In the early '40s, the comic book business was booming. Superheroes had lit the fuse on an explosion of a whole new popular medium, and while there were plenty of Superman and Batman knockoffs running around, publishers were finding their footing in other genres, too, from westerns to teen comedies. And on October 15, 1940, when Pep Comics #22 hit newsstands across the country (cover dated December 22), it was that last one that gave comics one of their most enduring, beloved, and important characters.
That character was Archie Andrews, and over the ensuing years he'd rack up one of the most interesting legacies in comics, one that included not only enduring success, but becoming synonymous with an entire genre, taking weird diversions into over-the-top drama and religious proselytizing ---- and becoming one of the very few fictional characters to ever have a #1 single.
For a long time, the fact that Archie Comics didn't change a whole lot wasn't just a trademark of character, it was a major selling point. After all, stripping things down to those simple gags meant that there was a whole library of mostly timeless stories that could fill up those Double Digests at the grocery store, and when you're a kid who wants to read as many comics as you can for as little as you can, they end up being a pretty appealing purchase.
But with Mark Waid and Fiona Staples' reboot of Archie this past summer, they were given a unique opportunity to rebuild everything about comics' favorite teenagers. This week, with the release of the third issue, all of the major players are finally in place, so it's time to take a trip up to Riverdale to see how much has changed --- and how much has remained the same.
Every time Archie announces a digital collection, I get more excited than I think anyone could reasonably expect, mainly because we've finally gotten to the point where they are unearthing some of the weirdest parts of the company's past and making them as easy to access as possible. Sure, those first few were just stories about Veronica's dad or whatever, but last time we got Jughead's Time Police and now? Now it's time for Archie's Mysteries, featuring the Teen Scene Investigators.
Getting Fiona Staples to be the artist on the new Archie series was quite a coup for the publisher, but there's a price that comes with hiring superstar artists: They don't hang around forever. Staples will be exiting the book after the third issue.
That's the bad news, according Archie Comics President Mike Pellerito. Here's the good news: The publisher already has the next two artists lined up, and they're both very exciting in their own right: First, Annie Wu (Hawkeye, Black Canary) will step up for issue #4, and after that, Veronica Fish, who is the artist behind the promo image for the upcoming CW series Riverdale, will take over through the sixth issue.
If you've been reading ComicsAlliance for long enough, then you already know that Jughead Jones rounds out our (my) illustrious list of the five greatest characters in comic book history, a list that is etched in stone and will never be changed. So as you might expect, with the relaunch of Archie, we've been on the edge of our seats wondering what the new take would be on Archie's perpetually sleepy best pal.
As it turns out, we didn't have to wait that long. In this week's second issue of Archie, from the team of Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, Jughead takes the spotlight for the origin story of his true name!
So here's a sentence I can almost guarantee you didn't know you were going to be reading today: There's a Broadway musical based on Archie in the works, written and co-produced by Adam McKay and Funny Or Die. And before you ask, no, you are not dreaming, and yes, this is actually happening.
I'll be honest with you, folks: I have never seen any of the three (and counting) Sharknado films. This is not, I assure you, from lack of interest, as anything that can combine the destructive power of nature and the terrifying threat of sharks being whipped through the air is certainly something I want to see, but the point remains. I will tell you, though, that there's a pretty good chance that Archie vs. Sharknado is going to be the first comic I read this week.
Not only does it hit the sweet spot of being one of Archie's increasingly frequent and increasingly bizarre crossovers, something that's produced more hits than misses in recent years, but it also has sweet, kindhearted Betty Cooper expressing sympathy for the sharknado, and a rarely seen reference to Josie and the Pussycats, the greatest comic book movie of all time. Check out a preview below!
Yes, it's true. In 2016, Riverdale's typical teenagers will be teaming up with New York City's original punks in a musical crossover for the ages. Saturday night at San Diego Comic-Con's "Comics & Pop Music: Making New Noise" panel, writers Alex Segura and Matthew Rosenberg revealed Archie Comics' latest, greatest, rockingest release to date, a special comic that brings together the formerly disparate worlds of CBGB's and Pop's Chocklit Shop in a hyperspeed bubblegum battle of the bands.
Now that the first volume of Archie has ended after 666 issues, in accordance with prophecy, the blood moon has risen high to herald the arrival of a new series of adventures for the man-child who bears hair the color of flame. Or... or maybe I'm just reading way too much into a coincidental issue number of the last issue? Either way, the Archie reboot from Mark Waid and Fiona Staples is now upon us, and I'm pretty excited.
To celebrate our impending Archiegeddon, we've got a preview of the events of the first issue, in which Riverdale's favorite son finally takes the stage to play a little music.
Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with 75 years of superhero comics behind us right now, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite characters in our continuing video series. You think you know comics? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!
With Archie's high profile relaunch just over the horizon, this week we're taking a look at America's boy friend, Archie Andrews! Find out Archie's quickly abandoned nickname, what he does with his time when he's not busy being America's typical bigamist teenager, and who the strangest visitors to darken Riverdale's doorway are, as well as several other equally interesting facts.
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