1:13pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Archie's 'Afterlife' Ties Up Emotional, Undead First Arc (Exclusive)
The fifth issue of surprise hit Afterlife with Archie is released next week, bringing the first storyline of the horror series to a close. To mark the conclusion of the story, series artist Francesco Francavilla has provided Heat Vision with an exclusive portrait of Zombie Jughead -- or, as he calls him, "Jugdead" -- while writer (and Archie Comics CCO) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa talks about writing the issue.
"With issue 5, one of the challenges we had was coming up with a story that satisfied both the horror plot Francesco and I have been telling since the first page of our first issue, as well as the emotional, more relationship-y arcs we've been building," Aguirre-Sacasa told THR via email. "Honestly, with our cast finally in one centralized location, this issue could've been twice as long."
In fact, the issue almost was longer than usual, the writer explained. "I wrote a prologue and an epilogue that I ended up cutting, which turned out to be a good decision because it gave the issue a clear focus -- Smithers [faithful butler to Veronica Lodge] -- and it allowed the whole thing to wrap up like the wind, which is my favorite way to end stories."
End the story, but not the series itself; Afterlife continues unabashed (and undead) after the issue, with #6 bringing back Sabrina the Teenage Witch and the character responsible for the zombie outbreak in the first place in an issue that the writer calls a homage to H.P. Lovecraft.
Afterlife with Archie #5 is released digitally and in comic book stores on May 14. Whether or not Archie Andrews will survive the issue, of course, is another question…