With Halloween right around the corner, horror comics will be all over your local comic shop this month. Yet this week the best horror comic is, in fact, an Archie comic. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla’s Afterlife with Archie #1 takes the classic zombie trope and brings it to Riverdale.
One would expect to find a cute and funny zombie tale in this issue, after all, it is an Archie comic right? No. You are dead wrong. This comic is as dark as they come. Lovable characters from the timeless and virginal Archie series are mauled to death and brutally killed in this comic, and it is great to watch. Although this book is grim and violent, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa still brings that classic Archie charm. Betty and Veronica are still fighting over an oblivious Archie and Jughead is still a dummy, but the way Aguirre-Sacasa manages to weave the innocence of this town and its characters with the shocking horror of a legitimate zombie story makes this book all the more chilling.
This issue is really a showcase for Francesco Francavilla’s art. Heavily shadowed, his art constantly gives off an eerie vibe, even during the virtuous scenes in Riverdale High. Francavilla’s ability to only use different shades of red and orange, or blue and purple makes the art rise off the page. The pulpy feel of the art also brings the violence of this issue to life.
Afterlife with Archie #1 is an unexpected gem of a horror book. The jarring contrast between the innocent world of Archie merging with the putrid and vile idea of the undead makes for an incredibly enjoyable read.
Special thanks to The Spider’s Web for providing my comics for the week. It’s a great shop, organized neatly, and has a friendly and knowledgeable staff. You can check them out on their Facebook page.
Tyler Olson is a writer and reviewer for PopCulture Galaxy. He will be playing Pokemon X for the near future, so don’t get worried if you don’t hear from him in a while. You can contact him on Twitter @TylerSchmolson or email him at TylerOlson619@gmail.com
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