Since 1939 Archie has been gracing the comic racks, slowly growing up for the times but never aging a day. He recently got a Halloween ongoing series from artist Francesco Francavilla and writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: is it good?
Afterlife With Archie #1 (Archie Comics)
I’d wager Francavilla fans will be picking this issue up regardless if they like the subject, but I’m sure others will be wary; Archie isn’t the most hip of comics, but what if you were to modernize the characters and add a little zombie fun to the mix? That’s exactly what we have here, with characters that are more relatable than you’d expect and an art style impressive enough to blow just about anybody away, living or dead.
Progression and pacing at work.
The issue opens with Jughead going to Sabrina for help. His dog has been hit by a car and he wants her and her coven to use their powers to heal him.
Unfortunately that ain’t gonna happen, but there is another way and that’s necromancy. The aunts of Sabrina are very much against using necromancy, but god darn it the dog is important! The issue cuts between this storyline and Archie as he prepares for the school Halloween dance. Once again Archie is contesting the two girls in his life and dealing with their incessant jabbering.
Love how the texting is added in.
Aguirre-Sacasa does a good job with dialogue and nothing seems wasted or fluff. As far as set up issues go we know who the players are and where they stand so that when the real s--t hits the fan next issue we’ll be ready for their dynamics.
He also uses a timer of sorts to amp up the anticipation. We’re constantly reminded of how much longer till first contagion and full contagion. He’s also explored some characters that (similar to the annoying but requisite “horror nerd” in Scream) love to talk about “what if’s” and horror chatter. This adds a bit of the teen horror flick comedy vibe we’ve come to expect.
Francavilla kills it on the art as always. He uses a lot of oranges and purples, which is great considering the Halloween theme, and manages to make the smallest of panels pop. What can you say about Francavilla without repeating the many positive posits that have already been said? The guy is a genius when it comes to pacing and mood as if you’re on a fluffy cloud or floating in a dream. The story flows nicely, due to pacing and layouts, and it’s due to his uncanny ability to draw the readers eye as naturally as possible.
Why must aunts be so ugly in monster form?
- Well paced and looks great
- Nice character moments
- Premise is been there done that
Is It Good?
Yes indeed. This is a great read with incredible art and nice character setup throughout. There’s a few cliched elements, and the premise as a whole is rather ordinary, which drops it down a notch, but overall this is a must read comic, especially for the Halloween season.
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