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Comic Book / Archie Comics (2015)

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"Hi. My name is Archie Andrews. Welcome to Riverdale."

In 2015, Archie Comics ended their main comics after 666 issues. In its place, they rebooted the franchise. The reboot, also known as "New Riverdale", is a more modern take on the series as a whole. Unlike other 'realistic' retools (for example the previous "New Look" revamp), this is a permanent choice, though Archie will still be releasing comics in their classic continuity. The line went on indefinite hiatus in July 2020.

Archie Andrews is a seventeen-year-old boy living in Riverdale, alongside his best friend "Jughead" Jones and longtime girlfriend Betty Cooper. He's an average American teen living a normal life. After an incident he breaks up with his girlfriend of ten years and things start to change. Veronica Lodge moves into town and Archie's love life takes an interesting twist.

Titles that exist within this new continuity include:

  • Archie (by Mark Waid & various artists note ): The first reboot title, a Slice of Life Teen Drama story about the titular character's life in Riverdale. After a minor hiatus, the series resumed with the Legacy Numbering of #699 with new writer Nick Spencer. The latest issue, #713, was published in July 2020.
  • Jughead (by Chip Zdarsky & Erica Henderson note ): A Denser and Wackier solo centering on the misadventures of Archie's best friend Jughead.
    • Jughead's Time Police (by Sina Grace and Derek Charm): After being banned from a bake-off due to messing up his pie recipe so badly, Jughead has Dilton build a time machine so that Judhead can undo his mistake. Naturally, things go off the rails fast, resulting in Jughead fleeing for his life from the Time Police.
  • Betty & Veronica (by Adam Hughes): A three issue miniseries about Betty and Veronica, who take opposing views on Pops’ Chocklit Shoppe closing down.
    • Betty and Veronica: Vixens (By Jamie L. Rotante and Eva Cabrera): The women of Riverdale form a gang led by none other than Betty and Veronica.
    • Betty & Veronica (2018) (by Jamie L. Rotante): A new series leading the girls towards the start of their senior year.
  • Josie & The Pussycats (by Marguerite Bennett, Cameron DeOrdio & Audrey Mok): Josie forms the titular band for a shot at musical stardom, but has to contend with obstacles on the way.
  • Reggie and Me (By Tom DeFalco & Sandy Jerrel and Kelly Fitzpatrick): A five issue miniseries focusing on Reggie's life, narrated by his beloved pet dog.
  • The Archies (by Alex Segura, Matthew Rosenberg, & Joe Eisma): Archie, Betty, Jughead, Veronica, and Reggie form a band named The Archies and go on tour across America.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch (by Kelly Thompson, Veronica Fish and Andy Fish): An ongoing series about Sabrina trying to adjust to living a life among mortals in Greendale.

These comic books provide examples of:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • Following the conclusion of Waid's Archie reboot, the subsequent series of Archie & Sabrina by Nick Spencer had a number of storylines that were never resolved. Sabrina and Archie suddenly break up after a brief encounter with her aunts in the woods; Ricky Mantle goes missing and is presumed dead, with Jughead and Reggie trying to find out what happened through clues he left for Reggie, but that is just dropped; Josie and the Pussycats went on tour over the summer but something happened that caused them to need to work for Cheryl Blossom - also never resolved; Jason Blossom was arrested for something after his and Cheryl's biological father held everyone hostage, but that remains unresolved, despite seemingly having a connection to the disappearance of Ricky Mantle.
    • Both arcs of Chip Zdarsky's run of the Jughead solo series had occasional mentions of Betty trying to stop Hiram Lodge from tearing down the woods, seeming to intend to have it play a role in the future. After issue 8, Chip was no longer the writer, and the series has made no acknowledgment of it afterwards.
  • Adaptational Sexuality:
    • It is implied Melody is bisexual in the new continuity, as she is shown looking at male and female partners on the dating app she uses.
    • Jughead is explicitly asexual (it's unknown if he's aromantic as well, but it seems likely). Prior to this reboot he seemed vaguely heterosexual, however had little interest in romance. Many ace and aro readers say he has always read that way.
