Whenever anyone asked me which fantasy world I’d like to live in, I always replied, “Riverdale.”
Of course, I was speaking of the traditional Riverdale of the comic books of my childhood. However, a new Riverdale has appeared, and it’s not the same old place.
Riverdale debuted this past January on the CW and Netflix, and the second season begins in October. Set in a modern-day Riverdale, Archie and his friends find themselves involved in a murder. Jason Blossom (brother of the infamous Cheryl Blossom, a well known figure in the Archie universe) is dead and Archie and his friends are in the middle of the mystery.
These are not traditional Archie characters. (IMDb describes it as “a subversive take on Archie and his friends, exploring small town life, the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.”) Veronica is the new girl in town and her father is in jail for embezzlement. Betty’s mother is a hyper-controlling perfectionist, and Jughead is Archie’s ex-best friend and the son of the leader of a motorcycle gang!
There are many other changes in this most recent Archie re-boot. If you watch in the expectation of seeing familiar characters in familiar situations, you’ll be in for a few (all right, many) surprises. This is a new story line that may take it’s origin from Archie Comics but then remolds the characters and spins them in an entirely different direction.
I have to admit that I am an Archie purist. I have followed the many Archie remakes. I remember the old cartoon on television and the attempts at live action shows. I also eagerly read the Archie Get Married series. Most of these left me longing for the traditional Archie of the comic books I grew up with.
And speaking of comic books, you can also download the newest comic book version of Archie’s story from hoopla. This new series is written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Fiona Staples and it re-imagines Archie and his friends in a very modern, edgier way.