Even though the prevailing sentiment is that superhero movies have as much to do with the comics as say, the price of tea somewhere else, it's nice to have some semblance of knowledge before you plop in your seat.
It's a bird, it's a plane ... it's Free Comic Book Day to your rescue.
The annual event, always the first Saturday in May, was started to foster interest in all things and specifically reading comics. You know, people come out for free stuff. Along the way, FCBD fast became a way for publishers to tie in their movie properties.
There are lots of books from which to choose, but here are a few to get you ready for movies about to come to a theater -- and some TV, too -- near you. (And one we wish was a tie-in: The Looking Glass Wars: Crossfire.)
Participating shops in Dallas include Keith's Comics, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 120, and 17610 Midway Road, Suite 136; Titan Comics, 3128 Forest Lane, Dallas; Awesome Comics, 8420 Abrams Road, Suite 202; and Red Pegasus Comics, 208 W. 8th St.
Here are some tied-in highlights, with a couple that get a double stamp of approval.
Wonder Woman Special Edition #1: Writer Greg Rucka and artist Nicola Scott regale readers with tales of the origin of Princess Diana and her first year changing the world off Themyscira.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Yes, we all love the latest movie, and here we get to see their encounter with the Nova Corps. The big tease, though, is the "Plus The Defenders By Bendis, Marquez & Ponsor," a prequel to the upcoming Defenders #1. But we're getting ahead of ourselves and the Netflix series that's please, please, please coming soon.
Secret Empire #1*: The Marvel Universe stands together against the threat of Hydra, and that includes super teams including the Avengers, X-Men, Defenders, Inhumans and Spider-Man. The book will also include a first look at Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man.
Also: James Cameron's Avatar; Keyser Soze; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; 2000 A.D.
Riverdale: Just how did Archie do on his construction job the summer before the series picks up? How did that fling with Miss Grundy start? And what was Veronica like as a mean(er) girl? All the answers are in this book.
Doctor Who: Four doctors. One book. Who could resist?
Fresh Off the Boat: The Huang family as superheroes? We thought they already were. The book is a tie-in to an episode of the sitcom that will air this month in which Eddie and Ermey create a comic book for a contest. The series airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Also: Betty & Veronica #1 FCBD Edition; Rick and Morty**; Star Trek The Next Generation: Mirror Broken; The Tick
For the children (or the you, no judgment)
Bongo Comics Free-For-All: Bart Simpson does the most when he's forced to use a rolling backpack, and other Simpsons adventures.
Buffy: The High School Years: Toning down the angst, our heroine is back at 16 in this all-ages book to introduce Buffy, one of our favorite vampire slayers, to another group. Heh. "#SlayerStruggleIsReal." Indeed.
Also: Barbie; Monster High; Disney Descendants (manga); The Loud House; Spongebob: Freestyle Funnies; DC Super Hero Girls Special Edition #1
More picks, from Nick
I Hate Image | Image Comics
Skottie Young's leading lady from I Hate Fairyland is set to discover the rest of the disjointed Image Universe in a Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe-style one-shot where Gertrude will come face to face with Spawn, Invincible and maybe ... The Walking Dead?
**-Rick & Morty | Oni Press
Be warned: this one is not for kids. Oni Press has a great history of adapting adult-oriented television shows for comic book form (see: Invader Zim) so it's no surprise that the Justin Roiland/Dan Harmon show Rick & Morty made the transition seamlessly. This comic series complements the show well, and fans of its crude humor and deep lore will find plenty to love.
*-Secret Empire/Spectacular Spider-Man | Marvel Comics
While Marvel's Secret Empire is already off to a scary, really great start, this FCBD issue will add exposition to a world controlled by Captain America. But honestly, we're more excited for the debut of writer Chip Zdarsky's Spectacular Spider-Man, as his hilarious, yet emotional work will surely be the perfect fit .
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess/Ocarina of Time | Viz Media
This sampling of Viz Media's The Legend of Zelda manga is a must-have for fans of the game franchise, or even new fans after finishing up with the recently-released The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The manga retells the events of legacy Zelda titles, and the full run goes beyond Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time, telling the tales of Majora's Mask, Minish Cap and more.