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Free Comic Book Day 2016: 7 must-read comics

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Facebook/Free Comic Book Day

Need an excuse to make a trip to your local comic book store? Saturday is your day.

The 15th annual Free Comic Book Day is taking over a shop near you (find participating locations here), featuring free issues from big comics publishers like Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse, as well as some smaller and indie banners.

A full list of available comics can be seen here, but here are EW’s top 7 picks for Saturday’s festivities. Don’t worry — there’s something for every age group.

Archie

Mark Waid and Fiona Staples made waves last July when they gave longtime comics staple Archie a completely modern makeover. Those who missed the sleek revamp can snag a special FCBD reissue. It’s one of several contemporary takes on Riverdale, including a TV pilot at The CW.

DC Super Hero Girls

Among the all-ages offerings for this year’s FCBD is DC Super Hero Girls #1, starring tough-but-adorable high school versions of Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Supergirl, Katana, Bumblebee, and more. The comic, as well as a cartoon series and toy line, aims to introduce young girls to its superhero lineup. The free issue features two action-packed stories teasing the franchise’s debut graphic novel, DC Super Hero Girls: Final Crisis, out July 6 from writer Shea Fontana and artist Yancey Labat.

Captain America

Mark the release of Captain America: Civil War by digging into a Steve Rogers story, sans Avengers. Rogers comes back to comics in Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 later this month, but the sneak peek at his return, from Nick Spencer and Jesús Saiz, also comes with a prelude to the “Dead No More” storyline. Teased as a blockbuster, “Dead No More” examines how people might handle bringing the dead back to life.

March trilogy sampler

John Lewis became the first sitting Congressman to pen a graphic novel. Set in the Civil Rights movement, the tale follows Lewis has he works with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., fighting for equality in the ’60s. Fans of Book One and Book Two should stop by and grab the sampler, which has a preview of this summer’s Book Three from Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell.

Serenity/Hellboy/Aliens

This Dark Harse sampler offerse a nice taste of a trio of high-profile tales, all at once. Speaking of those aboard the famed Firefly starship, Serenity alum Alan Tudyk is the co-writer of another FCBD offering: Spectrum #0 is the first comic based on the fictional sci-fi series at the center of Con Man, the fan-favorite webseries starring Tudyk and fellow Firefly star Nathan Fillion. (The first season of Con Man will be available in full on the Comic-Con HQ online platform, a new subscription video-on-demand service, which launches its beta model Saturday.)

Love and Rockets

If you’ve never read Jaime, Gilbert, and Mario Hernandez’s beloved alternative comic Love and Rockets, this free sampler is the perfect introduction before Fantagraphics releases the first issue of a reboot this July. The sampler features a new cover and several standalone stories from the original landmark series.

Boom! Studios Summer Blast

C’mon, grab your friends — all of them! Boom! Studios has something for everyone in this year’s FCBD offering, featuring sneak peeks at a diverse crop of comics like the new Adventure Time comic, the upcoming Lumberjanes: Don’t Axe, Don’t Tale special, and Archaia’s anticipated fantasy, The Cloud. The issue also includes original short stories from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth and David Petersen’s Mouse Guard.