Dark Circle Comics to Start with ‘The Fox’, ‘The Shield’ and ‘The Black Hood’

Following the news that Archie’s superhero line would be revamped, redesigned, and redesignated as ‘Dark Circle Comics’, the company have revealed the first three books which will be a part of their line in 2015. One is no surprise – the other two are PRETTY DARNED SURPRISING! Ahem.

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First of all, Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid’s run on ‘The Fox’ will continue onwards. This is a series written and drawn by Haspiel, with Waid co-plotting the story. Perhaps the most well-known of Archie’s heroes, The Fox is a married photographer who finds that he’s a magnet for villains – who keep turning up at the strangest of times. The first trade of this was just released by Archie, in fact, and I wasn’t a big fan, in honesty. The art was fun, but the story was slight.

The next arc will see The Fox trying to stay alive after a bounty is put on his head, so it looks as though this’ll be retaining the bouncy vibe of the first arc.

The second announcement is for a return of The Shield, another well-known Archie property. This time however – and stop me if you’ve heard this before – the character will be portrayed by a female.

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And I’ll tell you what – I really like that design. Establishing The Shield as a legacy mantle, the new series from Adam Christopher, Chuck Wendig, and artist Wilfredo Torres. This use of a new character in the title role is designed, line editor Alex Segura says in his interview with irreplaceable superhero Brian Truitt, to emphasise the idea of legacy. She’s new, she’s a different approach to heroics, and that’ll be the core of the book.

The third title will be ‘The Black Hood’, by Duane Swierczynski and Michael Gaydos. Anyone familiar with that creative team will know this is a statement of intent from Archie: this looks like it’ll be a grim, gritty, and rough series.

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Both creators are known for street-level crime books, and Archie’s decision to publish a book which is intentionally as dark as possible is worth noting. That’s a really unexpected move from the company, and we’ll have to see how it may pay off for them.

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