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Everyone knows that Archie Comics has made a big mainstream splash with its new horror comics. Afterlife with Archie has quickly become a fan favorite for those who had written off the franchise, and while stunted with delays Sabrina was warmly received as well. This has gone so well that Archie has made the decision to use the two as the headliners for a new line called “Archie Horror”.
The question that pops up is that if this is a new line, then what could possibly join the ranks of two comics that have already cornered the market of where tone could go? The answer is overwhelming simple: Archie’s Weird Mysteries. While pushed into the background, the series was once the subject of an animated cartoon and a companion comic series called Archie’s Mysteries before being renamed into something more in line with show.
The show itself was a big horror homage series, taking inspiration from old B-Movies and Black and White horror such as Attack of the 50ft. Woman, to 80’s horror classics such as Christine. It had some more original plots in the style of killer potatoes and an alligator stalking the sewers of Riverdale as well. This created a great variety of stories and situations that a group such as the Archie gang could nominally blend into without much tension or disparity.
Now one thing was made overwhelmingly clear from Afterlife with Archie and Sabrina – Archie Horror loves its references. They’ve done everything from Lovecraft to Rosemary’s Baby. If it has some tangential relation to a plot or theme in either book – it is getting namechecked or a supporting character will be given a name from that source. So Archie’s Weird Mysteries penchant for whole plot lifts would fit right in with such company, and feel much more seamless.
The other benefit of Weird Mysteries is that it is an anthology. Unlike the two delayed series there is way more leeway to play around with the structure and the output on an episodic basis. Since its not one continuous story or arc you can switch out creative teams when it feels appropriate. This would allow for it to be on a real monthly schedule instead of the every other month the other two were planning on using.
Not only that, but it’s an avenue to really get crazy. Writers and artists that are adept at one type of homage or one type of horror story could zero in on that when/if they get the opportunity to write/draw for the series. Much like Tales From the Crypt in its heyday. Anthologies have that right to really run the wide gamut of styles and categories. That and Archie Horror has already done quite a bit with the whole “twisted/more realistic”, differentiate that tone.
Weird Mysteries can take the characters and place them in any style available, and Archie vs. Predator has already shown that the classic variation works rather well in an unusual setting already. The cartoon and old comic have been gone for ages, there’s a whole wide world of pop culture and horror community to catch up on, so if the iron was ever going to be hot enough it would be now. If you have your own ideas for a new horror book, please list them below.