Archie's 'Afterlife' Ties Up Emotional, Undead First Arc (Exclusive)

Writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa talks about finishing the first storyline for the horror hit.
Francesco Francavilla/Archie Comics

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."

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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…