Q: Can you help an Archie skeptic understand why it's so great? - @SuperSentaiBros
A: Man, I hope so. After all, until a few years ago, Archie was arguably the most overlooked publisher in comics just by sheer volume of what they were putting out, at least among die-hard superhero fans. And to be honest, they had a good reason for it --- in a lot of ways, those comics had gotten stale, and they were in dire need of exactly the kind of shot in the arm that they got from the big name projects that have made them so engaging today.
The thing is, at least in my case, it wasn't when Archie suddenly got weird that made me such a big fan. It was when I realized that they'd been weird all along.
As you may have heard, Archie is relaunching their flagship title in July, bringing an end to what has been the longest continuously published American comic that has never been rebooted, after 666 issues. In addition to a new direction from Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, the relaunch is getting a whole slew of variant covers focusing on the revamped design for everyone's favorite two-timing redheaded high schooler, from artists like J. Scott Campbell, Dean Haspiel, and more.
Now we've got seven of those variant covers to reveal, bringing the total number of Archie #1 variants to approximately one hundred million (and all of them awesome). Check them out below, from Tania Del Rio, Genevieve F.T., legendary Superman and Shazam artist Jerry Ordway, and more!
Even though it was announced months ago, I'm still having a hard time believing that we live in a magical world where Alex de Campi and Fernando Ruiz's Archie Vs Predator is a real thing that is happening. Even in a time when the company's most critically successful book is a moody supernatural horror story where the entire cast is about two seconds away from being murdered by zombies, Archie Vs Predator still seems like a beautiful, beautiful dream.
That's why, in order to confirm that this is in fact happening, I spoke to Ruiz about what it's like to send the Predator to Riverdale, and how it compares to drawing Betty riding a dragon.
When Archie Comics announced a while back that it was relaunching its flagship character with a new series by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, we all knew that the current series was going to come to an end, and today, Archie let us know exactly when that's happening. This June will mark the final issue for Archie, ending at... #666!
Could this mean that Archie's universe gets rebooted due to some kind of sinister pact with the Devil himself?! Has the Author of All Lies finally wreaked his hellish revenge on Archie and his crew for all those weird religious comics they appeared in back in the '70s?Is Reggie actually Satan, as I have so long suspected?
It probably won't surprise anyone if I say that Archie Comics has published a lot of Christmas stories over the past 60 years, but you have to understand that when I say "a lot of Christmas comics," I mean a truly ridiculous amount. Just to give you an idea, there are two separate characters in the Archie universe -- Jingles and Sugarplum -- who are magical Christmas imps who use their powers to give the gang a hard time during the holidays. They have done stories like that so many times that they actually needed a spare.
And as you might imagine from the fact that I just used the phrase "magical Christmas imps," Archie's holiday stories tend to be a little weird. But none of them -- and I say this as someone with two paperbacks' worth of Archie Christmas comics -- skew quite as far into madness as the one where Little Archie meets the alien Santa Claus from Planet Peewee.
Over the past few years, Archie Comics has taken a lot of inspiration from the world of superheroes. We've seen inter-company crossovers, high-profile creators, the launch of a Mature Readers line and a couple of superhero imprints, and now, they're embracing the superhero comic's most time-honored tradition: For the first time since 1942, the Archie title is getting relaunched with a new #1.
That's kind of a big deal in and of itself -- with 661 issues as of this December, I'm pretty sure that Archie is currently the longest-running monthly comic on the stands that has never been rebooted or renumbered -- but the bigger news comes from the announcement of the new creative team handling Archie's biggest new direction yet: Mark Waid and Fiona Staples.
It was just the other day that I was writing about how I never really understood why comics were always crossing over with the Predator, but today, I have officially been convinced that it's all worth it. Archie Comics and Dark Horse have announced Archie Meets Predator, coming next spring from writer Alex De Campi and artist Fernando Ruiz.
The Predator, an alien from space who comes to Earth in order to hunt the deadliest and most skilled humans alive, will join The Punisher, KISS and the cast of Glee in the illustrious and growing roster of unlikely Archie crossovers, and while Frank Castle took a few shots at our redheaded hero, it seems like the Predator is the one most bent on doing violence to our Riverdale pals.
Over the past few years, Archie Comics has been making a pretty concerted effort to add a little diversity to what has traditionally been a pretty homogenous setting. Characters like Chuck Clayton and Ginger Lopez have been around for a while, but over the past few years Riverdale has added more than a handful of new students to Riverdale High, with the most notable by far being Kevin Keller.
Now, in next month's Archie #656, writer/artist Dan Parent is taking the next step in what CEO Jon Goldwater describes as an effort "to make Riverdale feel like a city in today’s world" by introducing Riverdales newest resident, Veronica's cousin Harper, a "spunky fashionista" with hot pink streaks in her hair and a matching wheelchair.
When it comes to the holiday gift-giving season, comic book readers are notoriously difficult to shop for. I mean, most of us are down at the shop buying our favorite stuff every single week, so when the time comes for people who like us to get us something we want, well, a lot of times we already have it. That’s why we’re stepping in with a public service, bringing you comics-related items sure to make the season brighter, whether you’re browsing for a gift or just looking for something to drop hints about so that you don’t get stuck with a random assortment of back issues again.
For the Archie fan in your life, there's a brand new book that makes a dandy gift this year: The Art of Archie: The Covers, collecting some of the best covers of Archie's long history, from the early days right up to now.
I like to think that I have a pretty comprehensive knowledge of minor Archie Comics characters. Cricket O'Dell, Veronica's cousin who can smell money, Chic Cooper, Betty's older brother who is actually a full-on, licensed-to-kill secret agent, even the breakdancers from the '90s, Claude and Raoul, these are all characters that I can and will talk about at length if you give me half the chance. And yet, I was somehow completely unaware of Sassy Thrasher, a violent, skateboarding love interest for Jughead Jones.
I know, I was surprised too. That's basically everything I want in the world. Fortunately, it's time to get reacquainted, as Archie #649 has reintroduced Sassy to a world that desperately needs her. Check out a preview of the issue -- which includes a cover by Jeff Shultz, Rosario 'Tito' Peña inspired by the classic painting, The Nighthawks below!
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