Continuity is nothing new to a veteran superhero writer like Chuck Dixon.But in his newest superhero project, Dixon is getting the chance to not only maintain decades of continuity for the Red Circle heroes of the past, but is establishing the new history of the universe in Archie's The Lost Crusade.
The story, out now as a digital short and released later in print, is the first of a series of special Lost Crusade issues that will feature a variety of writers and artists, giving them the chance to work on these beloved characters.
The Lost Crusade is a series of six-page fill-in stories that are interspersed in the ongoing series, New Crusaders by Ian Flynn. In Crusaders, a new generation of young legacy heroes is taking over the mantles of their superhero parents.
But The Lost Crusade tells the "untold tales" of the older heroes who preceded the current band.
Based in the world of the once popular "Red Circle" comics, New Crusaders is released digitally each week and tells modern-style stories that build upon the old-school past. The comics are also released in collected print versions each month as New Crusaders: Rise of the Heroes.The new Lost Crusade stories come out every few months and fill in the blanks between the old Red Circle comics and the new Crusaders. Dixon, a well-established writer at both Marvel and DC who's best known for his Batman run, is now getting to tell the story of The Comet, a superhero who has the power to disintegrate anything he looks at.
Newsarama talked to the writer to find out more, and we found out this isn't the last time Dixon will work on the Crusaders.
Newsarama: Chuck, you've written a lot of superhero comics over the years. What is it about the Red Circle characters that you think makes them unique among all the superhero stories out there?
Chuck Dixon: Well, despite the fact that they seem to disappear every few decades, they’re still fondly remembered. And in spite of the fact that they go on an extensive hiatus now and then, their continuity remains intact. Wow, maybe it’s because of the occasional hiatus. (Is there a plural for hiatus?) I think that’s the reason that these characters are still true to their core. Also, even though they sometimes skip a generation of comic book readers, they’re still fondly remembered.Nrama: What attracted you to the chance to get to work with the Red Circle characters?
Dixon: I like the idea of all-ages superhero comics. I like the idea of a comic book the whole family can read. I also really dig the legacy of these characters. And I’m a huge fan of the version of the Red Circle characters done in the '80s. Those runs were way too short, and I’m honored to be one of the creators who will help bring these great characters back to comics.Nrama: You're the first writer besides Ian Flynn to work within this universe since he launched the title. How does his work inform your approach?
Dixon: I’m following his lead. Solid comics geared for mass appeal. He’s showing the level of respect for these characters that they deserve. He’s bringing out their coolness factor and seamlessly filling in the continuity from the '80s to today. I don’t know Ian, but he’s my kind of writer. He’s a showman, and writes the kind of comics I like to write and I like to read. The stories have resonance without being downers. They’re mature without being sophomoric or graphic.Nrama: You got the chance to delve into the story of the Comet in this issue. How would you describe the Comet? Who is he as a character?
Dixon: I’d put him in the “cursed” category of heroes. Having death-ray vision is not a fun power that anyone would wish for. His past is a dark one but he’s trying to get his life back in order when events catch up to him and he’s pulled back into a world of risk and violence and hard, hard choices. It’s even more difficult for him now that he has a family.Nrama: What was it about this character that you found most intriguing?
Dixon: His power is dangerous. That right there is enough to hang a story on. He doesn’t have a cool secret like other superheroes. His secret is horrifying, actually. If he looks at you---you vaporize. That’s got to go to work on a person’s character. It takes a strong personality to stand up to something like that. It makes him edgy from the start.Nrama: What part of his life will we be seeing in this story?
Dixon: We’ll see an overview of his life and the story shows how this relates to his current situation and his adopted son.Nrama: What other characters will the story bump up against?
Dixon: There’s a cameo of the Comet’s brother; the Hangman. I couldn’t resist that.Nrama: Will we see more Crusaders stories from you in the future?
Dixon: That’s what they tell me! I can’t wait to work in this playground again. It’s exciting to be on a re-start like this.Nrama: Anything else you want to tell fans about the story or the experience?
Dixon: Only that it was fun from start to finish and look forward to doing more!Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!