<i>By <a href=http://www.twitter.com/albertxii>Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer</a></i> <p>This Saturday, May 5, is not only Free Comic Book Day, it's the 10th anniversary of the event. It's easy to figure out why FCBD has stood the test of time it's not just free comic books, it's material specifically produced by major publishers only available that day, often featuring high-quality original content. <p>Each year, there are many different free comic books to choose from, and we've made a list of 10 worth keeping an extra eye out for but don't be misled, you pretty much can't go wrong with any official Free Comic Book Day product, as they are, in fact, free. <p>Keep in mind that availability will vary depending on what store (or stores) you end up at, and every shop has different rules as to how many free comics you can take home for yourself. For our list of 10 Free Comic Book Day releases to watch out for, click "start here" in the upper-left corner. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>
<a href=http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album_view.php?gid=4093&page=23>Click here for a preview!</a> <p>Traditionally, Free Comic Book Day coincides with the opening weekend of a big comic book movie, and few comic book movies in history are bigger than <i>Marvel's The Avengers</i>, which has attracted nearly universally positive reviews and has already racked up a huge chunk of change overseas. <p>To capitalize on Avengersmania, Marvel is releasing this <i>Age of Ultron</i> prelude, leading into the Brian Michael Bendis/Bryan Hitch story set to unfurl at an undetermined point in the near future. It's a re-release of a comic from last year, but presented again in case you missed it, or are simply looking for a no-cost refresher. <p>Also available from Marvel: a preview of the <i>Spider-Man: Season One</i> graphic novel, written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Neil Edwards.
The previous incarnation of Valiant folded before the inception of Free Comic Book Day, so now that the company has been revived <i>XO-Manowar #1</i>, its first release, is out this week it's finally getting in on the fun. <p>The issue contains previews of its new slate, including <i>X-O</i>, <i>Bloodshot</i> and <i>Harbinger</i>.
<a href=http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album.php?aid=45814>Click here for a preview!</a> <p>Though <i>Cowboys & Aliens</i> may not have lit the box office on fire last summer, another "alien invasion in an unlikely setting" story is coming to Free Comic Book Day in the form of the <i>Dinosaurs vs. Aliens</i> preview. <p>This one has some major names behind it: Grant Morrison, writer of <I>Action Comics</i> (and way more), and <i>Men In Black</i> director Barry Sonnenfeld.
While fans of <i>Tiny Titans</i> were sad to hear of that title's recent end, the news was tempered by the fact that the creative team of Art Baltazar and Franco were moving on to another new monthly series at DC Comics, <b>Superman Family Adventures</b>. <p>That book gets previewed this Saturday, along with looks at the comic book tie-ins to <i>Young Justice</i> and <i>Green Lantern: The Animated Series</i>. <p>It's not DC's only offering this FCBD but more on the other one later.
<a href=http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album_view.php?gid=4093&page=11>Click here for a preview!</a> <p>Marvel may have <i>The Avengers</i>, but Dark Horse has the rights to the most famous characters created by that movie's writer/director (Joss Whedon, duh), including the <i>Buffy the Vampire Slayer</i> gang. <p>They're starring in a freebie flip book along with the comic book version of <i>The Guild</i>, the popular web series from Felicia Day, herself a Whedon regular. <p>Dark Horse's other Whedon-tastic release is <i>Star Wars / Serenity</i>, check out a <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album_view.php?gid=4093>preview of that one here</a>.
Image Comics celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and their varied lineup is on display this Free Comic Book Day. <p><i>Image 20</i> showcases six different, diverse projects: <i>G-Man</i>, <i>Guarding the Globe</i>, <i>It Girl and The Atomics</i>, <i>Crime and Terror</i>, <i>Near Death</i> and <i>Revival</i>. <p>Also from Image this Free Comic Book Day: <i>Witchblade: Unbalanced Pieces</i>, showing off that book's new creative team of Tim Seeley and Diego Bernard.
The co-writing team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are known for their cosmic work at both Marvel (<i>Guardians of the Galaxy</i>) and DC (<i>Legion Lost</i>), and their latest work in the genre is at BOOM! Studios, with new series <i>The Hypernaturals</i>. <p>The first glimpse of the book comes this Free Comic Book Day, and DnA said this of the series in a <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/new-mutants-dna-exiled-120301.html>March interview with Newsarama</a>: "It's a cosmic adventure set in a far-flung future where the galaxy is protected by the Hypernaturals, a universal superhero team. The story starts when the current iteration of the team mysteriously vanishes and it's up to former members, retired or decommissioned, to re-assemble and discover what has happened to them. At the same time an ancient enemy reawakens to threaten the entire universe!"
Turns out, online petitions aren't a waste of time well, at least not always. <p>In spring 2011, <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/transformers-fans-petition-idw-110425.html>Transformers fans asked IDW</a> en masse to restart the long-defunct Marvel series in order for creators Simon Furman and Andrew Wildman to bring their story to a proper ending. It wasn't totally out of the blue, as IDW similarly resurrected Larry Hama's <i>G.I. Joe</i> in the <i>Real American Hero</i> series. <p>The Transformers fans got their wish, and "Regeneration One" is happening, picking up where the old series left off starting with issue #80.5, available for free this Saturday.
Archaia has received a lot of attention for its acclaimed hardcover graphic novels think <i>Return of the Dapper Men</i> or <i>Tale of Sand</i> and that's exactly what they're presenting this year for Free Comic Book Day. <p>That's right: A 48-page hardcover book of completely new material from <i>Mouse Guard</i>, <i>Rust</i>, <i>Labyrinth</i>, <i>Time of the Dapper Men</i>, <i>Cow Boy</i> and <i>Cursed Pirate Girl</i> offered for free at participating comic book shops. You might want to show up early for this one. <p>"The goal with this was to really create a true anthology," Archaia editor-in-chief Stephen Christy <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/archaia-free-comic-book-day-111202.html>told Newsarama</a>. "We're approaching this editorially as if this was a high enough quality anthology that if we weren't giving it away, we'd be charging for it."
Free Comic Book Day releases are often about attracting new readers, but it's a good bet that this one will have strong appeal to existing DC fans. <p>Not only does it contain new pages from the high-profile <i>Justice League</i> team of writer Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, it also promises to shed more insight into Pandora, the mysterious hooded woman who appeared in <i>Flashpoint #5</i> the birth of the new DC Universe and each #1 issue of the original New 52. <p>It's also already been reported that this Free Comic Book Day issue will contain the first tease for DC's next event series, "Trinity War," starting in 2013. <p>DC fans looking for hints of what's to come in the near-ish future of their favorite fictional universe(s?) could probably do worse than getting this comic for free on Saturday.