2000AD have had a fractious relationship with the annual Free Comic Book Day, despite being one of the more popular titles providing original content – especially in this country. They're printed in the wrong country. They're printed at the wrong size. They're an anthology. All sorts of reasons.
Well, for 2019, Diamond Comic Distributors have got their wish and 2000AD is out of Free Comic Book Day. Again. The sci-fi comic was dropped from FCBD in 2015, but was restored after a public outcry, printed 60,000 copies.
That won't happen this time. But in order to capitalise on their popularity, they are to publish a 99 pence/99 cent original one-shot out for the same time as Free Comic Book Day in May 2019.
The 2000AD Villains Takeover Special will contain original work by Rob Williams (Suicide Squad) Pat Mills (Marshal Law) , Swedish concept artist Henrik Sahlstrom, Kyle Hotz (Lucifer), Kael Ngu (Justice League), Henry Flint (Judge Dredd) and Chris Weston (The Filth).
Will retailers treat this as another Free Comic Book Day? Just one they can actually make money off rather than a loss? Here's the solicitation for May…
In time for Free Comic Book Day the bad guys take over the Galaxy's Greatest Comic with a nefarious new special full of criminal capers and villainous ventures – the 2000 AD Villains Takeover! At the low, low price point of 99 cents, this is the ideal shelf-stuffer to tempt roguish readers into the world of 2000 AD!
In this improper issue we have the very best forbidden felons and outlandish outlaws – the lawman of the future faces a familiar rictus grin in JUDGE DEATH: THE JUDGE WHO LAUGHS by Rob Williams and Henrik Sahlstrom; there's fiendish fantasy with LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG: LORD OF THE HUNT by Pat Mills and Kyle Hotz; there's chem-wreathed criminality in the world of Rogue Trooper in BRASS AND BLAND: THE PROFESSIONALS by Karl Stock and Kael Ngu; there's the malefactory mutant-bountyhunters-turned-bad-guys, The Stix, from Strontium Dog in STIX: SLEEPING DOGS LIE by Matt Smith and Chris Weston; and all rounded off by TERROR TALE: LAST OF THE HELLPHIBIANS by that master of the mendacious Henry Flint!
Though Diamond did let 2000AD publishers Rebellion in with one title…