  • Affair Hair: A variation. Hiram notices a red hair on his daughter Veronica and correctly assumes that it's because she's dating Archie behind his back.
  • Age Lift: Josie and the Pussycats were around Archie's age in the original comics; here they're in their twenties.
  • The Alleged Car: Updated to an 80's hatchback with one mismatched door, but it's still a lemon - apparently, only Betty can keep it running.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Between Sabrina and Salem in Jughead #10:
    Sabrina: True, but there is one way we can do that and not break the rules. Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Salem?
    Salem: Definitely.
    Sabrina: Amnesia spell!
    Salem: Ensuring that there are no survivors! ...I mean, amnesia spell!
  • As Himself: The Archies encounter musicians such as CHVRCHES, The Monkees, and Tegan & Sara while on tour.
  • Badass Biker: Betty, Veronica, Midge, and some other girls start a gang in Vixens, complete with bikes and outfits.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Mr. Collier, Betty's uncle, is an in-universe example. When Archie and Veronica accidentally caused Mr. Lodge to create a demeaning political ad against him, reactions ranged from people shunning and yelling at them, to praising and defending them. Apparently, half the town has good memories of him as a kind, well-meaning teacher and the other half remembered him as being a total Jerkass of an instructor.
  • Big Bad: Principal Stanger for the first arc of Jughead.
  • Big Eater: Jughead. He has a tab at Pop's he's always behind on. But he has integrity. No matter how much food he is offered, Jughead won't be disloyal to his best friend Archie.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • In the Betty and Veronica comics, Kweekwegs stands in for Starbucksnote .
    • For the most part, however, this is averted; unlike the older comics, brand names (such as those of social media sites) are mentioned freely.
  • Childhood Friends: Archie, Betty, and Jughead have all known each other since they were young kids.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Archie and Betty are the town sweethearts and so, naturally, the whole town breaks down when they break up, while Archie and Betty themselves are privately devastated.
  • Crossover: The Betty and Veronica comic has had a crossover with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.
  • Darker and Edgier: Progressively more so as the series went on. You probably didn't expect Archie Comics to have storylines based around Betty nearly losing the use of her legs in a car wreck or the gang being held hostage at a school dance by a guy with a gun.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Issue 16 is this for Dilton, where he creates an app that allows people to rate anything ultimately the app is hijacked by Reggie who uses it to screw with the entire town leaving Dilton to deal with the mess.
  • Demoted to Extra: Veronica only appears sporadically in Jughead's first arc, despite playing an important part in the end. Justified since Jughead despises her. She plays a larger role in later issues however.
  • Denser and Wackier:
    • The Jughead book full stop; the art style is more cartoony, the dialogue more witty and multiple issues feature an extended fantasy sequence in which Jughead has an adventure in a different variation of the Archieverse. Notably, it actually has a stronger Story Arc than the Archie book has with its more Slice of Life style.
    • Likewise, the Josie and the Pussycats book takes a lot of cues from the the 2001 movie by including a lot of self-parody, generous doses of meta-humor, Leaning on the Fourth Wall, and various ridiculous adventures that the characters constantly Lampshade.
  • Disaster Dominoes: When Archie goes to help at the construction site for the future Lodge mansion, it's all his friends can do to keep him from initiating a chain of disasters. Unfortunately for Archie, they weren't around when he sees Veronica for the first time...
  • Dodgeball Is Hell: Jughead gets used as target practice in dodgeball, although most of it is blocked out by his pirate fantasy.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: As it's revealed in Reggie's solo series, one of the things Reggie absolutely can't stand is when people pity him.
  • Epic Fail: Archie flashes back some of his previous attempts at a part-time job. It culminates in his attempt to work at an ice cream parlor, which ended when he set all of the ice cream on fire. All of it. Just the ice cream. The owner is naturally incredulous. See here.
  • Egocentric Team Naming: The Archies, of course. Reggie also tries to start "The Reggies" in Jughead, to mixed results.
  • Fanservice Faux Fight: Parodied and subverted in Josie and the Pussycats. Valerie seems all geared up for a sexy pillow fight, only to be hit hard in the face with a pillow by Melody.
