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Interview: Mark Waid Talks Over the Edge, the Upcoming Event That Will Change Archie Comics Forever

(Or at least for the next couple of months.)

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While we’ve loved the fun of the sometimes funny, sometimes frightening one-shots that Archie Comics puts out (like their adventures with the Ramones or, you know, Sharknado), writer Mark Waid and artist Pete Woods are going to be delivering an actual, multi-issue story that will greatly affect Riverdale’s status quo (hopefully more than their Archie Marries Veronica/Archie Marries Betty “event”). Get ready for Over the Edge!

Here’s the official solicit information for the three upcoming issues, courtesy of Archie Comics:

  • ARCHIE #20
    It’s the BIGGEST comic event in ARCHIE HISTORY! Archie and Reggie’s ongoing feud reaches a fever pitch that pits the two against each other in a thrill ride on the deadly Dead Man’s Curve! Script: Mark Waid, Art: Pete Woods, Jack Morelli, Cover: Pete Woods, Variant Covers: Elliot Fernandez with Joey Vazquez, Greg Smallwood; On Sale Date: 5/17; 32-page, full color comic; $3.99 U.S.
  • ARCHIE #21
    A phone call leaves everyone in Riverdale in a state of shock and despair! Script: Mark Waid; Art: Pete Woods, Jack Morelli; Cover: Pete Woods; Variant Covers: Matthew Dow Smith, Greg Smallwood; On Sale Date: 6/21; 32-page, full color comic; $3.99 U.S.
  • ARCHIE #22
    The end has come for one of Riverdale’s most beloved residents. This is one you’re going to want to buy, keep, and re-read over the years, because we promise it will never leave you. Script: Mark Waid; Art: Pete Woods, Jack Morelli; Cover: Pete Woods; Variant Cover: Thomas Pitilli, Greg Smallwood; On Sale Date: 7/19; 32-page, full color comic; $3.99 U.S.

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I had the chance to chat with Waid about the Over the Edge. Here’s what he has to say:

TMS (Teresa Jusino): Sum up the overall story arc of Over the Edge in your own words.

Mark Waid: Reggie digs so deeply under Archie’s skin this time that, as teenagers (and I) often do, Archie does something stupid. Reggie goads Archie into a drag race –and as a consequence, someone in the cast, someone we love, pays a horrible, horrible price and fades to black. As a result, the kids (and half the adults) of Riverdale go through some heartbreaking emotions, parents are at war with one another, and the whole town changes for the worse. And that’s just the start.

TMS: So, is this just toxic machismo run amok, or is there more to it than that? What is it about Archie and Reggie that brings them to this seemingly fever pitch? Why can’t they just get along, or alternately, why don’t they just stay away from each other?

Waid: In Archie and Reggie’s case, Reggie is a bully, full stop. And if I learned anything my first eighteen years on this earth, it’s that it’s impossible to “stay away” from a bully because they will happily track you down. In this specific relationship, Archie’s generally pretty good about letting Reggie’s bullying roll off his back, but this time, as we’ll see, he strikes a very sensitive nerve right here and right now in Archie.

TMS: In addition to those two, whose storyline do you think fans should keep an especially close eye on, and why?

Waid: Cheryl Blossom and her brother have just learned something devastating about their parents, something ugly that tends to happen a little too frequently in the real world when adults try to keep secrets from their kids. I’m especially fond of how the unlikely pairing of Dilton and Betty is shaping up. Veronica learns to be a CEO. And what Mr. Weatherbee and Ms. Grundy get up to in their private time is their business. I am joking about one of these.

TMS: Why now? Why does Archie Comics need an event that will apparently change things so fundamentally?

Waid: Because as much fun as the book has been to write, and it has been massive fun, I came to realize that –comedy or not –it was time to have the kids experience some genuine consequences for their antics. “Why now” because it felt like the right time and because editor Mike Pellerito and I, in conversation, came up with what I think is a really good story that plays to my strengths as a writer. With few exceptions, the kids haven’t “changed” very much since their inception. Give them this.


Now, check out all the covers, and variants, that you can expect to get your grubby little hands on for the next three months in the gallery below! Aren’t they purdy?

Wanna make sure you can snag yourself a copy? Call up your LCS and order you a copy of Archie #20 today, as today’s the day for comics shops to get in their final orders. Once you’re done doing that? Feel free to speculate about any and all possible Archie Universe changes in the comments below!


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(image: Archie Comics)

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