The definitive word on the quality of comics you can no longer obtain. I believe President Obama would call it "The Horse Is Already Out Of The Barn Comics Review".
Just to not make this completely pointless, I'm going to grade all of these comics I picked up on two criteria. The first is whether I liked them or not, but the second is whether it makes me want to purchase the comics they're advertising on this, the greatest/only comic nerd holiday, at least until we can get Jack Kirby's birthday and R. Crumb's sexual deviance day declared as such, as the rightfully should be. Well start with the gimmee of the lot:
Love And RocketsDid I Like It? Yes. It's Love and Rockets.
Will I Buy More Of This Series? Yes. It's Love and Rockets. Okay, I haven't read it yet, but c'mon, it's Love and Rockets! By now, your only concern with appraising it should be whether you like Beto or Jaime more, or simply have no soul.
Now the rest.
The AvengersDid I Like It? Yeah, it was okay. It was a perfectly good self contained Avengers story, especially considering that sort of thing isn't playing to Bendis's strengths. It seems like as good an entry level story for the current Avengers/Marvel U as possible, as it establishes the status quo of the two Avengers teams well (and even gives a plausible reason for Osborn's team to let the outlaw team go). Other than some annoying narration from Spider-Man, nothing really bothered me about it. Nice to see Jim Cheung on interiors too, especially on a fairly high profile comic, especially since Bendis gave him some cool visuals to work with.
Will I Buy The Series? Maybe. I've been fairly underwhelmed by what I've read of Bendis's Avengers in the past; I haven't thought it was terrible, but it's nothing I'd want to buy monthly. Part of that is my general apathy for the Avengers. That said, I like most of the New Avengers cast and one of my favorite artists, Stuart Immonen, is taking over pencils on that comic soon, so I may give it another try soon. Didn't do much to make me care about Dark Avengers, but that's an uphill battle, even if I thought the first issue was okay.
Wolverine: Origin Of An X-ManDid I Like It? Yeah, I did. It's basically Marvel Adventures: Wolverine by Fred Van Lente and Gurihiru, so it was kind of hard not to. Van Lente's Wolverine is a little bit more of a wisecracker than I'm used to, but it worked for the tone of the story. It's also pretty funny that Wolverine uses the power of cognitive psychology to win the battle, which makes it more useful to him than my experiences with it have been to me.
Will I Buy The Series? Well, if Van Lente ever does writer Marvel Adventures Wolverine, maybe. I found it pretty easy to drop the similar Wolverine: First Class despite the fact that a Wolverine and Kitty Pryde Team-Up book set during the days when Kitty first joined the team was pandering really heavily to me. The fact that they turned Kitty in to a furry in the last issue I purchased probably did the trick there, though. Provided this is more than a one off, I'd be more than willing to pick up an all ages Wolvie comic with this creative team every once in a while, when I'm in the mood for good, self contained, and light hearted superhero comics and had an extra $3 in my pocket. Did I qualify that enough?
Blackest Night #0Did I Like It? Not really. Two old guys who used to be dead mope around in a cemetery and talk about how they used to be dead. Then they talk about bunch of their super friends are dead now. Then, some dude I'm vaguely aware of shows up and is going to turn those dead super friends in to zombie lanterns or something in the big summer crossover I have no interest in following. That's your plot synopsis right there. There are also some pinup Secret File entries about the color spectrum lanterns, and not even Doug Mahnke art can make me take that concept seriously.
Will I Buy More Of The Series? No, because it's leading in to a big summer crossover I have no interest in. That and I think both Hal and Barry should be dead, as I've only ever found them interesting in stories set in the era they were created for. Oh, and it's by Geoff Johns, a writer who winds up being overrated by the people who think he's great and underrated by the people who think his work is radioactive shit poison. When I meet him in the middle of that, he tends to underwhelm me. I do feel like I haven't given the man a fair shake and should read more of his work, but this isn't going to be the series of comics where I do that.
