Archie has been a strangely enduring American comic icon. America’s favorite redhead has long since been a staple of American life and perpetually enduring icon of Americana. But now thanks to CW superhero mega producer, Greg Berlanti, we’ll be getting a murder mystery #Archie TV series called #Riverdale inspired by David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. On the surface, this sounds pretty crazy. What the heck does everyone’s favorite milkshake-chugging teenager have to do with an esoteric supernatural murder mystery? While this might seem odd, it’s actually the least strange thing that’s happened to Archie and his friends over at Riverdale.
Since his original inception in 1946, Archie has done everything from face off against the Punisher, the Predator, grow old, die, meet up with Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and even share a universe with Sonic the Hedgehog. To celebrate Archie coming over to the world of live action, we wanted to go through some of the character’s weirdest moments to show you why a supernatural murder mystery is far from the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to Archie.
1. Archie Meets Sabrina The Teenage Witch
This isn’t nearly as weird as most of the stuff on this list, but it’s here because this is one of the first steps that Archie took on the path to the absolute insanity that comprises the rest of this list. Sabrina the Teenage Witch is exactly what she sounds like. Hell, most of you should be familiar with the old TV show. She’s a witch. She’s a teenager. Hijinks ensue.
The important thing to remember here is that Sabrina is a witch and she shares a universe with Archie. In fact, she visits Riverdale from time to time. Just take a moment to think about that. That means magic is real in Archie’s universe. Beneath the veil of dumb teenage antics and love triangles is a world of arcane knowledge, spells, and curses. That’s like reading a comic about taking the SATs while somewhere off in the distance, Harry Potter is confronting Voldemort.
2. Archie Meets Sonic The Hedgehog
OK, follow me here. If Sabrina the Teenage Witch shares a universe with Archie, so does Sonic the Hedgehog. How? Because Sabrina and Sonic did a crossover once. Yep. Not only does our favorite redheaded high schooler live in a world full of magic and witches, he also lives in a world where an anthropomorphic hedgehog critter with super speed also exists. Oh, and the video game is still a thing too. Sabrina specifically says she’s a fan of the Sonic comics and video games. It also doesn’t hurt that the comics are all published by the same company, but at least when the Avengers and the X-Men team-up it kind of makes more sense. Considering how much other weird shit Archie has come into contact with, I’m really just waiting for a Gears of War or Halo crossover. Who doesn’t want to see Archie meet the Master Chief?
3. Archie Meets The Punisher
Not quite sure what it is about Archie, who is like the ultimate personification of ‘50s whitebread Norman Rockwell Americana, that makes his publishing group so interested in pairing him off with violent, murderous psychopaths, but for some reason they always seem to make the best crossovers. The comic itself sees the Punisher making a deal with the US government to track down a notorious drug dealer known as Red who is hiding out in Riverdale. In order to do this, the government forces the Punisher to forgo his usual lethal methods and bring him in alive.
The catch is that infamous Red looks almost exactly like everyone’s favorite redheaded teenager. Of course, hilarity ensues as various smack peddlers and gangsters all come looking for Archie while the Punisher goes hunting for him too. Of course, the misunderstanding is eventually sorted out and Archie teams up with the Punisher to save Veronica from Red. The end of the comic teases a crossover featuring Jughead meeting Wolverine. We could only wish it was with Deadpool.
4. Archie Vs. Predator
In space no one can see your look of confusion. That’s right. While Alien might be Predator’s most famous opponent, he’s also tackled the teens of Riverdale. All this is after the success of the Archie crossover comics where he met up with the cast of Glee and hung out with the band KISS. During a brainstorming session at the Archie creative summit, the writers came up with the idea that the next logical progression of Archie crossover’s was to have him fight the Predator.
Dark Horse comics was happy to oblige them as the two companies collaborated to make this dream that nobody asked for into a reality. What’s even more disconcerting is that it’s not hard to imagine a sort of cheesy Scooby Doo take on Predator, but no, things get pretty hardcore and gruesomely violent. On a spring break trip, the gang encounters the Predator who follows them back to Riverdale. From there, the Predator seeks to murder his way through all of the teenagers of Riverdale High, motivated by his crush on Betty which, wow — that’s just weird.
The Predator murders Jughead, Dilton, Archie, and cuts off Betty’s hand. The entire shebang ends with Betty knocking out the Predator and using alien technology to turn the Predator into Archie. So, I guess that means any further Archie comics past 2015 feature a murderous alien pretending to be a high school student. As bizarre and nonsensical as all of this is, it’s still better than all of the Alien vs. Predator movies.
