Archie Comics has made a new Free Comic Book Day release official, and, as you might expect, it’s one directly based on the world of “Riverdale,” the imminently debuting CW television series based on Archie’s long-running characters.
The “Riverdale” Free Comic Book Day offering, available at participating retailers on May 6, will offer two short stories reprinted from Archie’s “Riverdale” one-shot, which is currently scheduled for release on March 1. It’ll be Archie’s “Silver Sponsor” release, taking the place of a “Sonic the Hedgehog” comic announced late last year. Archie’s Gold Sponsor comic, as previously publicized, will be a reprint of 2016’s relaunched “Betty & Veronica” #1 by Adam Hughes.
Creators contributing to the FCBD issue include Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer and “Riverdale” showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, plus “Riverdale” writers Brian E. Paterson and James DeWille; along with artists Elliot Fernandez, Thomas Pitilli, Thomas Chu and Janice Chiang, and a cover illustrated by Aguirre-Sacasa’s “Afterlife with Archie” collaborator, Francesco Francavilla — who certainly has experience with a more mature take on Archie characters.
“It made perfect sense to give retailers the opportunity to offer a ‘Riverdale’ book on Free Comic Book Day to fans,” Archie Comics President Mike Pellerito said in a statement. “‘Riverdale’ is a major moment for Archie Comics and we want to let readers experience that world on what’s become a worldwide comic book holiday, Free Comic Book Day. The book will be immediately accessible to fans interested stepping into the world of the show, or to viewers who’ve added ‘Riverdale’ to their must-watch list and want more exciting content, curated by showrunner and Archie CCO Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and the show’s team of amazing writers.”
Archie’s “Riverdale” comic book series has seen multiple delays, with the one-shot originally solicited for release in January. An ongoing series, first solicited to debut in February, is currently scheduled to launch on April 5, from the team of Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Alitha Martinez.
Here’s the solicitation text for the “Riverdale” Free Comic Book Day release: “Learn the secrets and hidden tales from the summer before the eternal love-triangle begins in this special issue. Featuring two short stories focusing on the major players and events in the Riverdale series: Spend some time at Archie’s summer construction job and learn how it leads him to a fateful encounter with the alluring music teacher, Ms. Grundy. Find out more about Veronica’s mysterious life in New York, before the shocking event that would send her family scrambling. You dare not miss this special FCBD version of the commemorative one-shot issue that serves as a prelude to the CW Riverdale TV series!”
From executive producer Greg Berlanti, “Riverdale” has been dubbed a subversive and surreal — and considerably more adult than the mostly kid-friendly comics — take on the Archie mythos, with frequent comparisons to “Twin Peaks.” The series is set to debut Thursday, Jan. 26 on The CW; this year’s Free Comic Book Day takes place on May 6.