Sunday, May 2, 2010

Free Comic Book Day 2010/DC Comic Convention 2010

I didn't do anything special for Free Comic Book Day, which was yesterday. My local comic book shop isn't too exciting. There are others that do a better job, I'm sure. Honestly though, who cares. I don't. Its really an event to get non-comic book readers into the store. I don't even try to stay current with comic books. I just read whatever I feel like reading. Sometimes (rarely) it will be something new or fairly recent; more often it is something years if not decades old.

Today I went to the DC Comic Convention which, of course, wasn't in DC; it was at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. I managed to escape without spending too much money, just $20 including the admission fee. I still have a ton of stuff to read from my trip to Reading, PA at the end of March. I didn't think too much of the convention. Will I go the next time it happens? Probably. There were no panels, but there were several creators and quite a few dealers. It would have been nice if there been some panels.

I bought three trades at the convention from a dealer who had about twenty boxes of $5 trades. The only problem with his assortment was that going through it was kind of like listening to a broken record. I kept seeing the same books over and over again, I saw 20 or 30 copies of some books. I looked through another dealer's boxes of 1/2 off trades but didn't end up buying any from him.

The three trades I bought are all things that I've wanted to read.

The Dark Phoenix Saga - written by Chris Claremont, penciled by John Byrne, inked by Terry Austin; collects Uncanny X-Men # 129-137. This was a classic when I starting to read X-Men comic books. I like to think of it as the crown jewel of the Claremont/Byrne/Austin run on the X-Men; although some might argue that Days of Future Past deserves that distinction. I've read it before but it has been a long time. I have the first three issues in the Uncanny X-Men Omnibus that I bought in 2008.

What's it about? Lots. Kitty Pride is introduced in the first chapter, as is Emma Frost and the Hellfire Club. The X-men tussle with the Hellfire Club. Jason Wynegarde's (a member of the Hellfire Club) manipulation of Jean Grey (Phoenix) leads her to go insane, which leads to her being put on trial by the Shi'ar Empire, and then there's the battle for her life, with Cyclops by her side, against the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. Its a great read, as I remember it. Hopefully it will live up to my memories of the story.

Spider-Man: Kraven's Last Hunt - written by J.M. DeMatteis, art by Mike Zeck; collects Web of Spider-Man # 31-32, Amazing Spider-Man # 293-294, Spectacular Spider-Man # 131-132. This is one of those classics from the late 1980s that I've never read. I've never been a big Spider-Man fan. I've wanted to read this partly based on reputation and partly because I really enjoyed penciler Mike Zeck's run on Captain America in the early 1980s. What's it about? I'm not entirely sure, although the title seems to imply that it involves the death of Kraven, one of Spider-Man's foes who goes back to the 1960s when Steve Ditko was drawing the book.

Agents of Atlas - written by Jeff Parker, art by Leonard Kirk; collects the Agents of Atlas mini-series #1-6, plus some of the early appearances of the main characters from the 1940s and 50s, plus What If? #9 from 1978 which inspired this 2006 mini-series. I've heard such good things about this series and it sounds so cool that I finally picked it up, since they were practically giving it away. What's it about? An oddball team of crime-fighters. Honestly that's all I know. That and the fact that they all first appeared in the 1940s or 1950s but were seldom used after then and only once appeared as a team prior to this mini-series.

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