Resurrection/Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen Oni Two-In-OneDid I Like It? Resurrection, an alien invasion story by Marc Guggenheim and Justin Greenwood, was a good self contained lead in to the forthcoming re-launch of the ongoing. It tells a full story set in the world Guggenheim and Greenwood have created while leaving enough mystery to make me want to find out more about what they're up to. So that was actually pretty great, given the purpose of FCBD. The Tek Jansen back up had a couple of cute jokes, but wasn't nearly as funny as the animated shorts that inspired it.
Will I Buy The Series(es)? I may very well give Resurrection a shot at some point. The fact that the trade of the 2007 version of the series is $7 is another incentive. That, and I've generally enjoyed Guggenheim's Spider-Man, so that's another mark in its favor. I think I'll get my Tek Jansen fix from the actual Colbert Show installments, if I ever actually need a Tek Jansen fix. The joke of a conservative pundit writing self indulgent fiction about a thinly veiled version of himself only works there, I think. The creative team's creator owned book, Maintenance, sounds like something I might like, though, so I promise to give that a fair shot.
Red 5 Comics Sampler (Well, that's what I'm calling it)Did I Like It? Not Atomic Robo, no sir. I did not like it. Can't say that at all.
I LOVED IT. If I had an Eisner vote, it would be my front runner for best short story of the year. Which could be why I don't have an Eisner vote, sure, but that's just because those elitist fat cats are too stupid to acknowledge the genius of a story called "Why Atomic Robo Hates Dr. Dinosaur." I won't spoil it for you if you either didn't get the issue of haven't read it yet, but either way, you're in for a treat when you do experience it for the first time (I'm sure it will be in a future trade, just like last year's story was). The other two stories are vignettes from two new comics, Drones and We Kill Monsters. They establish the premise of each series well, and are both solid pieces of work, but neither really wowed me.
Will I Buy The Series(es)? I already bought an Atomic Robo trade and enjoyed it immensely, so yeah, I will be buying more AR volumes in the future (I know a new mini started this week, but I'm waiting for the trade, as I do with all Hellboy style "wise assed, working class supernatural pulp hero" style comics. I'm set in my ways there). If the other two series get good word of mouth I may give them a shot, but Robo was really the star of the show here.
Love and Capes #10Did I Like It? Yeah. I received a review copy of the series months ago and enjoyed it. Everything I said about it then holds true now (on a side note, I am so sorry for all the typos in that review. I make no apologies for any in this one). It's a well done, pleasant slice of life/superhero book. If you're the kind of person who judges the quality of your comics by panels, Zahler's got you covered there, too, as he uses a lot of eight panel grids.
They used to make a lot more of these at the beginning of the decade, didn't they? Nice to see someone still at it and making an organic story out of it instead of a thinly veiled attempt at appealing to the superhero and indie crowds. Oh, and it had this ad, which is the single greatest thing ever.
Will I Buy The Series? Yeah, I could see getting the trade easily. I was especially impressed that Zahler offered a full issue of the series here instead of a short story or excerpt. That's nice to see, and I should probably reward him for it.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1Did I Like It? Yeah, although I was looking at it more as a historical curiosity, really. I was in the age group where Turtle mania spread virally, and was a big fan for years, so it was interesting to see where that whole phenomenon started. It was also interesting to see how big the Frank Miller influence really was, although it's not like they were trying to hide it, between the dedication at the front of the book to the Daredevil allusion. For a self published black and white indie comic from two amateur, it's decent work, although it's kind of amazing they made a franchise out of it that still endures today.
Will I Buy The Series? I'm tempted to get what the "Essential" style collection of the black and white issues they advertised in the back, but probably won't. This sampling of what they were like before they became mass marketed was fine, but I'm not sure I want to read too many more grim 'n' gritty TMNT comics.
So, those are my thoughts on the free comics I picked up yesterday. I wish I had a final thought like Jerry Springer or Dr. McNinja, but I do not. Other than that I should totally write some fan fic about Dr. McNinja appearing on Jerry Springer's show now.