Archie’s dark magic universe expands with Kardak the Mystic!

Kardak, an older slender white main with dark hair and a gray streak, is dressed in a tuxedo and looking out at the viewer with a sinister smirk on his face. A magical ruby on a gold chain levitates above his outstretched palm, and he stands on a stage in front of a green mist with ghostly hands reaching out.

KARDAK THE MYSTIC main cover by Butch Mapa

The Golden Age Archie Comics magician is revamped in an all-new one-shot comic this August!

Superheroics, magic, and cosmic horror converge in KARDAK THE MYSTIC, an all-new one-shot from Archie Comics in August! The new story by writer Joe Corallo (HAPPY HORRORDAYS) and artist Butch Mapa (STRANGE SCIENCE) reboots one of Archie’s oldest characters and adds to a burgeoning dark fantasy corner of the Archie universe.


“One of my favorite projects is tasking creators with the ability to bring deep-cut characters from Archie’s lore to life,” said Archie Comics Senior Director of Editorial Jamie L. Rotante. “Kardak the Mystic is one Editorial was especially excited about, as we all have a deep love of magicians and were even more intrigued by the prospect of having a horror/sci-fi take on Kardak, where the magic can be a lot more ominous than your typical carnival fare.”

The new story relates the fateful misadventures of John Cardy, a failed stage magician looking for one last chance to make it big. When he’s offered a too-good-to-be-true magic talisman, his tricks become real, and he’s soon enmeshed in a dark alternate universe, slipping in and out to increasing fame and dread. The unsettling undertones place KARDAK THE MYSTIC squarely next to recent dark fantasy releases from Archie like THE WICKED TRINITY and DARKLING, as well as BOB PHANTOM, a twisted reimagination of another Golden Age crimefighter.

“Getting to revisit the character of Kardak, whom I had the opportunity to touch on in a short for JINX’S GRIM FAIRY TALES, has been an absolute thrill!” Corallo said. “Combining classic elements from his Golden Age TOP-NOTCH appearances with a fresh, updated look and perspective on these characters will excite both longtime and new Archie fans alike!”

Kardak, an older slender white main with dark hair and a gray streak, is dressed and performing magic on stage. He wears a glowing ruby pendant around his neck which is emitting swirls of red energy. His hands are outsretched and a glowing green girl is levitating above him.

KARDAK THE MYSTIC variant cover art by Skylar Patridge

Kardak debuted in a story by C. A. Winter and Harry Shorten in 1939’s TOP NOTCH COMICS #1 as a superhero magician, employing tricks and mystical powers to fight organized crime and supervillains alongside his fiancée Lorna. He frequently employed the power of imperceptibility, a talent that will feature in the updated story, for better or for worse.

“Kardak the Mystic was there at the dawn of the Golden Age of comics, predating even Archie and the Riverdale crew,” Mapa said. “It’s an honor to be able to bring the character back into the spotlight, and to redefine the character for a modern audience. Readers can expect a lot of spooky atmospheres, dark choices, and creepy monsters. Everyone should follow their dreams, but this issue warns us to be careful, because some of them can lead into nightmares!”

KARDAK THE MYSTIC releases August 14 in comic shops nationwide, with colors by Ellie Wright, letters by Jack Morelli, and an open-to-order variant cover by Skylar Patridge. It’s available for pre-order now.




All John Cardy ever wanted was to be recognized for his talents at magic tricks and sleight of hand. He’s talented, but not enough to get noticed for it until he comes across a (unbeknownst to him) cursed ruby. This ruby grants John the power of invisibility. As Kardak the Mystic, he performs feats no one else can with this magic. Unfortunately for him, going invisible isn’t just a trick of the eyes, but rather entering another realm parallel to our own. And something inside that realm wants to use Kardak to enter our world for dark purposes.

Script: Joe Corallo
Art: Butch Mapa
Colors: Ellie Wright
Letters: Jack Morelli
Main Cover: Butch Mapa
Variant Cover: Skylar Patridge
On Sale Date: 8/14
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

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