Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The New Crusaders: Rise of the Heroes #1

We have one more guest review from the prolific Glen Davis - today he takes a look at the latest version of an old favorite.

Archie Comics were originally called MLJ back in the Golden Age, and they had all the same sorts of comic features as everybody else.

They had a full complement of superheroes, including The Shield, probably their most famous of the long underwear crowd, known for being the first patriotic hero, predating Captain America.

When Archie came along he took over the Shield's book and the entire line of comics, but the MLJ heroes were never quite forgotten.

Ever so often the company tries to revive their hero line. In the '50s they tried with the Fly and a different version of The Shield, Lancelot Strong. In the '60s they tried again with High Camp Superheroes, influenced by the Batman TV Show and the Marvel explosion. There was a lot of weirdness and a lot of squabbling superheroes.

In the '80s they tried yet again with Red Cicle and even launched a toy line. In the '90s they tried to license the characters to DC with !mpact Comics. They tried something similar just last year.

And now they are trying again.

This volume features Archie-like art, making it different from most of the marketplace. It opens with a reunion of the older heroes, who bring younger people they are hoping to bring into the fold with them. The reunion is attacked and it's up to the young folks to take over the mantle of hero.

There's a little bit of back-up material featuring The Shield dating back to the '80s.

A good first issue that set up the premise, and keeps things open for expansion. I'm hoping to see Blackjack, Hangman, Inferno, Firefly, Black Hood, Captain Flag, and yes, even Bob Phantom.

Grade: A-


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