Who will be the next to fall? Who will crack next? Is Reggie still the worst? The zombie apocalypse continues in Afterlife with Archie #9, and Major Spoilers brings you the review, after the jump!
Previously in Afterlife with Archie: Hot Dog is struck and killed, and Jughead begs Sabrina to return his dog from the dead. As you’ve probably figured out, returning something from the dead isn’t a simple and easy plan, and when Hot Dog bites Jughead, the zombie apocalypse kicks into high gear. Archie and the remaining survivors of Riverdale are now fleeing ahead of the zombie horde lead by Jughead and Sabrina, the Bride of Cthulhu.
REGGIE IS THE WORST
If you are old enough, you may remember the Gallant and Goofus comics from Highlights magazine. In the cartoon, Gallant does good things, and Goofus does bad things. No one wants to be a Goofus… except Reggie. The issue kicks off with an homage to the classic comic by showing readers how good Archie is and how bad Reggie can be… he did of course kill Hot Dog, which lead to the group’s current predicament.
As the issue progresses, readers get a real inside look into what makes Reggie tick. I don’t know much about sociopaths, but Reggie certainly displays a lot of those signs in this issue. I always imagined that if Goofus hadn’t be smote by the Highlights gods, that he would have turned into on of the world’s worst serial killers. If writer Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa is making the connection between Goofus and Reggie, then I have a feeling Reggie is going to become even darker and more disturbing as the series progresses.
Unless Reggie grows up and confesses his involvement, which he does to Kevin Keller, but is it a case of too little, too late?
I’ve never been a fan of Reggie. He’s nothing but a big jerk, but with Aquirre-Sacasa writing this issue from Reggie’s point of view, you can kind of feel for him — to a point. Reggie is still Reggie after all, and he usually has a dopey plan up his sleeve that doesn’t quite work out in the end. By the end of the issue, Reggie makes a pact with the devil… or in this case Cthuhlu, and it means another survivor of Riverdale has been marked for death. It is a reveal that shouldn’t be shocking, but it sent shivers down my spine. We all know how Goofus turned out, and Reggie is riding down Route 66 on the way to Murder Town.
Do I need to tell you the art is wonderful? Francesco Francavilla never – NEVER – fails to impress me with he ability to bring a distinct look to his work. The limited color palette, the sharp contrasts that give his work a noir feel, and his eye for composition turns every page into a joyful experience – even when the zombies are literally falling apart on the page.
Though every page is fantastic, if I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be the sequence where Sabrina unleashes her Bride of Cthulhu powers, and tentacles end up becoming the panel edges of the sequence.
BOTTOM LINE: WHY AREN’T YOU READIN THIS?
Since the beginning, Afterlife with Archie has been a hit with me. The writing taps into the horror lurking under the surface of pristine Riverdale, and brings it to the surface in gory detail. The characters are more fleshed out than they have been in years, even when their flesh is falling off, and Aguirre-Sacasa can make even someone has horrible as Reggie seem likable in a lost soul kind of way.
Is there a downside? Yes, we have to wait two months for the next installment.
Unless you are adverse to the horror genre, there is no reason for you to not pick up this book. Brilliant from top to bottom, Afterlife with Archie #9 is worthy of 5/5 Stars.