As the New Crusaders rounds off its fourth month of weekly digital-first installments, and soon to be in print, Archie/Red Circle has added another cool comic to the New Crusaders App, this one 100% brand new, and that is Lost Crusade. Lost Crusade is designed to close the gap in the Red Circle universe regarding what happened where the Red Circle titles end abruptly in the 1980s, as the multiple series were cancelled leaving story lines unresolved, and where the New Crusaders comic starts in 2012.
In the first “episode,” as they are called in their weekly installments, the reader is given a pretty straight forward overview of everything we are going to see with this new title. Roy, formerly Roy the Wonderboy, side kick of the Wizard in the Golden Age Red Circle-era, pays a visit to Dustin Simmons, better known as Dusty, who was the Shield’s side kick, also during the Golden Age. Roy wants the teens who make up the New Crusaders put into a better place and not made into a team of heroes under the eye of the Shield, and has gone to plead his case to Dustin, who is part of the government agency called M.L.J. Dustin, however, sees things differently, and paints a picture that shows a lot has happened between the 1980s and 2012. He begins talking about many of the plot points in the 1980s Red Circle universe we never got to see the ending of, such as the Mighty Crusaders thinking there was a mole on their team. As well as also mentioning how Mr. Justice, the only hero who could have solved everything with his mystical powers, somehow disappeared! The backdrop is set, and Roy wants details on everything if these kids are to remain.
Overall it’s a good set up by Flynn, with great art by Norton, but in reality it is just a tease. We don’t really get any of the missing pieces we want to know yet, except confirmation that the Mighty Crusaders began to split into two sides. One’s worrying about a possible mole, and the other’s wanting to be united and just get along. However, Dustin does mention a handful of events and small details that give us a hint at that larger lost world of possiblity and excitement, even maybe more exciting than the New Crusaders itself. The mystery of Mr. Justice is the biggest question at hand, but from interviews with Flynn, it’s unclear if that will unravel here or in the main New Crusaders book (for the uninitiated, Mr. Justice is Dr. Strange meets Batman, whose mystical powers basically could have resolved all problems by pinpointing villains in disguise and such).
Lost Crusade is an exciting teaser with the best yet to come, however, that is why this episode is simply titled “Prelude,” I suppose. Lost Crusade, like New Crusaders, will be available digital first, however, it only appears in every month that has a 5th week, during that week (New Crusaders taking up the other 4 weeks). This means the next installment should appear on October 31st, which will be a tale about the Comet written by Chuck Dixon, and then not appear again until January 30th, 2013. Hopefully the cool stories to fill in the gaps will outweigh its infrequency, but only time will tell.