of titles being given away that will appeal to all tastes and ages.
Iron Man/Thor (Marvel)
You almost expect "Shoot to Thrill" to start up the moment you open this book. Two of Marvel Comics' most metal heroes (and, coincidentally we're sure, the star of one of the company's biggest movies opening next week and the star of one of its next big things currently in production) come together to unload cans and cans of KRACKATHOOMs and SFFFFWOOOOSHes. It also acts a nice lead-in to the new ongoing Avengers series launching in May.
Iron Man/Nova (Marvel)
Can't get enough Tony Stark? Proving he's a team-up happy kind of guy, Iron Man ditches the God of Thunder and teams up with the cosmically-powered Nova. Oh, also? Nova gets punched in the face by a gorilla in this. That is all. Enjoy.
Green Hornet (Dynamite)
Another soon-to-be-coming-to-a-theater-new-you release, Green Hornet is a revamp of the classic jade crimefighter written by Clerks mastermind Kevin Smith. This freebie also includes previews for a host of Hornet-related titles like Green Hornet: Year One and Kato: Origins. They all should go a long way towards getting you amped for the movie, even if you may still have trouble buying the notion that it'll be Seth Rogen wearing the green duds.
War of the Supermen (DC Comics)
In case you haven't been following the trials and tribulations of Kal-El (don't worry, this comic helps fill you in right at the start), he has discovered a "New" Krypton—basically, another homeworld for the Man of Steel. The only problem? It's ruled by General Zod, his arch-nemesis. (OK, OK, one of his arch-nemeses). You can rest assured there will be no kneeling before this Zod, as the title indicates. Supes is pissed, and he's bracing for a major Kryptonian throwdown. Be sure and nab this one.
Bongo Comics Free-For-All (Bongo Comics)
It's The Simpsons, and it has the single greatest cover of all the Free Comic Book Day covers. You shouldn't need any additional reasons. OK, how about a short called "Maggie's Crib" written and drawn by Mad magazine and Groo the Wanderer legend Sergio Aragones? Done and done.
Fractured Fables (Image Comics)
As the title suggests, these are effed-up versions of some of your favorite fairy tales. How effed-up? Well, the issue kicks off with The Big Bad Wolf trailing Red Riding Hood to her Grandma's House…which, um, turns out to be Grandma's Martial Arts School for Young Ladies. That's right, Manga Riding Hood shows exactly what the original story was so sorely lacking: Crane Kicks.
Fame: Lady Gaga (Blue Water Comics)
Don't laugh. Now that Gaga has been introduced into comic book continuity, you can brace yourself for a whole expanded universe of Gaganess. Lady Gaga: Disassembled? Power Man & Lady Gaga? Crisis on Infinite Gagas? It's on!