The Archie universe is unrecognizable from where it was just a couple of years ago. The regular monthly comics have been winnowed down to a few staples (Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica just joined by Josie & the Pussycats with Reggie upcoming), all of which have been rethought in long-form formats where there’s one single adventure going on with a “…to be continued” tag at the end.
The short stories still exist in the Archie digests, which are still plentiful. Some new material lands there, and on Archie’s digital platform. But the longserving artist/writer Fernando Ruiz has announced he’s leaving the company, and the overall tone of the digests has become more classic, more historical, befitting the 75th anniversary celebration of its red-headed hero.
Then there’s television, which is often the ultimate gamechanger. How long did the Adam West series cast a shadow over Batman, or George Reeves over Superman? “Riverdale,” now set to debut in January, is an hour-long ensemble show with drama and mystery elements.
I have remained a steadfast fan, but in comic terms, it’s like living in a different universe.