The life, death and re­birth of Archie

Comic Heroes - - Feature -

First in­tro­duced in Pep Comics #22 back in De­cem­ber 1941, Archie Andrews soon be­came a fix­ture on the Amer­i­can news­stands, his food-ob­sessed best friend Jug­head and per­ma­nent love-tri­an­gle with would-be girl­friends Veron­ica and Betty keep­ing gen­er­a­tions of comic fans en­ter­tained. How­ever, by the 21st cen­tury, Archie was some­thing of an anachro­nism, his sto­ries a throw­back to a 1960s hey­day, buoyed by the nos­tal­gia of his read­ers. That is un­til 2010, when Life With Archie be­gan chron­i­cling the life of a grown-up Archie Andrews and in­tro­duced Riverdale’s first gay char­ac­ter, Kevin Keller. Four years later, the se­ries came to an un­ex­pected end, the adult Archie tak­ing a bul­let for Kevin, who had been cam­paign­ing for tougher gun laws.

But Archie had found another lease of life as a hor­ror hero, fight­ing zom­bies in Af­ter­life With Archie and even alien hunters in Archie Vs. Preda­tor. Now, Mark Waid ( The Avengers) and Fiona Sta­ples ( Saga) have rein­vented Archie for the 21st cen­tury (see re­view, page 122), and a live-ac­tion Riverdale pi­lot is set to pre­miere State­side next year. It seems that America’s favourite teenager never grows old.

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