How to Get Free Comics on Free Comic Book Day

Snag free special issues and reprints from Marvel, DC and indie publishers on May 7.

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Dan was a writer on CNET's How-To and Thought Leadership teams. His byline has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, NBC News, Architectural Digest and elsewhere. He is a crossword junkie and is interested in the intersection of tech and marginalized communities.
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Dan Avery
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Marvel's Avengers/X-Men and DC's League of Super-Pets

May 7, 2022, is Free Comic Book Day.

Marvel Comics, DC Comics

With prices on everything going up, it's astonishing to hear some things remain free. Thankfully, Free Comic Book Day is still held annually on the first Saturday in May.

This Saturday, May 7, is the 20th annual Free Comic Book Day. Participating stores are giving away a total of 46 special comic books and manga from major publishers and indie companies alike.

The event always draws crowds, so you can expect special events, sales, comics-themed cosplay and more, too.

Here's everything you need to know about Free Comic Book Day 2022.

For more comic-book goodness, get a peek at Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' post-credits scenes and the best comics to read if you're sick of superheroes.

How does Free Comic Book Day work?

Don't take the name too literally: You can't just grab whatever you want off the shelves. Participating publishers print special editions for FCBD. 

Some are reprints to introduce newcomers to classic comics, while others are previews of upcoming comics or all-new titles teasing big crossover events.

Free Comic Book Day 2022 age guide

The color code for Free Comic Book Day 2022.

Diamond Corporate Network

The comics are typically labeled to indicate who they're appropriate for: A green label appears on all-ages comics, blue means it's suitable for teens, and a red "mature" banner means it's aimed at readers 18 and older.

Demand is always high, so getting to your local comic shop early is never a bad idea.

In addition, FCBD releases are usually labeled either "Silver Comics" or "Gold Comics," with the latter applied to more popular titles from the bigger publishers like Marvel and DC.

A store may limit how many Gold Comics you can snag or have some other policy.  

Where can I pick up Free Comic Book Day comics?

Just about any comic book shop will have some FCBD releases, though every store might not have every comic. So you may want to hit more than one to get what you want.

Find comic book stores near you with Diamond Comic Distributors' store locator.   

DC Comics' Dark Crisis #0

When the Justice League is defeated, a new generation of heroes rises in Dark Crisis #0.

DC Comics

What is DC Comics giving away on Free Comic Book Day?

Dark Crisis #0
DC is promoting its big summer event, Dark Crisis, with this preview from writer Joshua Williamson and artist Jim Cheung. The Justice League has been defeated by a legion of DC's most dangerous villains and now a new generation of superheroes must rise to save the multiverse. 

Galaxy: The Prettiest Star
This FCBD special edition from writer Jadzia Axelrod and artist Jess Taylor features an excerpt from DC's upcoming graphic novel about an alien princess hiding out as a boy on Earth. But when Taylor Barzelay meets Kat Silverberg, she decides she doesn't want to hide her identity anymore. 

DC League of Super-Pets: The Great Mxy-Up
Get a preview of this middle-grade graphic novel before it's released on May 17: When Mr. Mxyzptlk, a mischievous imp from the Fifth Dimension, arrives to wreak havoc in Metropolis, it's up to Krypto, Merton the Turtle and the other Super-Pets to save the day.

Marvel Voices reprint

Marvel Voices celebrates characters and creators from diverse communities.

Marvel Comics

What is Marvel giving away on FCBD?   

Marvel Voices #1
Launched in 2020, the Marvel Voices line celebrates superheroes from marginalized communities. This special FCBD edition reprints seven stories from the imprint, focusing on Black, Latinx, LGBTQ and Indigenous characters and creators. 

The Amazing Spider-Man/Venom
As Spidey celebrates his 60th anniversary, the wall-crawling hero and his vicious nemesis star in this special release teasing upcoming storylines and characters from the Amazing Spider-Man and Venom comics.  

Avengers/X-Men #1
Writers Kieron Gillen and Gerry Duggan and artist Dustin Weaver set the stage for Marvel's upcoming Judgment Day crossover, when the status quo between Earth's Mightiest Heroes and its mutant champions is shaken to its core. And how are the immortal Eternals involved?

Other Free Comic Book Day releases

FCBD is a great opportunity if you're new to comics or hesitant to drop your hard-earned cash on an unknown title. 

There are offerings for young ones -- like a reprint of Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters or the all-new The Best Archie Comic Ever! -- and more mature fare like Bloodborne and The Bone Orchard Mythos: Prelude.

Plus, pop-culture junkies can revisit beloved characters with comic versions of Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pokémon, Avatar: The Last AirbenderStranger Things and even The Three Stooges.

Check out all 46 releases on the Free Comic Book Day website.