Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett looks at the surprising news coming out of Archie.
Due diligence compels me to point out a couple of things. First, except for a small cadre of hardcore collectors, these characters have never been either “beloved” or “iconic,” and since 1965 there have been five separate attempts to revive them, all of which have failed. And seeing as how comic book sales are down and the direct sales market is saturated with superheroes, I might suggest now isn’t exactly the ideal time to attempt yet another revival.
That having been said, I must confess I have a weakness for superhero team books and after reading about the project online I’m definitely interested in giving the title a look. It’s going to be written by Ian Flynn and drawn by Kelsey Shannon and the team line-up will supposedly feature The Shield, The Comet, The Web, Jaguar, Darkling, Firefly, and Steel Sterling. I say “supposedly” because the animal person standing next Steel Sterling on the cover of #1 doesn’t look particularly Jaguar-like to me. And the young woman with wings looks more like Flygirl to me than any Firefly I’m aware of. But then, what do I know?
Though of course this revival undoubtedly has as much (if not more) to do with launching a brand as it does a new comic book series. If nothing else, it goes to show that in spite of sometimes sluggish box office and seeming oversaturation, the cinematic superhero remains a valuable commodity in Hollywood. And one of the key components of a successful superhero franchise is pre-awareness, because as I first reported here back in 2012, “pre-awareness is priceless” (see “Confessions of a Comic Book Guy -- Pre-Awareness Is Priceless”).
The premise behind the phrase is that any pre-existing property somehow seems more “real,” hence more appealing (and therefore potentially more profitable) than a character somebody came up with last week. And while The Mighty Crusaders may be neither beloved nor iconic, they do come with the benefit of having a long-established history. And that might just be good enough for Hollywood. And audiences worldwide.
Archie Comics’ Betty and Veronica Becoming Bikers in New Series.” B&V Vixens will feature the girls as “badass biker chicks in charge of the meanest gang in town,” and will be written by Archie proofreader and editor Jamie Rotante drawn by Eva Cabrera, best known for her work on Black Mask Studios’ Kim & Kim. So, at the very least the comic won’t look like any other Archie Comic.
Archie Comics CEO on Taking Risks With Classic Characters and the Future of Riverdale.” In it he talked about the publisher’s slate of upcoming projects, including the new series The Archies, which features the adventures of the titular rock band. As someone who was actually there in 1969 when Sugar, Sugar was a #1 hit, this could be seriously cool, if it gets the music right that is. To help with that I’d recommend everyone watch Empire Records if they haven’t already, because while the music might be “dated” (I’d prefer to call it. “classic”) it gets the characters’ attitudes right But also because along with being great, it’s probably as close to an actual Archie feature film as we’re going to get anytime soon.
Click Gallery below for all five Archie images!
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.