After a long run of 666 issues, the main Archie series from Archie Comics dumped everything for a big modern reboot and new #1 from Mark Waid and Fiona Staples in 2015. Now in 2018, the Riverdale gang is embracing their legacy.
As announced by the New York Times, following the end of the current volume with issue #32 the main Archie series will return to legacy numbering with issue #700 in November from brand new creative team of Nick Spencer and Marguerite Sauvage. The previous 666 issues plus the 32 current ones brings the total to 698, with issue #699 arriving October that serves as a catch-up issue on everything that has happened since the reboot and will only cost $1.
“Archie Comics has a long, proud history,” Spencer said. “I don’t want to blow things up or do anything that would upset the long-term audience. It’s more like finding some conflicts that have some stakes, upping the drama level a little bit.” He added that he would play into the soap opera aspect of the characters and “depict that in a way that the ‘Riverdale’ audience can appreciate and enjoy.”
Books taking back their big legacy numbering is not a new thing but has been a very popular move the last few years as both DC Comics and Marvel Comics have focused on certain titles going back to bigger numbers. Archie Publisher and Co-Chief Executive Jon Goldwater said the move is “a way to bring attention to the book again and have a good time.”
A renewed focus on the comics comes at a time when the Archie brand is in the spotlight more than ever with the successful Riverdale series on The CW, the popularity of the reboot series, the rejuvenated horror comics featuring the characters as well as the upcoming The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series on Netflix.
Archie’s pals Betty and Veronica will gain their own Betty and Veronica series once more as well this fall from Betty & Veronica: Vixens writer Jamie L. Rotante and an unnamed artist. Their series will focus on the girls and the rest of the gang as they enter their senior year of high school.
“These characters were icons to me growing up and I want to make sure that continues for many, many generations of readers to come,” Rotante told NYT in an email. “We stack a lot onto the backs of teens and often dismiss their concerns as juvenile. I think now, more than ever, it’s apparent that teens matter and that their voices should be heard.”
Archie relaunches in October/November and Betty and Veronica arrives in December.