Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More from Free Comic Book Day

I previously mentioned how much I'd enjoyed Blackest Night #0 from DC Comics, part of the Free Comic Book Day promotion and over the weekend I read another couple of titles that were given away as part of FCBD.

Firstly, from Marvel we have Wolverine: Origin of an X-Man. Having always enjoyed the character of Wolverine, and having recently seen the X-Men Origins film at the cinema, I was looking forward to reading this title and to be honest I was a bit underwhelmed by the writing and the artwork.

The story is set before the X-Men, and leads into Wolverine's battle with the Hulk and Wendigo. The man known as "Weapon X" is a lone agent for the Canadian government's top-secret program known as Department H. The authorities find that they can't trust a loose cannon who can't even remember his past, but when a commando unit is lost in a small town that is completely overrun by an unstoppable cybernetic plague, Logan finally has a chance to prove himself... but only if he survives "Operation: Wolverine".

I felt the story was unchallenging and left me with a feeling of 'ok, is that it?' when I'd finished reading and the artwork was simple and 'cartoony' in style. Neither of these comments are meant as criticisms - however they may read - the 'Great for all Ages' comment on the cover leads me to suspect that this title is aimed at the 'young adult' audience: a group I left about 30 years ago!

Wolverine: Origin of an X-Man, written by Fred van Lente with art by Gurihiru. Published by Marvel, May 2009

Next up, is a G.I Joe/Transformers flip book from IDW Publishing that features no less that 3 short stories - two featuring G.I Joe and one Transformers.

The first G.I. Joe short story is called 'One Word' and across 6 pages we see Duke lead the team to thwart a group of smugglers, only to have the mission literally blow up in their face. The story ends with a 'continued in G.I. Joe #1' footnote.

The second story - In and Out - is told over over 5 pages and features a 'discussion' between Hawk and Duke who gets an ultimatum to join the G.I. Joe team... or else. Again, the story ends with a 'continued in G.I. Joe: Origins' footnote.

These 2 stories were first published in G.I. Joe #0 in October 2008 - Newsarama have the 'One Word' story available to view here.

The Transformers story - Survival Skills told over 11 pages - sees academy cadet Optimus take on Megatron in a combat simulator and leads into the Transformer Animated: The Arrival trade. An uncomplicated read that I suspect was aimed at a younger audience.

All in all a really good read - I particularly enjoyed the two G.I. Joe stories that I thought were well told and nicely illustrated: I'll be picking up G.I. Joe from now on as a result of reading these stories.

'One Word' by Chuck Dixon, Robert Atkins and Andrew Crossley
'In and Out' by Larry Hama and Tom Feister
'Survival Skills' by Marty Isenberg, Dario Brizuela, Leandro Corral and Liam Shalloo

Published by IDW, May 2009

Click here for more details of all the titles included in Free Comic Book Day 2009 - including free preview page downloads.