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Parting Shot: ‘Life With Archie’ Variant Cover by Ramon Perez

Courtesy of Archie Comics comes this first look at the variant cover of Life With Archie #28, illustrated by none other than the great Ramón Pérez. The illustrator of Marvel’s John Carter: Gods of Mars, author of the multiple award-winning adaptation of Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand for Archaia, and the new co-artist of Wolverine and the X-Men, Pérez is one of my favorite comic book artists of the last few years. Pérez depicts with his typical flair an eye-catching, retro-styled scene in which Archie and Betty and Veronica indulge in some plainly scandalous yet somehow weirdly wholesome behavior in the back of a car while Jughead and Sabrina… they watch…

You can see a high-rez version of the cover below.Life With Archie features soap opera-style stories which take place in a possible future where the iconic Riverdale gang confront more mature themes than readers typically see in the main publishing line. Events have including Archie marrying both Betty and Veronica in separate timelines (constituting an Archie Comics multiverse), the marriage of U.S. soldier Kevin Keller to a male partner and Cheryl Blossom suffering from breast cancer. It’s a pretty cool book, as you may have gleaned from the ComicsAlliance pull quote on the top right corner of this lovely Ramón Pérez cover:

(click to enlarge)

Pérez’s wryly polyamorous cover joins Fiona Staples’ punky Josie and the Pussycats and Francesco Francavilla’s Riverdale Zombies and KISS crossover pieces as some of Archie Comics’ more memorable covers in recent years, which have helped make these artifacts of Americana comics relevant not just to today’s younger readers, but really fun for an older generation who’d once enjoyed them as children.

Of course, Life With Archie variants are designed more for art lovers like ourselves and rarely reflect the contents of the story within. Life With Archie #28 doesn’t go on sale until March, but here’s the retailer solicitation text to give you an idea of what to expect:

“Archie Marries Veronica” – Kevin’s campaign is now in full swing and he’s got Veronica working hard behind the scenes to ensure his run for senate is a successful one. But pulling double duty as a campaign manager as well as running her own business is taking its toll on her relationship with Archie-who has his plate full as well heading up Mirth Music. Will the couple find time to spend together despite their consuming careers? Meanwhile at the Choklit Shoppe, manager Jughead gets a surprise visit from an old friend, but the joyous reunion soon turns serious as the visitor delivers a warning about Jug’s business partner…

“Archie Marries Betty” – Archie’s alternate reality counterpart is dealing with similar relationship woes as Betty, who was already working overtime hours on the school committee, has now accepted Mr. Weatherbee’s offer to fill in as assistant principle! After that bombshell announcement, can Archie hope to even fit into Betty’s overloaded schedule anymore? After taking over the Gazette, Reggie struggles with the decision to endorse Kevin for office and Jughead’s concern over the recent robberies is heightened as there’s still no suspects in the ongoing case. Does Jellybean’s shady boyfriend factor in somehow?

Script: Paul Kupperberg
Art: Pat Kennedy, Tim Kennedy, Bob Smith, Jim Amash
Cover: Fernando Ruiz, Bob Smith, Tito Peña
Variant Cover: Ramón Pérez

On Sale at Comic Specialty Shops: 3/27
48-page, full color comic
$3.99 US.

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