I’ve heard a lot about Afterlife With Archie, and have been enjoying the Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina a little, so when the opportunity came to review the latest issue of the series that launched the Archie Horror line, I couldn’t resist, despite my usual disdain for zombies.
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artist: Francesco Francavilla, Jack Morelli
Cover: Francesco Francavilla
Here’s Juggy Variant Cover: Francesco Francavilla
On Sale Date: 5/6
“A Ghost Story.” Contrary to popular belief, the current zombie outbreak is not the first time a shadow fell across Riverdale and its citizens. As the survivors hunker down in a hotel to wait out a snowstorm, Hiram Lodge and Mary Andrews relive the darkest chapter of their town’s history. Ten years ago, the adults of Riverdale struck a terrible bargain with the witches of Greendale, setting the stage for the present-day apocalypse.
I was mistaken in thinking this book was going to be about zombies in Riverdale. Heck, they’re not even in Riverdale. This book also remains true to the history and tone of Archie while deviating from it and forcing the characters to face some harsh truths and horrors. The best part is not even described in the synopsis, as there’s a horrible vote in the group over the fate of one of the group, and that’s the story that I liked the most. The rest, that has ramifications on the characters is definitely interesting but not so much as to make me read another issue. That first half of the issue, really does, though.
Archie still comes off as an anachronism, and despite facing some very challenging circumstances is the least changed of all of the characters depicted here. Perhaps that’s why the ending doesn’t seem so much of a shock to me, because that’s totally how I expect Archie to act. That’s the appeal of Archie to me, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa captures it. With Archie Andrews, I know what to expect, and he’ll give it to me.
The artwork by Francesco Francavilla is very nice and completely sets the tone for the series as dark, yet never violating the iconic nature of these characters. Betty does come across as a little bland, but it’s still definitely Betty. I’ve seen better Veronica Lodge, but it’s still good. I do need to say though, that there’s some unfortunate root beer bottle placement on page four.
Will I read it again? Given that Archie sends these to us, yes. If I were buying this book, I might not based on this issue alone. It’s the type of comic that while I enjoyed it, I didn’t enjoy it enough to cut something out of my comic-buying budget. However, it is worth checking out, and definitely worth the cover price.