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Free Comic Book Day is an industry-wide attempt to bring people through the doors of comic book stores by giving them something free. This year it’s Saturday, May 1, and comics publishers have a nice range of offerings. For superhero fans, D.C. has War of the Supermen No.0, kicking off a battle between Superman and General Zod (most memorably seen in the second Superman movie), while Marvel has Iron Man/Thor, drawn by Kick-Ass‘ John Romita, Jr, and another Iron Man comic since the second movie is about to open. Dark Horse brings Doctor Solar and Magnus back from the old Gold Key comics, Boom reprints Irredeemable No.1 and Dynamite features Green Hornet. For kids, Ape launches its new Shrek comic, Archaia returns with the excellent Mouse Guard by David Petersen, Boom! has Toy Story! and Archie enjoys a “Summer Splash.” Larry Hama returns to writing G.I. Joe after 15 years and the title is at IDW now. Other items to look for are Drawn & Quarterly’s John “Little Lulu” Stanley sampler, Bongo’s Simpsons parody of Spider-Man No. 1, Top Shelf and Andy Runton’s all-ages and wordless Owly. IDW’s sampler from their Library of American Comics comic strip reprint line should appeal to older fans, as might Bluewater’s “Lady Gaga.”

Cartoonists will also be appearing at local stores. Moving out from the center of the District, Fantom Comics has Jeff Howe at its Pentagon City store. Beyond Comics in Gaithersburg, Md., has Andrew Cohen, Matt Dembicki, and Monica Gallagher; in Frederick, Md., Danielle Corsetto, Terry Flippo, Aspen Studio’s Micah Gunnell, Michael Imboden, and Rafer Roberts. Laughing Ogre‘s Fairfax, Va., store is having Rebecca Isaacs while the Fillbach Brothers are at the Lansdowne, Va., one. Cards, Comics and Collectibles of Reisterstown, Md., has JG Jones, the cover artist of DC’s War of the Supermen, Frank Cho from 2-3 p.m., Steve Conley, and John Gallagher. Big Planet Comics doesn’t have any cartoonists, but is prebagging a selection of comics appropriate for grade-school children.

The comics are all free, so check it out—-maybe you’ll find a new love.