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Archie Comics To Launch Digital Subscription Service With New Red Circle Super-Hero Stories

Archie Comics will revive its former stable of Red Circle imprint super-heroes this spring via a monthly digital subscription service that will give users access to both new, regularly released six-page stories and an archive of previously-published Red Circle comics. Archie Co-Chief Executive Jon Goldwater said the subscription fee for the service, which is powered by iVerse, would be comparable to cost of a current single issue comic.

According to The New York Times, the new super-hero series, New Crusaders, will be written and illustrated by Archie’s Sonic the Hedgehog veterans Ian Flynn and Ben Bates. The book will star a team of young legacy heroes — lead by the team’s former head, the Shield — who take over for their aging superheroic relatives after their suburban community, the Red Circle, is attacked by villains. Goldwater compared the tone of the new series to The Incredibles and made it clear that readers won’t have to read th former Red Circle titles to understand the new series.

Archie co-chief executive Jon Goldwater also compared the digital subscription strategy to using Netflix, and stated that the service will gives users access to “thousands and thousands” of pages of content.From NYT:

The price, which has not been set, is another important consideration. “Value, value, value. That’s what we want to give at Archie Comics,” said Mr. Goldwater, who said he expected the subscription fee to be no more expensive than a regular comic book ($2.99 or $3.99). “We’re very conscious of what’s going on in the economy right now. We want to be recession busters. We don’t want to gouge our fans.”

It’s a bit unclear whether the upcoming digital subscription service will include the licensed Red Circle books published by DC in the ’90s through its Impact line, and/or the 2009-2010 books that were in the process of being folded into the main DCU. It doesn’t seem likely that content that directly crossed over with the DCU will be included, but stranger things have happened.

UPDATE: Archie has confirmed that the Impact books will eventually be accessible in the subscription service archives.

Check out the first piece of New Crusaders art work below:

[Via NYT]

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