The Mighty Crusaders Vol. 1

Writer: Ian Flynn

Artists: Kelsey Shannon, Alitha Martinez

Inks: Ryan Jampole, Rick Bryant

Colorists: Matt Herms, Stephen Downer

Letterers: Jack Morelli, John Workman

Cover Artist: Kelsey Shannon

Release Date: January 2, 2019

Softcover, 118 pages, full color.

Cover price $12.99 US/$14.99.

Digital price $7.99

The mightiest team of superheroes are back! A throw down with a prehistoric terror in the heart of Washington D.C. sets the stage for the dramatic return of a wayward hero! Meanwhile, half a world away, a sinister plan begins to awaken an ancient evil!

PLUS: The New Crusaders have no time to rest as a new threat attacks Impact City. Can the New Crusaders pull themselves together and avert catastrophe? Collects issues 1-4 of Mighty Crusaders and the entirety of New Crusaders: Dark Tomorrow.”

I admit it. I love the Mighty Crusaders, Archie Comics line of superheroes. First created in the sixties by Superman co-creator Jerry Seigal from Archie’s golden age line of superheroes, the Mighty Crusaders have developed a cult following but they have never been able to firmly establish themselves with the comic fandom masses, even with easter eggs in Archie’s hit teen drama, Riverdale.

The end of 2017 saw a relaunch of the Mighty Crusaders with some of the older characters, some new characters and brought forth a new team under the direction of the golden age Shield, Joe Higgins, now an elderly, crippled man called Broken Shield. The team is working under the jurisdiction of the fictitious government agency, MLJ.

The story starts in the middle of an attack on Washington D.C. by Dino Rex. The team is still learning to work together, but they manage to take care of the problem. The art is excellent and the writing is great, which is what I expect from these creators. The storyline shows how this team is slowly learning how to function as a unit, trying to deal with the threat of a new, ruthless enemy. I enjoyed the new Shield, Victoria Adams, in her own series in 2015 and it is nice to see her struggling to deal with leading a team when she is used to being a soldier doing things alone.

Old time member Steel Sterling is back and, as a fan of his, it’s nice to see him dealing with real life issues while at the same time trying to do what’s necessary to help his new team.  However, the most mysterious character is Darkling, but her subplot is somewhat limiting with just four issues to get into her backstory. So hopefully, in the future, they can flesh out more of her history and why she is on the team.

This trade paperback collects the four issue run and a bonus story of New Crusaders: Dark Tomorrow, first published digitally in 2015, now published here for the first time in print. New Crusaders was the 2012 team made up of the children of the original Crusaders. Also featuring an introduction by the writer, Ian Flynn and additional artwork, this trade paperback is a worthy addition to any comic collector’s library.

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