EXCLUSIVE: Archie Grows Dark Circle Line with "The Hangman" by Tieri & Ruiz

Archie Comics is ready to expand its superhero/crime imprint Dark Circle Comics beyond its initial three offerings with "The Hangman," a forthcoming series from writer Frank Tieri (recently of "Red Sonja: The Black Tower") and artist Felix Ruiz ("Wolverine: MAX"). The first promo image from the series will debut in print on May 2 with Dark Circle's Free Comic Book Day offering, but CBR has the exclusive first look right now:

Like initial Dark Circle titles "Black Hood," "The Shield" and "The Fox," "The Hangman" is a reimagination of a decades-old character, with origins dating back to the earliest days of Archie Comics. Calling the book terrifying but with heart, Dark Circle line editor Alex Segura said "The Hangman" "isn't a book for the squeamish," and compared it to Quentin Tarantino adapting a Stephen King novel.

"Dark Circle is and isn't a superhero imprint," Dark Circle line editor Alex Segura said in a statement to CBR. "We don't want to revive properties just to say we did, or to check off a list. We want to explore different genres and push the envelope with some of the best talents in comics and beyond. I know I had problems sleeping when I first read Frank's take. The fact that he's paired with Felix Ruiz, an artist that reminds me of greats like Sienkiewicz, Sal Buscema and more while injecting a new, off-the-rails energy to his pages is icing. This book will surprise people. It's not what you expect -- which is exactly what Dark Circle is about."

Tieri has plenty of experience with harder-edged superheroes -- having written Wolverine, Deadpool, Grifter and more. But in a decidedly NSFW statement provided to CBR, Tieri made it clear that "The Hangman" will be a different level than his Marvel and DC Comics work.

"This isn't Superman or Spider-Man. Hell, it's not even Batman. This is raw and violent and dirty and real fucking disturbing. This is the devil and demons and serial killers and the vile disgusting parts of ourselves we don't like to talk about. And yet...

this is also about redemption.

Oh, and by the way, just in case you were wondering, Spoiler Alert...

Yeah, a shitload of people are gonna get hanged."

"The Hangman" is expected for release from Dark Circle Comics later this year.

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