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Afterlife With Archie

by F.D. White on May 14, 2014

It’s very rare to have a great horror story that cares deeply about its characters, a story that uses them for more than just fodder to terror. It’s even rarer that such a story would involve Archie characters. But here we are on issue #5 of Afterlife With Archie, the unexpected critical hit, and it continues to impress.

This issue is narrated from the point of view of Smithers, the Lodge family butler. It’s brilliantly told in a way that’s poignant, sad, and still life affirming. A story about sacrificing so much to gain so little, but to find solace in that nonetheless. All the while, we are still treated to more character growth for every character no matter how short the scene. You would think that Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa had created these character by how well he seems to know them. When certain books can spend the entire issue going nowhere, Afterlife With Archie knows exactly what it’s doing.

This story, however, no matter how great, would be half of a masterpiece without Francesco Francavilla artwork. The art here isn’t as strong as previous outings, but even when Francavilla is slightly off he’s still better than most artists today. It fits perfectly with the pulpy vibe of the story, but still captures all of these characters emotions without over-exaggerating them. On top of that, Francavilla’s color palette is just to die for. It’s eerie and beautiful.

If you haven’t read this series yet, now is the time. The first arc is over. Pick up the old monthlies, pick up the upcoming trade paperback, just read it.

Our Score:

9/10

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