This has been a weird week in comic book news--mostly slow (but with the occasional really big story in the wasteland), following on the heels of a full week of controversy and consternation last week--and then a slow weekend, which has given us time to collect up some of the big stories of the week and share them with our readers as a kid of recap of the week that's been. Check 'em out below. This week, we spoke with a couple of our favorite creators about their comics that were released on Wednesday; Fred Van Lente talked to us about the end of the "Far Faraway" storyline in Valiant's Archer & Armstrong, while Terry Moore discussed the latest issue of Rachel Rising. We also spoke with BOOM! Studios CEO Ross Richie about the state of comics; he told us that not only is BOOM! stronger than ever following the acquisition of Archaia but that one of the biggest challenges they face is actually one that fans should be happy with: "There has never been a time in comic book history when there's been so many good comics and they're coming from everyone. It's incredible. I love it as a consumer because I have a big reading stack and it's a lot of fun," Richie told us. "But at a core, competitive level, what we have to do is we have to execute better because everybody's pull list is strained and everybody is looking to drop a title...."
The week started with Marvel Comics announcing their long-awaited "second stage" of Marvel NOW!, now called "All-New Marvel Now," which will roll out in December with new titles from James Robinson (All-New Invaders) and Matt Fraction (Inhumanity), as well as a new arc on Avengers and some new perks like Marvel giving out free, digital-only "catch-up" packages away in certain titles. They also managed to finally come to a settlement that will stop the ongoing legal wrangling between Marvel/Disney and Ghost Rider co-creator Gary Friedrich. And they announced that Infinity #1, which sold around 250,000 copies, became the first Marvel Comic of 2013 to generate $1 million in retail revenue. Best-selling writer Warren Ellis announced his return to monthly Marvel Comics, too; he'll be working on Avengers Assemble with regular series writer Kelly Sue DeConnick in December. The news wasn't all good for Marvel fans, though; Flash Thompson's days as Venom may be nearing an end after his title was recently cancelled, and now his brother from another spider-egg mother, Kaine the Scarlet Spider, doesn't have a title to call home either.
While that was happening, DC Comics's solicitations came out, and we found out that Geoff Johns's final issue of Aquaman has already been solicited, and Jeff Parker will take over with December's #25. Also getting a creative team change at the end of the year will be The Flash, which will feature a fill-in team in December before a new announcement comes, probably just in time for the character to appear on Arrow this fall. DC's versatile writer/inker Jimmy Palmiotti, whose Harley Quinn #0 had been at the center of a controversy after the publisher released a "talent search" contest asking amateur artists to draw a page that depicted the title character trying to kill herself, issued a statement taking the blame for the poor choice of page. "That the tryout Harley Quinn page went out without an overall description of tone and dialogue is all my fault," Palmiotti wrote. "I should have put it clearly in the description that it was supposed to be a dream sequence with Amanda and I talking to Harley and giving her a hard time. I should have also mentioned we were thinking a Mad magazine /Looney Tunes approach was what we were looking for. We thought it was obvious with the whale and chicken suit, and so on, but learned it was not. I am sorry for those who took offense, our intentions were always to make this a fun and silly book that broke the 4th wall, and head into issue 1 with a ongoing story/adventure that is a lot like the past Power Girl series we did. I hope all the people thinking the worst of us can now understand that insulting or making fun of any kind was never our intention. I also hope that they can all stop blaming DC Comics for this since It was my screw up. The idea for the page to find new talent is an amazing one and we hope that can be the positive that comes forward from today on…that we get some new talent working in our field because of this unique opportunity."
That didn't stop a number of psychiatric organizations from taking aim at the publisher, though, and ultimately DC Comics issued their own apology for the incident. Monkeybrain Comics's Dan Goldman gave fans their first look at the future of Red Light Properties, while veteran comics scribe Tom Peyer showed off the distant past of Flash Thompson. The long-awaited Dredd comic book sequel, which will run in the pages of 2000 AD's Judge Dredd Megazine, will begin on Wednesday in a story written by Arthur Wyatt and drawn by Henry Flint.