Afterlife with Archie #1

Archie Comics

How on this planet of ours can there possibly be an “Archie” book with zombies? Kiss. Ok, that I can get. But zombies? Impossible. “Archie” has always been the family friendly romance comic. Recently, they’ve wisely taken on current events and subjects and put them into the book. Their readership has grown, they’ve returned to relevance and people are talking about “Archie” once again. They get away with it because they do it so well. When it was announced they would be doing a zombie book, I think most people thought it was a joke. But here it is. And turns out, it’s fan-bloody-tastic.

Starting off, the book is dark. Literally and figuratively. How could Archie Comics do a family zombie book? Well, truth be told, they’re not. This is very much a 13 and up book. When Jughead’s beloved dog gets run over he goes to Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, to fix him. Conventional healing spells don’t work and Sabrina turns to dark magic. Turns out her family is in control of the Necronomicon. We all know Black Magic is never a good thing. And that night, the night of the Halloween Dance, is when the world ends in the Archie world.

This is the biggest and best surprise of the year. The largest reason? It’s actually scary! Roberto Agguire-Sacasa has written a truly frightening zombie opener. The contrast between what we know is Archie and what we know of zombies is jarring to the point of shock. But, Sacasa so perfectly writes the two together it feels perfectly natural. Horrific, but natural. Mega-star artist Francesco Francavilla takes Sacasa’s words and imbues them with the perfect blend of classic horror style and his dark noir style. There’s a reason he’s one of the biggest and most sought after artists in the industry and it shows in everything he does. This is a book he was meant for. This is a book we all never knew we needed.

 

Jo Schmidt

It’s incredibly shocking that it worked. The creative team work so well with their material and are so talented that it just flows. “Afterlife with Archie” is one of the best books of the year. It’s an absolute must read for a fan of zombies, horror, art, or anything just darn great.