Three years ago, Mark Waid and artist Fiona Staples gave Archie Comics’ famous characters a thoroughly modern reboot. But soon, Waid will be temporarily stepping away from the Archie reboot series, which will go on hiatus after issue 32. In its place, Waid is co-writing Archie 1941, a new miniseries that will reimagine the cast against the backdrop of World War II.
For this project, Waid is reuniting with several of his previous collaborators. Former Flash co-writer Brian Augustyn is sharing the scripting duties, while Peter Krause has signed on to illustrate the mini. Krause and Waid have worked on two earlier comics: Irredeemable and Insufferable.
The Archie characters actually debuted in 1939, but they weren’t intended for a sobering look at the unfolding conflicts of WWII. Archie 1941 #1 will begin with Archie, Jughead, Veronica, Betty, and Reggie on the last day of high school in 1939, before they are forced to face the horrors to come.
According to Archie Comics, Archie 1941 is going to “explore the consequences of war in small town America” while using the familiar characters within that context.
“Seeing these always lovable characters through the lens of time in a historical era of turmoil and tragedy places the Riverdale folk in different costume, but essentially the same people we’ve always known,” explained Augustyn in a statement from Archie Comics.
“Deep-diving into the characters and their parents from a whole new perspective, Brian Augustyn and I have been able to find a new, rich vein of stories to be told as America edges into World War II and what it’ll mean to the kids,” added Waid.
Archie 1941 #1 will debut in September, and the miniseries will run for five issues.