Comic book fans, assemble!

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Illustration by Estefania B. Alonso

Free Comic Book Day offers activities for fans.

By Kyle R. Cotton

With “Avengers: Age of Ultron” hitting theaters across the U.S., local comic book shops are set to take advantage of the increased interest in the source material that inspired the mega-blockbusters of today.

Local comic book shops will give away free comic books Saturday.

Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday in May every year.

Publishers provide exclusive comic books for stores to distribute to the public every year.

This year Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, Valiant comics and other publishers are all releasing free books.

Marvel is launching its big summer event “Secret Wars” with a zero issue, which is set to reboot the Marvel comic universe that has been continuous since the 1960s.

Marvel is also launching “All-New All-Different Avengers” with the lineup of the new female Thor, Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel, Sam Alexander AKA Nova, Ironman, Vision, Captain America AKA Sam Wilson.

DC Comics is releasing “Divergence,” which features three eight-page previews taking place after the “Convergence” storyline.

In San Antonio local comic stores are treating Free Comic Book Day as a big event.

Heroes and Fantasies will open at 9 a.m. Saturday at 4923 NW Loop 410 and will have face painting, cosplay contests, a bounce house, and a food truck.

Ancira Auto Group also will showcase a custom made “Hulkbuster” Jeep and a “Harley Quin” Kia Soul.

Heroes and Fantasies also will have an artist on hand. The store is limiting free comic books to two per person.

Heroes and Fantasies Manager Adam Conley said he is because they are expecting thousands.

“It will feel like a convention,” he said.

Bazinga Comics will open at 10 a.m. Saturday at 2941 Thousand Oaks and will be giving away 10 free comic books per person.

Gamestop will be on hand to demo Warner Brothers Interactive’s “Batman: Arkham Knight,” which is set to release June 23.

Bazinga Comics Manager Mark Clark said that Free Comic Book Day is about is about growing comic book fandom.

As to why they are giving away such a high number, Clark said, “We feel it comes back to us.”

Alien Worlds is going to focus on getting kids involved.

Alien Worlds’ Manager Jerry Kimball is planning to give three to five comic books per person but expecting the number to change throughout the day based on inventory.

Kimball has ordered thousands of books in expectation of the event and has plans to have some of the staff give away products at local theaters, such as Alamo Drafthouse Park North, 618 NW Loop 410.

Kimball is having contests and quizzes for giveaways for children with questions like, “What is Bruce Banner’s first name?”

“Its about as getting as much product out as possible,” he said.

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