Marvel Comics and Diamond Comic Distributors split up in 2021 but the exes are getting back together for Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) 2022, which returns to its traditional date on the first weekend of May this year.
A few months back Marvel announced it will offer three separate titles for the May 7, 2022 edition, including Spider-Man/Venom, Avengers/X-Men, and Marvel's Voices one-shot specials.
Spider-Man/Venom #1 will offer readers a glimpse at major storylines (including Tombstone's "first steps towards becoming Spidey's most terrifying villain") planned for the new Amazing Spider-Man era by writer Zeb Wells and Spider-Man brand name artist John Romita Jr. that includes a relaunch of the title in April.
Of course, since Amazing Spider-Man #1 goes on sale on April 6, the Free Comic Book Day glimpse won't be an advanced one.
The Spider-Man/Venom #1 special also includes a look at what creators Al Ewing, Ram V, and Bryan Hitch have going on in the pages of the monthly Venom series which launched in November.
Check out the newly released cover images from the FCBD special by Romita Jr. and a 1:1000 variant cover by Jonboy Meyers which is interesting considering the special is meant to be free to the public but will no doubt be sold to collectors at a premium.
Avengers/X-Men #1 is by writers Kieron Gillen and Gerry Duggan and artist Dustin Weaver and according to the publisher will lay the groundwork for a 2022 Marvel Universe event that "drastically alters" the relationship between mutantkind and the Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
We now know that will Judgment Day, a seeming three-way face-off between the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Eternals.
Finally, Free Comic Book Day 2022: Marvel's Voices #1 will be an introduction to the publisher's series of specials spotlighting creators and characters from different cultures, communities, and identities across Marvel's "diverse and ever-evolving universe."
The anthology will be led by a new Moon Girl short story from writer Nadia Shammas and artist Luciano Vecchio - presumably connected to the planned Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur project teased a few months back for 2022.
The anthology will also contain reprints from previous Marvel's Voices anthologies, including:
- The Brother Voodoo story by Evan Narcisse and Jahnoy Lindsay from Marvel's Voices #1 (2020)
- The indigenous hero showcase by Jeffrey Veregge from Marvel's Indigenous Voices #1 (2022)
- The Miles Morales story by John Ridley and Olivier Coipel in Marvel's Voices: Legacy #1 (2021)
- The Wave/Bishop story by Alyssa Wong and Whilce Portacio in Marvel's Voices: Identity #1 (2021)
- The LGBTQ+ representation story by Luciano Vecchio from Marvel's Voices: Pride #1 (2021)
- The Shark-Girl story by Leo Romero from Marvel's Voices: Comunidades #1 (2021)
Back to that Diamond - Marvel reunion ... according to the original announcement, Avengers/X-Men #1 and Spider-Man/Venom #1 will be offered to retailers exclusively through Diamond, while Marvel's Voices will be available via Diamond and Marvel's exclusive comic book Direct Market distributor Penguin Random House Publisher Services (PRHPS).
Marvel switched to PRHPS in March 2021 after nearly 40 years with Diamond (25 years exclusively), who continues to act as a wholesale retailer of Marvel products to comic shops.
Diamond is the coordinator of the annual event in which participating comic book specialty shops in North America and around the world give away free comic books to attract new customers to their store and new readers to the art form.
Here's a look at everything we know about Free Comic Book Day 2022.