By Rik Offenberger

PUBLISHER: Archie Comics
STORY: Rob Liefeld
Script: David Gallaher
COLORS: Bryan Valenza
LETTERS: Jack Morelli
EDITOR: Jamie Lee Rotante
EDITORIAL TEAM: Steven Oswald & Vincent Lovallo
COVER A: Rob Liefled
COVER B: Francesco Francavilla
COVER C: Aaron Lopresti
COVER D: David Mack
COVER E: Jerry Ordway
COVER F: Rob Liefled
PRICE: $3.99

SUMMARY: FIRST ISSUE IN AN ALL-NEW SERIES OF MIGHTY CRUSADERS ONE-SHOTS BY ROB LIEFELD! Legendary, best-selling author and comic creator Rob Liefeld reimagines Archie’s iconic Mighty Crusaders library of characters in this new comic book series, starting with America’s first patriotic superhero: The Shield!
COMMENTS: I have been a fan of the Mighty Crusaders since the ’80s and I have been a fan of Rob Liefeld since The Hawk & The Dove mini-series. So this was a comic I was looking forward to. My hope for this series was that Rob would do for the Mighty Crusaders what he did for the New Mutants. He would bring in new readers and new excitement that would energize the team and this would be a new launchpad for these heroes. I had hoped that they would continue beyond the 4 one-shots into an ongoing series. However, this is a one-and-done, so the review is melancholic.

The Good – This is a love letter to the Crusaders. Each time the Crusaders get a new start the creative team tries to reboot with a new continuity. Here, Rob and David embrace everything that has ever gone before. Even the minute manusia of their history. When Jerry Seigle was the writer on Mighty Comics Joe Higgins’ son took over as the Shield. Sometimes the son was called Bill and other times he was Joe Jr., although they were never twins in the comic, and in fact, it was an error at the time. Both Joe Jr. and Bill are in this story. There was a Canadian version of the Shield during World War II, they mention him in this comic. Lancelot Strong was the Shield in the ’50s he is here! Victoria Adams is the current Shield, and she is here too. Dusty, the Shield’s sidekick is here. There is a wonderful mix of the classic heroes and the Impact versions of these characters. The story is a high-energy, Jack Kirby, style story full of action and surprises. Lots of splash pages and double-page splashes. Each page or double page is suitable as a poster. There is a lot of violence and it feels like a ’90s style issue of X-Force.

The Bad – This comic really feels like the beginning of a mini-series. It ends with a surprise cliffhanger that would be a lot of fun if there were more issues planed but there is nothing announced following this issue so it leaves you feeling incomplete. Also, the character’s costumes change from panel to panel, it may be a stylistic approach but it was distracting.

Conclusion – These are some of the greatest and long-lived heroes in comic history, they really needed a spotlight shined on them to repopularise them for a new generation. This issue accomplishes that goal. It reestablishes the heroes, pulls together different members from different eras, and shows love and respect to what has come before. It is a good start and it’s clear that both Rob and David did their homework. I recommend this comic for fans of ’90s X-Men comics or the X-Men cartoon.