Super-Heroes vs Super-Villains, one-shot 1966
Published especially “For Collectors” —it says so right there in the indicia —this one-shot was a collection of reprints of various Mighty Comics stories. Mighty Comics was an imprint of Archie in the mid-60s when it tried to cash in on the Marvel-led super-hero boom. Archie started life back at the start of the Golden Age as MLJ, before taking the name of their star character. For this project, for whatever reason, they briefly used the Radio Comics name in the indicia, while the Mighty Comics logo ran on the covers.
Springing out of the revived Fly-Man comic, Archie revived several of its Golden Age characters, dusted them down, and gave them an airing for a whole new generation, along with a few new characters for good measure. The Shield, The Comet, Flyman, The Web and several others were all present and banded together to form The Mighty Crusaders.
Most of the stories were written by Superman creator Jerry Siegel, though it must be said that they are hardly his strongest efforts. Camp was the order of the day, and while that sort of worked on live action shows like Batman, it grates badly on the printed page—especially when the hip patter of Marvel was what the readership craved.
As here, several Mighty Comics covers proudly proclaimed the comics the work of “Dick-Vic-Bob and Paul” though who the heck they were is anyone’s guess. “Paul” might’ve been artist Paul Reinman I suppose.
After about a year, Mighty Comics disappeared back into the ether and Archie went back to solely publishing the adventures of, er… Archie and his pals. They weren’t great comics, it’s fair to say, and it would be hard to really recommend them, but they have a certain charm. Hen-pecked super-heroes like the Web don’t come along too often and should perhaps be cherished when they do.
Although I’ve not read it as yet, I see that Archie has recently revived The Mighty Crusaders for another go round.
Image ©2012 Archie Comics