First off, Archie Comics announced that they plan to launch an ongoing JUGHEAD: THE HUNGER comic book series in October 2017, which is a spin-off of the March one-shot comic book by the same name. You may or may not remember, but JUGHEAD: THE HUNGER imagines a world where Jughead is the latest in a long line of werewolves and Betty is the latest in a long line of werewolf hunters.
JUGHEAD: THE HUNGER will feature story telling by Frank Tieri and will be illustrated by Pat & Tim Kennedy.
I was actually annoyed by JUGHEAD: THE HUNGER when this new series was first announced. After all, Archie Comics has really struggled to get its Archie Horror titles out on a regular basis for way too long. Both AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE and CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA come out so sporadically. I can't even remember when I held a new copy of AFTERLIFE in my hands. It's been at least a year. Which is ridiculous.
But then I had an idea for a new line of ARCHIE HORROR titles that could each get released once annually. That way, readers would know that they would get at least one new book each month! I was going to blog about it, but then the idea fizzled.
But then Tuesday, Archie Comics announced a new ongoing comic book series titled B&V VIXENS. It will feature writing by Jamie Rotante and artwork by Eva Cabrera and will make its debut in November 2017. B&V VIXENS envisions a world where Betty and Veronica are "badass biker chicks in charge of the meanest gang in town."
I like the concept and I like this alternate cover by Robert Hack. And I like the idea as Betty & Veronica as biker chicks versus Jughead as a werewolf, so I'll definitely be adding B&V VIXENS to my pull-list.
But I keep going back to my idea of different Archie Horror concepts coming out each month -- even if it's a ironic response to the books' annoyingly irregular release schedule.
With that in mind, I thought that I would share my idea for a month-by-month Archie Horror/"Archie Mature" release schedule:
AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE (January): Archie Andrews and a ragtag band of friends and family fight to survive a Zombie Apocalypse.
VAMPIRONICA (February): This title was hinted at way back in July 2015 and then promptly dropped from further discussion. But what if Archie Comics published an ongoing comic book where Veronica Lodge became a vampire? What kind of chaos could Vampironica unleash?
PUREHEART (March): Remember Pureheart the Powerful and the rest of the Super Teens? Or possibly the more recent Riverdale hero, the Equalizer? I would love to see Pureheart and the rest of the Super Teens all grown up and gritty. I'm thinking of Archie Comics meets the Watchmen -- which gets me all excited because the original idea behind the Watchmen was a dark update of the various Mighty Crusaders heroes. I actually have a general story plotted out for this idea just in case anyone from Archie Comics is curious. Just saying...
EXPLORERS OF THE UNKNOWN (April): The original Explorers fought villains and explored uncharted areas of the world. For this title, I thought it would be fun to take Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and Reggie and have them found a new group called the Explorers of the Unknown, which would be a team of paranormal investigators. They would run across ghosts, and demons, and shadow people in all sorts of haunted locations with the goals of figuring out what happens to people after death.
SPIRE (May): Just in time for Vacation Bible School's nationwide to kick off, SPIRE would be a homage to Archie Comics' relationship with Spire Christian Comics back in the early 1970s. I'm thinking of the second coming. I'm thinking of Revelations. I'm thinking of the the apocalypse. I'm thinking of dark parodie of the Chick tracts, featuring Archie Andrews, the Riverdale Gang, and other characters from Archie Comics' catalog of characters.
KEVIN KILLER (June): Just in time for Pride Month, KEVIN KILLER reveals Archie Comics' openly gay teen has a secret life as a serial killer! I would pull ideas from real life serial killers such as Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, the Son of Sam, and the BTK Killer; among others. This series could be a lot of fun -- if a bit messy...
CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA (July): Archie Horror's ongoing story about Sabrina the Teenage Witch, set back in the late 1960s. Sabina continues to live with the challenge of being a half-witch/half-mortal while pushing back against the evil machinations of Madame Satan and her Witch Coven.
COSMO: MERCENARY FROM MARS (August): I know that Archie Comics has big plans for Cosmo the Merry Martian over at Archie Action. But that doesn't stop them from publishing a sister title featuring Cosmo as the leader of an invasion squadron from the planet Mars! Much like Archie Action has come up with a sleek new Mega Man-inspired look for COSMO, I would like to see a unique new look for Archie Horror's Cosmo.
ARCHIE B.C. (September): I would like to do an update of the "Archie 1" caveman characters, but I'm not 100% sure how to do this without repeating AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE. On the other hand, I'm really digging the idea of Riverdale being at the mercy of blood-thirsty Neandertals, either in the distant past or in the present.
JUGHEAD: THE HUNGER (October): Jughead the Werewolf versus Betty the Werewolf Hunter! Think of the collateral damage!
B&V VIXENS (November): Once again, what if Betty and Veronica were a pair of biker chicks?
ARCHIE'S MAD HOUSE (December): Taking a page from "America Horror Story: Asylum," I think it would be really fun to explore what happened after Archie -- or maybe Reggie might be a better fit -- became committed to a mental health institution. I would definitely pull characters from the original ARCHIE'S MAD HOUSE comic book series, including the Madhouse Glads (particularly Clyde Didit and Fran the Fan) and Captain Sprocket.