Archie Comics continues its roll-out of diverse content through the Dark Circle Comics imprint this fall with a very familiar name falling on a very unfamiliar face. Writers Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig took time to share a little bit of their thinking on the new character donning the red, white, and blue togs of the classic character, The Shield.
Matt Santori: How did you two gentlemen come to the Shield and what were your first impressions of the opportunity and character?
Adam Christopher: It was one of those things where it all just came together—we’ve known Alex for years, and he was back at Archie setting up the new Dark Circle imprint, and we’d been wanting to work together for a while.
Chuck Wendig: The initial idea from Archie to reboot the original Shield, Joe Higgins, and while this was pretty cool they then decided to really push the boundaries, and asked us to develop completely new, female version of the character. Those kinds of opportunities are very rare, and it was an exciting idea. How could we say no to that?
MSG: Victoria Adams is a new character, created specifically for this series to take on the title role. Is she a legacy? A reboot? How does she fit into the overall history in this world?
AC: She’s a new character, one that still represents the core ideas and concepts behind The Shield, but with her own origin, history, purpose and story. The old history and continuity still exists, and in fact Victoria slots into the existing universe. But while we have the old continuity as a touchstone, if and when we need to use it, straight away we’re exploring new stories and ideas. The old Shield still exists within the Dark Circle universe… and maybe one day he and Victoria will meet.
MSG: What can you tell us about some of the other characters that will inhabit the Shield’s world?
CW: The Shield certainly doesn’t exist in isolation—she has allies and friends, she has enemies. In the first story arc we’ll meet Nicole, a cop from Washington DC with a secret all of her own, who takes the amnesiac, befuddled Victoria under her wing, and also the enigmatic and deliciously evil Walter Chase. He’s our first big bad… and someone who has been waiting for The Shield to reappear in our world.
MSG: Dark Circle Comics is definitely taking risks with the directions its taking its characters — The Fox more of a traditional route, while Black Hood is a bit more adult.
Where do you feel The Shield fits in the universe?
CW: The Shield is somewhere in between—it’s a superhero action book, but one that exists in a dark world of political conspiracy and secret societies.
MSG: Patriotic characters like Captain America or the Shield have this tension nowadays with an America that is not nearly as blind to its own injustices as it once was — although one could argue its defenders are just as fierce as ever. How does the atmosphere or politics of 2015 fit into this new interpretation of the classic book?
AC: It’s definitely a part of it, possibly much more so than previous versions of The Shield. What does it mean to be a patriotic hero? What does it mean to wear a country’s flag as your uniform—and what does that say about whom you are supposed to represent anyway, the country, or its people?
CW: The world of The Shield is the present day, but it’s a darker vision than our own reality. Straight away The Shield is dropped into a political conspiracy two hundred years in the making, and she’s going to have to figure out an awful lot about how the modern world works, and why she is here in the first place.
MSG: Artist Drew Johnson is working on the title with you. How is that collaboration on the Shield’s design working with you two, and by that measure, how do you two collaborate on the writing as well?
CW: Drew is amazing—the perfect match for this book. He understands the character and what we’re doing with the story, and he’s a master storyteller himself. Every page we see is an absolute delight. Add in colors from Kelly Fitzpatrick and this book looks beautiful.
AC: We split writing duties 50/50, both in terms of plotting and scripting. It works really well as we’re such different writers, so what we come up with together is, we hope, something unique.
MSG: Any final thoughts or special teases as we close in on the Shield’s debut issue?
AC: Just two words: Black Seven.
And here’s the solicitation for issue #1 (as well as original art pages from that issue), arriving in stores next month from Archie Comics!
THE SHIELD #1
NEW ONGOING SERIES FROM DARK CIRCLE! “Daughter of the Revolution, Part 1” Since the dawn of the republic, whenever her country faces its blackest days, she returns: a spirit of the revolution sent to fight for what is right. But when she reappears for the first time in a generation with no memories—not even of her own identity—and encounters an evil force expecting her arrival, all the Shield can do is… run!
Script: Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig
Art: Drew Johnson, Rachel Deering, Kelly Fitzpatrick
Cover: David Williams
Variant Covers: Wilfredo Torres, Andrew Robinson, Rafael Albuquerque, Robert Hack
On Sale: October 21
32-page, full color comic