The Walking Dead
by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn (Image Comics)
Image Comics has two Free Comic Book Day offerings this year -- Top Cow's Aphrodite IX #1, the first issue of a new ongoing series, and The Walking Dead, which collects four short stories starring various current and former members of the cast. Three of those stories have appeared elsewhere -- the ones featuring Michonne, The Governor and Morgan -- but the one starring the alive-in-the-TV-show but dead-in-the-comics Tyrese is brand new. But hey, since I haven't read any of them, they're all new to me. Per the solicitations, "none of these stories will be reprinted in the trade paperbacks," so if you're a Walking Dead completest, this is one you'll want to bite into. --JK Parkin
by Jamal Igle, Jeremy Whitley and Emily C. Martin (Action Lab Entertainment)
Jamal Igle's successful Kickstarter comes to life with the first appearance of his pre-teen superhero Molly Danger. This has such color, life and charm, you can't help but smile. It's a fun superhero romp with all of the visual dazzles and heart you would want, and serves as the perfect primer and teaser for the official launch of Molly Danger and her world.
Jeremy Whitley's Princeless is an original story that expands the irreverent fantasy world with some new characters. Princess Adrienne helps save Princess Raven from her castle tower prison without the help of a rather repugnant prince. Emily C. Martin, the regular artist on the current Princeless Volume 2, handles this story and it looks just as wonderful.
This pairing makes for a perfect all-ages set that provides great examples of gender equality without heavy-handed preaching, sticking to great characters and great fun. -- Corey Blake