By Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Francesco Francavilla
Everybody knows who Archie is. He’s been around since 1941—the same year as Captain America as a matter of fact—and for the most part he has evolved and changed too drastically. People know the general story, the general idea of the “Archie Universe” and they know the characters. For somebody who has been disconnected from this world for a number of years, it’s surprisingly easy to slip back into it like a comforting blanket you forgot you owned.
Of course, this particular comforting blanket happens to be a darker version of what we all know and has, for lack of a better term, been zombiefied. But, hey, who doesn’t love a good zombie story right? Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, handling the writing side of this story, does, in fact, have a good zombie story here. The characters are more or less how you would remember them, with the exception of some texting that made this reviewer laugh simply because the Archie Universe has phones now, and the story progresses relatively similar to the standard “Archie formula”. The difference is, of course, the twist at the end.
Said twist, as well as the overall dark mood and feel of the story, is elevated exceptionally well by Eisner winning artist Francesco Francavilla. After reading this story, one might venture to guess that it was written specifically with Francavilla in mind. The characters look the same, with the Francavilla twist, as you might remember and the limited, signature, darker color palette sets the mood perfectly. There’s just little to no complaints with the art and that’s something that people have come to expect from a top notch artist like Francavilla.
This is one of a handful of number one issues released today and it’s possible that it just might be one of the best. It’s new, but it’s different. It’s characters you remember, but with a bit of a darker twist. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla make an excellent pair for this particular yarn and it’s something that’s highly recommended. If you haven’t read an Archie for years, it might be time to check back in. This is going to be a helluva story.