My first experiences with the Mighty Crusaders came in the pages of Archie Comics, where they would often do a little origin story as a back-up feature and to hype the inevitable relaunch of their series of books. I never did read those books, but found the characters cool in a kitschy, old-school way.
Perhaps that's why they fit in so well at Archie.
But like other old-school properties, they never really found their footing there, and have now moved to Red Circle Comics. The license has been morphed into New Crusaders, a storyline about the sons and daughters of the heroes of old.
Things I liked:
- In form and function, the book is very similar to two other "children of superheroes" books, Image's Dynamo 5 and Marvel's Runaways. This isn't a bad thing, as those books weren't too bad, and New Crusaders isn't really, either.
- For people who've never read a Crusaders book before, this issue won't confuse you too much. Backstory isn't exactly a crutch in this case, as the old Crusaders weren't exactly the most complex heroes in the world.
- The cartoony style is crisp, clean and gets the message across that this is supposed to be a kid-friendly book, or at least geared towards their Teen Titans fan siblings.
Things I didn't:
- There should be an unwritten rule that states that any new hero should at least experience their power or know about their newfound responsibilities by the end of the first issue. I know that with the emphasis on trade paperback sales that's unlikely to happen, but man, was it ever annoying reading the pages of this book and not seeing the protagonists do anything besides normal teenager stuff and look scared and perplexed.
Red Circle Comics
The Verdict: Interesting, yet a little on the disappointing side. I'm really going to have to give this three ashcans out of five until we can actually get these characters into costume so we can see what they're made of.