Riverdale Is Weird, Strange, But That’s Kind of How the Comic Has Always Been
Let us show you.
Have we all watched the trailer for Riverdale? Can we all agree that this is not your dad’s Archie? Someone killed Jason Blossom and Archie is no longer convinced that he knows Riverdale. The words “sexy thriller” were used to describe the new CW show. Imagine that: sexy thriller… and Archie Andrews. Now, with the New Archie and the Afterlife with Archie, it may seem like Archie Comics publishing has been pushing their titular character past his golden boy roots for the past few years. We’ve got a horror series, Jughead regularly time travels, and Sabrina’s origin story is scary as hell… but what the average Moose may not know is that Archie has always been weird.
Here are a few real, actual strips published by Archie, some of which I think could end up influencing Riverdale‘s plot—some of these I’m just hoping to God end up in the show in some form.
Archie in “Nobody’s Dummy” – Pep #62
This is an old strip from 1947, so in addition to it being a really strange story, it’s got that classic, somewhat unsettling Archie style. In it, ole Arch offers to grab a mannequin for Veronica. The mannequin then goes through some serious trauma in this comic. To outsiders, it looks like a real girl, so thanks to some precarious situations, people think that Archie is murdering this mannequin with a wrench or forcing himself on her. People even think Betty is stabbing a woman in the heart with a pair of scissors. At the end, one of the two police officers who were chasing the “murderers” find the dummy and want to practice shooting it with the gun he’s been “waiting to shoot ever since [he] got it.”
This actually seems like something that could really work in a murder mystery show where anyone could be a killer.
Betty & Veronica in “Pick Me Up” – Betty & Veronica #151
Betty and Veronica are tired of men catcalling them. The entire strip is them railing against the use of a pick-up line (unless it’s from Archie, apparently). They throw two guys into a garbage can for trying a line, and it’s amazing. The show could easily give us an empowered Betty and Veronica taking care of a dude who came on too strong. Hey… maybe that’s what happened to Jason Blossom.
Archie in “Mermaid Service” – Archie’s Double Digest Magazine #94
Archie is out surfing… wherever Riverdale Beach is located when he gets conked on the head. Then, a mermaid saves him with a magical kiss that gives him the power to breathe underwater. Dolphina, and her cantankerous purple fish side-kick “Finney” proceed to show Archie around until his friends show up to cod-block him by scaring Dolphina off.
Listen, if Riverdale is about figuring out who killed Jason Blossom, why not have a Dolphina show up to help lead the underwater investigation?
Archie and Reggie in “I Go Ape Over You” – Archie’s Double Digest Magazine #94
Wherein Archie and Reggie get jobs at the local zoo pretending to be an ape and a lion, respectively. Sounds like great undercover work to me.
Jughead in “Pardon My Computer” – Jughead #119
A group of girls come together to create a “United Girls Against Jughead” club. Jughead can tell something bad is coming his way, while the girls feed his likes and dislikes into a room-sized computer to see how they can get the best of him. It does not work out. I don’t want the show to use any sexist tropes where girls are angry that Juggie doesn’t dig them (I do hope the show keeps in with Chip Zdarsky’s canonical asexual Jughead), but I would be interested in a Jughead who could see the bad times coming. A Jughead who gets a feeling before the next person gets murdered.
Archie in “A Share of Happening” – Everything’s Archie #29
This is an incredibly meta story in which Archie dreams he is the head of Archie Enterprises. The strip is complete with a cameo from actual Archie publisher John Goldwater and makes mention of the Archie and Josie cartoons. Do this, CW. Give us a meta moment where Archie talks about his comics. You already did it on The Flash!
“Robo-teen” – Laughs #13
ARCHIE IS A CYBORG. BETTY TURNS INTO A CYBORG. They fall in love. Come on. COME ON.
Betty & Veronica “Delightful Dilemma” – Archie’s Double Digest Magazine #94
Veronica wins a contest that means she can pick any rock star to go on a date with – and out of not wanting Betty to get him, she picks high school student Archie Andrews (in lieu of amazing rock stars like “Brian McNasty, the king of heavy metal” or “Rad Strewit” or “Michael Jackstone”). Not only would it be a convenient way to get some guest stars on the CW network, it’s a hyperbolic way to show just how far Ronnie will let her jealousy guide her actions.
Betty & Veronica in “Radar Scoop” – Betty and Veronica Double Digest #9
Archie thinks Veronica is avoiding him, and it takes a very saucy Betty Cooper to get Ms. Lodge’s attention. What follows is Veronica sabotaging all of Archie’s attempts to get a date using her surprising ability to guess what girl he’s going to ask. It’s another one of those maybe-the-gang-actually-has-really-specific-super-powers strips, and like Jughead, it’d be great to see these make their way into the CW Riverdale universe.
There are hundreds of more Archie stories that could influence this show, but a true Archie fan knows that we have no idea what’s coming. Maybe Dilton created a murder-bot, maybe Moose finally let his jealousy get the best of him for good, or maybe it was Cheryl. No matter who killed Jason Blossom, I could not be more excited to see where Archie’s story takes us next.
Preeti Chhibber works as a book-slinger for Scholastic Reading Clubs. She usually spends her time reading a ridiculous amount of Young Adult (for work, she swears!), but is also ready to jump into most fandoms at a moment’s notice. Follow her on Twitter @runwithskizzers.
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