Archie was the very first comic book I ever read. As a loud annoying child my mum would buy me Archie to keep me quiet while she did the grocery shopping. Archie Comics always stick to the same formula. There is a love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica, Veronica's dad hates Archie and Jughead loves his dog Hotdog and eats a ton of food.
When Archie Comics announced that Riverdale would be invaded by zombies thus going in a radically different art and story direction I was nervous to say the least. I had been attached to the story for so long, what if they messed it up especially since the zombie market is already flooded with content? My tune changed the moment I opened the front cover to Afterlife with Archie.
Artisit Francessco Francavilla made my jaw drop. The traditional Archie Comics bold rainbow colour palate was gone, replaced with dark tones mixed with Halloweenish orange and purples. All my favourite characters were there and still had all their personality traits like Archie's jumper and jughead's crown, but everything was more realistic. I fell in love instantly. Beautiful, creepy and sometimes full of gore; Francavilla's art moved me in ways I never thought an Archie comic could.
Writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's clever use of Archie Comics main repetitive story lines set in a zombie apocalypse, perfectly captures that feeling of a confused teenager who has a little bit more on their mind than which girl to kiss.
In the opening scene Jughead's beloved dog Hotdog is run over by a friend and after burying man's best friend Jughead spirals into depression. Upon seeing her friends's distressed state Sabrina the teenage witch decides to use her magic powers for something a little more dark and bring Hotdog back to life. But we all know resurrection never comes without consequences.
Afterlife with Archie took my fandom to another level and reignited a love that has lasted through the years. I never thought I would have trouble sleeping after being creeped out by an Archie comic or that a scene could be so painfully heartfelt that It would bring me to tears.
For fans of Archie Comics, Afterlife with Archie is an absolute thrill. For those that have never read any Archie Comics this is a perfect comic to start with as it introduces all of Riverdale's quirky characters -even if some of them are Zombies.