    Melody: This isn't an Archie Andrews fantasy. I pillow fight to pillow win.
  • Fantasy Sequence: Frequently used in the Jughead series to tell a shorter story in the middle of the issue.
  • Food as Bribe: In issue 1, several characters try to bribe Jughead with sweets to tell them what the "lipstick incident" was. It fails.
  • Garage Band:
    • Frequently crops up in subplots. Archie and Jughead have a rotating roster of supporting cast bandmates who play out of Archie's garage; in one issue they participate in a contest against Betty's Garage Band.
    • The Archies start out as this (although with more financial support than most given that Veronica plays keyboard).
  • Generation Xerox: Played for laughs with the Mantles, as Jughead and Archie find out when they stumble upon a family reunion — everyone in the family is tall, dark-haired (with all the men having undercuts), and a raging immature bully.
  • Girls Like Musicians: Jughead schemes to get Archie to perform at Homecoming. Betty, who won Homecoming Queen, looks on longingly as he rocks out on stage. Jughead admits later that his plan all along was to remind each other of what they had been missing instead of forcing a connection — evidently, Archie's musical skill was part of that.
  • Gym Class Hell: Gym turns into this under Principal Stanger during Jughead's series. First, they have to run ten laps with the slowest three getting detention. The next lesson involves an obstacle course, again with the slowest ones getting detention. The next gym class we see involves Jughead being used for dodgeball target practice.
  • Hate at First Sight: When Jughead and Veronica first meet, it's a silent exchange of angry glares.
  • Hotter and Sexier:
    • Historically Archie has been hit-and-miss with sex and the characters. Several issues have addressed it, most infamously a comic from The '70s that had Betty having issues being celibate around Archie, but it gets glossed over. This comic acknowledges sex more, though the teen characters apparently still don't have it.
    • In Josie and the Pussycats, though, the slightly older characters have more active sex lives. Josie sleeps with Alan M in issue #4 (though she treats it as more romantic than he does), and it's implied that Melody Really Gets Around.
    • In Vixens, Veronica even refers to the word 'orgasm.'
  • How Did You Know? I Didn't: In a secret-agent-themed Imagine Spot in issue 3 of Jughead, Jughead shoots at Reggie, who turns out to be Actually a Doombot.
    Kevin: How did you know Reggie was a robot?
    Jughead: Oh, I, for sure he was...a robot, 'cause, uh...
  • How We Got Here: Reggie and Me opens with Reggie and Vader striding past a group of clearly pissed off and pranked students. The issue explains why he targeted them later: They instantly left a party he was throwing the minute Veronica announced one.
  • I Am Not Your Father: The supposed patriarch of Jason and Cheryl Blossom's family inadvertently reveals that he's not their real father.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Jughead Jones' family is formerly of old money until they went bankrupt from a scam involving a water bottling plant. Gives another layer to his dislike for Veronica.
  • Instant Web Hit: The video Jughead and Dilton make of Jughead's face superimposed over "The Reggies" goes viral overnight, much to everyone's dismay.
  • Jerkass:
    • Even in this reboot, Reggie is still a big-time jerk-wad. Archie even says that Reggie "is the closest thing Riverdale has to a supervillain." Jughead flat out compares Reggie to Satan.
    • Veronica is also written this way in pretty much every reboot title so far, but she gets more Pet the Dog moments than Reggie does.
  • The Klutz: Archie is friendly, popular, and insanely talented on the guitar. But he is a reality-defying klutz. He joined the construction crew for Lodge Manor. To protect him from harm, his friends joined too and headed off Archietastrophes before they could start.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Archie often addresses the reader directly, as if the reader is another good friend in Riverdale hanging out with him while Jughead, Veronica and Betty aren't around.
  • Local Hangout: The gang will usually head down to Pop Tates' diner for burgers and milkshakes, as usual.
  • Made of Iron: After #LipstickIncident , while grieving his breakup with Betty, Archie mindlessly walks through a plate glass window two glaziers are carrying.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Cheryl refers to Betty and Jughead as "Betsy" and "Jughandle" despite actually knowing their names from Veronica, just to drive home how mean she is.
