6 fast facts about Archie and the gang

There's a lot going on in Riverdale.

Image: Archie Comics

In 2019, Archie Comic Publications Inc., will be 80 years old! Though the company started out publishing superhero comics, it wasn't too long until the charming ginger casanova made his first appearance in 1941's Pep Comics #22. Archie Andrews quickly became a fan favorite. The company changed its name from MLJ Magazines to Archie Comics and devoted its time and ink to chronicling the lives of teens in the fictional town of Riverdale.

Over the years, we've been introduced a number of Archie's friends, extending outside the core gang, like Sabrina Spellman, and Josie and the Pussycats. Outside of the pages of Archie Comics, we've gotten TV shows, movies and even kind of real-life bands. Here's a little more Archie knowledge for you to brush up on!

1. Archie was based on another character.

Well, kind of. If you ever thought that Archie Andrews’ love life seemed familiar, you may have been thinking of Andy Hardy, played by Mickey Rooney in an MGM film series between 1937–46. Mental Floss points out that like Hardy, Archie is a pretty, well, average guy, who somehow has the Betties next door, as well as the sultry Veronicas chasing after him. Though Hardy is also fictitious, we all had that friend who always managed to get a date!

Image: Wikimedia Commons

2. Archie meets Jesus in one alternate-universe comic.

In 1973, an Archie artist created an evangelical expansion of the comics. Some of the storylines included converting a hippie to Christianity and opening a Christian bookstore because the town’s schools stopped teaching the Bible. The highlight, though, is that Jesus is featured as a cool dude at the beach with a van.

Image: Archie Comics

3. Only one issue from Archie Comics was ever reprinted.

Veronica No. 202 introduced Kevin Keller, the series’ first gay character in 2010. It was the quickest to sell out, so the company printed another round of copies. In the Life of Archie series, Archie ended up dying, saving this character from getting shot in 2014.

Image: Archie Comics

4. Archie can get dark, too.

Many fans of Archie Comics are familiar with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the horror series about the beloved Sabrina Spellman that debuted in 2014 and is due to become a Netflix series. Did you know, though, that what inspired publishers to do a dark Sabrina comic was the success of the dark Archie one? Afterlife With Archie started in 2013 and followed a storyline in which Riverdale is overrun with zombies — including Jughead — and was the first Archie comic that was written for an adult audience.

Image: Archie Comics

5. Overall, they like to keep Archie Comics clean.

For example, Cheryl Blossom inexplicably disappeared from the Archie comics 1985 for a few years because the buxom redhead was deemed too sexy for a children’s comic. She returned in 1994, and Archie tried to keep her return to Riverdale from Betty and Veronica because he can’t choose between the three of them.

Image: Archie Comics

6. Crossovers are a favorite.

In recent years, there have been a number of crossover issues with different TV shows, movies and comics. A few include Glee, The Punisher, the Ninja Turtles and even… Sharknado. The Sharknado cover, of course, features a tornado of sharks, but Archie also stands in a triumphant pose with a tattered shirt and chainsaw, much like the cover of Army of Darkness.

Image: Archie Comics

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