Betty as the iconic slasher movie 'Final Girl' and Archie and his Riverdale friends and frenemies in a Mad Max-like post-apocalyptic world are just a couple of the genre mash-ups Archie Comics has planned for 2023. And now Newsarama readers get a first look at interior art from the latter, the January Archie Vs. the World one-shot.
The special is written by Aubrey Sitterson and drawn by Jed Dougherty, the creative pairing on the equally genre-busting 'Jughead the Burgarian' story in the Best Archie Comic Ever one-shot anthology special, and is colored by Matt Herms, and lettered by Jack Morelli.
Archie Comics calls it a "blockbuster sci-fi special" that places the titular icon and the Riverdale gang in a "post-apocalyptic wasteland where only the strong survive, in a pedal-to-the-metal brawl."
Archie takes his usual place as the hero and Reggie, of course, counters as the villain in a "brutal (and hilarious!) fight for control of a secret water source," which as the genre requires, is a rare and valuable commodity in the post-apocalyptic future.
Driving modified vehicles, including a rugged, "radically customized" version of Archie's classic jalopy (see above and below), the gang ekes out an existence in a world that includes reimagined versions of Archie's spin-off characters like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie and the Pussycats.
"Even before the explosion in popularity that's come with Riverdale, Archie comics were omnipresent in a way that I've never ceased being aware of them, even when I wasn't regularly reading them," says Sitterson. "It's a testament to the power of these archetypal, even totemic characters, that someone can go years without picking one up but, upon doing so, even though the specifics might have changed and new characters might have come on the scene, they never feel lost."
The writer says he and Dougherty were given so much freedom by the Archie editorial team, they decided to try some different techniques and approaches, and test some new tools, "and the results have been incredible," he says. "In particular, I'm excited for folks to see how we handled vehicular action, something that, while crucial to Mad Max, has historically been a difficult thing to depict in comics."
Readers can judge that for themselves in that first look below.
Archie Vs. the World #1 with a cover by Dougherty and a variant cover by Aaron Lopresti, goes on sale January 25.
In the spirit of this Archie-Max Max mash-up, Archie has been involved with two of the most unlikely comic book crossovers ever.