Over on the DC comics web site they have several Vertigo first issue comics for free. This includes Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and the excellent Y: The Last Man. I am definitely downloading Y: The Last Man as I have never read issue one. I recommend this one to non-comics readers and it is very well written, though it has some adult content. The comic deals with what happens when all of the world’s men, save one, are killed by a mysterious plague.
I think it is smart for the comic book companies to continue to release first issues of their more popular titles because it takes away the risk factor for the reader. It is always a pain in the butt to spend money on something only to find Idon’t care for it. If it is free, though, and I dig it I may go ahead and buy a few issues.