It's the most wonderful time of the year for comic book fans. The summer movie season is beginning with a bevy of funny book blockbusters on the slate. The first of which is the epic Avengers and since it's the first weekend in May, it must be Free Comic Book Day (FCBD). There were a bunch of cool books out this year, but only a few hit on the horror genre. Let's take a quick look at what we've got.
|Star Wars / Serenity
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Zack Whedon and Caitlin R. Kiernan
Illustrated by Davide Fabbri, Fabio Moon, and Steve Lieber
I know what you're thinking. What does Star Wars have to do with horror? Absolutely nothing. I'm not including the first of Dark Horse's two FCBD releases in this post because of what happened in a galaxy far, far away. I'm not even including it for the other half of the issue which is a story set in the aftermath of the film Serenity.
The reason it's here is the backup story from Alabaster. The premiere issue of the series came out last month and it was really creepy stuff. Caitlin R. Kiernan has created a monster hunter guided by a mysterious and incredibly creepy four-faced angel. We get the first chapter of a two-part short where Dancy Flammarion meets a troll under a bridge. Yes, it's that literal. It's also very innocent. The two share conversation while rain pours down around them. Just as they're getting to know one another, the issue ends. This leads us to...
|Buffy / The Guild
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Michael Chambliss, Felicia Day, and Caitlin R. Kiernan
Illustrated by Georges Jeanty, Jonathan Case, and Steve Lieber
Part two of the Alabaster story is included as a backup in the Buffy / The Guild FCBD issue. It's another few pages, but it provides closure to the story of Dancy and the troll. It's also simultaneously touching and heartbreaking. This pair of lost souls share a moment of peace that they both realize must come to a tragic end. Kiernan is a damn good storyteller.
Also included in this issue is a story where Buffy fights Aliens. Yes, you read that correctly. Spike takes Buffy on a vacation to get away from all the hustle and bustle planetside. Fortunately, he has a steampunk spaceship manned by giant bugs. That's not weird at all. Unfortunately, one of them has been bitten by a vampire and is now an Alien...like from the movie Alien. Buffy has to put it down...in SPACE. Again, am I the only one that remembers that Season 9 of Buffy was supposed to be more grounded in reality? For what it's worth, this is a fun little story even if it is incredibly ridiculous.
|Witchblade: Unbalanced Pieces
Published by Top Cow Productions
Written by Ron Marz and Tim Seeley
Illustrated by John Tyler Christopher and Diego Bernard
There are generally two types of comics that come out on FCBD. There's the nifty new original content like what Dark Horse did this year and then there are the reprints and recaps. Top Cow went for the latter this time around with Witchblade: Unbalanced Pieces. The first half is a reprinting of the opening for the Top Cow Rebirth titles, featuring Jackie Esctacado explaining the details around the new universe that's been created. This is great for a new reader just picking this up, but considering that I've read the same exact few pages about five times at this point, it's disappointing.
Next up is a full recap of the latest story arc in Witchblade. As with the intro, if you've read the issues, there is absolutely nothing new here. It's just a recap put together in the hopes that someone picking this up will be interested enough to lay down the cash for the next issue. Again, pretty disappointing, especially since I've been really digging the Top Cow books of late.
That about does it for this special edition of Funny Book Splatter. There were two more horror books out this year for Free Comic Book Day, but I didn't have a chance to pick them up. Did anyone get a peek at Zombie Kid from Antarctic Press or Lady Death: The Beginning from Boundless Comics? The former looked like a fun book and it's a spoof of Diary of a Wimpy Kid while the latter looked like a reprinting of the origin of the character.
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