Riverdale’s resident hero Archie goes darker in a new comic book series.
“Archie Comics: Judgment Day,” which fully plunges the gang into the heart of darkness, hits comic book stands on May 22 from the Archie Horror imprint. The three-issue miniseries is the first Archie Premium Event, “which will designate upcoming Archie stories that are simply too grand for a single one-shot release” (according to the official release).
The new series was written by Aubrey Sitterson with art by Megan Hutchison, colors by Matt Herms and letters by Jack Morelli. According to the official synopsis, this new series “sets Archie Andrews on a daring quest to cleanse an alternate version of Riverdale overrun by demons. After claiming some destructive powers of his own, Archie is forced to destroy corrupted versions of the people closest to him, ostensibly in the name of the greater good. As questions about his own morality and the sacrifices he’s made start to pile up, Archie must confront if his efforts are truly good, or in fact the work or pure evil?”
Archie Comics has a pretty amazing history, with the company started back in 1939 (as MLJ Magazine). Archie, Jughead and the gang debuted in 1941. And while their adventures were initially squeaky clean, in recent years they have had a harder, darker edge. In 2013 Archie Comics launched their first horror title, “Afterlife with Archie,” which in turn inspired “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.” This darker tone would inspire two television series – “Riverdale,” which started in 2017 on The CW and was created by Archie Comics writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” on Netflix, which ran for two seasons, was developed by Aguirre-Sacasa and eventually crossed over with the increasingly bonkers “Riverdale.” These more macabre storylines reinvigorated the franchise and have led to events like “Archie Comics: Judgment Day.”
“Judgment Day places Archie Andrews squarely at the center, acting as our hero—but with the power to choose who lives and who dies, can he truly remain a hero through and through?” said Jesse Goldwater, Archie Comics Creative Consultant. “This miniseries raises the stakes more than any title we’ve ever done before. The fate of the entire world is in Archie’s hands.”
With the Archie Premium Events “will take Archie Comics in epic new narrative directions, paired with upgraded collector-quality issues featuring cardstock covers, improved interior paper stock, and specialized print finishes” (according to the official release).
“Judgment Day is the first in a compelling slate of events. As we look to the future of Archie, we wanted to translate our success in TV and film to focus that sense of grandeur back to our core publishing efforts. With our Archie Premium Event series, we’ve imbued each project with an epic sense of storytelling that is evocative of the exciting new direction for the company,” said Jonathan Betancourt, Archie Comics Senior Vice President in an official release. “In addition to our concentrated focus on elevated storytelling, these new series are also investments for the larger comic book community, transforming what would be a normal print issue into a must-have collector’s item.”
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