The GeeksverseNew Crusaders #1-5 (Or 1-2 depending on how you count)

New Crusaders #1-5 (Or 1-2 depending on how you count)
Published on Saturday, December 8, 2012 by

Archie, Red Circle, !mpact, DC, no matter what happens to the classic golden age characters I seem to smile and enjoy at least parts of it. Nostalgia probably accounts for part of my love affair. I grew up on the short lived !mpact imprint and enjoyed the characters. I’ve read parts of the pricey early golden age heroes and they are fairly stock tales contemporary to their time. I’m still trying to decide if Archie’s revamp is new or not. The New Crusaders may have been around for decades but they are a fun set of characters. The archetypes seem familiar. The powers seem familiar. The team book concept is familiar. Even the passing of the mantles is familiar by now. Because/Despite/Inspite this is a fun read.

Archie comics is king of all ages comics so it should not be surprising that they are putting out another fine book. Sadly, after the gritty 90s the bloodlust of grit seems to over shadow wholesome family comics in the marketplace. Most comic shops stock short supplies of the Riverdale tales, more of Sonic and Friends, and stock odd titles like New Crusaders sporadically. So, this may be a great title that you have missed.

If you have missed it then seek it out.

Archie delivered a true digital first comic experience. Installments of this new New Crusader has been available by subscription for quite a while. The online subscription also provides access to nearly every other comic Archie used these characters in over the years. Besides a few DC contract appearances—like my beloved !mpact—Archie’s subscription provides a bang for the buck.

Only now are these stories hitting print.

Yet it is still possible that you have missed them.

Even after the convention circuit and releasing posters, cards, and special give away editions, people are still missing this comic. Shame.

Ian Flynn delivers a great comic book. He has proved in the pages of Sonic and Megaman that he can take beloved properties and create an awesome new book. He has also proved in all corners of Archie that he can handle an all ages book. He is a great writer for this new adventure from this old title.

I have previously reviewed the give away editions and Episode 1 the beginning of this new series. I won’t rehash the full review but I will point out that it is a dynamic start establishing old and new characters and an old threat that changes their lives. It is an explosive return of a villain most casual readers wouldn’t know but it makes sense. The medias res beginning worked well. Issues later and I am still thinking fondly of that earlier title.

I do want to overview the rest of the series to help catch everyone up to speed.

Episode 1 Part III

Run for your lives. The new heroes are just trying to survive. Heroes past their prime and in party gear are trying to save their children, wards, and mentees. They are facing a blast from the past and are completely caught by surprise. Except for Shield whose paranoia just became preparation.

Episode 1 Part IV

Shield shifts from protector to defender. Sure, the first time these young people met this man they are locked in a room while he slips into a star spangled outfit. I could see why they are skeptical.

The comic being released in small bites online has an odd pacing. The print version collects the four parts into an appropriate length comic story. The normal full sized pacing may seem faster than some mainstream comics, but this has a nice resolution. Shield saves the kids, momentarily thwarts the bad guy and then realizes how alone he now is. Cliffhanger. Bum, bum, ba dum.

Episode 2 Part I

The start of a new print issue, this online part picks up in the ruins of the last issue. A new generation must rise. Seriously, if you were just running for your life, locked away, and then discovered everyone you knew might be dead..would you feel heroic? The bite sized 9 page installment explores what happens when the world thinks your home was destroyed by a freak weather pattern and you haven’t quite come to grips with the idea of a real life super villain. How would teens really react?

Sure, we all know what Batman or Robin would do, but what would normal people do? Freak out seems to be step one. When the suits show up and start bossing you around would that be enough reason to be a hero?

Episode 2 Part II

Foster homes. Spider-Man didn’t have to deal with the threat of foster homes. Wayne Manor and Alfred kept Bruce from languishing in a government facility.

“Stupid as hell” is not how I’d describe an elevator tucked into a closet, but it sets up a classic “you don’t know what hell is” line that seem ubiquitous to action movies and comics. It also uses the words stupid and hell if you are closely monitoring those types of words in your kids comics. I don’t remember Archie being able to say that to Josie.

The artwork by Ben Bates is not my favorite. The sparse art provides a modern Saturday morning cartoon look. Perhaps it is why I can picture this as a cartoon, it probably looks good when read on a phone, but isn’t my favorite. That should not detract from the overall idea that this is well executed artwork.

Joe Higgins, the Shield’s alter identity, is still one of my favorite characters. This is an older version of the character that readers have had in the past. The grey haired hero still seems more than capable and fit. His role in the Crusaders might have changed but he is up to new challenges…those challenges are far from babysitting. Can Higgins handle getting these kids to accept a surprising legacy?

Tune in next time true believers…sometimes the classics just feel right.

This would make a great Saturday morning cartoon. It would be great to be on TV when I step off of a school bus. It is a great story that I wouldn’t be surprised to see jump media in the future. At the moment, you need to catch up and check it out. After these issues review, this is still an accessible all ages title, that you should be buying. This holiday season, ask your local comic shop retailer to stock these as stocking stuffers for your loved ones of all ages.

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