Premise: Jughead begs Sabrina to revive his dead dog and ends up causing a zombie apocalypse.
Cover Commentary: I know I’m in the minority when I say this, but I feel Tim Seeley’s variant is the best cover released for this issue. (Here are the others for comparison: Regular Cover by Francesco Francavilla / Variant by Andrew Pepoy / Variant by Francesco Francavilla / Retailer Variant by Robert Hack / Second Printing Variant by Francesco Francavilla.) Hot Dog is the plot catalyst, after all, so it only makes sense for him to be displayed on the first issue. Bonus: This cover has amazing texture. It’s not the same thin and glossy material that other comics have, so you really get more bang for your buck with this series.
Overall Thoughts: All my life, I’ve loved horror as much as Archie Comics, so the two merging together should be perfection for me...yet it wasn't. While this issue was a solid series set-up, I can’t deny that I wasn’t blown away. I believe this is largely due to the fact that the gist of the issue was spoiled during marketing, so I had almost nothing to be surprised by. I’m also disappointed by the lack of comedy. I don’t expect this series to feature typical Archie humor, but dark humor would be excellent, especially since that never fails to make the darkest stories even darker. But again, this issue was a set-up, so I’m hoping there’ll be more chances for surprises and comedy in future releases.
One of the bright sides of this issue was the artwork. The limited color scheme, of which red and blue were most prominent, created an effectively eerie atmosphere. I still need to adjust to Francavilla’s version of the characters, but as someone who’s grown up with the DeCarlo style, I think that’s only natural. As far as writing goes, there’s pathos amongst the darkness, so it gratefully isn’t just horror for horror’s sake. If you’re a dog-lover like me, or at least a pet-owner, it will definitely pull at the heartstrings. While I wasn’t sold on this issue 100%, I have faith in Archie Comics and am curious to see how this darker venture of theirs will evolve.