Archie Comics has developed a reputation for doing the unexpected and somehow pulling it off. The wholesome publisher pipped Marvel and DC to the lead in launching an ongoing book with a gay teen protagonist in Kevin Keller; it broke with the conventions of comic book continuity with its attention-grabbing Archie Marries... books; and it successfully brought zombies to Riverdale with its critically and commercially successful Afterlife With Archie books, potentially kicking off a new line of horror books.
So it feels in keeping with that spirit that Archie Comics announced yesterday that it plans to relaunch its cheery (and under-exposed) Red Circle superhero line as 'Dark Circle,' a line of adult-oriented series with the sophisticated narrative ambitions of HBO or Showtime. It's certainly unexpected. Can Archie Comics pull it off?
Each week, ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims and Matt Wilson host the War Rocket Ajax podcast, their online audio venue for interviews with comics creators, reviews of the books of the week, and whatever else they want to talk about. ComicsAlliance is offering clips of the comics-specific segments of the show several days before the full podcast goes up at WarRocketAjax.com on Mondays.
This week, Chris and Matt dig deep into talking about DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio as a businessman and as a comics creator in their discussion of his new series with Keith Giffen, Infinity Man and the Forever People. Then they pivot to talk about two great starting-point issues in the middle of series runs: Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson's Astro City #13, and Ian Flynn and Jamal Peppers' Mega Man #37.
It isn't yet clear just how Archie Andrews will exit this mortal coil in the "Death of Archie" story starting in next month's Life with Archie #36, but one thing that's pretty clear is that the cover art is going to be pretty spectacular.
Archie Comics unveiled most of the covers for issues #36 and #37, which feature illustrations from artists such as Fiona Staples, Francesco Francavilla, Walt Simonson and Jill Thompson back in April, but Adam Hughes' cover wasn't finished yet. Now it is, and it's a moody, evocative image centering on a glass of soda left with no one to drink it. Is it perhaps a clue that Archie died of kidney stones or type-2 diabetes? That we'll have to wait to find out, but we can all see the full cover right now.
This week, Chris and Matt talk about how much they love Big Trouble in Little China, and how much they enjoyed the first issue of the new comic sequel by Eric Powell and Brian Churilla in spite of some art hiccups; then it's on to Nailbiter #2 by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson; and finally they discuss the first volume of Afterlife With Archie by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla.
Although Archie's core line of kid-friendly titles has been grabbing its share of headlines lately, the company's biggest critical and commercial success over the past year has undoubtedly been Afterlife With Archie, the moody, adult-oriented story of how the zombie apocalypse hits Riverdale. Created by Francesco Francavilla and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the book has been hailed by fans and critics, and with that kind of praise, it was pretty much inevitable that they'd expand the line with another similar title.
Now, they have. This week, Archie announced Chilling Adventures ofSabrina, an ongoing series about everyone's favorite teen witch, from Afterlife writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Robert Hack.
Over the past few years, Archie Comics has been making a pretty concerted effort to add a little diversity to what has traditionally been a pretty homogenous setting. Characters like Chuck Clayton and Ginger Lopez have been around for a while, but over the past few years Riverdale has added more than a handful of new students to Riverdale High, with the most notable by far being Kevin Keller.
Now, in next month's Archie #656, writer/artist Dan Parent is taking the next step in what CEO Jon Goldwater describes as an effort "to make Riverdale feel like a city in today’s world" by introducing Riverdales newest resident, Veronica's cousin Harper, a "spunky fashionista" with hot pink streaks in her hair and a matching wheelchair.
Even though they met in the 1994 Mega Man animated series, it's been almost 20 years since Mega Man and his future counterpart Mega Man X crossed paths. Next Wednesday, Capcom's Blue Bombers correct crossover course in Archie Comics's Mega Man #37 by writer Ian Flynn and artists Jamal Peppers, Gary Martin, John Workman and Matt Herms. The new storyline builds on previously released MMX backup stories and gives fans an updated take on why and how Dr. Light's most heroic androids become timecrossed allies with common foes. Lots of common foes. We got a quick look at some line art back in March, but now Archie's ready to reveal some pages in full color. Click past the cut for what Chris Sims refers to as "The Crossover Event of 20XX".
If you are of a certain age, you may recall the feeling of being really excited for Mega Man 3, while also being very, very confused about the game's plot. Not the thing with the eight killer robots and their weapons that you needed to get, we were all used to that by that point, but definitely the thing about how Dr. Wily had "reformed" and everyone was just totally cool with him building a gigantic "peacekeeping" robot with lasers and ninja stars. I mean, if you try to destroy the world twice and somehow still regain the trust of the people, that must have been a heck of a trial to prove your innocence.
And now, we get to see exactly how that goes down. In Mega Man #36, Ian Flynn, POWREE, Gary Martin, John Workman and Matt Herms finally reveal the story of how Dr. Wily was cleared of all charges, including two counts of Attempted Murder Of Literally Everyone. Check out a preview below!
What is assuredly the weirdest sentence I'll have written in all my years at this website: Archie Andrews will heroically sacrifice his life to save that of a deae friend in the penultimate issue of Life With Archie in July.
Here at ComicsAlliance, we're big fans of Archie'sMega Man series, but ever since the series started, we've been wondering when -- not if, but when -- they were going to get around to introducing Mega Man's far future counterpart, Mega Man X. It's been hinted at in the series, both in the main storyline and in backup stories, but now, we know for sure that the two video game heroes of different eras are going to meet.
In this summer's Mega Man #37, the two robot-fightin' robots are going to team up in "Dawn of X," a four-part crossover where 8-bit and 16-bit collide, courtesy of Ian Flynn, Jamal Peppers, Gary Martin, John Workman and Matt Herms. Check out some early art from the story below!
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