Marvel Comics has announced its lineup for Free Comic Book Day, the worldwide celebration of comics during which publishers, shop owners and creators coordinate to offer readers free comic books. Marvel’s FCBD one-shot releases are “Secret Empire” FCBD #1 and “All-New Guardians of the Galaxy” FCBD #1. “Secret Empire” FCBD #1 will also include a look at the soon-to-be rebooted Spider-Man in “Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man.”
“Free Comic Book Day is one of the best opportunities available to bring in both new and lapsed fans,” Marvel Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing David Gabriel said in an official statement. “It’s a chance to set up new stories and status quos, as well as show off new and exciting titles. With that in mind, we’re thrilled to bring two additional original stories to Free Comic Book Day this year. 'Secret Empire' and 'Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man' are poised to be two of the year’s biggest books, and we can’t wait for fans to get a sneak peek at both.”
The “Secret Empire” FCBD #1 one-shot lays the groundwork for the “Secret Empire” story arc, which will see the Avengers, X-Men, Defenders, Champions, Inhumans, Spider-Man and more team up to stand against the sinister Hydra, led by Lady Hydra, Baron Zemo and Captain America. “Secret Avengers” writer Nick Spencer will pen the issue, and “Old Man Logan” artist Andrea Sorrentino will provide art.
Spider-Man will also make an appearance in the issue ahead of the character’s newly announced major reboot in “Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man.” The series purports to bring Spider-Man back to basics in New York City after the character’s whirlwind globetrotting adventures. “Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man” will be written by “Sex Criminals” co-creator Chip Zdarksy, with illustrations by “The Amazing Spider-Man” artist Paulo Siqueira.
The “All-New Guardians of the Galaxy” FCBD #1 one-shot will mark the starting point for the new “Guardians of the Galaxy” series, which will see Star-Lord and the crew make their way back into space after being grounded on Earth. Gerry Duggan, “Deadpool” and “Nova” writer, will be taking charge of series, along with artist Aaron Kuder and colorist Ive Svorcina.
Free Comic Book Day was originally the idea of comic book retailer Joe Field, who noticed comic book sales had spiked since comic book movies had become popular. Field proposed a yearly free comic book event in a magazine column and the idea caught on with Jim Valentino, Image Comics co-founder, who held the first Free Comic Book Day the day after the release of the 2002 “Spider-Man” film; the day has snowballed in popularity ever since.
Marvel’s FCBD issues will be available on May 6, 2017.