Riverdale's alarmingly realistic depiction of juvenile prison and small town motorcycle gangs can fool anyone into thinking the show is a documentary. Contrary to popular belief, Riverdale is actually a fictional television series based on the Archie comic books. Riverdale's third season has opened up a lot of doors for the show's future. Not only does Archie have masked killers to deal with, but now he's going up against cults!
As Riverdale dives deeper into more complex and supernatural territory, it looks like the show could go in all types of directions. In fact, there's tons of source material that can help guide the show. Check out the list to see the top ten Archie comic books that Riverdale should adapt!
10 Archie: The Golden Age
Considering Archie debuted in 1941, the guy would be like ninety years old if everything played out in real time. Imagine a ninety year old K.J. Apa. Yup, he's still a hunk. Archie's golden age is tonally very different from Riverdale. The show should look into some of the great comedic storylines that are in the original Pep Comics. One classic comic book shows the first ever date between Archie and Veronica. Essentially, Archie ends up having to bus tables and entertain Veronica at the same time. Comedic gold, we tell ya!
With its high stakes drama, Riverdale doesn't exactly have enough room for a bunch of hijinks. Conversely, the show could stand to take a few notes from these comic books and let the series have a little bit of levity. More than anything, this levity reveals the inherent goodness of Archie's character. The first page of Pep Comics #22 introduces Riverdale's humble prince as a boy willing to fall off his bike just so he can impress the girl next door. That's who Archie was then and that's who he should continue to be in Riverdale.
9 Reggie and Me
Reggie is Archie's equivalent to Dora the Explorer's Swiper. The guy comes in to mess things up and then just bounces. Reggie and Me puts Riverdale's most notorious troublemaker front and center. Each story depicts Reggie attempting to sabotage Archie or win over Veronica's heart. One cool aspect of the comic book series is that it relies heavily on visual comedy. Each scenario normally revolves around Reggie having to go through numerous physical obstacles in order to achieve his goal.
The other great part of the series is that it truly makes the character sympathetic. There's moments that show Archie being just as petty as Reggie in his attempts to woo Veronica. One can't help but hope that Reggie comes out on top at least once. Charles Melton does a good job playing Reggie on Riverdale, but maybe the show can implement some of these characteristics from the comic books in order to make him even more well rounded.
8 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Hey, Netflix already has a Sabrina show! True, but that series diverges from the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comic book in a number of ways. The main difference revolves around how the source material connects Archie and Sabrina's worlds. Both Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina have so far been very low key in terms of how the shows may eventually crossover. Riverdale should handle this crossover in the exact same way as the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comic.
Betty and Veronica attempt to cast a love spell on Archie, allowing dark magic to come into Riverdale. Sabrina then gets involved and cleans up the mess. Riverdale doesn't necessarily have to do this plot line verbatim, but something very similar should go down. We don't think it's a coincidence that Riverdale's third season brought cults into the mix. Look, we totally ship Bughead. However, we'd be lying if we said we didn't want to see Jug + Sabrina = Jubrina.
7 Betty and Veronica
What names haven't been combined together yet? There's Varchie, Bughead, and... how about Vetty? Do BFF's even have nicknames like couples? Anyway, the point is that Betty and Veronica is really good. Similar to Reggie and Me, the comic book takes characters that are normally relegated to the sidelines and instead puts them at the forefront. What's particularly interesting about the series is that it's one of the few comic books where Betty and Veronica's entire world doesn't completely revolve around Archie.
The comic book's role reversal (Archie being jealous instead of Betty and Veronica) works due to the fact that it shows how these women can even stand to be around each other in the first place. When they don't fight over Archie it turns out that they can actually be really good friends. Although Riverdale doesn't necessarily depict Betty and Veronica as mortal enemies, the show could also try to have subplots that directly involves these two ladies teaming up more often.
6 Riverdale: The Day Before
Leave it up to Riverdale to somehow pack parties, affairs, and murders into a single day. Okay, technically Riverdale: The Day Before is a novel. However, it's just as engaging as any other Archie comic book. The prequel book attempts to answer any burning questions fans may have had about the days leading up to Jason Blossom's murder. We all assumed Jughead had probably eaten a cheeseburger the day before, but this book confirms that he did in fact eat a cheeseburger.
More seriously, the story does provide some surprisingly well done character work that adds even more dimension to Archie and the gang. One of the best parts of the book centers around Archie's affair with Ms. Grundy. Their relationship in Riverdale's first season simply seems like a plot device to shock the audience. The book on the other hand makes it known that Archie's affair is actually an immature way for the boy to react to his own fractured home life. Author Micol Ostow also has an incredible ability to capture the overall voice of the show. Rather than coming across as fan fiction, the novel reads like something that legitimately fits within the Riverdale universe. Hopefully the book will eventually become an episode of Riverdale.
