Comic Vine Review

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Afterlife With Archie #1 - Escape From Riverdale

5

Just when you thought you've seen every Archie and zombie story possible, the combination of the two brings us something unexpected.

The Good

This is absolutely not your typical ARCHIE comic. The story starts out with Hot Dog, Jughead's dog getting hit by a car and a visit to Sabrina's house for some magical help. We're talking death, blood and the rules against necromancy. Not something you really see in an average ARCHIE issue.

Francesco Francavilla isn't a stranger to the world of Archie. Having drawn the ARCHIE MEETS KISS miniseries, he returns to create the perfect vibe for this story. There is no sign of the sweet and innocent feel of the Archie stories. It's series business when Jughead has to deal with a sense of loss and the lengths he is willing to go. When the truth comes out, it's not a pretty sight. There will be consequences -- serious consequences. Trust me when I say it's not a pretty sight.

Reading the issue and waiting for everything to utterly hit the fan, you're left with a deep feeling of dread and a tiny bit of revulsion. We've all seen plenty of these types of stories in different mediums but because it's happening in the innocent sugary world of Riverdale, something feels so wrong. Yet, you won't be able to stop reading. That's what makes this a great horror story. You're supposed to feel bad or even disgusted. I definitely felt some of that here.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa bridges the world of horror and Archie in a way you never thought possible. He knows the characters and easily transforms them into this absolutely disturbing world. Francesco Francavilla's art pushes the concept over the top. The characters do look a little different from their normal style but Francavilla makes the story all the more believable with the magic he's able to do.

Most importantly, this is not a comic for kids.

The Bad

There are a few pop culture references. There's mention of other horror movies such as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween as well as the AMC channel and Man Vs. Food. It's not a completely bad thing as it grounds the story a little in our reality and there have been other mentions in ARCHIE comics before. It just felt a little weird.

It'll be interesting to see how this holds up as an ongoing series.

The Verdict

How could something so wrong feel so right? It didn't seem like crossing ARCHIE characters and zombies could fit together but Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla make it work perfectly. It could be easy to dismiss the idea as a gimmick to cash in on the zombie genre but the zombie craze isn't what it used to be. Instead, we get a fascinating meshing of these two worlds and, as horror stories should, it will make you feel completely uneasy in the pit of the stomach. If you're even slightly familiar with Archie and the gang and enjoy a good horror or zombie story, you owe it to yourself to check this out. You'll definitely want to sink your teeth into it. Just be sure to keep it away from the children.

19 Comments

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danhimself

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looking forward to this...never read an Archie book before but this sounds fun

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Skyhawk1

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This will be the first Archie comic I'll have read in the 45 years I've been reading comics.

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the_tree

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I've been looking forward to this ever since I saw Francavilla's art in the preview. Glad to hear good things about it.

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cbishop

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lol, The last few years of Archie have been interesting. The things they're willing to try to pump up interest in the line is amazing.

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BattheMan008

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Wait, what? This is an ongoing?

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gmanfromheck

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BattheMan008

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Huh...well thanks.

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longbowhunter

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I love zombies, my son loves Archie. Gotta pick this up Wednesday.

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DonFelipe

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I really hope my LCS will have a copy available for me!

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impossibilly

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I am so looking forward to this on Wednesday!

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ArmaX

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This is on my list of essential comics!

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BR_Havoc

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I must be the only person that thinks this looks super random and do not get why it was ever made. I mean the last thing in the world I would want to see or read is Archie or any of his friends being eaten by zombies.

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SWagner017

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Definitely picking this up! Love Francesco Francavilla's art!

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tsaimelemoni

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This was a pretty great issue!

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SWagner017

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After reading the first issue I'm hooked! In case anyone wanted to know a little more about the initial plot of the series or you were looking for something to convince you to pick it up a video was posted. Careful though it contains spoilers for this issue. http://afterlifewitharchie.com/2013/10/10/afterlife-with-archie/

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korghano

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Just caught up with this review, didn't even know this was a thing! I wish there was a look at some of the interior pages. It sounds like a fun book, I'll pick it up!