Afterlife With Archie #10 Review: A Bloodcurdling Band

How did the Pussycats really come together?

Forget the movie, forget the sixties comics, and definitely forget that manga run in the early 2000s, it’s time for a darker adaptation! Afterlife With Archie #10 takes place just before the events of the first issue, with Josie retelling her origin to a hapless reporter. To us, of course, they appear as flashbacks narrated by Josie, but with brief segments in the present day. To me, the story had the tone of a Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina issue, rather than the standard Afterlife With Archie formula. This is mostly due to the majority of the issue taking place centuries into the past.

Don't be fooled, the issue isn't as happy as this panel would make you think.

You see, Josie, Valerie, Melody, and partially Piper are not ordinary humans, but vampires! Personally, I would have thought that they would be werewolves or werecats, but I suppose that would be too on the nose. They change identities as time passes to match the culture of their time, sometimes turning into parodies of real-life pop groups (“The Sugar & Spice Girls”, a posh British group...Sound familiar?) or simply obscuring their identities.

Delicious irony.

Josie doesn’t want her secret to be revealed and she drags the reporter over to Melody and Valerie for a grisly death. To be perfectly honest, I saw this coming even when the previews came out. No matter what kind of supernatural being Josie and the Pussycats would turn out to be in contact with, they still would be leery of anyone knowing who they really were. However, the epilogue has the Pussycats traveling to Riverdale for the Halloween party in the very first issue. They are warned about the rioting by the flight attendant, but decide to press on. I do hope that this leads to an appearance in a future Afterlife issue, if only to help stop Reggie and maybe even free Sabrina from her thrall.

Afterlife With Archie #10 is a good comic, but it almost feels like it’s missing something. The story does not really have a beginning, middle, or an end. Instead, it just details precisely what the title suggests, an interview with the Pussycats. I would have enjoyed more details about what they would do during Riverdale’s present condition. Perhaps part of it could have shown them battling the zombies and slowly revealed their origin in flashback format. Then, the vampire reveal could have been saved for an eerie final panel, Josie’s eyes shining as she bites into a zombiefied Riverdale citizen.

Additionally, it has some wonderful political commentary throughout the years. The topic of racism is not shied away from, as the Klu Klux Klan appear in two horrifying scenes. Other topics are also briefly discussed, as the act of changing someone into a vampire is portrayed as being disturbingly similar to a physical assault. Needless to say, the issue gets bloody and graphic.

Despite this, the art is gorgeous. As is typical for the Archie Horror lineup, it’s a beautiful mixture of haunting and exquisite, making even the most disturbing of scenes oddly beautiful.

New York, New York, it's a monstrous town!
The black-and-white crowd, punctuated with the brief splashes of color from the Pussycats, looks wonderful. Francesco Francavilla obviously did research on the buildings and scenery in New York. I definitely think you should pick it up. If you need to destress after reading it, then I recommend a bit of classic Josie goodness.

Afterlife With Archie #10 is available on the Archie Comics phone application and at your local comic book shop.

Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or the Harry Potter books.