  • Mythology Gag: Jughead's Imagine Spots in his solo (eg. the Super Team, Jughead's Time Police, The Man from R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.) are from established alternate universes from the original comics line.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Veronica ultimately wins her rivalry with Cheryl when Lodge Corp buys out Blossom-Comm. This makes Cheryl's family not wealthy enough to afford private school, while according to Hiram they were on the edge of bankruptcy so it would've happened eventually. The fact Lodge bought them out means the Blossom family has to relocate to Riverdale, and Cheryl makes it clear that she'll be giving Archie a visit while Veronica's stuck in Switzerland.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The 'lipstick incident' started out as this, only referred to vaguely as a nuclear incident that led to Archie and Betty's fallout. Issue four of Archie explains what it was.
    • Whatever it was that Pops said to Reggie to make him stop working for Mr. Lodge.
  • Not So Remote: In issue 7 of Jughead, Kevin and his father are on a 'father-son excursion' where they live off the land while roughing it in the woods. When Jughead questions how Kevin even has a phone signal if they're in the middle of some remote forest, Kevin tells him that his father is on call for work, so they're actually just in Fox Forest, the forest just adjacent to Riverdale.
  • Outdated Name: For the well-intentioned girl squad, "Betty" is an Embarrassing First Name. To them it sounds old and therefore uncool. Betty herself doesn't have a problem with it. note 
  • Pet the Dog: A nearly literal example with Reggie and his dog Vader, the only being besides Midge he treats at all decently.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Archie displays these around Jughead and Betty every time the subject of Veronica comes up. They hate her and he wants them to like her if they can't love her like he does.
  • Puppy Love: Archie and Betty became a couple in kindergarten and were together well into high school. The fact they broke up causes them to be the gossip of the school, as they were the most well-known couple.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Veronica, of course. The comic has fun in how she's so used to living a life of wealth, she honestly can't grasp other people don't. For example, when she stays with the Andrews, Veronica keeps asking why they stay in the "guest house" instead of their "main home."
  • Rule of Funny: The series continuity runs on it. See the entry for Made of Iron above.
  • School Bullying Is Harmless: Zig-zagged, more often than not played as just a regular part of day-to-day life. Averted in Jughead #7-8: While lost in the forest, Archie, Jughead and Mr Weatherbee get harassed by a series of cruel pranks. It turns out they're stalked by Ted Mantle, Reggie's father, who used to bully Weatherbee when they were the boys' age. Ted dismisses their complaints with "It's not a crime", but Weatherbee points out that, no, actually it very much is note  and threatens to press charges unless he lays it off and leads them back to civilization. Before that, it's also shown that nobody at school thought that Ted's constant pranks and harassment was funny, and eventually everyone banded together and ostracized him.
  • Secret Relationship: Archie #700 established that Archie has been AWOL all summer following the events of Archie 1-32. It turns out, he has been secretly dating... Sabrina Spellman! They continue to keep it a secret as Archie's two previous relationships were, respectively, a bit too public (the whole town caring what happened with him and Betty) and too dramatic (Archie and Veronica being used by Lodge to run Betty's uncle out of town).
  • Setting Update: Definitely set in the 2010s, with the characters using modern technology and making references to current pop culture.
  • Similar Squad: When the group visits their new principal's old school to find dirt on him, they run into a group identical to theirs except with flipped genders. Archie and Betty find the whole thing deeply weird, but Reggie and Regina immediately start making out.
  • Snobs Versus Slobs: Alluded to in issue 9. Veronica is so sheltered that she is befuddled by Archie and his family's middle-class lifestyle. Her way of helping is to hire cooking & cleaning staff, and extravagant gifts. When she overhears Archie's mom complaining that she's disrupted their lives, she takes back all the gifts, and tries to do something nice at their level. She fails and calls Archie in tears.
  • Spanner in the Works: How Betty ends up critically injured in "Over The Edge". Reggie challenged Archie to a racing duel with the intent of taking him out. His gang had set up an oil slick for Archie to hit and to go over the edge. However, no one expected Betty to find out what was going on and, in an attempt to find and stop Archie from doing this, instead hits the oil slick instead, causing the crash.
