Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Afterlife With Archie #1

Written By: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art By: Francesco Francavilla
Publisher: Archie Comics

Synopsis:This is how the end of the world begins… Harvey Award-winning writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Carrie, Archie meets Glee) and Eisner-winning artist Francesco Francavilla (Batman, Black Beetle) take Archie and the gang where they’ve never been before-to the grave and back! A horrific accident sets off a series of grim events and Sabrina the Teenage Witch must try to repair the unspeakable evil her spell has unleashed. Gasp in horror as Riverdale faces an impending zombie Arch-pocalypse in this brand-new, spine-tingling ongoing series-but be warned, kiddies, this one’s not for the faint of heart! (Source)

The Good:
I was pleasantly surprised by the pure audacity in the approach Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa took with this book. Having not read an Archie comic in years I still have fond memories of the goofy safe Riverdale where the biggest problem the characters faced was what flavor of milkshake to order at the malt shop but this book is pure horror from start to finish. The use of characters was very well done to from a certain teenage with being the catalyst for the zombie apocalypse and Jughead being patient zero; the characters are bot familiar and appealingly different at the same time. Francesco Francavilla’s art is very fitting for a zombie horror tale too with lots of shadows and great uses of color. And that last page is really cool looking.

The Bad:
As much as Francavilla’s art fits a zombie tale it is completely the opposite of what you would expect from an Archie story and I was hoping to get a happy medium in the art department with equal parts old school Archie Comics clean look combined with the darker horror aesthetic.

The Ugly:
I know Betty and Veronica have been competing for Archie’s affections since bobby sox were all the rage but I really don’t remember their sparring being quite so catty and vicious. Maybe I am having bad recollection but both ladies came off like mega-beeyotches who would send any man with a lick of sense running for the exit.

Final Verdict: While there were some issues that I had with the execution of the art and characterization, AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE is a fun melding of two very different genres that somehow ends up being a really fun read. If the creative team can improve on the solid start they have with issue #1 then this book will definitely neon my pull list.

Rating: B

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