Before there was Archie Comics, there was MLJ, who, in The Golden Age of Comic Books, published comics featuring super heroes like the Shield (who happened to be the first patriotic superhero . . . yes, before Captain America), the Comet and Steel Sterling. In The Silver Age of Comic Books, these heroes were joined by the likes of the Fly, Fly Girl, the Jaguar and the Web. They joined forces as a super team dubbed . . . The Mighty Crusaders.
The Mighty Crusaders title was revived in The '80s.
More information about the Mighty Crusaders can be found in The Other Wiki.
But enough history.
The Present: The Mighty Crusaders, after defeating every known supervillain, opted to retire to the town of Red Circle to raise families of their own. During a party celebrating the anniversary of their victory, the Brain Emperor, an old enemy of theirs, attacks them. Joe Higgins a.k.a. the Shield, takes the other Crusaders' teenage children to safety. By the time he returns to aid his fellow Crusaders, he arrives too late. Brain Emperor has disposed of them. The Shield takes it upon himself to train his teammates' children to take their place as The New Crusaders.
The Crusaders are:
The Comet (Greg Dickering) - Adopted son of the original Comet (John Dickering).
Steel Sterling (Johnny Sterling) - the original Steel Sterling's son.
Fireball (Alex Tyler) - the original Fireball's (Ted Tyler) nephew.
Fly Girl (Kelly Brand) - Daughter to the original Fly Girl (Kim Brand).
The Web (Wyatt Raymond) - His parents were the original Web (John Raymond) and his wife Pow-Girl (Rose Raymond).
The Jaguar (Yvette "Ivy" Velez) - Apprentice to zoologist Ralph Hardy (the original Jaguar).
The first story arc is titled "Rise of the Heroes". It is followed by "Dark Tomorrow".
Tropes Associated with this comic:
- The Sting, in SPADES. He was considered so dangerous, he was caged in a small containment pod, behind a completely sealed cell door.
- Ivy as the Jaguar becomes noticeably more aggressive and bloodthirsty (being an avatar to a war god can do that to a person), while still able to maintain a measure of control over herself.
- Badass Grandpa: Joe "the Shield" Higgins.
- Badass Longcoat: The Brain Emperor sports a black one.
- Bald of Evil: Brain Emperor.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Dr. Uruk Ak'ahk a.k.a. Dusty, an alien talking chimpanzee.
- Gentle Giant: Johnny Sterling/Steel Sterling. Heck, the author described him as such word-for-word.
- Happily Adopted: Greg by John and Dora Dickering.
- Killed Off for Real:
- The whole original Mighty Crusaders team besides the Shield.
- At the climax of the first arc, Fireball is killed by a super villain called the Eraser.
- Shrinking Violet: Yvette, before becoming the new Jaguar.
- Slasher Smile: Brain Emperor flashes a particularity nasty one after vaporizing the original Steel Sterling.
- War God: Ai apaec, who is the source Yvette's powers.
- Upgrade Artifact: Despite being the son of two super-heroes, Wyatt has virtually no athletic ability so The Shield gives him a suit based his own that increases the wearer's physical attributes ten-fold. The 98-pound weakling goes from barely being able to do a single pull-up to doing...wait for it...a Back Flip!