Red Circle Productions, The Mighty Crusaders, Origin of a Super-Team

 RCPT   (Archie, 2003)

™ and © Archie Publications

The Mighty Crusaders were a Silver Age super-team from Archie Comics composed of its then-top heroes: Fly-Man and Fly-Girl, The Shield, The Black Hood, and The Comet. They were introduced over three issues of Fly Man, and this trade paperback collects those appearances, plus the first issue of their own series.
Ostensibly influenced by Marvel’s heroes with problems, The Mighty Crusaders appear to fight, not because of philosophical differences but simply because they are disagreeable.

There are campy touches galore. One such is a comic-book-character costume contest with entries such as “Adhesive Man” and “The Living Coil,” giving readers an idea of the firm’s idea of the comics field in 1965.

The villains’ motivations are also suspect. Eterno the Tyrant wants to destroy them because he’s afraid their descendants will interfere with his plans four million years later? That’s forethought!

Don’t miss the infamous scene in which one character saves the others with the deus ex machina power of teleportation, which he never used before and could never use again.

For all its foibles, this is a great look at what companies other than Marvel and DC were doing in the Silver Age. It’s hearty comics fun that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The reader shouldn’t, either.

— Jack Abramowitz

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