Friday, October 18, 2013

Riverdale's Newest Superhero = The Equalizer!!

Many years back, Archie Comics created superhero versions of their main characters and called them the Super Teens (Pureheart the Powerful = Archie; Evilheart = Reggie; Super Teen = Betty; and Captain Hero = Jughead). The Super Teens were brought back briefly in the 90s, where two new Super Teens were introduced, including Veronica as Miss Vanity and Moose as Mighty Moose. Even more recently, I read a great Captain Hero story from a few years back that introduced Big E (Ethel). These original Super Teens stories have been collected a few times and reprints of those stories routinely show up in the various double digest magazines.

We learned yesterday that Archie Comics plans to create its latest superhero character. Kevin Keller will be getting his own superhero makeover! The Equalizer will make his comic book debut in KEVIN KELLER #14. According to Archie Comics, the Equalizer "fights for equality along with his sidekick Veronica!" (Not sure if we will be seeing Miss Vanity again, but I really hope she gets a costume makeover!!)

I love the Equalizer's costumes. No word yet on his powers. I'll post more as I learn more!


Anonymous said...

This is great. I know the Kevin Keller sales are way down. Hopefully this will rekindle some interest. His GLAAD Spirit Day recognition should help too!

Jon said...

The sales have been down across the board for these comic books. On the other hand, their book sales are doing quite well despite the sad shape of the overall book market and we really don't know how their digital books are doing.

I don't worry about it too much. The overall publishing industry is struggling these days. But Archie is trying new stuff and looking forward to new media efforts.

We can help by talking about the Archie books that we like and why we like them. And, of course, buying the comic books!

I know that "Kevin Keller" the comic book will eventually get canceled. I don't think it will happen anytime soon though. I think that the character brings attention to the company, which probably does its bit to justify the comic book. But few comics last forever. It's not unusual for books like Superman or Spider-Man or Justice League of the Fantastic Four these days to get canceled and rebranded somehow. It's the nature of the Beast, for good or for bad.

I would love for all of these Archie titles to last forever. But there may be some new title (not unlike "Afterlife With Archie") that hits it big. That doesn't negate any of the old issues that I've enjoyed. It just means that new comic books are being released that appeal to a broader market.

Long story? I enjoy talking about Archie Comics these days and will enjoy them -- and write about them -- as long as I can!

BTW, thanks for your ongoing comics on this blog, shawnandmurray!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jon, no problem, I love reading your blog. I found you on Archiefans. I'm spazaru on there. I obviously have a passion for Archie and gay rights in common with you. I also like your positive spin on Archie's situation. I love Archie and most of what they publish and just hope they can keep going as long as possible. If nothing else, it is cool they have such a long and storied history to draw on. As you say, the publishing industry is struggling and at least Archie is trying new things. Afterlife is off to a good start and hopefully that will give them some money and inspiration to keep innovating.



A sexy costume this definitely ain't! Reminds of Racer X from the old "Speed Racer" 'toons I saw in the 1970s. Ugh! But all of today's artists lack the knack for designing sexy costumes. (The late Dave Cockrum, who revamped the Legion of Super Heroes a few decades back, could teach them a lesson or two.)

I want the Kevin Keller book to succeed, but I'm afraid these heterosexual writers and artists don't know how to create a credible Gay character. This last issue, with Kevin making a b*tchy queen comment about Veronica's makeup, that really hit a sour note with me. Who are they aiming that book at? Gay teens? Teen girls? Or do they really know what audience they want?



Here's a page featuring some of Dave Cockrum's greatest costume designs:

Mike Grell (who worked on the Brenda Starr strip) was one of the artists who succeeded Cockrum on Legion, and he came up with some sexy male costumes, too:

Jon said...

Hey Stuffed Animal! I actually don't mind the costume. It's a little cheesy, but that kind of goes with the territory.

Regarding the recent "Battle of the BFFs," it actually made sense to me that Kevin hit Veronica below the belt. Let's face it. They are still immature teens. He knows Ronnie and he knows how to hurt her.


My problem with it was that it zeroed in on one of the most tired Gay stereotypes around, i.e. the snide Gay men getting into catfights with women. I thought they were trying to avoid that kind of thing with Kevin? Besides, it struck me as totally out of character. I don't ever want Kevin Keller portrayed as a teenage b*tch, and I told Dan Parent as much.

As for the Equalizer costume, I just may try my hand at doing a design . . . something along the lines of Mike Grell's Warlord, maybe?