Writer Keryl Brown Ahmed charts a new legacy for the Silver Age superhero in February!

November 9, 2023 — One of the most dynamic superheroes in the Archie Comics roster—the ferociously powerful JAGUAR—returns in a new action-packed one-shot adventure this February! Written by Keryl Brown Ahmed (Big Ethel Energy) with art by Tango (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), the comic charts a new direction for Ivette Velez, the most recent hero to assume the mantle of The Jaguar, whose legacy dates to the Silver Age of comics.

“The character’s long history and many iterations provided a great creative foundation for me while also leaving plenty of room to explore The Jaguar’s character in ways that felt exciting and authentic,” Ahmed said. “I’m very grateful to Archie Comics for entrusting me with her, and I’m excited to see where she goes next!”

In the new one-shot, Ivette, a zoologist, is called to Peru to investigate a mysterious predator killing off wild cats, but she soon finds herself in its sights instead. The story serves as both an introduction to the character for new readers and a follow-up to Ivette’s adventures chronicled in the 2012 series NEW CRUSADERS, where she debuted in a story by writer Ian Flynn and artist Ben Bates. THE JAGUAR follows last year’s BOB PHANTOM by writer James III and next month’s DARKLING by writer Sarah Kuhn in reviving Archie superheroes for a new generation.

“When bringing these classic superheroes back to life, it’s our mission to handle each one with care, crafting a story that balances enough familiarity for readers who are aware of the character, with a clear jumping-on point for new readers that we hope turn into new fans,” said Archie Comics Senior Director of Editorial Jamie L. Rotante. “The Jaguar is a spiritual successor to Darkling and Bob Phantom; all origin stories that are less about our heroes discovering their powers, and more about understanding what having these powers means.”

The Jaguar first appeared in 1961’s ADVENTURES OF THE JAGUAR #1 as Ralph Hardy, in a story by writer Robert Bernstein and artist John Rosenberger. Ralph, an archaeologist and zoologist, discovers a magical totem in Peru granting him animalistic powers and senses. In NEW CRUSADERS, Ralph passed the mantle to Ivette, and in Ahmed’s new story, her powers are reconciled with her ancestry.

“I took the opportunity to address the provenance of The Jaguar’s powers and how they’re Ivette’s birthright even before Hardy bestows the Jaguar suit upon her, whereas Hardy sort of stumbled upon them on his travels,” Ahmed explained. “Ivette’s destiny may have been written by her ancestors, but she feels so disconnected from her Peruvian heritage that she has to literally walk the halls of their civilization to fully activate the powers within her.”

Given the character’s rich history spanning several milestone eras of superhero comics, Tango drew on classic superhero action for inspiration when developing the comic’s dramatic visuals and updated look for the characters. “There’s nothing I love more than really getting to dig in on the physicality of the characters,” they said. “The thing that excited me the most about the project was finding the roots of the Crusaders brand stretch all the way back to the days of Alex Toth and Steve Ditko. Those names hold a real sense of reverence. So, contributing in any way to the timeline of these characters came with a very real sense of responsibility for me.”

THE JAGUAR, with a cover by Maria Sanapo, an open-to-order variant cover by Reiko Murakami, colors by Ellie Wright, and lettering by Jack Morelli, releases February 21, 2024 and will be available for pre-order from comics shops starting Friday, November 17.

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