Writer/artist Rob Liefeld's previously announced revamp of Archie's Mighty Crusaders superhero franchise is now scheduled to launch in June with The Mighty Crusaders: The Shield #1, featuring a Liefeld-envisioned revamp of the character, widely regarded as the first patriotic American superhero having debuted a full year before Captain America.
Ironically, despite his namesake, the Shield doesn't actually carry a shield, but metaphorically acts as one to protect those who can't protect themselves.
Readers of a certain age may remember the Shield as one of the main heroes of Remco's short-lived Mighty Crusaders toy line in the early '80s, where he actually did have a shield (as did all the characters in the line, for some reason). The Shield has been rebooted a few times, usually accompanied by the return of his team the Mighty Crusaders.
That's the case here as well, with Mighty Crusaders: The Shield #1 kicking off a series of four one-shots featuring the individual members of the Mighty Crusaders, leading to a limited series team-up down the road.
"America's first patriotic superhero The Shield returns this June in a new one-shot comic that kicks off a re-imagined Mighty Crusaders mini-series from Archie Comics and legendary writer/artist Rob Liefeld," reads Archie's announcement.
"The four-issue series of one-shots spanning the Mighty Crusaders assortment of superhero characters begins on June 30 with the launch of The Mighty Crusaders: The Shield #1, featuring variant covers by Liefeld and a host of renowned industry talent."
Perhaps the third time will be the charm for Liefeld and patriotic heroes. Liefeld, a noted fan of the Golden Age (roughly 1938-1959) and Silver Age of comic books (roughly 1960-1971), previously rebooted Captain America for Marvel's Heroes Reborn relaunch in 1996. (Marvel is celebrating that event's 25th anniversary this year with a new summer crossover of the same name).
When his Captain America run ended, Liefeld's Awesome Comics obtained the rights to the Fighting American, a semi-obscure patriotic hero created in the '50s by Captain America co-creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, a reboot that led to a lawsuit from Marvel centering on Liefeld's depiction becoming more and more like Captain America, including taking up a round shield.
The Shield #1 is due out June 30, with a slew of variant covers from Liefeld, Francesco Francavilla, Aaron Lopresti, David Mack, Jerry Ordway, and a 'Top Secret' variant also by Liefeld.
Here's a gallery of the covers, along with several interior pages by Liefeld and Jack Morelli:
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