The past few years have seen a darkness come to the pages of Archie Comics, thanks to the inspired horror writing of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. First came Afterlife with Archie, a collaboration with artist Francesco Francavilla that turned the industry on its head by mashing up the classic Archie characters with zombie terror. Comparisons to Afterlife and The Walking Dead came quick, but in reality the book owed more to Romero and Lovecraft than Robert Kirkman.
After the title’s immediately success, the Archie Horror imprint was born, and a follow-up title, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, was soon commissioned. Again featuring scripts from Aguirre-Sacasa and featuring suitably creepy and autumnal art from rising comics star Robert Hack, this ongoing series took a more psychological terror approach — which isn’t to say that there wasn’t heaps of gore to be found.
Soon, the writer who was once issued a cease-and-desist from Archie due to an amateur production that utilized the characters, found himself as the company’s Chief Creative Officer. Then came Riverdale.His ongoing showrunning duties for the series means that fans of Afterlife and Sabrina have found themselves enduring long waits between the issues (from a fan’s POV though let me tell you, much rather this than the titles get cancelled or replace Aguirre-Sacasa as writer). Meanwhile, Archie has recently announced a new title, Jughead: The Hunger under their new horror imprint, Archie’s Madhouse.
All of this context isn’t even getting into the freaky fun of the short-lived Chilling Adventures in Sorceryin the ’70s, or how Archie books of the era regularly featured otherworldly weirdness. The point here is, that Riverdale has been a weird place for awhile. So it only makes sense that this strangeness would eventually rear its creepy head on Riverdale too.
In the past, Aguirre-Sacasa has hinted that elements of Afterlife with Archie may turn up on Riverdale. That, coupled with the fact that Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s arrival was hinted at throughout the show’s first season means that plans to get a bit supernatural on the series are underway.
Or are they?
Our Chris Longo spoke with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa today at San Diego Comic Con to find out. Here’s what Archie’s horror master had to say:
I love horror stuff, and I’m always trying to get horror imagery and beans in that. We’ve talked a lot about it. We’ve started a pretty aggressive suspenseful noir storyline that has definite horror elements. It’s not specific to Afterlife but it very much is a suspense kind of thing. so there are different kinds of horror, I think there’s also some psychological horror in this season. But no elements of Afterlife so far. But we’re only on episode 5.
That’s a decidedly non-committal answer to be sure. But our money is on the fact that you’ll eventually see Riverdale getting supernatural. When exactly? Well, that’s the question isn’t it. Try to figure it out…if you dare. Bwahahahaha.
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