So the first season is over, and the second season has yet to come. What to do? Well, as I’m sure you’re aware, Riverdale pulls from decades of Archie Comics as material! If you like the show, here are some series you’ve got to check out!
All New! Archie (2015 – ) Mark Waid/Fiona Staples
Though the comics of the gang have technically been running since 1941, this modern reboot of the franchise certainly acted as the largest inspiration for the TV show we all know and love. Archie getting ripped over the summer working for his dad? Jughead being a apathetic hipster instead of a just the woman-hating best friend? A serialized story that continues from week to week, as opposed to canon-less one-shots? All that and more originated with this new reboot, drawn impeccably by the fantastic industry legend Fiona Staples. If you like Riverdale, OR if you like the original comics, you will definitely love this series.
Afterlife with Archie (2013 – ) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa/Francesco Francavilla
So you like what you’ve read so far, but nothing seems to capture the dark, evil tone of the show? Have I got the comic for you! Afterlife with Archie takes place in an alternate reality Riverdale where zombies have taken over the town. You thought the death of high-schooler Jason Blossom was dark? Try watching your favourites being mauled by their closest friends, or being first to murder infected family members. This series is written by the creator of Riverdale (and CCO of Archie Comics), so you know its high-quality. Though it only releases sporadically, it’s definitely worth checking it; it’s so good it spawned its own comic imprint: Archie Horror.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2014 – ) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa/Robert Hack
Okay, so bear with me. This comic may be more sporadic than Afterlife with Archie (Roberto’s a busy man!) and Sabrina may not have shown up in the show yet, but this is definitely worth a read. Another Archie Horror imprint and a witch-centric spin-off of Afterlife, this series takes place in yet another different universe from its parent series, set in the Satanic 1960’s with a teenage Sabrina on the run from a horrible vengeful woman escaped from Hell. Even if you’ve never watched the ‘90s Sabrina the Teenage Witch show (how dare you) or picked up a Sabrina issue in your life, this dark story works well completely on its own.
Jughead: The Hunger (2017 – ) Frank Tieri/Pat & Tim Kennedy
Hear me out! While this series doesn’t officially start until the autumn of this year, it’s definitely one to keep your eye on. First off, who doesn’t love Juggie? Everyone loves Jughead. This series (another Archie Horror universe, yes) reimagines Jug as a werewolf – with Betty as a member of the werewolf-hunting Cooper family. Based off a one-shot that had great critical reviews and interest, this series will be drawn by the Kennedy brothers, best known for their ‘The Death of Archie’ series. This one will be out just in time for Halloween, and with its release will actually rebrand Archie Horror as Archie Madhouse.
Archie’s Weird Mysteries (1999 – 2000) DIC Entertainment/Paul Castiglia/Bill Golliher
Okay, so I cheated. While this is actually a TV show and not a comic series, what better to sate your need for mystery than this animated supernatural adventure? Starring Broadway’s Andy Rannells, veteran voice actor America Young and, strangely, Miley’s little sister Noah Cyrus as Cheryl Blossom, this dark Scooby Doo-esque show definitely holds great memories from my childhood. Ghosts, aliens, mummies, werewolves, magic, mad science and monsters… what else could you ask for?! The entire shebang aired on PAX (or Teletoon, in Canada) at the turn of the century, but all 40 episodes are available on DVD as of this summer. The show did have a short tie-in comic series with the same creative crew, but this was cancelled shortly after the how ended.
With Riverdale back this October, keep an eye on The Game of Nerds for all your news, updates and fun stuff!