Archie Horror Comics 2018
Written by Meg & Greg Smallwood
Illustrated by Greg Scott
Coloured Matt Herms
Lettered by Jack Morelli
Veronica Lodge has been getting some help from resident super genius Dilton Doiley on how to handle her new vampire lifestyle. But her trip back home was met with an unexpected surprise: her parents, Hiram and Hermione Lodge, along with master vampire Ivan, were trying to turn Archie Andrews into one of their own. Their goal isn’t murder—it’s slowly turning everyone in Riverdale into bloodsucking creatures of the night. Now Veronica, Dilton and Archie must stop the vampire siege from descending upon Riverdale—and their first stop is Cheryl Blossom’s pool party!
Whether it is the novelty of the idea or just a pop culture trend the whole Horror line has been a huge success and failure. I wanted to see more of Afterlife with Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina but apparently that’s too much to ask for. So it surprised me when we started getting more series coming out. Here however the Smallwood’s and Mr. Scott and company have found a way to so far stay on a schedule and bring us something familiar, unique and just all kinds of fun. I love Archie and the gang and I have for so many years now so to see the portrayed outside the norm and to see it done so successfully.
I would have thought that in issue 4 we wouldn’t be needing that first page wow factor but thankfully no one listens to me. Greg is a god among artists and what we see with Betty was just effin perfect. So is the writing as we get to see the unlikely Denton, Archie and Betty fighting off vampires while talking to each other right. The dialogue is genius and the execution of it is flawless as the overall ebb & flow makes so easy to just follow along, enjoy yourself and have a great time. As absurd as the whole idea is I do like the fact that the Smallwood’s use a lot of the common tropes associated with the whole Vampire mythology.
There are several moments in this issue that stand out for the amazing moments they bring to light. Such as the whole Cheryl, Veronica moment and then there’s Jughead and his encounter with a vampire in the kitchen. Both scenes are priceless for what they bring to the table in terms of entertainment and ingenuity. Though when Archie runs into his old friend and Betty his girlfriend well then it seems that this whole shall we say invasion is a lot more widespread than anyone had thought. So it’s dangerous and thrilling and half the town, okay I don’t know if it’s really half but, seems to have been turned.
I am a huge fan of Greg’s work and these interior pages are a big reason why. This may not be the most highbrow of assignments but the attention to detail, the way the linework is utilised so effectively to show off faces, facial expressions and those wondrous vampire teeth is spectacular. The utilisation of these page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off his brilliant eye for storytelling. Then there are panels like where Jughead shoves garlic bread into his face that kind of moment is what it’s about. Without a whole lot of backgrounds in play the creative style that is employed here more than makes up for that.
Cheesy and all kinds of fun this is what the old B-movies were all about and why they were so beloved by audiences worldwide. These fine, fine folks have turned this into one hell of a B-movie style comic with shades of the old pulp magazine stories and it is something that I never want to live without.