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Interview: Ian Flynn Talks NEW CRUSADERS Back at Archie Comics

The Shield, the Web and other Red Circle characters are coming pack in the upcoming NEW CRUSADERS.

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Red Circle Comics is bringing back a lot of characters you might be familiar with. These characters started out at Archie Comics, then spent some time published through DC Comics and are now coming back to Archie.

The new series, NEW CRUSADERS: RISE OF THE HEROES, will debut and appear weekly on a new Red Circle/New Crusaders app and later appear in printed form (the first physical issue debuts on August 22). The series will be written by Ian Flynn with art by Ben Bates, Gary Martin, John Workman and Matt Herms.

We asked Ian a few questions to find out what we can expect when the series debuts next month digitally.

Comic Vine: The New Crusaders were recently seen at DC Comics in various series and one-shots. How did they end up back at Archie Comics?

Ian Flynn: The DC outings were Archie licensing out the heroes and DC putting their own spin on them. Once the licensing period was up, they came back home to Archie.

CV: What do new readers need to know about the New Crusaders and other Red Circle characters? Will the stories be completely new-reader friendly or will there be an acknowledgement to past histories?

IF: New readers don't need to know a thing. Veteran readers will definitely pick up on nuances and nods, but the story is about the new characters - the teens thrust into this crazy world of super heroes and villains. Their journey is the reader's journey.

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CV: Will this be aimed at all ages? How much action or violence might there be?

IF: I'm calling it "all-ages with an edge." A fist to the face gets you a bloody nose instead of cartoon stars, and there's the occasional crass term or curse. It's about as violent as you'd see on regular TV - maybe even less so.

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CV: Will the stories mainly focus on the group as a team or will we see individual stories with the different characters such as the Shield, the Web, etc? What about separate series?

IF: For right now, here at the very beginning, we're focusing on the team. The teens don't necessarily know each other that well, and one of the initial themes is team-building.

CV: Archie has been active in the digital market for some time, what will be the difference between the digital first releases and the later printed editions?

IF: The digital first release will give subscribers six pages a week, while you'll have to wait for the complete printed issue. For the first issue, though, we're opening with twelve pages.

CV: How will the content be released digitally? Will it be on a weekly or monthly schedule? What will be the price for each installment?

Editor Paul Kaminski: Each Wednesday the Red Circle App will release the next installment, or “Act” to the episode that we’re on. May 16th launches a double-sized series premiere, Episode One: Acts 1 &2, followed by Acts 3 and 4 in the subsequent weeks. Along with the new content, the older content will continue to grow and expand at a rate of around 3 new titles per week. This is in addition to the backlog of comics that will be available at launch! This is a newsstand subscription app, so readers will have their new content continuously updated and as long as they’re still subscribed to the app, will have access to everything 24/7. Subscription price is an easy-breezy 99 cents a week - At today’s current comic prices, that’s like getting upwards of 13 comics for the price of one!

CV: Despite being published through Archie Comics, are the characters going to remain strictly separate?

IF: I don't think we're going to see Shield and Archie-as-Pureheart fighting goons together any time soon. But I've heard if you know where to look, you can find Riverdale and the town of Red Circle on the same map.

Be sure to check out NEW CRUSADERS next month through the digital app (unless you can wait until August).