The Holidays are upon as, and the year is basically gone. And as you know by now, that mean that here at ComicsAlliance, we're looking back at the best that comics had to offer in 2016. So here, to give you warm feeling as you head into your holiday weekend, are the best Archie Comics covers of the year.
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.
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.
The first three ongoing titles in Archie Comics' new Dark Circle line of superhero comics have been announced, and they offer an immediate glimpse of the diversity of the range, with one offbeat comedy book, one violent noir book, and what looks like a fairly classic legacy superhero story.
Duane Swierczynski and Michael Gaydos tackle noir in The Black Hood; Mark Waid and Dean Haspiel return for more of The Fox; and novelists Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig join artist Wilfredo Torres on The Shield. All three titles have promise, but they paint a slightly different picture of the line than the forbidding 'Dark Circle' umbrella might have lead readers to expect!
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?