If you thought Riverdale, the sexy CW drama based on the Archie Comics was a departure from the wholesome books of your childhood, clearly you’re not remembering things right.
Maintaining pop culture relevance for over 75 years demands some narrative curveballs to keep things fresh, and while a cute, hipster Jughead and swollen Archie are plenty strange, stranger things have happened. Here are 10 true Archie adventures that are infinitely weirder than Riverdale.
Archie Meets Barack Obama & Sarah Palin
The crossover event you never knew you needed begins with Archie on the losing side of a student council presidential debate against school bad boy Reggie. Veronica, eternally and inexplicably committed to Archie, helps boost the redhead’s popularity by staging a photo op with him and her old friend, President Barack Obama.
Desperate, Reggie fires back by nabbing a photo with the next best political icon: Sarah Palin – classic Reg!
Zombie Jughead in Afterlife With Archie
“This is how the end of the world begins,” reads the opening splash page of 2013’s Afterlife With Archie. Things go horribly awry when Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s failed attempt to resurrect Jughead’s dog leads to Sabrina being banished from the mortal realm and Jughead devolving into a grotesque zombie that walks the streets of Riverdale.
Archie Vs Predator
In Archie Vs Predator, the teens visit Costa Rica for Spring Break, only to be methodically hunted by the galaxy’s deadliest trapper, the freakin’ Predator. Dark Horse Comics at least knew how absurd the concept was, marketing this surprisingly violent 2015 story with the tagline, “the wildest Archie crossover ever (and that’s saying something)!”
Archie Vs. Sharknado
Remember when we agreed Archie Vs Predator was the wildest crossover ever? Hah. In this epically violent addition to Archie lore, Betty and Veronica visit Washington D.C. only to get caught inside a sharknado. They fight their way back to Riverdale to warn Archie of the impending storm, at which point the kids stock up on chainsaws and wage war on sharknado.
Archie Dies in Life With Archie #36
The Life With Archie series offered a grounded look at the adult lives of Archie and the gang, which includes Moose becoming Mayor and Jughead taking over Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe (because of course he would).
But it’s not all happy endings: Senator-elect Kevin Keller is targeted by a gun wielding assassin, and in one last act of heroism, Archie Andrews dives in front of the bullet to save his pal.
Kevin Keller Meets Gay Icon George Takei
In Archie’s Pal Kevin #6, Riverdale’s first openly gay character Kevin Keller writes a school report about a hero of his: LGBTQ rights advocate and sci-fi icon George Takei. After reading his essay online, the former Star Trek star comes to Riverdale to pay Kev a visit.
Real world Takei grew up reading Archie in a time before asian or gay characters were represented in comics, so his inclusion to the world of Archie feels wonderfully full circle.
Archie Meets Glee
In this mini-series, Riverdale’s token dork Dilton Doiley creates an interdimensional wormhole that connects their world with the slushee throwing, musical obsessed world of Glee.
The book pokes fun at the similarities between the franchise’s characters (Archie and Finn the all-American good guys, Veronica and Rachel the divas,) before the kids from each school swap places for some lighthearted shenanigans.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Meet Archie
Mysteriously warped to the world of Riverdale, New York’s favourite turtles help Archie, Betty, and Jughead rescue Veronica from kidnappers holding the wealthy socialite for ransom. After saving Ronnie with radical kung-fu, the Turtles and the Archie gang are thanked by Mr. Lodge with a pizza party at Pop’s. Talk about a happy ending!
Archie’s Weird Mysteries
This head scratcher of an animated series aired on Teletoon in the early 2000s and saw the gang investigating supernatural mysteries for Archie’s blog. The animation and writing was laughably bad for the time, but the similarities between Archie’s blog and Jughead’s novel, plus the connecting thread of “teens solving mysteries” makes this feel oddly like a precursor to Riverdale.
Archie Meets the Punisher
Marvel’s toughest tough guy is on the hunt for a dirt bag with red hair and a freckled face, and mistakes loveable ol’ Archie for his prey. This in turn leads to one of the most ridiculous panels in comics history, in which Marvel’s Punisher rests the barrel of a loaded gun on Archie’s cute button nose.