For nearly 15 years now, Free Comic Book Day has made the first Saturday in May an annual holiday for comic book fans, growing with each year and encompassing a wider range of publishers, characters, and offerings from around the comics world — and yes, even more free comics.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a comic super nerd to get in on the fun. With comic book stories and their characters all over the big screen, it makes sense that comics that have inspired — and been inspired by — movies have a big presence during FCBD. All you really need to do to get some of these free comics is to find your local comic shop (try the official Free Comic Book Day store locator) and show up on May 5.
To make it even easier, here’s a list of some of the coolest comics with big-screen ties you’ll want to check out.
Although this comic isn’t set within the same cinematic universe as Avengers: Infinity War, it does promise to be a great jumping-on point for anyone interested in the comic book adventures of Marvel’s premier superhero team. Marvel Comics is framing this issue as the first chapter in a new direction for the team, so if the characters’ big-screen stories have you wondering what they’re doing in their comics, this is a great opportunity to check it out without spending a dime.
James Bond: Vargr No. 1
This issue reprints the first chapter of the ongoing James Bond comic book series that debuted in November 2015 and features the legendary Agent 007. Series writer Warren Ellis was chosen by James Bond creator Ian Fleming’s estate to pen the first arc of the series, which follows Bond as he picks up a mission left incomplete by the demise of a fellow “00” agent and soon finds himself caught up in an international drug investigation with deadly ramifications.
The series’ initial debut was tied to the 2015 premiere of Spectre, the 24th film in the James Bond franchise.
The Metabaron Book 3: The Meta-Guardianess And The Techno-Baron
We’ll never see filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s celebrated spin on Dune (which was the subject of the 2013 documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune), but we can see the celebrated screenwriter and director’s vision for an altogether different sci-fi universe in The Metabaron series. The saga follows multiple generations of a royal dynasty in which each heir to the throne is trained (and in many cases, cybernetically and telepathically augmented) to become the perfect warrior. Jodorowsky himself penned the early chapters of the saga, which were heavily influenced by his work on Dune, and co-wrote the most recent installments of the series.
Although this is Book 3 of the series, it offers an introduction to the universe of The Metabaron stories and what’s now referred to as “The Jodoverse” of interconnected stories conceived by Jodorowsky.
Star Wars Adventures
This comic offers a kid-friendly adventure set within the Star Wars movie continuity, before the events of 1977’s Episode IV – A New Hope. The story follows bounty hunters Zuckuss and 4-LOM as they attempt to bring in Han Solo and Chewbacca, two of the galaxy’s most infamous smugglers. With Star Wars Day (May 4) leading directly into Free Comic Book Day this year, this issue is going to be a popular one with kids and adults alike.
It’s been rumored for a few years now that Valiant Comics could be the next integrated superhero universe to make the leap from page to screen, and those predictions appear to be getting some real-world traction lately. The publisher signed a five-movie deal with Sony Pictures in 2015, and several features are in various stages of development at this point. Vin Diesel is attached to star in a film based on the Bloodshot series, for example, while Reginald Hudlin is co-writing and directing a Shadowman movie.
The Shadowman Special comic introduces its titular character, who gains powerful abilities at night, but also includes a crossover story featuring Bloodshot and many of the other Valiant Universe heroes and villains. The issue offers a good chance to get acquainted with the publisher’s roster of colorful characters before they’re brought to the big screen.
Bonus: Venom stuff!
Although there’s no comic tie-in for Venom available this year, the Spider-Man spinoff character is celebrating his 30th anniversary this year and has a live-action movie hitting theaters in October, so it’s no surprise that he’s getting special treatment on Free Comic Book Day.
Sony Pictures is releasing a set of art prints and mini-posters for the Venom movie to comic shops to make available along with all of the free comics. The art prints are extremely limited, with some signed by artist Dan LuVisi and Venom star Tom Hardy before being randomly distributed to shops, but the mini-posters should be available at most shops.
The full list of comics available on Free Comic Book Day can be found at the event’s official website, but keep in mind that supplies will be limited at some comic shops.