Archie Horror Titles Are Most of Publisher’s Continuing Series, New Titles Announced

Jughead: The Hunger Vs. Vampironica

Since it’s New York Comic Con weekend, there are plenty of announcements and news about upcoming publisher plans. Archie Comics, for example, announced that 2019 would feature two new Archie Horror miniseries.

Blossoms 666 cover by Laura Braga

Blossoms 666 cover by Laura Braga

Blossoms 666 stars the twins Cheryl and Jason. One is the Anti-Christ, but they don’t know which, and both want the role. It’s five issues, with the first due in January.

Archie Comics Co-President Alex Segura said, “Cullen really blew us away with his Omen-esque version of the twins. It’s dark, psychological horror at its finest, perfectly rendered by the amazing Laura Braga.”

Writer Cullen Bunn said, “This story focuses on two of my favorite characters — the Blossom Twins — and puts them in a story of very, very dark horror/comedy. Cheryl and Jason have always been troublemakers… One part The Omen, one part Cruel Intentions, all Archie!”

Jughead: The Hunger Vs. Vampironica

Jughead: The Hunger Vs. Vampironica art by the Kennedys

The second, Jughead: The Hunger Vs. Vampironica, is a crossover of two other titles. It’s written by Frank Tieri and drawn by Pat and Tim Kennedy, with no release date yet.

This got me thinking. The alternative-universe Archie Horror line has been quite successful since its start in 2015. There haven’t been any issues of the flagship zombie comic Afterlife with Archie this year, with the last being #10 in August 2016, but that’s what you expect when writer (and Archie Chief Creative Officer) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is busy with the Netflix series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as well as the Archie adaptation Riverdale. The witchy horror Sabrina comic the show is based on last shipped #8 in August 2017.

What has been shipping this year are the first three issues of Vampironica, about the rich girl as vampire, and six issues (#3-8) of Jughead: The Hunger, with the title character as werewolf. Interestingly, based on my data analysis, this imprint has the most continuing series Archie Comics has running right now, with either four or two, depending on whether you count plans or reality. The “regular” Archie comics only has one. (I’m only looking here at periodical comic, not digests or collections, which they still put out plenty of.)

Of the classic approaches to the characters, the books put out in 2018 so far are these:

  • Archie, the flagship, ended its more modernized run with #32, and then went back to big numbering (#699, out this week) to hit an anniversary soon.
  • Archie 1941 is an historical-set five-issue miniseries that’s just launched last month.
  • The Archies, about the characters as a band, completed with seven issues, of which #4-7 came out this year.
  • Betty & Veronica Friends Forever was a one-shot special.

Then there are the media tie-ins and other alternate versions:

  • Riverdale, set in the TV show continuity, concluded with issue #12 in May. It’s expected to return with the next season.
  • Archie Meets Batman 66 is a six-issue retro miniseries with three issues out so far.
  • Archie Superteens vs Crusaders was a two-issue attempt to do some superheroes.
  • Betty & Veronica Vixens, about the girls riding motorcycles, is, based solely on issues released, the most successful Archie series so far this year, with 8 issues out, but it has concluded with #10.
  • Cosmo was a five-issue attempt to build another franchise for kids after the loss of the Sonic the Hedgehog videogame titles.

Now I’m curious to see what else Archie has planned for 2019. They’ve already solicited the first of a five-issue miniseries for Betty & Veronica, which has five variant covers (a mainstay of the publisher now), but with so many miniseries ended, there’s got to be more coming.

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