1.  COMICS LEARN FROM TUPAC. It’s good to be dead!  The Top 10 bestselling single comics of the month of 2010, according to Diamond distributors, all had to do with characters who are recently dead, “dead,” or back from the dead:

1. Avengers #1 (Steve Rogers—and Iron Man, if you count being a vegetable as dead)
2.  Siege #4 (Steve and Sentry and a bunch of disposable Asgardians)
3.  and 6. Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1 and 2 (Bruce)
4.  Secret Avengers #1 (Steve—and Moon Knight, but he died back in the late 1970s)
5. and 7.  Brightest Day #1 and 2 (Deadman!  And others.)
8.  Green Lantern #54 (Hal Jordan)
9.  Batman and Robin #12 (this book wouldn’t exist if Bruce weren’t dead)
10.  Uncanny X-Men #524 (Nightcrawler)

Sad to say that The Walking Dead wasn’t one of these . . . D.C. had 60% of the top 10, and they also kicked Marvel’s butt on the trades top sellers, too, owning 40% of that market (due largely to Vertigo), with the latest Ex Machina the bestseller and entries from Sweet Tooth, Scalped, and then the Wednesday Comics hardcover.  Marvel had just three entries: Invincible Iron Man, Kick-Ass (hardcover) and Deadpool Vol. 3.  The rest belonged to these worthy indie books, all of which you should buy right now: Invincible Vol. 12; The Walking Dead Book Five; and Hellsing Vol. 10 (actually, I don’t know anything about Hellsing).

2.  VAMPIRELLA. Dynamite got the rights to reprint the old Vampirella books and mags, which probably doesn’t excite any of you until you remember all the folks who have roots in the title: Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Frank Frazetta (pictured at right), Amanda Conner, Mark Millar, Neal Adams, Richard Corben, Jimmy Palmiotti and Barry Windsor-Smith.  See?  Now you’re interested.

3.  DEADPOOL. A week has gone by, so it’s ime for yet another DP series: “Deadpool Pulp”, by Mike Benson, Adam Glass, and artist Laurence Campbell.  This will be like the Noir series—it takes place in the 1950s, outside of “regular” Marvel lore.

4.  SUPERMAN. J. Michael Straczynski is taking over the title by putting Superman on the ground.  Kal-el will begin walking across America with issue #701.  I’m getting the impression that JMS will be treating Superman like a God during his run on the book.  DC is marketing this with an essay contest for fans to win the chance to have Superman visit their own home town, in the comic.  Is a gimmick needed when you’ve got a writer like JMS attached to your book?  Well, anyway, after his run on Thor, I trust the guy.  I’ll buy the book.  At least, in trade form.  He’s also re-doing Wonder Woman’s origin, which should be very interezzzzzzzz.

5.  OLDER MAN LOGAN. Hailed by many as the greatest Wolverine story ever, Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s Old Man Logan may get a sequel, with the same comic team.

6. BATMAN REFERENCE MANUAL! Check out this Batman Reference Manual. Comprehensive, funny . . . What more can you ask for?

7. Little Orphan Annie has been cancelled!


1.  X-MEN: FIRST CLASS. This flick already has a summer 2011 release date and isn’t written or cast yet.  If they can throw this movie together in a year, why do we have to wait so long for all the other movies?  It’s not a Marvel Studios pic, and maybe that’s why.

2.  MARVEL SHORT FILMS. Marvel Studios and Disney floated the idea of small films—10 minute “shorts”—that would appear before their full length flicks, which would feature b-listers like Luke Cage or Black Panther.  They also just hired a guy to write a Dr. Strange movie, but it’s not clear if that will be a feature or a short.  Really?  Out of all the lesser-knowns, they’re gonna go with the Doc?  Seems like a bad choice to me.  I’d go with another Blade movie, or with Luke Cage or Iron Fist . . . Even Power Pack before Strange.

3.  MORE WALKING DEAD UPDATES. Frank Darabont (producer) now says that the show plans to reach the prison story arc at the end of the second sentence, which means one and two will be about Rick Grimes travelling and forming the group.  I’m sad, because I want to see it all, but I’m happy that they aren’t rushing it.  No need to run out of stories here and start creating your own when you’ve got a long-running serialized book that is sheer genius as the source material.

4.  MORE D.C. ANIMATED UPDATES.  The next DVD cartoon flick will be another Superman/Batman, following on the heels of the well-executed, well-received “Public Enemies” DVD.  This one will be “Superman/Batman: Apocalypse,” and will feature the duo against (you guessed it), Darkseid.  Darky is the only real “big bad” in the DCU who is at all interesting or who has gained any real traction over the decades.  Whenever there’s a crisis, Darkseid is there.  It will be based on one of Jeph Loeb’s good works (his stuff is either very good, or horrible), which was the “Superman/Batman: Supergirl” arc.  Ironically, Loeb was just promoted to the head of Marvel Entertainment’s T.V. department.

See you next week, same blog-time, same blog-url!

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