Free Comic Book Day 2023 Recommendations Teen and Up
What is Free Comic Book Day?
Free Comic Book Day is nearing close (May 6th this year) and with it comes a whole slew of comic book offerings from the various publishers. Full list of comics can be found here.
Now, many shops that participate in Free Comic Book Day either limit the number of comics you can receive or the selection of books. Remember, while the books are free for customers, they do cost the retailer to order and stock. For instance, my shop usually limits it to 3-4 books per person and selection varies year to year.
The intent of FCBD is to get new customers into the shop and overall, it is a delightful event. If you do visit, be sure to support your local comic shop with a purchase.
Here at Extremely Uncanny, we aim to provide you with a list of comics to check out. Additionally, we strive to provide a list of kid friendly comics. With the average comic book targeted towards teens these days, it is important to help pick the right book for your child.
This list consists of comics geared towards teen and mature audiences. For a list aimed to younger audiences: Free Comic Book Day 2023 Recommendations All-Ages
The Big Two
Marvel and DC often use their FCBD offerings to set up that summer’s big event or initiative and that holds true this year.
Marvel has two out this year with:
FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2023: AVENGERS/X-MEN #1
Written by GERRY DUGGAN & JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by JOSHUA CASSARA, JAVIER GARRÓN & VALERIO SCHITI
Gerry Duggan and Joshua Cassara begins to set the groundwork for the Fall of X. There is a lot of mystery what exactly the Fall of X will be but it promises to be a major shift in the X-men/Krakoan Status Quo. Previews are promising that there is a new face behind the Captain Krakoa mask.
This is sure to shake up this year’s X-men Hellfire Gala. As for the Avengers, Duggan and Javier Garrón sets up the return of the Uncanny Avengers as they begin to wrestle with the rise of Stark Sentinels.
If that is not enough, Jonathan Hickman and Valerio Schiti tease their new series G.O.D.S and I CANNOT WAIT. GIVE THIS TO ME NOW!
FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2023: SPIDER-MAN/VENOM AND THE ULTIMATE INVASION #1
Written by ZEB WELLS, AL EWING, & Hickman
Art by PATRICK GLEASON, CAFU
Zeb Wells current Spider-man run continues as we get more of a look into the new Goblin tech inspired Spider-man Suit. I haven’t been reading the current Spidey run at the moment but may be the one story that will get me to check it out. Patrick Gleason’s Spider-man is really solid and is good fit for the web-slinger. The Venom portion of the comic is teasing a new Venom threat that is derived from the experiments on the symbiote. This isn’t exactly new ground, I mean the symbiote family is pretty much the result of this.
Yet, Al Ewing is the best writer in the game right now, I may have to give this a proper shot. He has taken simple and well-tried concepts and provided fresh and novel spins. Cafu is another solid hand with a fun style. Again, while I haven’t been following much of the Spider-man side of Marvel—Doing so is like a full-time job—I can’t help but be curious about what is going on over there.
Finally, sneaking in another Hickman story has Marvel spoiling me. This has been a recent addition to the solicits with the Ultimate Invasion storyline just recently being announced. This comic had me intrigued, but now it has my attention.
FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2023: MARVEL’S VOICES #1
Written by JOHN JENNINGS, NYLA INNUKSUK, SABIR PIRZADA, ALYSSA WONG, & CODY ZIGLAR
Art by PARIS ALLEYNE, NATASHA DONOVAN, ERIC KODA, STEPHEN BYRNE, DIÓGENES NEVES, & EDER MESSIAS
For the past few years has been publishing a series of one-shots featuring diverse creators telling stories about diverse characters. This year Marvel will be reprinting some of these stories along with a new story by John Jennings and Paris Alleyne
DC is technically offering three FCBD comics, however there are two additional free samplers with Dawn of DC Primer and the Dawn of DC We Are Legends Special Edition
DAWN OF DC: KNIGHT TERRORS 2023 FCBD SPECIAL EDITION
Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
Art by CHRIS BACHALO & HOWARD PORTER
Knight Terrors is DC Summer event. The checklist is a bit large, but it seems to be a more or less a pick and choose type deal, which works fine for me. This particular preview focuses on Damian Waynes’s unusual nightmare which serves as a framing device. I am not sure if I will be participating in the Knight Terrors event, but this preview may get me to give it a proper go. I haven’t been too fond of DC’s actual event comics for a while now, but I am open to change.
DAWN OF DC WE ARE LEGENDS SPECIAL EDITION
Written by GREG PAK, RAM V, ALYSSA WONG
Art by LALIT KUMAR SHARMA, MINKYU JUNG, HAINING
This month marks the beginning of the We are Legends initiative from DC Comics that celebrates Asian and South Asian heroes by Asian and South Asian creators. Per DC : This comic reprints the first appearances of Spirit World’s Xanthe in Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate #1, the Vigil in Lazarus Planet: Next Evolution #1, and City Boy in Lazarus Planet: Legends Reborn #1. This will be a nice feature for anyone that has missed out on these issues of the Lazarus planet event—for example, me.
THE NON-BIG TWO
There are many, many other comic companies out there besides DC and Marvel. They also participate in FCBD festivities. These may be limited in selection at some shops and, as such, mileage may vary.
WEST OF SUNDOWN #1
Written by TIM SEELEY & AARON CAMPBELL
Art by JIM TERRY
Vault comics have one my favorite Non-Big Two comics company for some time. The past couple of FCBD, Vault has re-released the 1st issue of one of their hit comic series. This year, the honor goes to West of Sundown—a vampire horror comic set in the old west. This is explicitly not for kids. I am excited for this one as I missed this issue the first time it was released.
CONAN THE BARBARIAN FCBD
Written by JIM ZUB
Art by ROB DELATORRE
Conan the Barbarian has an interesting publishing history and casual readers may be puzzled to find that Conan has once again left Marvel. This time the Cimmerian is being published by Titan Comics (the folks behind Doctor Who comics). There is a new ongoing debuting this May and the FCBD promises to be a preview of what’s to come.
Links and Such
Don’t Forget to check out the Kid’s FCBD Recommendations out here: Free Comic Book Day 2023 Recommendations All-Ages
Also, not sure what comics to pick up in May, We got you covered with Top Ten Comics to Check Out in May 2023