5. Afterlife With Archie
Zombies are everywhere. Now that The Walking Dead has taken over all of television, everyone wants to get in on the zombie game. In some ways, seeing the undead horde descend upon Riverdale shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Of course zombies should descend upon the classic diner looking for milkshakes made out of human brains. Zombies are as much a piece of Americana as Archie himself. Combining the two should create some kind of Reese’s Peanut Butter concoction. The zombie apocalypse is triggered when Jughead’s dog is run over by Reggie. Jughead goes to Sabrina, who helps him revive his beloved dog named Hot Dog, but Jughead obviously never read Pet Semetary.
Sometimes dead is better, because Jughead’s dog returns as a zombie and infects Jughead, turning him into zombie as well. Jughead soon becomes patient zero and infects all of Riverdale and forces Archie and his few surviving friends to flee from their former friends and family. What’s really surprising is just how well received the comic was. Hell, it even received critical acclaim from NPR and Salon. If nothing else, the story is notable for also featuring a side plot where Sabrina the Teenage Witch is tied up and used as a sacrificial offering to Cthulhu to become his bride.
6. Death Of Archie
Much like his mainstream comic brethren, Archie’s creators and managers soon learned that the best way to keep everyone’s interest in the character was of course to kill him off. So in the long-running Life with Archie comic series, Archie finally met a potential end. Of course, this wasn’t the true end for Archie given the fact that he seemingly exists in a multiverse that would make Marvel blush, but the Death of Archie storyline sought to bring us a conclusion to the exploits of everyone’s favorite redhead. For such a generally light-hearted character, Archie goes down in a surprisingly sober and serious affair.
Archie’s famous gay friend Kevin Keller becomes a United States senator looking to introduce stricter gun control legislation. During a fundraiser, a stalker attempts to assassinate Kevin, but Archie sacrifices his life to take the bullet and save Kevin’s life. The entire thing is a rather bittersweet epilogue as all of the his hometown friends come to mourn, but take solace when they see a young red head followed by a blond and brunette girl share a chocolate soda as an older Jughead admires the wheels of karma spinning onward.
7. Archie And Friends Become Super Teens
So, in an alternate universe, Archie and his friends aren’t just hanging out with super heroes, they are super heroes. Archie is Pureheart, Betty is Superteen, Jughead is Captain Hero, Veronica is Ms. Vanity, and Moose is Mighty Moose. They’ve got a pretty unimaginative list of superpowers — the standard flight, resilience, and super strength — all except Captain Hero. Jughead can do some really really weird stuff like turn his head into a drill. This is pretty tongue-in-cheek stuff, but considering how much other weird stuff Archie comics have seen, I’m a little disappointed there hasn’t been a Super Teens crossover with Spawn or something. I think we all want to see Pureheart the Powerful take on Violator in a fight to the death.
8. Archie Meets The Ninja Turtles
OK, so we already know Archie exists in a world with magic, Sonic the Hedgehog, Predator, and so much other stuff. They also share a world with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I just — of course he does. At this point, I’m pretty sure Archie’s universe is a central intersection point for the multiverse. The fact that the Turtles are deposited in Archie’s world by a giant disembodied head called Cow Lick really does absolutely nothing to dissuade me of this notion.
And hell, since Archie shares a universe with the Ninja Turtles, he also shares a universe with The Fugetoid, Usagi Yojimbo, Batman, Savage Dragon, The X-Files, and Cerebus — just to name a few. Yeah. At this point, Archie is a slice of life comic that takes place in Sigil, The City of Doors.
9. Jughead’s Time Police
OK, so the Archie universe has some pretty weird stuff kicking around in it. There are witches and hedgehogs, zombies, superheroes, and Lovecraftian monsters all waiting for the right teen from Riverdale to wander upon them. However, Jughead’s Time Police completes the absolute wacked-out insanity. Jughead travels around with a distant future descendant of Archie Andrews preventing people from messing with the timeline. Weird, sure, but not all that much weirder than say, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and her friendship with a talking hedgehog.
Jughead’s main enemy in this time traveling romp is Morgan le Fay, a rogue Time Police agent mistaken by a witch during the medieval era in Europe. So yeah, in the Archie universe, Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur and pretty much every bit of Arthurian legend ever should really be referred to as Archie-urian legend, since Jughead and his time traveling antics indirectly inspired some of the most enduring English language myths ever.
After reading about all these the idea of a supernatural Archie murder mystery show in vein of Twin Peaks doesn’t feel that far fetched anymore. In fact, it might be the most normal thing to happen to Archie in the past few years.
Let us know in the comments below which you think is possibly the weirdest Archie crossover or spin-off ever to come out of Riverdale.