After slowing down during the pandemic, the Archie Horror line found new life last year when the publisher unleashed a wave of one-shots for the Halloween horror season. This year the publisher has planned another “Month of Mayhem” for the fall, with new chills and returning characters.
“We’re so excited to return to our Month of Mayhem event this year, celebrating all things horror and Halloween throughout October,” said Archie Comics Senior Director of Editorial Jamie L. Rotante. “From a psychological thriller in Welcome to Riverdale and a collection of middle-grade horror tales in Toybox of Terror, not to mention all the Halloween fun in our classic-style comics and digests, there’s truly something for every Halloween lover from Archie!”
Here’s a look at what to prepare for.
Madam Satan: Hell on Earth
Writer Eliot Rahal has been writing Madam Satan stories since 2020, and this year she returns to battle an invasion from Hell. Archie also teased that this story will establish an Archie Horror shared universe and will feature characters from other one-shots who have been part of their own space until now.
“Honestly, I really can’t believe they keep letting me do this,” Rahal said. “When Archie asked me to write Madam Satan a few years ago I never imagined I’d get to work with the character for so long and over so much time. . . . Really, the only choice this time around was for me to let go and have fun. I hope everyone who reads it does, as well.”
Artist Vincenzo Federici, who drew Madam Satan’s previous two adventures, returns for this one-shot.
“I’m truly excited to be here again!” Federici said. “When I was asked to work on a full Madam Satan one-shot I was like OH YEAH! because of my love for this character. With Madam Satan I can try new things on my page layouts and art style, so I’m always happy to be on this. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to continue the story we worked on for the last two years and give her some good action moments. Eliot’s script is super funny and I’m lucky to work with him!”
Madam Satan: Hell on Earth arrives Sept. 20.
Fear the Funhouse: Toybox of Terror
Following last year’s Fear the Funhouse anthology, the title returns with new stories written by Timmy Heague, the owner of Arsenal Comics and Games; Danielle Paige (Mera: Tidebreaker); and Michael Northrop (Teen Titans Go!). They’re working with artists Ryan Caskey (The Spooky Tarot), Tango (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Ryan Jampole (Sonic the Hedgehog).
“Since the release of the M3GAN movie earlier this year, I was inundated with pitches for stories about toys coming to life, and it became clear what the theme for this year’s Funhouse would be,” Rotante said. “Pulling from both M3GAN as well as iconic series like Child’s Play with a dash of Small Soldiers thrown in for good measure, the writers for Toybox of Terror all delivered big time on their stories, with each one being a unique take on the theme, all with a special Archie flair.”
Per the publisher, the frame story, “Love Evernever” written by Heague, will set into motion a terrifying sequence of events that leads to an evil toy invasion of Riverdale. Evelyn Evernever, a character from classic “Little Archie” comics making her Archie Horror debut, starts the chaos. (Fans of the Riverdale TV show will likely remember that time she recruited Betty’s sister and mom into a cult).
“In the days before the Chock’lit Shoppe, when the Riverdale gang was hanging out on the playground, little Evelyn Evernever’s heart was crushed. Now, with the help of a mysterious villain called the Toymaker, she is unleashing a Toybox of Terror to get her revenge and bring back what was lost to her many years ago. The Riverdale Gang beware! Evelyn Evernever and her demonic dolls are coming for you!” Heague said.
The toybox reopens on Oct. 18.
Welcome to Riverdale
“Toxic positivity gone wrong” is the theme of Welcome to Riverdale, a new one-shot by Amy Chase and Liana Kangas. The comic features Ginger Snapp, an older character who has recently returned with new kid-friendly stories in Archie’s line of digest magazines.
“Riverdale itself is a character in this book, so we want to be sure readers really feel like they’re being greeted by familiar faces and places,” Chase said. “Longtime fans and the newly Archie-curious should all find something to enjoy as we spotlight the absolute best the iconic town has to offer and try to keep its uncanny, dark secrets swept under the rug. I hope people feel a little unsettled, but also charmed by what’s in store here.”
Rotante said this title will be a bit “meta” for the publisher, as it plays with people’s conceptions of what Archie Comics is all about.
“So much of what people think of as Riverdale, and even Archie Comics as a whole, is wrapped up in Americana, a nostalgia for a bygone era peered at through rose-tinted glasses,” Rotante added “This takes people’s preconceived notions of not only the friendliest town on earth but the superficial and oft-misguided view of Archie as a ‘retro’ company and turns it on its ear. There’s so much more beneath the facade, and while this comic unearths a darker side of the truth, our goal as a company is to always invite people to look at what we do beyond your childhood notions of Archie, and appreciate every chance we take with our publishing and our ideas.”
Welcome to Riverdale arrives Oct. 11.
In addition to all the new stories, Archie Horror also plans to collect previously released material from their “Chilling Adventures Presents” line:
The initiative launches with CHILLING ADVENTURES – THE ANTHOLOGY COLLECTION, the long awaited trade paperback compendium of Archie Horror’s recent one-shots and short stories, on September 12. A delightful candy box of quick spooky thrills that can be dipped into over and over, the book has something for every horror fan across sub-genres, art styles, and tones.
Look for the collection to arrive on Sept. 20.