Set your alarm, polish off that Darth Vader helmet and wash those Wonder Woman socks, because Saturday is Free Comic Book Day.
Now in its 11th year, FCBD is one of the most anticipated days of the year by comic book collectors, fans of sci-fi or fantasy, and just people who like to get stuff for free. (Who doesn’t?)
For the publishers, it’s a chance to attract new readers while getting longtime readers in comic book stores on a day other than Wednesday. Past FCBD releases have included first appearances by major characters, preludes to summer crossover events and limited-edition prints.
And, good news for parents: They’re all family-friendly. So you don’t have to worry about your kid reading about Deadpool shooting up dead U.S. presidents who have been revived as zombies and are trying to destroy the country. (This was actually a recent storyline in a Marvel comic. Some stuff you just can’t make up.)
Here are some of the offerings for this year:
• “Uglydoll Comics” by VIZ LLC: If your children like Uglydolls, they’ll like this superhero spoof, which recreates the classic cover of “Action Comics” No. 1. Bonus: Hello Kitty and Pokemon!
• “SpongeBob Freestyle Funnies” by United Plankton Pictures: All new, all original SpongeBob stories, including one that takes place at the Krusty Krab during wait for it Free Comic Book Day. Also: The first appearance of a new nemesis for Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy — The Catfishstress.
• “Superman: Last Son of Krypton” by DC: This special edition prints the first chapter in an upcoming graphic novel while serving as a primer for the new movie, “Man of Steel.” If that’s not enough for you, here are three words to make you change your mind: Kneel. Before. Zod.
• “Avengers Assemble: Hulk and the Agents of Smash” by Marvel: Look at that title. Do I really need to say more?
• “Buck Rogers” by Hermes Press: Fans of the classic Golden Age-era Buck Rogers will love this comic, which reprints two complete Sunday newspaper strip stories by famed artist Rick Yager — all painstakingly digitally reconstructed.
These are just a few of the dozens of comics — 52 total — that will be available on Saturday at participating stores. (Not every shop will have every comic, however, and some may have restrictions on how many copies each person gets.)
For a complete list and a store locator, go to freecomicbookday.com. While there, you can also enter a contest for free “Iron Man 3″ IMAX tickets as well as “Iron Man” books and toys.
Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or: