Afterlife with Archie
Ah Archie. I have never understood Archie’s refusal to choose between Betty or Veronica when the choice is so obviously Betty. But then again, this love triangle has been selling millions of copies of rather stupid books in grocery stores around the world for over 50 years. These teenage kids get into hijinks and run around Riverdale. In the last couple of years though, it seems like the comics are trying to be more adult and strengthen their story lines. They have had a gay character who of course died. Because you can’t let the gay characters have a happy ending. Now they have a zombie storyline. I borrowed the first graphic novel in the series from the library. No way would I pay for an Archie comic, but I was curious about the new more mature storylines. It did not disappoint. I am still not sure that I will ever pay to read an Archie comic book, but I am seeing how the new CW show, Riverdale, might be able to do some interesting things with these stale old characters.
Jughead finds his pooch, Hot Dog, dead from being hit by a car and rushes him to Sabrina’s house. Perhaps she can use her powers to revive him? Unfortunately he is gone and the Aunts forbid Sabrina from raising the dead. But Jughead is sad and Sabrina is a notoriously poor decision maker. It’s not really a spoiler because it’s the first few pages of the book, but Sabrina gets conveniently banished for being stupid and then all hell breaks out. The gang is forced to flee for their lives from eww gross zombies. Of course all the life and death stuff takes a backseat to who Archie loves more (isn’t the answer always Jughead?) and parents just don’t understand.
Volume One is composed of the first 5 comics and is the beginning of the outbreak and the gang’s attempts to survive and possibly flee Riverdale. Issue 6 is Sabrina’s adventures in wherever the hell she was sent by the aunts (maybe?) and an appearance by Cthulu. Issue 7-10 progress the story along while giving dark backgrounds to the Riverdale Gang, heavy with incest (I know right?!) ritual sacrifice, domestic violence and a weird obsession with dogs. Issue 8 even sees the gang hanging out in a haunted Colorado hotel. Cut off from the rest of the world by snow and zombies, they all start seeing ghosts.
It’s dark and twisty and a quick read. Check it out if you need more of your innocent childhood favorites ruined Robot Chicken style.