Hulk, Spider-Man and more headline Marvel’s 2021 Free Comic Book Day titles

Jason Aaron, Chip Zdarsky, Greg Smallwood and more will contribute to this year’s offerings from the House of Ideas.

Marvel has shared the covers and a few more details on their two 2021 Free Comic Book Day titles, which between the two of them will include stories featuring the Avengers, Hulk, Venom and Spider-Man.

Marvel’s gold title, Avengers/Hulk, features a cover by Ryan Ottley:

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Mail Call | New release dates for the Milestone revival

Catch up on news and announcements from Dark Horse, Vault Comics, DC, Z2 and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

DC Comics has modified their plans for the upcoming Milestone Media relaunch. The three launch titles — Static, Icon and Rocket, and Hardware — will no longer arrive digitally before they come out in print. Instead, they’ll be released in both formats on the same day, as well as on DC Universe Infinite. Both Static and Icon and Rocket will come out later, but Hardware will be published earlier than originally announced. The new dates (and creative teams for each title) are:

  • Static: Season One, written by Vita Ayala, with layouts by CHRISCROSS, finishes by Nikolas Draper-Ivey with covers by Khary Randolph launches in print and digital on June 15.
  • Icon and Rocket: Season One, co-written by Reggie Hudlin and Leon Chills, with art by Doug Braithwaite and covers by Taurin Clarke launches in print and digital on July 27.
  • Hardware: Season One, written by Brandon Thomas, with art by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz with covers by Mateus Mahanini, launches in print and digital on August 10.
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Joe Benitez’s ‘Lady Mechanika’ moves to Image

The character takes the spotlight in one of Image’s Free Comic Book Day offerings in August.

As revealed in the 2021 Free Comic Book Day offerings announcement, Joe Benitez’s steampunk comic Lady Mechanika is moving to Image Comics. The entire backlist of the comic will be reprinted by Image, with plans for a new series coming later this year.

“I’m very excited that Lady Mechanika is moving to Image!” said Benitez. “We hope this move will provide an opportunity to share the series with a new, wider audience, and also give us more time to focus on our creative strengths while letting the experts at Image handle publishing and marketing. We have so many stories to tell, hopefully this will help us get more of them out faster. The next story arc we’re calling ‘The Monster of the Ministry of Hell-th’ will deal with a piece of Lady Mechanika’s haunted past. Check out a preview of the new book in our FCBD issue!”

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2021 Free Comic Book Day will include 50 free comics

Silver titles for this year include Star Wars, The Boys, Sonic the Hedgehog, Avengers/Spider-Man and more.

Diamond has revealed the additional “silver level” titles that retailers can order for Free Comic Book Day this year, which will take place Aug. 14. With the gold titles that were announced yesterday, that brings the number to 50 titles.

The line-up of silver titles includes several recognizable names, including Star Wars, Zorro, The Boys, Judge Dredd, the Smurfs and R.L. Stine, just to name a few. No DC books are included on the list, though they have indicated plans to participate. Also, while Marvel hasn’t revealed much about the contents or even the covers for their gold and silver titles, they did reveal that the gold title will feature Hulk and Avengers, while the silver title will feature Spider-Man and Venom.

Here’s a look at all the silver titles:

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Star Wars, Blade Runner, InvestiGators among the 2021 Free Comic Book Day gold sponsor comics

This year’s Free Comic Book Day on Aug. 14 will include titles from Marvel, IDW, Dark Horse, Titan and more.

Diamond Comics Distributors has announced the 12 gold sponsor titles that retailers will offer on Free Comic Book Day this year. This year’s event will take place Aug. 14.

“This year’s lineup of titles has something for every kind of comic fan,” said Ashton Greenwood, Free Comic Book Day spokesperson. “We can’t wait to once again share the FCBD experience with fans, especially on our landmark 20th anniversary! We hope fans will safely visit their local comic shops to celebrate and to pick up a few of the great titles available this year.”

Missing from the list is DC Comics, who no longer use Diamond to distribute comics to U.S. retailers. DC has indicated their plans to participate, however.

The titles were curated by more than 20 comic shop retailers who make up the FCBD Selection Committee. The Gold Sponsor titles come from Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Archie Comics, BOOM! Studios, Macmillan/First Second Books, Penguin Workshop, AfterShock Comics, Titan Comics, TOKYOPOP and VIZ Media.

This year’s gold sponsor books are:

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Mail Call | Black Cat kicks off Marvel’s ‘Infinite Destinies’ event this summer

Plus more news from Marvel, DC, Image, AfterShock, Dark Horse and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

Last summer the “Infinite Destinies” storyline was supposed to run through several Marvel annuals, including Iron Man, Captain America, Black Cat and Thor, among others. The story revolves around the returning “infinity stones,” those pesky don’t-call-them-infinity-gems MacGuffins that regularly take center stage at Marvel.

Anyway, like with many other things, the COVID pandemic and comics industry shutdown threw a wrench in Marvel’s plans, and those annuals were never released. But now it looks like they are back on the schedule for 2021, with an added prelude comic to kick things off — Black Cat #8 by Jed MacKay and C.F. Villa.

