2016's Free Comic Book Day Titles Include New 'Serenity,' 'Rom' Revival

Camp Midnight  - H 2015
Courtesy of Jason Adam Katzenstein/Image Comics
The first 12 titles available for free next May have been announced, including Image Comics' kid-friendly "Camp Midnight."

Expect to see some unexpected — but familiar — faces at the comic book store next May, with the announcement of the first titles for 2016's Free Comic Book Day, including new releases for Marvel's Avengers, Joss Whedon's Serenity and a long-awaited return for Hasbro's Rom The Space Knight.

The "Gold Sponsor" titles for the 2016 event were announced on Thursday by the FCBD Committee and Diamond Comic Distribution, featuring titles from Marvel, DC, Image Comics, Archie Comics and Valiant Entertainment among other publishers supporting the annual event. In total, 12 Gold Sponsor titles will be released, with additional titles available at the Silver Sponsor level.

Of note among the newly announced titles are Valiant Entertainment's Valiant 4001 A.D. Special, which will launch the publisher's crossover event for the year, set 20 centuries in the future, and IDW Publishing's Rom The Space Knight No. 0, a launchpad for the publisher's relaunch of the cult 1970s toy property currently owned by Hasbro. Additionally, Dark Horse Comics will be releasing an anthology combining Hellboy and 20th Century Fox's Aliens with a new story set in the sci-fi universe of Joss Whedon's Serenity.

Also worth pointing out is Image Comics' Camp Midnight, which sees Big Hero 6 co-creator Steven T. Seagle team with New Yorker cartoonist Jason Adam Katzenstein for a new all-ages series set in a summer camp where all the attendees — except one — is a fully-fledged monster.

Elsewhere, secrecy is the name of the game for both Marvel and DC's releases. DC's title is unnamed, with an announcement promised at a later date, while Marvel's new Avengers No. 1 suggests a potential new series centering around the company's primary movie property. Currently, although the publisher has three ongoing Avengers series, none are simply titled Avengers; instead, there is All-New, All-Different Avengers, New Avengers and Uncanny Avengers. However, Marvel did release an Avengers No. 0 in October, which acted as an anthology showcase for upcoming launches; this could simply be a second edition of that series.

The full list of the 2016 Gold Sponsor titles is:

Archie No. 1 FCBD 2016 Edition (Archie Comics)
Bongo Comics Free-For-All FCBD 2016 Edition (Bongo Comics)
Boom! Studios Summer Blast FCBD 2016 Edition (Boom! Studios)
Dark Horse: Serenity/Hellboy/Aliens FCBD 2016 Edition (Dark Horse Comics)
DC Comics Untitled Gold Book FCBD 2016 Edition (DC Entertainment)
Bob's Burgers FCBD 2016 Edition (Dynamite Entertainment)
Rom The Space Knight No. 0 FCBD 2016 Edition (IDW Publishing)
Camp Midnight FCBD 2016 Edition (Image Comics)
Avengers No. 0 FCBD 2016 Edition (Marvel Entertainment)
Doctor Who: Four Doctors FCBD 2016 Edition (Titan Comics)
Valiant 4001 A.D. FCBD 2016 Edition (Valiant Entertainment)
Perfect Square Presents: Pokémon Pocket Comics FCBD 2016 Edition (Viz Media/Perfect Square)

Free Comic Book Day 2016 takes place on May 7.