The name of the panel was “Archie Comics: Beyond Riverdale,” but the news from the publisher's presentation at New York Comic Con didn’t stray very far from the popular TV series. The biggest news was the announcement of an original one-shot comic, Riverdale Presents: South Side Serpents, the latest tie-in to The CW's angsty hit.
With a script by David Barnett and art from Richard Oritz, Matt Herms, and Jack Morelli, “the one-shot doesn’t take place in any specific season, it doesn‘t take place in any specific episode, it almost serves as a prequel because it focuses on FP Jones passing the torch to Jughead to lead the Serpents,” Archie editor Jamie L, Rotante said during the panel. “If you love the drama and the edgy side of things with Serpents and the gang wars, this is absolutely for you. It really goes to some dark places. It's not horror, but it's definitely leaning that way.”
Watch the full panel below:
The official solicitation information provides a few more details: “Hunted by the most fearsome biker gangs in the state, an unwilling Jughead has to step up into the role of leader to guide the Serpents on a perilous journey.” The issue is scheduled to go on sale Jan. 27, 2021.
Also coming in the new year is the original graphic novel Riverdale: The Ties That Bind. Originally announced at NYCC last year, the book was delayed due to the pandemic. Writer Micol Ostow, who has penned a series of novelizations based on the show (as well as the Season 3 tie-in comic), previewed that “this particular book is four interconnected stories featuring the Core Four [Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead], however I have paired up Veronica and Cheryl, [and] each of the Core Four has their own respective mystery, all happening sequentially over the course of one night.”
The book is set at the beginning of Season 4 of the TV series, and it will answer some questions about events that happened off screen. “The central conceit is that each of the characters find themselves trapped in a circumstance, physically,” Ostow teased. “It’s basically a series of thrillers.”
The graphic novel is set to go on sale in February.
Also announced at the panel were a pair of titles that feature the classic Archie Comics universe. World of Betty & Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest and the Archie 80th Anniversary Jumbo Comics Digest are set for a January release, and both compilations will feature an original 10-page lead story. Betty and Veronica’s tale involves the girls's attempt to make a viral video, while the Archie digest features a meeting of various versions of Archie and Jughead from the company's eight-decade history.
Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of New York Comic Con Metaverse 2020.