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Riverdale returns to the high school era (but with horror) for The Ties That Bind

Riverdale: The Ties That Bind
(Image credit: Thomas Pitilli/Andre Szymanowicz/John Workman (Archie Comics))

Return to the bygone high school days of CW's Riverdale in the upcoming graphic novel Riverdale: The Ties That Bind

(Image credit: Thomas Pitilli/Andre Szymanowicz/John Workman (Archie Comics))

Writer Micol Ostow and artist Thomas Pitilli are telling a Four Rooms-style story of Archie and the gang - four stories, all taking place over a matter of a few hours - standalone, but better together.

Here's a rundown of what's happening:

  • Jughead and Moose find themselves locked up and left behind at the Stonewall Prep boarding school 
  • Betty and Polly's planned girls' night out goes awry when a possible murderer begins following them
  • A "long lost relative" of Archie's dearly departed dad Fred has come to town, looking for payback over something
  • And lastly, Veronica is trapped with Cheryl a a shopping mall

Here's a preview of Betty and Poll's story - you might notice a certain Archie superhero/supervillain in the background:

Image 1 of 5

Riverdale: The Ties That Bind

(Image credit: Thomas Pitilli/Andre Szymanowicz/John Workman (Archie Comics))

Riverdale: The Ties That Bind preview

Image 2 of 5

Riverdale: The Ties That Bind

(Image credit: Thomas Pitilli/Andre Szymanowicz/John Workman (Archie Comics))
Image 3 of 5

Riverdale: The Ties That Bind

(Image credit: Thomas Pitilli/Andre Szymanowicz/John Workman (Archie Comics))
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Riverdale: The Ties That Bind

(Image credit: Thomas Pitilli/Andre Szymanowicz/John Workman (Archie Comics))
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Riverdale: The Ties That Bind

(Image credit: Thomas Pitilli/Andre Szymanowicz/John Workman (Archie Comics))

(Yeah, that appears to be the Black Hood.)

"I was interested in Betty's relationship with Polly, especially on the heels of the trauma they'd been through at the Farm," Ostow tells Newsarama. "I have a soft spot for sisters, and Polly and Betty's connection was such a central part of the show, going back to Season One (and again now, this season!).

"So, I was excited to have a chance to give them some time together when their relationship might be fragile, but they have to work together against a common threat. It was nice to give Polly a chance to be strong, too."

Joining Ostow and Pitilli on Riverdale: The Ties That Bind are colorist Andre Szymanowicz and letterer John Workman.

Riverdale: The Ties That Bind is the second OGN Archie Comics has ever published (after Betty & Veronica: The Bond of Friendship), and the first based in the Riverdale TV show's continuity. There's been comic series set in the continuity of the show previously, which you can check out, collected, as Riverdale Vol. 1, Riverdale Vol. 2, and Riverdale Vol. 3

CW's Riverdale is currently midway through its fifth season, just recently experiencing a six-year time jump where many of your favorite Riverdale students have become teachers, or involved somehow as adults. The next episode airs on July 7.

Riverdale: The Ties That Bind goes on sale April 14 in comic shops (and on digital platforms), and then hits bookstores on May 4.

Did you know there was almost a crossover between CW's Riverdale and Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina?

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)