Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Afterlife With Archie #2": The Dance of the Dead!

I finished reading AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #2 earlier this evening. Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and penciled by Francesco Francavilla, it tells the story of the end of the world -- staring in Riverdale USA. Here's the background: Reggie secretly killed Hot Dog with his car. A distraught Jughead sought the misguided help of the teenage witch Sabrina. Hot Dog came back from the dead and bit Juggie. Jughead became sick, died, and came back from the dead. Now he's creating an army of the undead on the night of Riverdale High's big dance. It's not pretty...

We received confirmation that some of the more ambiguous victims from last issue did indeed get killed by Jughead. His father shows up as a zombie in this issue. So does Ms. Grundy. I'm assuming that Mrs. Jones is also a zombie -- unless she's hiding somewhere with poor little Jellybean Jones!

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #2 featured the death and zombie resurrection of one well-known Riverdale teen: Big Ethel. It wasn't a pleasant death for Jughead's favorite stalker. Otherwise, lots of nameless teens got bitten by Ethel, Ms. Grundy, and the 'Bee.

There were a couple interesting plot-points that were begun in this issue that promise to be revisited in subsequent issues:

*Brotherly/Sisterly Love... or Lust?: Cheryl and Jason Blossom showed up at the very beginning of the apocalypse. They were just late enough to get warned off by a bloody teen in a Tom Baker "Doctor Who" costume. But there was a crazy incest subtext in this issue. Maybe I read too much into their interaction, but I've seen others make that connection too:

*Same-Sex Teen Love: Remember when I wrote about the various same-sex couplings that were possible in the "Archie: Riverdale Rescue" iOS gaming app? And remember when I suggested that it would be fun to see some of those relationships play out in an actual Archie Comics comic book? I was hoping for Kevin and Jason, which we didn't get here. But we did get another potential "Riverdale Rescue" couple. See if you can guess from this image:

That's right, Nancy Woods and Ginger Lopez (not Ginger Snapp!!) have been secretly dating -- at least in this storyline. These girls aren't out about their relationship and that's starting to create a wedge, as evidenced by this fight. Apparently, Nancy isn't a big fan of Riverdale's other gay teen: Kevin Keller!:

I'm not sure where this relationship is heading, but the shadow in the background could translate into a short-lived romance!

*Who's Next??: A group of students manage to escape from Riverdale High without getting infected. They have taken refuge in Lodge Mansion, but one of those kids has secretly been infected. The big question: Who? Archie? Veronica? Betty? Moose? Midge? Dilton? Chuck? Reggie? Or Kevin??

I'm personally leaning towards Moose or Betty. Besides Archie (who I don't see getting infected this early in the series), Moose is the only survivor who's been in physical contact with Jughead the zombie. And Betty was in contact with Ethel right when she resurrected. So those are my official guesses.

Who do you think will become infected next? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Share them in the comments section!

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