Oh man, it’s getting dark and edgy at Archie Comics! They’ve been planning a reboot of their superhero line for a while, with SVP and respected mystery novelist Alex Segura helping out with the editorial side, and now it’s getting a new name: Formerly known as Red Circle, the reboot will now be known as Dark Circle — maybe giving it a bit of a horror edge and playing off the massive success of Afterlife with Archie, the zombies in Riverdale epic.

More details will be announced at BEFORE San Diego.

Today, Archie Comics announced plans to relaunch its superhero imprint with a new name: Dark Circle Comics. The name change signals a new direction for the superhero titles, which will feature a more cinematic, literary and mature approach to the characters told in accessible stories that will appeal to new and longtime fans.
Previously known as Red Circle Comics, the new imprint will announce a slate of titles in advance of Comic Con International: San Diego later this month. The imprint news broke in USA TODAY via an interview with Dark Circle Comics Editor Alex Segura. The story also debuted the imprint’s new logo.
“When we brought Alex onboard to oversee our superhero imprint, we knew we needed to be bold and decisive with how these books were presented, in every way. They couldn’t just be more of the same,” said Archie Comics Publisher/Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. “This is a fresh start and a new direction for these iconic characters. It all boils down to story – tales that feature compelling characters by some of the best talent in comics. Alex – with the help of myself, our President Mike Pellerito, CCO Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Editor Paul Kaminski – has carefully curated a line of comics that will hopefully be seen as the definitive interpretations of these characters for a long time. We couldn’t be more excited.”
“These will be creator-driven books telling new, genre bending stories with some of the best characters in comics,” said Segura. “They’ll be more akin to cable television shows like Boardwalk Empire, True Detective and Orange is the New Black. Unique voices telling stories about flawed characters from a range of genres, including crime, superhero adventure and off-the-wall action. These are definitely not all-ages comics – they’ll compete with the best Image, DC and Marvel have to offer. They won’t be bogged down by continuity while still carrying on the legacy of these heroes. Fans are in for a treat.”



  1. Sounds like Archie’s getting serious about their super-hero imprint this time. Good. Here’s hoping the quality’s as high as they sound like it’s going to be. I’ll give them a chance.

  2. See DC? See what happens when you leave the Legion of Super Heroes off the schedule? Next someone will call their line the Dominators.

    And then you’ll lose the rights to Grimbor.

    You let it all slip through your fingers.

  3. Who is the audience for this? Most fans of dark superhero comics are notorious for their single-minded allegiance to the DC and/or Marvel universe, and the difficulty of getting them to buy comics – even by their favorite creators – that “don’t count” toward those universes.

    Are they counting on the readers of their mature-readers comics – which (let’s face it) benefit greatly from the novelty of their connection to the Archie universe – to develop an interest in a bunch of defunct superheroes being revived with a “mature” slant? I mean, sure, it worked for Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons in 1986, but times have changed.

  4. I’m rooting for Archie on this. My one request: Please inject some humor into these series. Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, Mad Men and other quality shows work because they have elements of dark humor running through them – otherwise they would be just depressing. Kind of like the New 52 is.

  5. Great! I’m always saying how the superhero genre needs more dark stuff. But will it be grim and/or gritty, too?

    You know what? Just make every superhero exactly like Batman. And not the fun Batman. Fuck that guy. Every superhero comic, TV show, and movie should just be as much like Dark Knight Returns as possible.

  6. So we’re gonna see a “dark and gritty” version of the Mighty Crusaders?

    Isn’t Archie a bit late to the game here?

  7. jason – Valiant has had success by marketing a ‘new’ superhero line. Dark Horse is also offering a new line. I’m sure there will be enough people out there interested in this one, too.

  8. This line is doomed – it has no identity – Segura can’t stop comparing it to DC or Marvel, who already to those comics. He’s yet to say one thing that actually distinguishes these books from all else. Why would I buy the SHIELD or whatever one of their heroes are called? Because it “competes with Image, DC and Marvel”?

    And what’s wrong with an all-ages line of these books or, heck, a YA version? There’s more customers for these, surely, than customers for “dark superheroes” who already buy the Big Two.

  9. I think that the success of this line (or lack thereof) will depend on which creators end up on these books and how much creative freedom they get. There are lot of people out there who are unhappy with the endless hamster wheel of crossovers and reboots/revamps etc. from the Big 2. If Archie can give us something worth reading they might have a shot.
    Based on the books that I have read by Archie, this could be good. I read Afterlife with Archie Vol 1 a couple of weeks ago, with little knowledge of Archie comics. It is pretty wonderful and an unsettling horror comic without needing to go for cheap shocks or gore (ok…maybe a little gore). I have flicked through recent The Fox book as well and that looked great.
    From what I can see, they are doing a good job about putting out attractive new-reader friendly books and I wish them well.

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