Reanimated Riverdale: Afterlife with Archie Review
Book: Afterlife with Archie Volume 1
Creators: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla
Audience: 14+ (but as with everything, if you’re not sure, take a look at it first)
Where to find in our library: GN AFT V1
I don’t know about you, but I grew up reading and really enjoying the Archie comics. Even if you didn’t, you have probably picked up on some of the general idea of the series. The small town gang it follows, the love triangle between Archie, Betty, and Veronica, and how much Jughead loves food. You also got the fun characters of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie and the Pussycats, which made a whole different batch of stories. Basically, they were written with a very all-American and generally wholesome. The series has been revamped, and keeps the core characters in place, as well as expanding on their identities. Also, the diversity of the teens in town has definitely increased in the recent years, which makes complete sense now that even smaller towns have visibly more varied residents.
I also happened to grow up loving zombie movies. My mom has always liked horror movies, and my siblings both always liked zombie stuff, so it came naturally to me. Yes, I watch The Walking Dead every week. But no, that was not my first introduction to zombies. Honestly, the market has become saturated with the zombie story lately, and some people are sick of it. I’m fine with it, as long as the stories being told are well done.
Clearly, when I heard about Afterlife with Archie basically being a zombie outbreak in the Archie Universe, I was in.
I have to say, I’m glad I decided to check out this book. There’s something particularly satisfying about seeing bright, peppy Archie world turned into a dark-toned zombie and ghoul story. They tie in a supernatural start, but from then on it’s very much a story of seeing how the particular characters would deal with a sudden zombie invasion. You get to see all the old familiar characters, even though they are the most recent incarnations of them. It’s set in this time, with modern kids, and even an awareness (from a couple), about zombies. The art and lettering set a specific tone for the story, and the writers clearly had a blast delving into this end of the world scenario with these characters. It really is a refreshing take on the zombie tale.
The book was fun if you love a good horror romp. It was especially nice because I already had an attachment to these characters from my childhood. This attachment even led to an actual poignant moment while reading, which I will not discuss because I don’t believe in spoilers.
I’d definitely recommend Afterlife with Archie if you not only like the Riverdale gang, but also if you’re a fan of the zombie or horror genres. Sometimes it’s just fun to be a little spooky, and sometimes it’s nice to see some real emotion going on where you don’t expect it. I will go ahead and give a heads up that this comics is geared towards more mature readers (teen or older), and isn’t scared of showing blood (it is a zombie story, after all).
Apparently, there’s is also a Chilling Adventures with Sabrina series, so I might need to check that out. As long as Salem the cat is involved, I’m there. I’ll let you know what I think.