The month of Halloween is here and…I’ve done nothing festive with my backdrop. Missed opportunity? Perhaps. Nevertheless, it’s time to run through a few new editions to the gaming room!
How do you keep Archie relevant for modern times? Maybe more importantly, how do you do that without alienating the dedicated fanbase that loves it as-is? This is probably the question that Archie Comic Publications has been wrestling with since the franchise was established in the 1940s. Even when I had a brief love affair with Archie digests in the early 90s as a kid, I always thought of them as entertainment aimed at my grandmother.
From a distance, I’ve seen digest covers that feature the gang playing video games, to weird zombie spin-offs and Predator crossovers, right down to the actual death of Archie in Life with Archie #36. Having read those final issues involving his demise, it wasn’t enough to shake my perceptions of this being an antiquated franchise.
Fast forward to the present, and sitting in my house is a copy of Archie #1 by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples. Sporting a modern look from the artist behind Saga, the cover alone makes it look like the most daring attempt at a reboot yet. After reading it, I’m not sure if my grandma would have enjoyed this, but I’m actually taken aback at how strong of a first issue this was.