Archie’s horror heroines unite in ‘The Cursed Library Alpha’

‘All of this matters. There is a fabric.’

If you picked up Archie’s Free Comic Book Day title this year, The Cursed Library, then you know it served as a prelude to a bigger event that will unite the Archie Horror-verse. All the various threads laid out in the Archie Horror line’s one-shots over the last few years will come together in The Cursed Library Alpha, the first of three issues that’ll be released later this year.

Magdalene Visaggio and Eliot Rahal will co-write the event, which will feature artwork by Craig Cermak. They’re joined by colorist Matt Herms and letterer Jack Morelli.

The Cursed Library event that Mags and I have been asked to helm is unlike any other moment in Archie Comics history,” Rahal said. “It’s both a throughline and nexus point that weaves together everything in the Archie Horror universe that’s happened so far. Its goal is to provide shape to the world that has been created. The Cursed Library is essentially saying: ‘All of this matters. There is a fabric.’”

The event will focus on three characters: Madam Satan, the escaped Queen of Hell; Jinx Holliday, who might be the teenaged daughter of Satan; and Jinx’s best friend Danni Malloy, Archie’s first trans character. All three of them have appeared in previous Archie Horror titles, and the series brings them together inside The Cursed Library, which houses books about Camp Pickens, that time Betty Cooper was a final girl and probably cult leader Bingo Wilkin.

Rahal has chronicled all the adventures of Madam Satan, while Visaggio wrote the one-shot that brought Danni Malloy into the Archie Horror line. And Cermak has drawn all of the adventures of Jinz, which makes them the perfect team for this.

“I think what I love and am most proud of is that this connectivity is secondary to the story,” Rahal said. “The Cursed Library can stand alone because, at its heart, this is the culmination of two stories: Madam Satan’s and Jinx’s. These two characters have had painful journeys of self-discovery and are finally meeting their climax –– but it’s all wrapped up in the Apocalypse. It’s both the end and a new beginning. And by the time we’ve closed the chapter on the Cursed Library, the Archie Horror line will be diving into a very new and exciting future.” 

Here’s a look at the variant covers for the Alpha issue, by Robert Hack, Soo Lee, and Reiko Murakami:

“This is an ambitious project led by two of the best writers we’ve had the pleasure of working with on our horror titles, and, honestly, two of the best writers in comics, period,” said Archie Comics Senior Director of Editorial Jamie L. Rotante. “I have the ultimate trust in them to craft a story that is layered, poignant, and still metal AF. This feels like the culmination of almost everything I’ve personally worked on as an editor, and I’m thrilled that I get to watch Eliot and Mags create a world (or rather, convergence of worlds) that I’m, frankly, in awe of. This is not just a love letter to our fans, but to the art of storytelling as a whole, complemented by the stunning artwork of Craig Cermak.”

The Cursed Library Alpha will arrive in August, followed by an “Omega” issue in September and one called “Unbound” in October.

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