If you're not following the events of The Black Hood: Season 2, the flagship title of Archie's gritty Dark Circle imprint, you've been missing a pretty thrilling story. After leaving Philadelphia to escape the crimes he committed as a vigilante, Greg Hettinger is being lured back by a villain called Nobody, who has vowed to undo every good thing Hettinger has done, working backwards down the timeline of people he's saved and committing exponentially worse crimes. Like, say, poisoning an entire steak house full of people just to make his point. Check out the preview to see the action for yourself!
Hey, you kids are all about the Revolutionary War these days, right? Like, super into Federalist Papers and Hercules Mulligan and all that? Great, because I have some good news for you: Not only is Archie's rebooted version of the Shield back in action with one of the best costume redesigns of the past few years, but it's also taking you into the origins of comics' first patriotic superhero. And it is not the origin you might expect. Check out a preview.
When Archie's Dark Circle imprint relaunched The Shield back in October, it did it with a pretty interesting premise. Victoria Adams is the Shield, and in a twist playing off the Shield's status as the first "patriotic" hero in comics, her career fighting for the United States of America goes all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, she's got a touch of the amnesia, and is being hunted by her enemies.
But aside from the story, it also brought a great new design for the character, and when the second issue finally drops on February 17, some of our all-time favorite artists are going to be taking a shot at it, including "The Dude" Steve Rude and Evan "Doc" Shaner, along with the nicknameless Wilfredo Torres and David Williams. Check it out right here, along with a preview!
Whenever Archie brings up the Shield, the classic superhero originally created by Harry Shorten and Irv Novick back in 1940, they're almost always pretty quick to mention that the original version was "the first patriotic superhero." Now, it looks like the reboot is going to take that epithet to a pretty literal extreme.
When Adam Christopher, Chuck Wendig, Drew Johnson, Rachel Deering and Kelly Fitzpatrick relaunch the Shield as part of the Dark Circle imprint later this month, the spotlight will be on a new version of the character, Victoria Adams. The new incarnation certainly feels modern, but unlike her predecessors, she's going to have a long, long history of defending the United States of America --- a history that goes all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Check out a preview.
Poor Greg Hettinger. Ever since Duane Swierczynski and Michael Gaydos relaunched The Black Hood as the flagship title of Archie's Dark Circle line, he's been having a pretty rough time. He's been shot in the face with a shotgun, gotten hooked on painkillers, and taken up a new life as a masked vigilante that, in all honesty, does not seem to be working out that well for him. It's almost enough to make you forgive his shocking penchant for profanity.
But, as is usually the case with these things, the next issue is going to see it get even worse, with his secret identity exposed, a ticking clock on the complete ruination of his life, and, you know, that thing where he's getting punched and stabbed a whole bunch. It all kicks off with a fight to the death in a Philly cemetery, and you can check that out in our preview!
Before Archie Comics announced their intentions to relaunch a handful of their old superhero properties in a new line called "Dark Circle" — but not too long before — Dean Haspiel, Mark Waid and company revived one of those characters in their five-part Fox miniseries that ran from 2013-2014. An all-around excellent series from one of the most reliable writers in the field and an amazing artist who just doesn't get enough opportunities to prove how good he is at drawing superheroes, that first Fox series proved that Archie superhero comics could be just as good — or even far better — than many of those produced by the genre's two leading publishers.
There's every reason to believe that the overall quality of The Fox, and its rather warm reception by readers and critics, had more than a little to do with the creation of Dark Circle. For further, more concrete proof, look no further than the fact that a new Haspiel and Waid ongoing Fox series is part of the new line.
Duane Swierczynski is the man who made Archie Comics cuss.
When the company relaunches its superhero line as Dark Circle, the flagship title will be The Black Hood, in which Swierczynski and artist Michael Gaydos, co-creator of Alias, reinvent the character in an incredibly violent mature readers crime story focused on Greg Hettinger, a cop who gets injured in the line of duty while taking down a vigilante, and takes on the identity of the Black Hood in order to deal with the pain, frustration and rage that wells up as a result of his accident.
It's a brutal story that fits right in with Swierczynski's other work on books like Judge Dredd and Punisher, and as a result, it's also a pretty big departure from Archie's usual offerings, even in a time when the company is reinventing itself with critically acclaimed horror comics and a push for a more realistic Riverdale. To find out more, I spoke to Swierczynski to talk about the origins of the Black Hood as a hero for the bad side of Philadelphia, how far Hettinger has to fall, and, maybe most importantly, Swierczynski's own place in history as the first writer to work the F-bomb into an Archie book.
In a time that's seeing Archie take huge steps forward in expanding its line into horror titles and more serious takes on everyone's favorite small-town teens, the publisher seems to be putting as much as it can into a new line: Dark Circle.
The line was announced last year, anchored by Duane Swierczynski and Michael Gaydos's mature-readers take on The Black Hood, Adam Christopher, Chuck Wendig and Wilfredo Torres's new redesign for The Shield, and Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid's return to the bizarre adventures of The Fox. Today, Archie revealed that it will support the titles through digital platforms that also feature older takes on the characters. To find out more, I spoke to editor Alex Segura about the new direction for the characters and how they're different from previous attempts, the fate of the New Crusaders that were relaunched only a few years ago, and whether Archie's continued move into other genres means that Riverdale's days are numbered.
Interviews, panel appearances, fan mail -- artists and writers understandably get much of the focus when we talk about professionals in the American comics industry. But beyond the front lines there's a whole host of people working hard to keep the business running: accountants, lawyers, publicists, librarians, production staff and many others. Most of these people don't have the opportunity to talk about their work with the people who read the comics they help put in their hands, but the work they do is important -- often integral -- to this industry. Whether it's making sure creators get paid, designing logos, or even planning a convention, these people affect how the whole package of our industry comes together.
In the first of what we've planned as a series of spotlights on the behind-the-scenes comics pros, we're speaking with Alex Segura, Archie Comics' Senior Vice President - Publicity and Marketing. Segura started his career in comics as a journalist but has spent nearly a decade doing publicity at DC Comics and Archie, the latter of which has been especially praised by this site and others for revitalizing its brand. One of the architects of the new Archie Comics, Segura sat down with us to talk about how he ended up as a publicist and what exactly that job entails.
Archie Comics is on the move. Afterlife with Archie, the horror take on the Riverdale gang, garners acclaim wherever it goes -- after an initial “wait, the comics they sell at Stop N’ Shop?” double take, of course. Its sister book, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, promises to take the teen witch to the heights of 1960s-style psychological horror. Lena Dunham, fresh off her book tour, will pen a series for Archie in 2015. The publisher's new imprint, Dark Circle, will revive classic superheroes. Even dear old Riverdale is getting a shakeup, from Archie’s recent death in the Life With Archie series to a recently announced TV show.
Though the gang’s teen shenanigans endure in every checkout line, their universe stretches far beyond the confines of Pep and Pals n’ Gals. As the publisher’s future grows ever more crowded with plans and announcements, ComicsAlliance sat down with CEO Jon Goldwater and chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to discuss how they plan to honor their past while building a bold new future.