Is the zombie apocalypse an allegory for our current civilization? Is it a reflection of our fears about a breakdown in societal norms?
make your peace, say your goodbyes and remember that sometimes dead is better
It’s a morbid thought to be sure considering that it is often hard to say goodbye to those that we cherish and love. And that is the case with Jughead and Hot Dog but while that line on the surface is just a reference, it speaks to something bigger in how we have to be willing to let go and say goodbye. This is something that Sabrina has a hard time with as she look on Jughead and wonders if she did the right thing and how she’d react if it were Salem that were run over. In other words, Sabrina wants to do the right thing but it’s going to end up having dire consequences. Sabrina goes to Jughead’s at night and says that she can help him bring Hot God back to life. Yeah, her aunts don’t take too kindly to this as they banish her for a year for going behind their backs for doing this.
Yikes, yeah that’s creepy but it serves a purpose and sets off the events of the story. Jughead’s dog is back but he’s not the same and well yeah. Meanwhile, we get the typical Betty and Veronica drama with Archie that one would expect in a classic Archie comic. However putting it in this setting gives it a darker tinge and with the zombie acoplayse about to start, also shows how unimportant it is in the grand scheme of things. Later, we find out that Reggie ran over Hot Dog and this again ties into how the comic plays with the idea of how would the Archie gang react in a horror story. Taking this further, we see what happens Hot Dog has gotten to Jughead and becomes the first human zombie in Riverdale. People think it’s a costume at first as they are at a Halloween party at Riverdale High but it’s soon revealed to not be the case
I swear on some reptilian level, that thing that once was Jughead Jones recognized me…and remembered we hated each other
This idea is horrifying and what is even scarier is how Veronica wants to pretend this isn’t happening by holding a pool party even Midge and Moose had been turned and are about ready to attack until Hiram stops them. At least he’s an understandable jerk unlike on the Riverdale show where he’s just a straight-up villain. The idea of overcoming who these people once were is felt even more as Archie has to attack his dad as his father had been turned and he is dealing with the remorse of having to kill his father but as Betty points out.
No—No Archie, that thing wasn’t your father…that was something else
This ties into one of the hardest things to remember but to borrow from my paper and a zombie story I used for that called Dead Like Me.
, “Don’t Remember. Don’t Remember your name. Only the Living have names.
I feel as though this comic makes it explicitly hard to follow this rule as we are dealing with established comic characters that people love. Yes, other comics have done such as Marvel Zombies but I believe the point still stands in how tragic it must be in seeing these characters that people know and love being turned.
… we see it burning to embers as a manifestation of the innocence that is being stripped away from Archie in this comic. He’s no longer worrying about how to fix his jalopy or deal with having dates with Betty and Veronica scheduled for the same night. Now he’s worried only about keeping his loved ones alive
Dammit Mr. Lodge, but I don’t want to die here… I don’t want your daughter to die here
Lodge Manor is running low on supplies and Archie and Smithers, the Lodges’ butler realizes that it’s only a matter of time before things get direr. Leaving isn’t just the best option, it’s the only option.
I’m not only going to look at characters in the traditional sense of how I’d do it because I don’t think it makes sense but rather talk about how the characters feel real and you can relate to them on a level that you might not have thought of. This isn’t just some silly comic that is a zombie story featuring Archie characters but rather it actually asks how would these characters react if zombies came to Riverdale and it is made believable and that makes it so much more terrifying.
My Final Thoughts
I still think Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is the better book but this one is also really good and being the one that started it all shows that this idea could work and why people love Archie Horror as much as they do. It’s not just a joke but rather something that treats both Archie and the horror stories with equal respect and puts them together in a combination that goes so well it’s like peanut butter and chocolate. It cannot be overstated enough how good this book is and why I think Archie Horror as a whole is really great.