The life, death and rebirth of Archie
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.