5 Superteens vs. Crusaders
There's been a life long debate amongst comic book fans for years. Would Superman or Archie win in a fight? Alright, maybe this isn't a question on anybody's mind because at the end of the day everybody knows that Magic Mike - we will never stop saying that it sounds like a superhero name - is the strongest hero of them all. What's fantastic about Superteens is that it proves Archie has the ability to mold into any genre. The series shows Archie transforming into Pureheart the Powerful. Betty, Veronica, and Jughead also become superheroes. The gang is typically attacked by one of Riverdale High School's evil teachers. Even though Superteens takes place separately from the original Archie canon, it still manages to feel like an organic extension of that world.
None of the humor or compelling high school stakes goes missing. Those particular plot elements are what helps the series from becoming just another superhero story. Maybe this is far fetched, but is it too much to ask for a Superteens episode on Riverdale? We're kind of getting into fan fiction territory when we say that the potential episode could exist as Archie's dream or a story Jughead writes. Considering the fact that Riverdale is on the CW, it's not too crazy to hope that it will one day crossover with Supergirl.
At this point one has to wonder if the CEO of Archie comics is simply jaded by the gonzo ideas that come across his desk. Archie battles zombies! Sure, go ahead and write that. Veronica becomes a vampire! Strange, but why not? Jellybean transforms into a literal jelly bean! Darn it, you're a genius. The basic premise is Buffy the Vampire Slayer via Veronica Lodge. This mini series shows Veronica turning into a blood sucker and ultimately becoming a vampire hunter within a single night.
What's great is that the story highlights the timeless appeal of Veronica. The character is equal parts sassy, vulnerable, spoiled, and heroic. This is definitely a Veronica centric comic book, but the story's MVP is undoubtedly Dilton Doiley. The guy is normally depicted as a whiney pill. Here, Dilton becomes Veronica's reluctantly tough sidekick. Although Dilton's fate in Riverdale seems certain, there's still a chance that he may return. If he comes back, we want the show to make him team up with Veronica.
3 Jughead: The Hunger
The rumor that has absolutely taken America - scratch that - the entire world by storm is that Cole Sprouse hasn't shaved or taken a bath in at least a year. It's all in an effort to convince the CW that he has the chops to play a werewolf. Sorry, what we meant to say is that we think Cole should stop shaving if he ever wants to star in a Jughead: The Hunger adaptation. This comic book's nutty plot depicts Jughead being bit by a wolf and then subsequently becoming a hobo to avoid hurting his friends.
Jug also joins the circus at one point for some reason. Moose turns into Frankenstein's monster. Betty's entire family are werewolf hunters! It all sounds over the top, but it's actually really well done. Moreover, the comic book's rendition of Jughead is one hundred percent beholden to Cole Sprouse's performance as the character. In that sense it's very easy to see how Riverdale could interpret the material. Since Riverdale continues to move into more fantastical territory, why couldn't we see Jughead turn into a werewolf?
2 Archie: 1941
If Jughead joined the army, would his new name be Jarhead? Easily the most emotional comic book on this list, Archie: 1941 plays out like a WWII mini series on HBO. Archie and the gang graduate high school just as the United States enters into a war. Archie enlists into the army and joins the battle. The best part of the comic book is that it really gets inside the hearts of the characters. It's a "what if" storyline, but everything feels like a natural extension of the Archie universe.
Although the series is a potent war story, it's also one of the few comic books to acknowledge that Archie needs to have a life beyond high school. As sad as it is to admit, one day we'll all have to say goodbye to Riverdale. Archie: 1941 shows that Archie says goodbye with great purpose and even greater friends by his side.
1 Afterlife With Archie
Before Riverdale introduced audiences to a hunky Archie making love to his high school band teacher, Afterlife With Archie was the first to portray everyone’s favorite red head in a subversive light. Written by Riverdale show runner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the comic book depicts the town of Riverdale being attacked by zombies. It’s essentially a Walking Dead inspired set up involving Archie and the gang. Archie gathers up all of his friends in order to fight their way out of this horrible nightmare.
Despite the darkness of the story, all of the characters still retain their core attributes that’s made them so beloved. It doesn’t try to reinvent Archie as much as it tries to place the character in new and extraordinary circumstances. That’s really the secret to all of the great dramatic tension in the story. Considering that we’re already familiar with the broad fundamentals that define these characters, it's completely understandable why some of them butt heads. Of course it makes sense that Veronica doesn’t care if Betty gets her brains eaten! Is it wrong to want Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to take some time off from Riverdale so that he can finish Afterlife with Archie? Guaranteed, this is the storyline that will ultimately bring Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Riverdale together.