In fact, until the 2015 modern relaunch of the Archie Comics franchise, and the subsequent start of the CW’s Riverdale, I mistakenly assumed Archie was a relic of 1950’s America, liked baked apple pie and Don Draper’s sweet hats.
Amazingly, although Archie Comics was founded in 1939 (when dinosaurs still ruled Antarctica!), the likes of Archie Andrews, Jughead, Betty and Veronica have never felt more relevant in the 2000’s.
As a publisher, Archie has made some very smart recent decisions, trusting some of the best creative minds in comics to pull off something akin to Marvel’s Ultimate Universe – Archie Comics for the 2010’s.
Below you’ll find a complete guide to getting into the new Archie Comics universe, alongside guides to Archie Horror comics and some other recommended reads for modern comic book readers or new fans of Riverdale. As always, if you questions or suggestions, let’s hear ’em in the comments, and enjoy the comics!
Archie Comics Reading Order
Collects: Archie #1, Jughead #1, Betty And Veronica #1, Josie And The Pussycats #1, Reggie And Me #1
Archie’s Road to Riverdale collection is designed for new comic book readers and viewers of the CW’s Riverdale to get a taste of the new Archie Comics universe. Road to Riverdale includes the first issue of each modern-day Archie Comics series: Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats, and Reggie and Me.
All in all, these are fairly effective sampler platters, and should help new fans determine which series they’d like to explore in more depth. In general, the 2015 Archie Comics relaunch assumes some prior knowledge of the Archie Comics universe and characters, but will elaborate on details through context over time.
Collects: Archie #2, Jughead #2, Betty And Veronica #2, Josie And The Pussycats #2, Reggie And Me #2
Collects: Archie #3, Jughead #3, Betty And Veronica #3, Josie And The Pussycats #3, Reggie And Me #3
Collects: Archie #4, Jughead #4, Betty And Veronica #4, Josie And The Pussycats #4, Reggie And Me #4
Collects: Archie #1 To #6
Longtime Marvel and DC superhero writer Mark Waid (The Flash, Daredevil) partners with superstar artist Fiona Staples (Saga) to bring Archie Andrews to new audiences. Waid and Staples seem up for the challenge, infusing humor and meta commentary into the tried and true classic formula of high school drama.
Collects: Jughead #1-6
The first Archie Universe solo series belongs to Jughead, which plays as more of a straight comedy comic from the talented and hilarious duo of Chip Zdarksy (Howard the Duck, Sex Criminals) and Erica Henderson (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl). If you’re in the mood for pure abject silliness and the deepest love for hamburgers you’ve ever seen, Jughead is for you.
Collects: Archie #7-12
Collects: Jughead #7 To #12
Collects: Archie Issues 13 – 17
Collects: Josie And The Pussycats #1 To #6
Marguerite Bennett (DC Comics Bombshells), Cameron DeOrdio, and Audrey Mok get a chance to to retell the origin of the most famous rock and roll trio in comic books.
Collects: Archie #18 To #23
Collects: Betty And Veronica #1 To #6
Adam Hughes writes and draws the classic Archie rivalry between Betty and Veronica.
Collects: Reggie And Me #1 To #6
Longtime Marvel Spider-Man writer Tom DeFalco takes a stab at showcasing the bullying prankster Reggie in a new light… from the perspective of his dog, Vader.
Archie Horror Comics Reading Order
Collects: Afterlife With Archie #1 To #6
The Afterlife with Archie series from Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla might actually house the best Archie-verse stories. The characters of Archie fit classic horror narratives like a glove, and Francavilla’s haunting art drives the best zombie apocalypse in comics since The Walking Dead began.
Collects: Afterlife With Archie #7 To #12
Collects: Issues #1-#4 Of The Smash-Hit Archie Vs. Predator
Alex De Campi writes this shockingly faithful, yet absurdly violent take on Predator set loose in Riverdale.
Collects: Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina #1 To #6
Sabrina the Teenage Witch (yes, the one you probably remember from TV) gets her own series set within the Archie horror-verse, and although I don’t enjoy it quite as much as Afterlife with Archie, it’s definitely worthwhile.
Collects: Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina #7 To #12
Death of Archie Reading Order
If you want to try more “classic” Archie comics from before the 2015 relaunch, I’d recommend the Archie: The Married Life saga, leading to “The Death of Archie.”
Collects: Life With Archie Magazine #1 To #6
Paul Kupperburg wrote most of this mid 2000’s Archie run that takes alternate universe looks at what the Archie-verse would be like with Archie married to either Veronica or Betty. This is my recommended jumping on point for Archie series prior to the 2015 relaunch, and culminates in the surprisingly crazy Death of Archie story arc. The first collection includes the first six chapters of both Archie Marries Veronica and Archie Marries Betty.
Collects: Life With Archie Magazine #7 To #12
Collects: Life With Archie Magazine #13 To #18
Collects: Life With Archie Magazine #19 To #24
Collects: Life With Archie Magazine #25 To #30
Collects: Life With Archie Magazine #31 To #37
Collects: Death Of Archie