“Felicia Hardy- the Black Cat- gets tangled up with the Infinity Stones, some of the most dangerous prizes in the universe. Felicia may be the most accomplished jewel thief on the planet, but when those jewels hold the power of the cosmos, it’s a whole new ball game. Felicia is in a race against the others who would seek to control the stones for their own ends- like Nick Fury (and a secret someone you won’t see coming!),” MacKay said. “Who can cross the world’s most dangerous men, wrangle a pack of villains hopped up on fragments of infinite power, (hopefully) get the job done and look great all the while? The Black Cat, that’s who!”

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Diamond announces date for Free Comic Book Day 2021

Mark your calendar for Aug. 14 and cross your fingers.

Diamond Comics Distributors has announced that Free Comic Book Day will return in 2021 on Aug. 14. While FCBD has traditionally been held in May in the past, the release notes that it’s being moved to August “in the hopes that much of the uncertainty and disruption related to COVID-19 will have passed.”

The 2021 event will be the 20th time local comic shops will host Free Comic Book Day. The idea was conceived by Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff in Concord, California.

“I am so happy to be making this announcement today and so proud of our work with retailers and vendors these last 20 years to bring more awareness to the comic books we all love,” said Steve Geppi, President, Chairman & CEO of Geppi Family Enterprises. “In the past two decades, fans have experienced some truly remarkable Free Comic Book Day events because of the commitment of our partners to create an incredible celebration of comics. It’s such an energizing day and we look forward to making our 20th anniversary celebration the best one yet!”

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Comics Lowdown | BOOM! asks for CBLDF’s FCBD anthology to be destroyed

Plus: News on 2019 comics sales, Joe Sacco, Cavan Scott, Grant Morrison, Mexican horror comics and more.

Following the controversy that has come to light recently about the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and its former executive director, BOOM! Studios has asked for a Free Comic Book Day anthology they organized for the CBLDF to be destroyed, according to a report by Newsarama’s Chris Arrant.

A CBLDF Free Comic Book Day anthology has been assembled by numerous publishers over the years, and then published by the CBLDF for the annual event. This year’s event, of course, was cancelled in May due to the pandemic, but the comics are still being distributed to comic shops to be given out from July through September.

“In light of recent events surrounding the CBLDF, Boom! Studios asked that this year’s planned FCBD issue from the CBLDF not be distributed,” BOOM! told Newsarama. “Unfortunately, the issue was shipped out to retailers early in error (without being billed). We’ve requested the CBLDF and Diamond to ask retailers to destroy the copies they received, and a destruction notice should be sent to retailers shortly.”

CBLDF president Christina Merkler told the outlet that they respect BOOM!’s wishes and will leave it up to retailers whether they want to distribute the free comic.

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Comics Lowdown | Cameron Stewart dropped from projects after sexual misconduct allegations surface

Plus: News on the Eisner Awards, new dates for Free Comic Book Day and more.

Multiple women this week accused artist Cameron Stewart of sexually preying on them, including one who was 16 at the time.

Artist and model Aviva Maï said Stewart groomed her, which is when an adult befriends a child to lower the child’s inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse. She said this started in 2009, when she was 16. Following Maï’s post on Twitter, many other women, including creator Kate Leth, made similar accusations against Stewart.

As a result of the allegations, Bleeding Cool reports, Stewart has been removed from an unannounced project from DC Comics. In addition, Martin Morazzo, artist of Ice Cream Man, said they will no longer use a planned cover by Stewart for the comic’s 20th issue. “We will be donating the commission cost of the cover to Safe Horizons,” Morazzo said on Twitter. He also revealed the replacement cover, which features a parody of The Cat in the Hat cover:

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Marvel’s 2020 FCBD titles will arrive in July

With no new date for Free Comic Book Day scheduled yet, Marvel has scheduled when their titles will be sent to retailers.

Marvel has announced plans to release their 2020 Free Comic Book Day titles in July.

Originally targeted for release in May as a part of Free Comic Book Day, Marvel’s two books — along with every other title that was going to be offered to fans for free as a part of the annual event –were delayed when Diamond Comics Distributors announced that FCBD would be postponed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Diamond has not announced a new date for the FCBD yet, and with Marvel’s books offering “a first look at some of Marvel’s biggest upcoming events,” it makes sense they’d want to get their two books out there before these “game-changing” stories start.

Their two titles, and their new release dates, are:

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Free Comic Book Day postponed

The annual event will occur later in the summer.

Diamond Comic Distributors has announced that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Free Comic Book Day will be postponed “to a later date in the summer.” FCBD 2020 was originally scheduled for May 2.

“The severity and timing of the impact of the COVID-19 virus can’t be predicted with any certainty, but the safety of our retailer partners and comic book fans is too important to risk. As always, we appreciate your enthusiasm for and support of the comic industry’s best event and look forward to celebrating with you later in the Summer,” said Diamond Founder and CEO, Steve Geppi.

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Mail Call | Mark Waid named publisher of Humanoids

Plus: ‘Snake Eyes: Deadgame,’ ‘Dead Body Road,’ ‘Adventureman!’ and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

Congratulations to Mark Waid, who has been promoted to publisher of Humanoids. Waid has served as Director of Creative Development for the publisher since 2018, and in his new role, will be responsible for “overseeing editorial, sales and marketing; expanding Humanoids’ relationships within the creative community; and deepening its ties to retailers and librarians.”

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