On May 2, the annual Free Comic Book Day is set to again take over comic book shops across the nation. This year, dozens of publishers will hand out more than 20 different titles -- but, while all the comics are free, some are more worth grabbing than others. So to help with your shopping, here are my picks for Free Comic Book Day must-haves:
Blackest Night No. 0: Writer Geoff Johns and artist Ivan Reis join forces to offer this new tale, which is a prelude to the upcoming (and highly anticipated) Blackest Night limited series/crossover event.
Owly and Friends: Top Shelf Productions presents this kid-centric comic containing a bunch of funny short stories by creators like James Kochalka and Andy Runton, among others.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Before the Turtles became household names, they were the stars of a black-and-white, underground title. Well, just in time for the team's 25th anniversry, this special comic reprints the hard-to-find TMNT first issue.
The Avengers: Big-gun creators Brian Bendis and Jimmy Cheung serve up a brand-new story that features the New Avengers, the Dark Avengers, Thor and more. The book is smaller than a standard comic, but the story is fairly entertaining.
John Stanley's Melvin Monster/Nancy: This flipbook comic from Drawn and Quarterly reprints (yellow pages and all) a gaggle of classic short stories starring, as the title suggests, comic icons Melvin Monster and Nancy.
DC Kids Meg Sampler No. 1: DC's second Free Comic Day book features short tales with a few of the company's best all-ages properties: Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam and Tiny Titans.
Love and Rockets: Fantagraphics Books collects four tales from the "New Stories" volume of the acclaimed series by Gilbert and Jamie Hernandez.
Bongo Comics Free-For-All!: Hey, you can't go wrong with The Simpsons.
Reviewed materials provided by Heroes Aren't Hard to Find: www.heroesonline.com.