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THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS Writer Says It Will Combine Old Archie Comics and New

There’s a tradition in superhero comics of heroes uniting as a team to battle threats too big for them to fight alone. Marvel has The Avengers, DC has The Justice League and, in the world of Archie Comics, there’s The Mighty Crusaders. These characters have been in Archie’s stable since the beginning of the superhero genre and they’ve seen their fair share of rebirths, relaunches, and reimaginings. With all their recent success–perhaps you’ve heard of a little series called Riverdale–Archie Comics has decided it’s time to get back into the tights and fights game with writer Ian Flynn and artist Kelsey Shannon. That’s right, The Mighty Crusaders #1 is launching later this year and we got the scoop on the new series right from the source.

The Mighty Crusaders #1 from Archie Comics

As Ian Flynn told Nerdist, “Fans of the classic stories and New Crusaders will feel like they’re in familiar territory, but this will be a fresh experience for everyone.” This isn’t Flynn’s first time working on these characters, as he was the writer on the New Crusaders series a few years back. But that’s not Flynn’s only experience with this band of misfits and heroes. “One of my earliest memories is of a toy commercial for Mighty Crusaders action figures and being like, ‘I want those!'” he said. “I’m a bit partial to the 1980s era, but all incarnations have something to love about them.”

It’s clear from some of the recently released art that there’s a fair amount of legacy at play in The Mighty Crusaders. It appears that old and new versions of these characters have a place in the series as well as entirely new designs. “’Legacy’ is, for me, a large part of the book,” Flynn said. “It won’t necessarily be in the forefront, but it’s what’s helped shape the world and the cast as they are. There will be one inter-generational relationship that plays big early on though.”

The last time we saw some of these characters was during the Dark Circle Comics run, which was sorta, well, dark. Bleak, brutal stuff, really. We had to wonder, what sort of tone would The Mighty Crusaders take? Is this a grim and dark superhero tale or a fantastical all-ages adventure? “This is about middle of the road between the two–think PG to PG-13 for movies or Teen for video games,” Flynn said. He also noted that the world the characters inhabited would be somewhat grounded, but still big and exciting. “On the surface, it’s very much like our regular, modern world. Superheroes first began to arise in earnest in the 1960s, and the battle for peace has lasted for decades. Superheroes are familiar sights but are still like celebrities to most people. That said, there are much larger forces at work, and hopefully, we’ll be able to delve into that stuff down the line.”

While you wait for The Mighty Crusaders #1, we’ve got an exclusive look at some of Kelsey Shannon’s new character designs, which you can check out below–we have to say, they all look pretty awesome. In fact, when we asked Flynn to tell us which character was his favorite, he flat-out refused. “I can’t play favorites! When approaching a team book like this, I want to find something cool about each character so none of them feel like dead weight. The problem there is each one is begging for more page time. I’d elaborate, but we don’t have room for me to pitch a spin-off for every single hero.”

Fair enough, Ian. But we’d like to hear about some of those spin-offs sooner, rather than later, okay? We’re hoping this relaunch of The Mighty Crusaders sticks, because it looks fantastic.

Images: Archie Comics



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