The Horror Honeys: Escape from Riverdale! Afterlife with Archie #5

Escape from Riverdale! Afterlife with Archie #5

A Guest Comics Honey Review by Kaley

Title: Afterlife with Archie Volume 1: Issue #5
Author: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artist: Francesco Francavilla, Jack Morelli (letters)
Publisher: Jon Goldwater/Archie Comics
Released: July 2014

Since I’ve been on maternity leave from The Horror Honeys, I’ve been trying to find ways to continue to contribute since I can’t stay away from my horror sisters. “Why not review a comic or two?” asked Head Honey Kat. Hey, that’s not a bad idea, but I haven’t actually read very many horror comics… “There’s lots! There’s Afterlife with Archie and...”

Whoa whoa whoa whoa! Hold the fucking phone a moment. There’s a horror Archie comic series?? I was an avid Archie lover as a kid; my mother would always pick me up a comic digest every week and I had a massive collection, but I had never heard of an Archie horror series!

Queue squealing tires to the nearest comic shop! Unfortunately they only had issue #5. “Not many people have asked for this.” the owner said. That’s fine, I will find them all. Until then I read the first 4 issues online, but for here I will only talk about the issues I have actually purchased.

Spoilers ahead!

This volume draws to close as the remaining survivors of Riverdale hold up in Lodge Manor. The story is told from the perspective of Veronica's former butler, Hubert Smithers. And while the silently-watching-in-the-shadows storytelling could have been interesting, I feel it was way too short and not enough was told. The escape from Lodge Manor felt rushed and very lacking in any real action. They just sort of leave. Using the annual July 4th fireworks as a distraction (Land of the Dead anyone?) the group just… waltz off.

I’m not going to touch on the love triangles and drama. If you’ve ever read an Archie comic you know exactly how it is. Except that Reggie is apparently a homophobic douchebag and rightfully gets his ass kicked by Keller.

The art is delightfully dark, with a color palette of orange and black (my favorite). The constant angled closeups can cause a little difficulty discerning who’s who - or that could just be me - and some panels are just not needed. However, the zombies are gruesome and what I really enjoy about the illustrations because this isn’t your childhood Archie, this is an Archie comic for the adult you.

Even with the hasty ending to this volume, I’m still really looking forward to getting my hands on the next issue. Sabrina becomes the bride of Cthulhu? Um, yeah, I need to check that out.

Artwork: 5/5
Layout: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Entertainment: 4/5
Total: 4 out of 5!