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Comic Deep Dive: DC’s Impact/Red Circle Imprints

Posted on Jun 1, 2020 by in The Page |

Hey, folks! Welcome back to Comic Deep Dive! During these COVID-related comics dark times, I’ve taken the opportunity to do some strange and exciting comic book reading to fill the time. This week, I’m talking all about DC’s Impact/Red Circle imprints! Here’s the run-down:

The Story

  • DC always had an interest in the classic Archie Comics superhero line
  • They decided to purchase the licensing rights, twice
  • The characters never seemed to “take off” for DC
  • Ran from 1991 to 1993
  • Ran again from 2008 to 2010
  • Rights have since reverted back to Archie Comics

The Titles

  • The Black Hood
  • The Comet
  • The Crusaders, The Mighty Crusaders
  • The Fly
  • The Jaguar
  • The Legend of the Shield, The Shield featuring the Hangman
  • The Web, The Web featuring Inferno and the Fox

The Events

  • Earth Quest
  • Crucible
  • The Red Circle

The Crossovers

  • Not a single crossover with the DC Universe proper or any other companies

The Good Stuff

  • A few interesting character arcs taken with classic characters
  • Reinventing stale characters is always fun to see in action
  • Several DC characters appeared (Batgirl, Green Lantern Alan Scott, Magog, Sandman Wesley Dodds, Scarecrow, Chemo, Dr. Sivana, Gentlemen Ghost, Rocket Red, Gorilla Grodd, King Faraday, August General in Iron, Dr. Fate, the Flash Jay Garrick, Power Girl, Mr. Terrific, and Stargirl)
  • Brought many new talents into the industry

The Bad Parts

  • The costumes are quite garish
  • Never really felt like part of the DC Universe
  • Nothing terrible, but pretty bland line overall

The Creators of Note

  • First Wave featured work by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, Tim Sale, and Dan Jurgens
  • Second Wave featured work by J. Michael Straczynski, Jesus Saiz, and Stanley “Artgerm” Lau

Characters Off the Page

  • No marketing outside the comics

Overall Thoughts

  • Fun deep dive
  • I read it all, definitely worth the time
  • Conceivable and affordable to collect at the time, just missed the opportunities both times
  • Nothing great, but fun to see a whole universe come together so quickly twice under DC leadership
  • As a DC completionist, I plan on keeping the whole line in my collection
  • My final grade: C

See you next week for another comic deep dive! In the meantime, share your thoughts on DC’s Impact/Red Circle imprints with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you.

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