Axel-In-Charge: Facing the 'Divided' Marvel NOW! Future
Welcome to “Report Card,” our new week-in-review feature. If “Cheat Sheet” is your guide to the week ahead, “Report Card” is a look back at the top news stories of the previous week, as well as a look at the Robot 6 team’s favorite comics that we read.
So read on to find out what we thought of Hawkeye #11, the second issues of Green Team and The Wake, SpongeBob Comics Annual #1: Super-Giant Swimtacular and much more.
We start this week’s recap with two health updates. First up, comics writer and editor Joe Pruett, founder of Desperado Publishing, is out of the hospital after suffering a minor stroke earlier this week. Several comic creators took to Twitter to provide updates on his condition; Ron Marz tweeted on Thursday that “he’s heading home from the hospital. Good news, it seems, more as I know it.”
Pruett served as creative director of Caliber Press and editor of its Negative Burn anthology in the 1990s, then went on to write several issues of Marvel’s Cable and X-Men Unlimited. In 2004, he founded Desperado Publishing and, initially in partnership with Image Comics, revived Negative Burn and released such series as Flaming Carrot, Hatter M, Deadworld, Roundeye and The Revenant. Pruett most recently contributed a story to IDW Publishing’s Rocketeer Adventures, and has been collaborating on a project with artist Michael Gaydos.
Meanwhile, Peter David provided an update on his own post-stroke recovery; the X-Factor, Young Justice and Hulk writer suffered a stroke in December.
Almost six months later, David said on his blog that he’ll be done with therapy next week. “I am done with physical therapy and next Tuesday is my last occupational therapy,” he said. “My right shoulder still hurts and my endurance is not remotely what it was, but I am working to return to normal. It continues to be a long path, but with the relentless support of my wife and friends, at least I’m able to walk it.”
BOOM Studios and Archaia announced on Monday that they plan to merge. The new company will keep the name BOOM! Studios, while Archaia will be an imprint within the company (joining Kaboom! and BoomTown, it seems).
“I think the similarities in our philosophy are what drew us together,” said BOOM! founder Ross Richie. “Archaia participates with their creators in new original creations, which is a core tenet shared with BOOM!. The comic book industry has been polarized far too long by publishers who own their properties and don’t share their success with creators. We don’t believe that a relationship with creators has to be adversarial, and I think that’s something we’ve proven with the massive success Steven Grant has had with 2 Guns.”
As Corey Blake noted on Wednesday, BOOM! Studios appears to be keeping Archaia intact as much as possible, even retaining executives and other personnel that could potentially be seen as redundant. “My hope is that Archaia will exist similar to the way Vertigo traditionally has at DC Comics, and will be given the autonomy and freedom to release the kinds of material it does best,” Blake said.
Marvel and Gary Friedrich will head to court on Nov. 4 to determine who owns the character Ghost Rider. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest made the order a little more than two weeks after the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals overturned her 2011 decision rejecting Friedrich’s claims that the copyright to the character reverted to him a decade earlier.
Toymakers Mattel and writer Donald Glut, who wrote the Masters of the Universe minicomics that accompanied the toyline of the same name, have taken their battle to court as well. The toymaker says that the writer suddenly came forward this year to claim he created the characters and owns the copyrights, and merely licensed them to the company.
Mattel seeks a declaration that it is the sole owner of the lucrative multimedia franchise, asserting that Glut’s four stories were work for hire. Mattel refers to the writer’s claims of ownership as “both baseless and stale,” insisting the statute of limitations long ago expired.