Archie Comics has seen a massive resurgance in the early twenty-first century. Once relegated to grocery store racks alongside Us Weekly and Cosmo, Archie has been completely reinvented. Where the publisher was synonymous with kid-friendly, after-school-special style anthologies, they have become something completely different in recent years.
Though the creative revolution is well underway at Archie, the line still has a long way to go in order to compete with the major industry players. In an average month, Archie sees less than 1% of total issues sold in the comics market. They typically release around half a dozen titles monthly, compared with the eighty or so titles released by each of DC and Marvel.
They’re headed in the right direction. Today Archie announced three new ongoing series, B&V Vixens, The Mighty Crusaders, and Cosmo.
B&V Vixens brings together longtime Archie editor Jamie Rotante with up-and-coming artist Eva Cabrera from Black Mask’s Kim & Kim. The title will utilize longtime series regulars Betty and Veronica, focusing on their adventures as leaders of “Riverdale’s toughest gang, the Vixens.”
Though Rotante is a somewhat unknown quantity as a monthly writer, Cabrera’s work on Kim & Kim has shown both her talent and her diligence. Giving this team a crack at two of American pop culture’s most iconic ladies is a tremendous statement of faith from Archie. Given the publisher’s recent run of successes and critical acclaim, it seems likely they’ve chosen well yet again.
B&V Vixens will lead off the expansion, debuting in September.
The Mighty Crusaders
The Mighty Crusaders is the latest offering from Archie’s super-hero-centric imprint, Dark Circle. The imprint has been used to relaunch some of the classic Golden Age characters in the publisher’s catalogue, to varying degrees of success. This series will bring them together, Avengers style. For this series, Archie went with one of their more established creators in writer Ian Flynn (Jughead, Mega Man), pairing him with fellow veteran Kelsay Shannon (Josie and the Pussycats).
Dark Circle’s very name is a nod to their attempt to go at mainstream superhero publisher DC Comics. While they’ve seen moderate to limited success on individual titles, this is the first attempt at teaming them since the relaunch. If successful, it should help raise Archie’s stock significantly.
The first issue is due out in December.
Continuing their long-standing tradition of kid-friendly titles, it should come as no surprise that the final title in the planned expansion is geared toward younger readers.
Cosmo will also be penned by Ian Flynn, cementing him as Archie’s top writer after Mark Waid.
The first issue is set to debut in early 2018.