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With this year’s traditional Free Comic Book Day celebration indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Marvel Entertainment has announced that its two titles initially planned to be part of the event will be released as standalone issues in July.
Free Comic Book Day 2020: X-Men will hit the stands first, featuring a new story by current X-Men head writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Pepe Larraz (House of X) setting up the forthcoming X of Swords publishing event; Tom Taylor and Iban Coello contribute a second, unidentified, story.
A week later, Free Comic Book Day 2020: Spider-Man/Venom will also feature two stories, one from the Venom creative team of Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, and a second from Black Cat writer Jed Mackay and artist Patrick Gleason. According to Marvel, both stories are “connected to the major storylines” upcoming in the Amazing Spider-Man, Venom and Black Cat titles.
The X-Men issue has an in-store date of July 15, with Spider-Man/Venom scheduled for July 22.
Free Comic Book Day 2020 had originally been scheduled for May 2, before being postponed because of store closures and a distributor shutdown resulting from the coronavirus. Marvel isn’t the first publisher to choose to release its Free Comic Book Day title independent of a rescheduled event; Vault Comics shared Brandon Sanderson’s Dark One on The Hollywood Reporter last week.
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