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Afterlife with Archie #6 Review

Story by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Art by Francesco Francavilla

Review written by Steve Seigh

If you had told me that at 33-years-old that I wouldn’t have a choice but to fall in love with Archie and the gang, I would have called you a crazy person. Granted, I’ve always had nothing but respect for the characters and writers of the Archie comics, but never once in all my years had I ever anticipated actually reading an Archie book. Welp, here we are, six issues into Afterlife With Archie, and I’m flabbergasted by how the series has just gotten a  whole lot larger, creepier, and undeniably more terrifying!

When Afterlife With Archie first began, we were all introduced to a grief-stricken Jughead, who had unfortunately  just lost the life of his pet canine, Hot Dog. Beside himself with loss, Jughead turned to his friend, Sabrina Spellman, the teenage witch, for help. Sabrina, wanting nothing more but to comfort her friend, went against her better judgement and cast a spell from a book containing the worst of all black magics, The Necronomicon. It only took a few passages, but before long, Riverdale was turned into a decaying wasteland – overrun with the undead and growing worse by the setting of every sun. I wish I could tell you that things have gotten better since then, I really do. Sadly, things are about to get even worse, and it’s all Sabrina’s fault. Whatever is a teenage witch to do?

Holy Toledo! If you thought things had already gone sideways for Archie and the gang in the first arc of this series,  then brothers, sisters, you haven’t seen anything yet! Afterlife With Archie #6 places us right beside Sabrina Spellman as she investigates the crooked psychiatric facility (where she was evidently placed following the terrible events taking place within her beloved Riverdale). This “hospital”  is all manners of creepy, but that’s not the worst of it. What if I told you that the terrible spell cast by Sabrina wasn’t a mistake at all? What if I told you that everything happening in Riverdale is just a small piece of a very big and sinister puzzle? What if I told you that Sabrina’s primary physician is one Dr. Lovecraft. That’s right, I said Lovecraft. Are we starting to see the pattern that’s emerging here? Are you scared? You should be.

The wonderful thing about this issue is that it serves to make a series that’s already great even better. The plot gets frighteningly larger in scale than ever before, to the point of it feeling like a terrible, black ocean of new possibilities. Around each and every corner of the maddening place where Sabrina is being held prisoner, there is something drooling in the dark, writhing and wriggling, waiting to hold us within its horrible embrace. Suddenly, this series has become so much more than just “Hey! The creative teams at Archie is doing a zombie book!” to something far more grand, insidious, and quite frankly, inspiring. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget that sweet Francesco Francavilla artwork! Francesco continues to kill it with this latest issue by  allowing his shadows, intense facial expressions, and depictions of magic gone wrong speak volumes about his talent as an artist. For real, the man is at the top of his game with this book, that much is clear.

Verdict:

Why are you still here? I appreciate that you enjoyed my review enough to read it all the way to the end, but now’s the time for you to go out and get your copy of this book. Oh, and if you don’t have the first arc of Afterlife With Archie at your disposal, fear not, it’s now available in trade and can be purchased at just about anywhere that sells comic books! C’mon, do it, get turned on to an Archie book that will chill your bones and remind you of everything good about quality Horror comic book writing. This is a book and series that’s not to be missed by any comic book fan, be sure to get on board and discover for yourself why it’s cool to like Archie again.

Afterlife With Archie #6 Review Soundtrack

I couldn’t help but think of Marilyn Manson’s cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell On You” while reading this book. In a world of terrible cover songs, this one is a creeptastic diamond in the rough.

 

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