EXCLUSIVE: Archie Comics is known for bringing us iconic characters like Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Katy Keene, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and, of course, the red-headed heartthrob himself — all of which have been adapted to popular TV series. Archie Comics is going beyond the confines of Riverdale and diving into the vast library of superheroes with a reimagined version of Archie’s Mighty Crusaders with the help of Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld.
Archie Comics and Liefeld will reintroduce the Mighty Crusaders to a new audience via a new four-issue comic book series that will launch next year. The reimagining will pull from the library of Mighty Crusaders characters including Shield, the Comet, the Jaguar and Fly-Girl, among others.
Best-selling author-writer-artist Liefeld has been behind some of the most iconic comic book characters such as the aforementioned “Merc with a Mouth” Deadpool as well as Cable, X-Force and Brigade. He also has worked on franchise characters including Captain America, the Avengers and, most recently, G.I. Joe’s Snake Eyes.
Mighty Crusaders also will mark a step toward reintroducing Archie’s essential superhero IP to a modern readership and viewership. Known mainly for their teen humor, romance and YA-focused titles, this creative partnership will be put a spotlight on this part of the Archie library. With shows including Riverdale, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Katy Keene, the company’s untapped superhero library is ripe for an adaptation.
“When I learned that Rob — a creator of the highest caliber with a long, sterling track record — was a fan of our characters, I knew we had to act fast,” said Archie Comics CEO/Publisher Jon Goldwater. “Along with Marvel and DC, Archie Comics is one of the few media companies with an entire catalog of superheroes dating back to the earliest days of comics that are beloved and bursting with potential. I knew right away that Rob Liefeld was the person to make them shine again. This series will remind people why these characters matter, and put them in the A-list, where they have always belonged.”
Said Liefeld: “I’ve been chomping at the bit to work with the folks at Archie and do something with these legendary characters. The Shield is the first patriotic comic book icon, pre-dating Captain America. These are the original comic book super heroes, with a glorious history behind them. I’m so psyched to tell this story and turn my fans on to these characters!”
Added Archie Comics Co-President, Alex Segura. “Rob’s work has always been dynamic, in terms of storytelling, action, character, and style. One of my earliest comic book memories was picking up a copy of X-Force #1 and being completely enamored. To have Rob bring that same energy and fearless creativity to Archie’s stable of superhero characters is a dream come true. I’m so excited for people to read these stories, and to show everyone why heroes like the Shield, Jaguar, Comet, Fly-Girl, and others matter more today than ever before.”
The Mighty Crusaders first appeared in issues of Fly-Man in 1965 before receiving its own series written by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel. The superhero team was introduced during the golden age of the Avengers and the Justice League of America at Marvel and DC. The title was canceled and then revived in 1983 before it relaunched again in 1992.
Check out the preview of the reimagined Mighty Crusaders below.