Published on May 6th, 2014 | by Dapper Dan


Free Comic Book Day – Dapper Reviews Indies

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Hello again gentle readers, I managed to get a smattering of independent publisher books at FCBD this year. Here’s what I thought of them…

Transformers Vs GI Joe



Yes, I know what you’re thinking; “Again? Really?”

Yes, really. IDW are going back to the ultimate 80’s crossover well with a new TF/Joe series. However this is VERY different to anything you’ve seen before on this front.

Written and drawn by Tom Scioli, whose previous work includes G0dland with Joe Casey, it’s Kirby meets Steranko meets the two biggest toy franchises of the 80’s. Possibly suffering from being swamped with an excess of text, the art is great fun. There’s OMAC here, there’s Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD here and it’s ace.

The biggest criticism I’d make is that this is essentially just a GI Joe book, there’s some Transformers in the background for a few pages, but they don’t actually have any real relevance to the story. This is probably geared towards older fans of the Joes and classic art styles, not necessarily a great introduction for new comic readers, but enjoyable for the more long-term fans like myself.

Atomic Robo


Atomic Robo, as I’ll tell anyone who’ll listen, is the best book that not enough of you are reading. Imagine Hellboy with a more science than supernatural bent, and an added dose of humour. The FCBD issue is always something I look forward to, as I can’t get enough of Atomic Robo.

Like Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy book, this is split into three sections, with three very different offerings from Red 5 Comics. First up, we have Atomic Robo in a short story pitching him against the creature shown above. It’s a good showcase for Robo and his supporting cast of wisecracking but somewhat field-unready Action Scientists.

It’s fun, requires no knowledge of the existing Robo stories and ticks the right boxes. These guys know what they’re doing. Go pick up Atomic Robo. Honestly, it’s a great series.

The middle part of the book is another Bodie Troll tale. Bodie’s a wannabe monster who only succeeds at being kind of cute. I wasn’t overly enamoured with this. Played very much for laughs,I felt it was trying too hard and the art wasn’t my cup of tea, at all. It feels a little busy but does have a nice cartoony, animated style.

The final story in the book is an excerpt from Haunted. I’m not sure what to make of this. It’s a very short 4 page segment that doesn’t really tell us much. Post apocalyptic/natural disaster Atlantic City. Young woman trying to survive and escape monsters. Passive, non-threatening ghosts. Other survivors. I can’t really tell you much more. An odd choice in an otherwise light-hearted FCBD book!

Uber – The First Cycle


If you’ve read Uber then you’ll know it posits an alternate timeline where the Second World War diverges upon the creation of superhumans by Germany. If you haven’t, then read that first sentence for an explanation on Uber.

Uber – The First Cycle compares Hitler’s joy with his new superhuman “battleships” and his childhood memories of his first bicycle.

No, not really. Of course that’d just be weird. The First Cycle serves as a good synopsis of Uber’s first 11 issues in the guise of an intelligence dossier. Every few pages we are presented with a new interview transcript, an after-action report or personnel file. Given how shocking and surprising the series has been, the events of issue 11 really do turn everything on its’ head and take the readers well into AU territory, down the rabbit hole.

Given the subject material, this is obviously not suitable for kids, but for any adults who like the idea of alternate histories, and one with a very well researched background, Uber is a good start. It’s not a comic in the conventional sense but it is a great tool for brining readers up to date with the monthly book.

So that’s my views on the independent books I got at FCBD, what about you? Did you read any these or any other indies? Let me know in the comments below on via Twitter @dapperdanhart

Dapper Dan
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