FCBD 2021: Read It Or Leave It?: Gold Titles

FCBD 2021: Read It Or Leave It?: Gold Titles

Star Wars, featuring Jedi-in-training (and Jedi-yet-to-be-discovered), in a corner of that Galaxy far, far away that’s not filled with a lot of cannon, so it’s accessible to new readers and old fans!


Image Comics
(W) Joe Benitez (A/CA) Joe Benitez

A young woman in the Victorian Era searches desperately for the secrets to her past, which resulted in her extraordinary but unnatural mechanical limbs.  Lady Mechanika FCBD 2021 will include the 14-page stand-alone story “The Demon of Satan’s Alley,” which first introduced Lady Mechanika and her steampunk world (Lady Mechanika #0), plus 8 or more pages of excerpts from upcoming and/or existing Lady Mechanika books including “Monster at the Ministry of Health,” the newest story by series creator Joe Benitez which will debut this year at Image Comics.
Preview & Reprint Material
Rating: Teen

Well, this is interesting! Benitez is a veteran self-publisher, with each FCBD issue reprinting a story from Lady Mechanika #0, and a back-up of the latest series. This year, he’s now with Image, and their Gold title to boot! Yes, it’s got the introductory story, plus teasers from other series. Great art, solid steampunk world-building, so that I’m never bored re-re-reading the same story every year.


Marvel Comics
(W) Donny Cates, Jason Aaron (A) Ryan Ottley, Iban Coello

In a land beyond time, a shining tower stands, deploying its operatives across the Multiverse to hold against the encroaching darkness! Who is the mysterious Avenger Prime, and how will his advent impact on the past, the present, and the very future of the mighty Avengers?
Exclusive Original Material
Rating: Teen

Okay… the first story has a great hook! There’s an Avengers Tower at the center of the multiverse, maintained by one Avenger, which monitors danger. In this story, something big and bad happens and Deathloks are sent to various realities to investigate. I guess this is Avengers-verse? Me, I’ll take a look at the trade paperback when it crosses my line of sight.

The second story is lots of fun! MODOK is trying to take over the Moon, and the Hulk arrives, not to thwart their plans, but to get some tech so he can finally fulfill some lifelong ambitions. But before that can happen, he must deal with MODOK and his latest creation: GODOS! An introduction to the new Hulk series starting this November.


Penguin Workshop
(W) Insha Fitzpatrick (A/CA) Abelle Hayford

From refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger to sparking civil rights protests across America, explore how Rosa Parks’ powerful act earned her the title “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.” A story of resistance, strength, and unwavering spirit, this graphic novel invites readers to immerse themselves in the life of the American Civil Rights leader.
Preview Material
Rating: Teen [“All Ages”]

Penguin Random House launches a new series of biographies. Not a lot of fancy art, lots of speaking, and the reconstructed dialogue seems a bit earnest. That said, it makes Rosa Parks’ story very accessible. Four titles launch this fall, so check your local library!


Titan Comics
(W) Mike Johnson, Mellow Brown, K. Perkins (A/CA) Andres Guinaldo

This special edition connects the Blade Runner Origins and Blade Runner 2029 storylines for the first time! Titan’s Gold-level FCBD title reveals the link between Detective Cal’s actions in Blade Runner Origins and Detective Ash’s story in Blade Runner 2029 #1. Two acclaimed creative teams of Mike Johnson, K. Perkins, Mellow Brown, Andrés Guinaldo, and Fernando Dagnino come together for a spectacular FCBD issue!
Exclusive Original Material
Rating: Teen [“Suggested for Mature Readers”]

Two stories, didn’t really flip any switches or push any buttons.


(W) Feng Zi Su, Xuxian Zhe

A sneak peek of two comics from Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed video game series.
Valhalla: Blood Brothers: Not long before the exploits of Eivor Wolf-Kissed, Jarl Stensson and his younger brothers, Ulf and Björn, make their way to England at the behest of Halfdan Ragnarsson and Ivarr the Boneless. Filled with excitement, confidence and bloodlust, the three brothers are eager to go to war against Aelfred the Great and his Anglo Saxon army. But they would do well not to underestimate what awaits them on those green shores…
Dynasty: In the 14th year of the Tianbao Era (CE 755) An Lushan, a military governor with ties to the Knights Templar, leads his elite corps to rebel against the Tang Dynasty, and the ill-prepared Tang empire falters under the threat. The two capitals Luoyang and Chang’an fall and China falls under the oppression of the cruel An Lushan. As the Tang dynasty starts to crumble, Li E, a shady Assassin trained by the Hidden Ones in the far West, teams up with Tang loyalists to turn the tide and save both the dynasty and the country from this crisis.
Rating: Teen

Tokyopop makes a rookie mistake: the cover is left-to-right, but the stories read right-to-left. Complete stories, but they don’t make me want to read more.


(W) Haro Aso, Koyoharu Gotouge (A) Kotaro Takata, Koyoharu Gotouge

Zom 100: After spending years toiling away for a soul-crushing company, Akira’s life has lost its luster. But when a zombie apocalypse ravages his town, it gives him the push he needs to live for himself. Now Akira’s on a mission to complete all 100 items on his bucket list before he…well, kicks the bucket.
Demon Slayer: In Taisho-era Japan, kindhearted Tanjiro Kamado makes a living selling charcoal. But his peaceful life is shattered when a demon slaughters his entire family. His little sister Nezuko is the only survivor, but she has been transformed into a demon herself! Tanjiro sets out on a dangerous journey to find a way to return his sister to normal and destroy the demon who ruined his life.
Preview Material
Rating: Teen

A decent read of both stories. Interesting premises, but not interesting enough for me to read more.

Free Comic Book Day 2021 is this Saturday, August 14th.

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