Earlier in February, Valiant announced that it was beginning a brand new line of One Dollar comicbook debuts that would re-presenting the sold-out #1 issues that helped re-launch the Valiant Universe in 2012. According to company spokesmen, these dollar comics will hit comic shops just in shops just in time for Free Comic Book Day marking the one-year anniversary of Valiant’s rebirth. Needless to say, these $1.00 books make for the ideal opportunity for fans to climb on board all five of Valiant’s series. Each of the One Dollar Debut editions will also contain the first chapter of a new hero’s introduction into the Valiant Universe.
As both a fan of Free Comic Book Day itself, but also low-cost, introductory comics, we applaud this move on behalf of Valiant, and want to take this opportunity to talk about some other recent-released $1.00 comics from a number of other comicbook publishers. Currently in our “In” bin we have nine $1.00 comics from five publishers. We have three each from Boom Studios (Extermination, Fanboys vs Zombies, and Freelancers) and IDW GI Joe Cobra, Star Trek Countdown, and 30 Days of Night), with one each from Top Cow (Sunset), Aspen (Soulfire), and 12 Gauge (Anti).
First up Boom with its lighthearted Fanboys vs. Zombies the shuffling undead rise up to infest the San Diego Comic -Con! In this delightfully silly story a group of feuding friends discover that they are trapped inside America’s largest comic convention which has been transformed into a veritable sea of brain-munching zombies. One of the issues we (as a watcher of zombie films) has always had is that why is it that people in these films have never seemed to have ever seen a zombie movie before. Well that simply is not the case in this entertaining comic. As a horde of starving brain-eaters discover that they are no real match for the battle-hardened reflexes of nerds who have spent countless hours playing first-person shooter video games, nerves tested by horror flicks, and courage crystallized by comic books?
Also in a light-hearted vein is Freelancers, which stars Val and Cassie; a pair of young — and fully capable women — attempting to make their way L.A. What makes these two gals interesting is that they grew up in a Kung Fu Orphanage, and now they make their living as freelance bounty hunters. During the course of their adventures they will fight through L.A.’s glitziest and grimiest hoods as they learn just what sacrifices are necessary to make Hollywood dreams come true. Extermination, Boom’s third title, is a touch more serious as it takes place in the aftermath of an extinction-level event alien invasion. Now, the world’s greatest super-heroes and deadliest super-villains must form an unwieldy alliance in order to prevent their own extermination. Arch-enemies, Nox, a dark, driven hero, and Red Reaper, a ruthless villain, form a volatile partnership as they attempt to put aside their bitter past to prevent global genocide.
IDW’s Hundred Penny Press once again brings us into Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith’s horrific world of vampires feeding for a month of darkness in Barstow, Alaska. If you’ve only seen the film 30 Days of Night, you really do owe it to yourself to see how these horror masters started this story off in comicbook form. Star Trek Countdown is a four-issue prequel to the 2009 film. This story follows Spock and the Nero during the year 2387, and details the events that cause them to travel back to the 23rd century. Finally there is GI Joe Cobra is a series by that is based upon Hasbro’s G.I. Joe characters and toy line. This particular series follows one particular Joe as he goes deep under cover with Cobra.
Top Cow’s Sunset, is a gritty, noir badass, B&W series about an aging mobster named Nick Bellamy. Thirty years ago, Nick and his crew ripped off the Vegas mob and got away with it. Now Nick’s past has come back to haunt him and the mobster he screwed over, Gianelli, is back for revenge. But Nick isn’t going down without a brutal, nasty fight. Aspen’s Soulfire book is actually a compilation intended to bring readers up to speed on the events that took place during volumes 1-3 of the series. And finally, there’s 12 Gauge’s Anti comic (which is actually a re-release of the same comic that was issued during 2012’s FCBD). Anti is a unique, character-driven thrill ride, that follows Zachary and Jordan on an adventure where they grapple with a truly surprising revelation; that Zachary is apparently destined to become the savior of the world.
When Comics were All In Color For a Dime the industry didn’t need low-cost lead-in comics to prime the well, but now-a-days with comics hovering around the $3-$5 mark, dollar comics make perfect economic and marketing sense, so we Valiant for joining this growing trend among publishers.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comicbook articles and reviews.