Archie Comics has made multiple attempts over the years to revitalize its collection of superhero characters, and the latest is "Dark Circle Comics" -- taking the characters previously known by the "Red Circle" branding and emphasizing a crime noir bent on titles like "The Black Hood," launching in February from the creative team of Duane Swierczynski and Michael Gaydos.
The book will launch with multiple variant covers, and CBR has the exclusive first look at two of them: One by Francesco Francavilla, who's become an MVP at Archie with his work on the perception-shifting "Afterlife with Archie;" and one by comics legend Howard Chaykin, who certainly has a long history of exploring noir, pulp-y themes in his work.
"This isn't a superhero comic," Dark Circle line editor Alex Segura said in a statement to CBR. "'The Black Hood' is a dark, gritty and noir tour through the hidden corners and alleys of Philadelphia by two of the top names in the genre. If you know Duane's novels, you know his work is fast-paced, frenetic and an exploration of the dark side of the human psyche. Having him paired with Michael Gaydos is a dream team. Michael has defined the look of The Black Hood for a new generation, and I can't wait for fans to check it out. If you like shows like 'True Detective,' 'Fargo' and 'The Wire' -- this book's in your wheelhouse. Welcome to Dark Circle."
Additionally, Archie Comics provided CBR with the solicitation text for February's "The Black Hood" #1 (accompanied by Gaydos, David Mack and David Williams' previously released covers for the issue):
BLACK HOOD #1
NEW ONGOING SERIES from the brand new DARK CIRCLE imprint! "The Bullet's Kiss - Part 1 of 5" When Philadelphia police officer Greg Hettinger stepped into the middle of a gunfight, hot lead shredded his face-and he pulled the trigger, blind. Now Greg is waking up in a world where he's a killer, hopelessly scarred and hooked on painkillers. What does a man do when he can no longer face the world, yet still wants to do good? He puts on a hood...
Script: Duane Swierczynski
Art: Michael Gaydos, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Rachel Deering
Die-cut Cover: Michael Gaydos
Variant Covers: David Mack, Francesco Francavilla, Howard Chaykin, David Williams
On Sale Date: 2/25
32-page, full color comic