By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
If anyone asked me why I’m reading Archie comics again, I would respond, I’m looking at their horror titles because I can! Leading the charge is Vampironica.
This company has a new universe comparable to DC Comic’s Vertigo and the storytelling is very accessible. As much as I wanted to follow along to the television products, namely Riverdale because it is Twin Peaks, I dropped it when Ross Butler is not going to be a mainstay (rival to Archie). He is an actor I love following and I can’t buy how the series is going to explain a different actor in that role. At least I have The Chilling Tales of Sabrina on Netflix to look forward to.
Thankfully, these type of things does not happen on the comic book front. I am enjoying Afterlife with Archie, Jughead: The Hunger and Chilling Adventures in Sorcery (all available on Amazon) and am anxious to find out who else will become a member of the unwilling undead. To give a new spin on the hamburger-loving Jughead made me smile. I can not look at beef the same way again. With Veronica Lodge now a vampire, just what can she do is as exciting as watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the TV Series!
According to tradition: a vampire can not enter a home unless they were invited in. Her parents know the individual who created her and to learn more means waiting for the next issues. I believe this individual has been around for a long time, and The Riverdale Gazette (the afterward) is only a tease to whom this person is. I am assuming future publications will delve into the history far better, and names will be offered.
The first issue is simply a tease for what’s to come, as very little detail is offered to explain why she has become a heroine than a beast. This first issue has me wondering if her story may parallel that of Nick Knight’s (from the 90’s vampire-cop series Forever Knight) such that her indoctrination did not come easy. The brother-sister team of Greg (co-writer, artist) and Megan Smallwood (also writer) deconstructs this gal quite well with a few telling panels, and to see this series unfold in collected form (trade paperbacks) is a must for those who insist on waiting.
With many variant covers to choose from, I could not decide on which one I must have. Normally, I just pick one at random, but this time, I wanted an image to remind me of what the Archie universe is about. I picked up the one with Vampironica sipping an Eye Scream Float.
A big crossover — the meeting of all the Monsters of Riverdale — is going to happen. I predict that will be coming sometime next year than this because a buildup is required to introduce more than just Jughead and Veronica. Could Reggie be next? I’m sure Sabrina will get involved somehow, and readers need a Frankenstein like character to round out the holy trinity. At this rate, Archie Comics are doing a better job than Universal Pictures at creating a new shared universe.