You’ve probably heard by now that Archie Andrews, “America’s favorite teenager” is being killed off after more than 60 years in comics. But that’s only one of the weirdest things that’s ever happened to the Riverdale gang.
- Archie is among the lightest comic books. The Punisher is among the darkest, concering a vigilante who avenges the death of his family by murdering any and all criminals. In the 1994 comic book The Punisher Meets Archie, the Punisher follows a drug kingpin to Riverdale, who’s pretending to be a gym teacher, and who is also Archie’s doppelganger. (Everything gets sorted out before the Punisher kills Archie.)
- Teen idol Glenn Scarpelli joined the cast of One Day at a Time in 1980 to boost ratings. Around the same time, he—as himself, not his sitcom character—inexplicably became a regular character in Archie comics. Like the real Scarpelli, the comic Scarpelli played music and was well liked by girls. Why the crossover? Scarpelli is the son of Henry Scarpelli, a longtime writer of Archie comics.
- In 1990, NBC aired a made-for-TV movie called Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again. It depicted what the lives of Archie, Betty, Veronica, and the rest were like…after they graduated high school. And those lives weren’t great. Archie is an unhappy lawyer, Betty is stuck in a bad relationship, and Jughead is a single dad who is out of touch with his son. (He gets through to him by performing a rap version of the Archies’ 1969 hit “Sugar Sugar.”)
- During the 2008 election cycle, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and vice-presidential candidate (on the other ticket) Sarah Palin both appeared in two issues of Archie. They ultimately set aside their differences to share a milkshake. (Really.)
- In a 2010 issue of Life With Archie, the grumpy high school teacher Miss Grundy found love with school principal Mr. Weatherbee. They married, and shortly thereafter, she died of cancer.
- In 1990, Archie Comics Group published Jughead’s Diner. A spinoff from the regular Archie stories, it featured burger-loving Jughead doing what he was meant to do: run a diner. However, the diner was populated by aliens and creatures from other dimensions. That lead to another series called Jughead’s Time Police. The premise: Jughead’s crown is a time machine. At one point he uses it to meet and fall in love with January McAndrews, a 29th century descendant of his best friend, Archie.