Doctor Zardox has captured the Superteens, leaving Riverdale unprotected.  Enter: The Mighty Crusaders!  Your Major Spoilers review of Archie’s Superteens Vs. Crusaders #2 awaits!


Writer: Ian Flynn/David Williams/Gary Martin
Artist: Kelsey Shannon/David Williams/Gary Martin
Letterer: Jack Morelli
Editor: Mike Pellerito/Stephen Oswald/Vincent Lovallo/Jamie Lee Rotante
Publisher: Archie Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 25, 2018

Previously in Archie’s Superteens Vs. Crusaders: The most amazing super-teams of Archie Comics have crashed into one another: The Superteens of Riverdale have leapt into action to keep Doctor Zardox from destroying their city, but The Mighty Crusaders are also on their way to save the day.  That’s a lot of heroes, my friends!


We pick up where last issue left off, with Ms. Vanity, Super-Teen and Pureheart in the clutches of their evil substitute teacher and his giant robot.  Steel Sterling, overseeing the battle from Crusaders’ headquarters, calls in the cavalry, initiating the emergency activatino of Teams Bravo, Charlie and Delta (i.e., a big mess of MLJ Golden Agers like Mr. Justice, The Fox, Captain Flag and more), while Captain Hero powers up…

…WITH A TWINKIE!  Or, rather, a Jinkie, but it’s clearly a Twinkie.  This sends him from Charles Atlas ad nebbish before to Charles Atlas ad nebbish after, bulking up and taking on the giant robot alongside The Shield and The Comet, right before Zardox throws his final weapon and starts crushing Jughead/Captain Hero to death!


The ending is pretty entertaining stuff, if more than a little anticlimactic, though the final panel may or may invalidate that.  I’m honestly not sure, but… it kind of doesn’t matter.  Back in the 1960s, when Archie revived their heroes at the height of the camp comics craze, there were a lot of silly moments and fun little stories (like ‘Too Many Super-Heroes‘) that reveled in the goofy fun of superhero adventure, and this book is the spiritual successor of those comics.  It’s a story about how much fun these stories are, and on that level it works.  The art team(s) deliver solid action-comic fight sequences, though I have to say that there aren’t a lot of backgrounds throughout the battle sequences.  Still, there are a lot of goofy and heroic facial expressions, making it fun to read (especially Archie’s discomfort at being stuck in a tiny cell with Betty and Veronica at once) and the MLJ heroes, especially Comet haven’t looked this good in years.


In short, this issue isn’t an earth-shattering crossover, nor is it a deep character study of a tortured hero or groups of heroes.  What Archie’s Superteens Vs. Crusaders #2 is is a fun, silly, consequence-free superhero adventure story like we used to get in summer annuals back in the day, with some enthusiastic, expressive art and a story that serves mostly as a showcase for Archie’s surprisingly deep bench, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.  I personally want to see more Superteens, even if it’s confusing that one of the Superteens is called Super-Teen.



Not really a fan of the ending, but the journey there is okay and the art is a lot of fun...

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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