21 March 2010


Dabblers, it's raining outside -- but the heat's turned all the way up at the Springfield Home Office! abbracadabbling's NEWS of the BLOG returns after a two month to-the-day hiatus sporting not just a complete makeover (sorta) but with our new reoccurring Special Report, Top 7 HOTFeel the burn!

With help from our friends at icv2.com, we turn our short attention spans this afternoon to the Top 7 Hottest Properties of the Comics Realm. Kind of interesting that only one of our Top 7 represents a direct comic book property -- DC Comics' Blackest Night, the Green Lantern -related crossover event that expanded the character's mythology exponentially and gave fans a storyline where their favorite DC heroes would be fighting legions on zombies -- for months! But most importantly, writer Geoff Johns addressed - and, for DC Comics, at least - offered a solution for one of super hero comics' most dogged complaints: the rationale for how characters return from the dead 

In the last two decades, DC has killed off and then returned to the living every one of its major characters: Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Aquaman, and per current comics happenings,  the Batman -- sorta.  (Marvel Comics hasn't fared any better, having recently returned Captain America to the land of the living after making real-world headlines with their killing of the 1940's superhero a year and a half ago.)  While the soap opera style deaths of popular heroes can still make for a dramatic (and well-selling) story, their eventual and foregone resurrections become less and less meaningful as time goes on.  Though we'd argue that the killing of Big Name heroes has been more story-centered than ever before, the deaths of characters like Superman and Green Lantern in the past have been the result of their creators reaching creative dead ends. (For Marvel champions like the Avengers' Ant Man, death has been one of the character's morbid ongoing jokes.)

But with Johns' Blackest Night, which plays out its events throughout DC's line of comics, death has been given meaning, and explanations for heroic returns have become integral to story. That's the crucial element here, and Blackest Night's most important characteristic.  Both demise and resurrection of heroes have been imbued with new meaning, and  just as cleverly, the outcome of the blackest night in the DC Universe will also give new opportunity to DC's still-dead characters to once again return to new adventures.  Beyond that, DC will be immediately following up this smash event with a sequel, Brightest DayTaking that into account, as well as the cross-merchandising from Blackest Night that has given rise to best-selling action figures, tee-shirts, trade paperbacks and more, all figure in to the rationale for why Blackest Night is our Number One Hottest Property
Two collectible card games and three films - including the comics-related Iron Man 2 - make it into the Top 7 Hottest, the most recently released being director Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland from Disney Studios.  The film starring Johnny Depp has earned over $266 million in its three weeks of release, and has beaten records set by Avatar earlier this year. Burton, meanwhile, has already lined up his next two projects -- for one, he'll be teaming up with Timur Bekmambetov, his co-conspirator on the film 9, to produce a film adaptation of author Seth Grahame-Smith's newest book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  (The writer's other historically-set zombie novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, is already on its way to the Big Screen.)  For the other, Burton will direct a stop-motion animated film based on Charles Addams' original ghoulish cartoon drawings of The Addams Family.   The 3-D movie will come from Illumination Entertainment and Universal Studios, and will bear no connection to former Addams Family movies, the TV show, or the soon to be opening Broadway musical. [via]

We're beginning to understand just how much it really takes to make it into the  Top 7 Hottest, and we hope you are, too.  We also think that's why there's a certain man smiling a big yellow happy-face smile. Did you know who he was when we blogged him yesterday? He's none other than comics writer Alan Moore, father of Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and so many other medium-altering works.

While Moore's published comics since the 1986 release of Watchmen, it's Watchmen that redefined what modern comics can be and now, in 2010, what they are. Moore's contribution was to broaden comics' scope, their reach, depth, content, and maturity -- in other words, what is possible in comics, to a great, great extent. Moore's The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic, an entire treatise on magic, its history, and how to employ it (plus a whole lot more), will be published as a 320-Page Super-Deluxe Hardcover by Top Shelf Comics in 2013. (Read all about it HERE.) But it's Watchmen's magical effect - and no coming Magic book -- that still puts Alan Moore among the Top 7 Hottest.

NEWS of the BLOG will continue with Breaking News...next!

Sunday Funnies is back on the comicsblog!! Sure, it's looking a little different in a re-vamped Special Feature format.  But with Funnies have joined NEWS of the BLOG, it's time to embrace change, dabblers.  (What can we say? Corporate takeovers can be a hostile bitch.) We're short but sweet and stayin' that way. This week, we're all about hilarity   straight outta the Top 7 Hottest. Have fun, and stick around for the answer to last week's Funnies' Green Lantern challenge!
Full Frontal
Off Color
Light Politics
Where's Green Lantern?
Answering the question Ryan Dunlavey posed to us last week should be easy for the savvy dabbler (as we like to say): 'Green Lantern' is everywhere -- and every one.  Hal Jordan, a 'Green Lantern', can be found on center stage (as we'd expect), but as Geoff Johns and Pete Tomasi have shown in their respective Green Lantern titles, there are many 'ring-slingers,' and all of them importantUntil next time, viva El Dabbler!

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