Oh shit. Someone must have harnessed the power of the time stone to make it so that this year's Free Comic Book Day fell on the unofficial Star Wars holiday of May 4. (May the Fourth — get it?) Well, the force is strong for the 18th annual Free Comic Book Day, a holiday which has, since 2002, hooked up comic book aficionados and n00bs alike with free comic books.
The holiday takes place every year on the first Saturday in May and like previous years, the 2019 iteration finds participating comic book shops across the globe opening their doors and offering up Free Comic Book Day exclusives.
Among this year's exclusive issues are stories from the Marvel Universe with "Avengers" and "Spider-Man." DC Comics will offer "Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale Special Edition" and "Dear Justice League Special Edition," whereas the more fringe-comic fan might gravitate toward "Welcome to the Whedonverse"— a crossover of Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly. Doctor Who fans can snag "Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor" and those who are deep in the Riverdale drama can pick up the latest, "Riverdale Season 3 Special." As is the case with every FCBD, there's a bit of something for everyone.
Don't worry, folks. Thanos' snap-of-destruction didn't wipe out these comic book shops. For a full list of participating shops as well as a detailed list of exclusive issues, visit freecomicbookday.com.
Vault of Midnight1226 Library St., Detroit; 313-481-2165 | 219 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-998-1413; vaultofmidnight.com
Both the Ann Arbor and Detroit locations of VoM will kick-start FCBD at 10 a.m. with discounts, trivia, giveaways, and live music from the Vicissitones (Ann Arbor) and DJ RX78 (Detroit). Exclusive to the downtown Detroit shop, however, is a local artists alley and themed food from Detroit's Hero or Villian food truck, as well as a matinee superhero medley screening across the street at the Skillman Branch Library.
Green Brain13936 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-582-9444; greenbraincomics.com
Since 1985, this family-owned shop has been the go-to place for metro Detroit's comic fix. This year, in addition to FCBD exclusives and giveaways, Green Brain will host New York Times bestselling author Jim Benton (Dear Dumb Diary and Catwad and Clyde) as well as seven metro Detriot creators. Each visitor will be able to choose up to three FCBD comics and for those who bring canned food donations, gently used books, or old cellphones, they'll get up to two additional comics.
Warp9 Nine Comics and Collectables21 W. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson; 248-288-5699; warpninecomics.com
Michigan-based artist and writer K. Lynn Smith (Plume, Hope) will make an appearance at this metro Detroit mainstay. Warp9 Nine, opened in 1999, will also offer giveaways in addition to FCBD exclusives.
Big Ben’s Comix Oasis6711 Allen Rd., Allen Park; 313-382-0700; facebook.com/bigbenscomixoasis
Opened in 1984, Big Ben's Comix Oasis is pulling out all the stops with special guests. Artist Arvell Jones, whose earliest work appears in Marvel Comics in 1975 with drawings of Iron Fist and co-created the character Misty Knight, makes him one of Marvel's first black comic creators. He went on to illustrate issues in the Deathlok, Thor, Iron Man, Luke Cage, and Avengers series. Oh, and Jones' original concept art was used for the Black Panther teaser posters. Detroit's Keith Pollard will also make an appearance and is hailed for his work on various Marvel titles in the 1970s and '80s. Cartoonist and former production assistant with Nickelodeon Animation Studio and Michigan native, Jeff Sornig will also be part of Big Ben's FCBD festivities.
Asylum Comics20702 Van Born Rd., Dearborn Heights; 313-724-6482; asylumcollectables.com
Asylum Comics will offer 15 percent off sale, Funko Pop figure deals, a prize wheel, as well as a green screen where shoppers can take their photo with comic book props (Thor's hammer, anyone?) and a door raffle to snag signed photos and cards by the likes of Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown, husky-voiced Batman, Christian Bale, and Ray Park who played Darth Maul in that trilogy.
Comic City42727 Ford Rd., Canton; 734-981-3561 | 7366 Haggerty Rd., West Bloomfield; 248-592; 3049 | 466 N. Telegraph Rd., Pontiac; 248-334-4139 | 3410 West Rd., Trenton; 734-692-7060; comiccity.com
Voted by Metro Times' readers as the area's best comic shop, Comic City is giving each shopper three FCBD exclusives and up to five for children. To get your hands on some extras, they're asking for canned food donation or show up in costume. Note: Comic City offers early bird hours for anyone with sensory or mobility issues, just RSVP at the preferred location so they can accommodate.
Time Travelers Comics, Card, and Collectables3277 12 Mile Rd., Berkley; 248-548-7213
Not just a comic book haven, Time Travelers is the go-to place for gamers of all varieties (they even host Magic the Gathering tournaments every Saturday). Spanning 4,000 square feet, this Berkely spot offers movie- and TV-related items as well as autographed goods, and video game systems. They get a new batch of comic books every Wednesday and to celebrate FCBD this year they'll offer up doughnuts and drinks while you shop.
Comics & More28059 John R Rd., Madison Heights; 248-399-3213
Comic Christmas is underway full throttle at this longstanding shop in Madison Heights. They'll have guest appearances by a couple of renowned artists, Star Wars cosplayers, and in keeping with Comics & More's FCBD tradition, they'll be barbecuing all day so everyone can stay fueled.
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