7:00am PT by Graeme McMillan
Archie Launching New Superhero Team Comic 'Mighty Crusaders' (Exclusive)
New heroes are coming from an unexpected space.
Not content with dominating the romantic comedy genre and successfully staking a claim to horror with Afterlife With Archie and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Archie Comics is looking at a surprising new space with a series launching this November: the superhero mainstream.
The Mighty Crusaders revives a title created by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel in 1965, and follows similar revivals of Archie-owned superhero characters like the Black Hood and the Hangman in recent years under the company's Dark Circle imprint, and launches a new superhero team into the world that's "a bit bigger" than what the imprint has seen before, according to Archie CEO and Publisher Jon Goldwater. The aim? "To tell fun, widescreen superheroics," he promises.
"We wanted to create a book that’s accessible, not mired in a million crossovers and part of a bigger, unfolding story," Goldwater tells Heat Vision about the upcoming series. "For that, we enlisted [writer] Ian Flynn, who’s done a lot of marvelous work for us and has a history with the Crusaders. On art, we have Kelsey Shannon, who did some nice work on the Josie and the Pussycats book recently and has a really clear, modern and welcoming style."
The result is something squarely aimed at contemporary superhero readers — and maybe some fans who have been scared away from other publishers because of the amount of knowledge needed to follow the story. Goldwater called the series "a lynchpin book that we hope will lead to more spinoffs and expansion for the Dark Circle universe," promising, "You don’t need a PhD in comics to hop onboard. Everything is explained in the first issue. These are beloved, iconic characters and it’s time we dust them off and let them shine for what they are — amazing superhero properties that deserve a bigger spotlight."
"The Mighty Crusaders is one of those dream projects that you always hope for but never dare expect will actually happen," artist Kelsey Shannon told THR. "The best of the golden age through the lens of the present. That grand scale spectacle and boundless imagination of the great old comics past mixed with the attention to character and emotional realism that we all come to expect from the stories we choose to invest ourselves in today."
Writer Flynn added, "I’m really excited to return to the Dark Circle heroes and pit them against the greatest challenges they’ve ever faced. I think fans of the classic and newer Crusaders will enjoy our new, high-paced approach to their world!"
The Mighty Crusaders No. 1 launches in December. Stay tuned to Heat Vision on Tuesday for more of our conversation with Goldwater — and news of another all-new Archie series.