  • Sudden Eye Colour: Unlike in the classic art-style, everyone consistently has eye colours. Some of the colours go against the colours from the original canon (such as Archie having green eyes instead of blue).
  • Supreme Chef: Jughead turns out to be a very specific version when his beloved lunch is threatened. He learns how to make an ideal hamburger in about one lesson, leaving his witnesses in awe.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Each series focuses of the perspective of the respective title character. This leads to invoked shifting personalities.
  • Two-Timing with the Bestie: In Archie #702, Betty and Veronica are trying to deduce who Archie is secretly dating. They land on Midge and go to Riverdale High to catch them in the act, only to find Midge sneaking around to the groundskeeper's shed at night to kiss... Dilton!
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Set up by Fiona Staples in the very first issue and enthusiastically maintained by every other artist since.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: invoked Ends up being Deconstructed as this was the reason behind Archie and Betty's breakup. Betty is convinced by her friends to doll herself up for a date with Archie. Archie on his end is completely uncomfortable with her drastic overhaul in appearance, almost veering into My Girl Is Not a Slut territory.
  • Uptown Girl: Archie falls in love with the rich, snobby new girl Veronica Lodge.
  • The 'Verse: According to Word of God, all the books take place in the same continuity, but so far it hasn't come up much.
  • Villain Protagonist:
    • Reggie for Reggie And Me naturally.
    • Also Veronica in "Betty and Veronica."
  • Villainous Gentrification: Betty and Veronica sees the gang trying to save Pop's from being closed down by corporate giant Kweekweg's Coffee. Since Kweekweg's is owned by Veronica's dad, she tries to stop them at every turn.
  • Walk the Plank: Jughead's pirate dream sequence starts with him being forced to do this.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • Josie and Alexandra were childhood friends until middle school, when they drifted apart and Alexandra turned mean. According to Josie, it was because Alexandra was too spoiled and selfish to handle it when Josie made other friends that wasn't her — but according to Alexandra, Josie was mainly friends with her because she was rich and "the minute I couldn't buy you some talent you bailed on me like Hollywood after an actress turns thirty."
    • Reggie and Archie, if Reggie and Me is any indication, were good friends when younger, but a near-drowning incident combined with Betty's suspicion of Reggie led to their friendship souring.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Archie #4 finally reveals the Lipstick Incident: A few days after Betty and Archie promised to never change, Betty is convinced by a group of schoolmates to dress up more when going on a date with Archie. Betty is awkward and uncomfortable in the girly outfit, while Archie is upset and acts stand-offish throughout the date. Combined with her nervousness, this results in a big fight which culminates in Betty slashing Archie's face with her new lipstick and leaving in tears.
    • Issue #10 leads to a boiling point for the issues of the characters: Mr. Collier, a strict but fair teacher, mayoral rival to Hiram Lodge, and Betty's uncle, loses his temper at Archie again. Veronica secretly records this and accidentally gives it to her father's campaign manager, who uses the video in a smear campaign, leading to Mr. Collier quitting his job and moving out of town. Veronica becomes despised by half of the student body as a result. During a Lodge rally, Betty confronts Archie about it, where the two ultimately argue over the effect that Veronica has over Archie, leading Betty to demand what he sees in her, to which Archie responds that he admires Veronica's confidence and that her attempts to fit in doesn't result in compromising herself — accidentally bringing up the Lipstick Incident. As Archie tries to apologize, Betty angrily tells him not to touch her before tearfully leaving.
    • Issue #20: Reggie goads Archie into a drag race, intending to send him careening off a cliff. Betty finds out and drives in a rush to stop them, but she hits the oil Reggie had spilled beforehand, going over the cliff herself.
    • Issue #700: After Veronica leaves Archie, thinking he still loves Betty, and Betty cuts things off with him, thinking Archie is only pitying her after everything with the accident, Archie ends up with someone brand-new: Sabrina Spellman.
  • Wham Line: Issue 22 ends with one.
    "Why can't I feel my legs?"
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Archie #5, Archie calls out Betty and Jughead for trying to sabotage Veronica, making it doubly sad, as this is the first real interaction between Betty and Archie since their break-up.