While the utterly bonkers TV series Riverdale is how most people know the venerable Archie Comics franchise nowadays, the publisher hasn’t just been riding the show’s coattails. Between bizarre mash-ups like Archie Meets Pretty Little Liars and horror comics like Jughead: The Hunger (where he becomes a werewolf), Archie isn’t afraid to mix it up. And that holds true with its newest horror comic, Chilling Adventures Present: Weirder Mysteries, in which girl-next-door Betty Cooper basically takes on John Carpenter’s Thing—and we have an exclusive preview.
“Anyone who’s a fan of [Jughead: The Hunger] knows Betty’s pretty much the baddest badass of the whole series… so aliens instead of werewolves should be a piece of cake, right?” writer Frank Tieri asks of “Betty Cooper: Alien Hunter.” “Well, not quite. Not when said alien is a shape changer who ends up at Pop’s and Betty has to figure out who’s an alien and who isn’t. And Betty being Betty, of course, only complicates matters and she may prove to be a bigger threat to the wellbeing of Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe than the alien itself.”
This is literally The Thing, just at Pop’s instead of an frozen research station. But that’s not the only tale in Weirder Mysteries. Ron Robbins will write “Bingo Wilkin Day,” which he says “afforded me the chance to craft a horrific and curious sci-fi story with the iconic Ethel Muggs and the dashing Trev Smith taking the lead. Our heroes use dream science and advanced AI technology to battle characters from Archie canon who may be a bit more nefarious than ever before.” The weirdest tale might be “A Wrinkle in Time,” set in the Riverdale of 205o, where Alexandra Cabot’s jealousy of Josie of Pussycats’ fame reaches new depths. “Alexandra’s jealousy of Josie borders on obsession, and she’s willing to go to terrifying lengths to upstage the Pussycat’s singer and make a name for herself,” says writer Joanne Starer.
io9 is happy to present previews of all three stories, as well as a few of the comic’s covers.
Chilling Adventures Presents: Weirder Mysteries will kick off Archie Comics’ “Month of Mayhem” event, which will include: Chilling of Adventures of Salem, where Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s cat helps other neighborhood animals get revenge; Fear the Funhouse, a Goosebumps-esque series of spooky campfire stories; and The Return of Chilling Adventures in Sorcery, starring Sabrina character Madame Satan.
Chilling Adventures Presents: Weirder Mysteries, with art by Juan Bobillo, Federico Sabbattini, and Ryan Jampole, hits comic shelves on September 21, with the other comics following in October.
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