“Archie Comics,” the publisher, was founded in 1939 and primarily focused on superheroes until our favorite red-headed teenager and his crew of comic book characters were created in 1941. “Archie Comics” has successfully managed to keep the goody-two-shoes dynamic at the center of almost every comic book it publishes. The very first story arc focused on a love-triangle between a good-natured teen named Archie and the two girls he was starry-eyed for: Betty and Veronica. However, there were quite a few times that Archie stories went from sweet and innocent to totally wild and crazy.
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In 2017, the gang finally landed their own high-drama murder mystery television series with “Riverdale” on The CW. Of course, with almost 80 years of comic book history, Archie and friends have gone off-the-rails quite a few times. It’s like the saying goes: What happens in Riverdale, stays in Riverdale.
15. MISS GRUNDY DIES
In “Life With Archie” #6, set in an alternative universe, Miss Grundy loses her battle with cancer and dies. Death and dying aren’t common themes in the usual happy and fun “Archie Comics.” Miss Grundy has always been a central character and mentor since her introduction in 1941. In this storyline, she finally finds true love with Mr. Weatherbee, the high school principle, marries him and dies from a serious illness shortly after. The gang shares memories of Miss Grundy, who was always strict yet caring towards her students, and her ghost appears behind her tombstone.
The death of Miss Grundy was so crazy that no one even knew it was going to happen, mainly because Archie Comics’ stories are never depressing or flat-out morbid. However, in this case, the “Life With Archie” series saw the innocent Riverdale gang of friends dealing with more tragic, realistic situations. Miss Grundy’s death hit long-time readers hard, especially when her own ghost appeared above her tombstone. The quiet suburban town of Riverdale was turned upside-down with the crazy, unexpected and traumatic death of Miss Grundy!
14. ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR
Yes, we are referring to the same technologically-advanced alien creature that hunted Arnold Schwarzenegger in the jungle and murdered his entire team by ripping out their spines as a fun game. So, it’s totally rational that that Predator would show up in Costa Rica when Archie and the gang are there on spring break, right? No, not right at all! “Archie Vs. Predator,” by Alex de Campi and Fernando Ruiz, might be the craziest Archie story of all time. In it, a trophy-hunting Predator targets Betty and Veronica. Once they realize they are being hunted, they dress Jughead up in drag as a secret weapon, but unfortunately bring the murderous alien back to Riverdale, where the body count is quickly rising.
Do we really need to explain why a defenseless crew of teenagers taking on the fiercest hunter in the universe is so crazy? If Arnold Schwarzenegger’s highly trained team of special operatives couldn’t stop the Predator, how the heck would Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead survive? Dressing up Jughead as a drag queen clearly didn’t work, and… just a ton of gory death ensues. Now we’re hoping that Archie gets to take on a Xenomorph next!
13. ARCHIE MEETS OBAMA
“Archie Comics” sometimes features celebrity guests, but in this storyline Archie nonchalantly shares a milkshake with the President (at the time) like it is a completely normal occurrence in Riverdale. “See ya later mom, I’m going to grab a shake at Pop’s with Obama and maybe Sarah Palin!” In “Archie Comics” #616, President Obama and Sarah Palin head to Riverdale High School to help the gang campaign for positions within the student government. The race between Reggie and Archie gets so out of control that Obama and Palin get sucked right into the heated competition.
First of all, this would never happen in real life. Can you imagine if the Commander in Chief casually strolled into the local diner, bought you a milkshake and helped you become senior class treasurer? “Archie Comics” #616 is another example of just how crazy Archie stories really are and how the little fictional town of Riverdale is naturally a celeb hot spot. Who knows, maybe Trump will show up next!
12. BIG ETHEL GETS HOT
With over 70 years of “Archie Comics” Big Ethel has always been the butt of all jokes. She is obsessed with Jughead, who has zero interest in women at all and was recently confirmed as asexual in the comics. In the past, Jughead was very rude and mean to Big Ethel and was constantly playing tricks on her because she was portrayed as the big ugly girl with buck teeth. Even though she wasn’t a babe like Betty and Veronica, she was bold and confident, but kept chasing Jughead anyway!
All of this changed in “Life With Archie: The Married Life” when Big Ethel dropped the Big in front of her name and somehow transforms into a total Riverdale babe. At the same time, she is portrayed with little self-confidence and is romantically involved with a total jerk named Fred Mirth, who is using her. The Big Ethel Muggs makeover is crazy, but the idea that no matter what she looks like, she always gets the crap end of the stick is even crazier. Poor Ethel, she just never wins!
11. BETTY TRIES TO MURDER ARCHIE
If you read deeper into “Archie Comics” and look past the silly humor, Betty is kind of a psychopath, at least considering all the crazy things she does to get Archie’s attention. Betty and Veronica are constantly at each other’s throats because Archie keeps playing head games. While it is crazy, it’s not that surprising that Betty has tried to murder Archie. Out of the two girls, Betty is the nice girl next door with good morals and an unhealthy obsession with the local redhead.
In “Archie Comics” #156, Betty attempted to murder Archie by chopping down a dangerously heavy tree branch on him. Sweet and innocent Betty then tries to take him out by hitting him hard with a barrel full of boulders and throwing heavy potted plants at his head. While these murder attempts were meant to be funny at the time, she really is trying to kill him. This is next level for Archie! Can you blame her, though, for always losing her man (in her mind) to the sexier, wealthier Veronica?
10. JUGHEAD MARRIES MIDGE
Jughead doesn’t like women, so why on Earth would he marry Moose’s girlfriend? In fact, Jughead is asexual and although that was recently written in by writer Chip Zdarsky during his run with Erica Henderson, it was always implied since the birth of “Archie Comics.” Jughead physically runs away from girls and is actively terrified of them; always advising Archie to get his head out of the clouds. That is, until one day, in the “Life With Archie: The Married Life” storyline, when he falls in love with Midge and they get married and conceive a child. What?
Alright, so this does happen in another alternate Archie universe. Midge finally gets fed up with Moose’s controlling, jealous ways and breaks it off with him. She and Jughead begin to get close from what starts out as a business deal, but the lovebirds fall head over heels. This is not our Jughead! What’s crazy about the story is it’s the first time we’ve ever seen Jughead (previously known as a women-hater) show any romantic interest whatsoever.
9. ARCHIE MEETS THE RAMONES
Hey Ho, Let’s Go! Archie and Jughead are in a rock and roll band called the Archies and for all intents and purposes they aren’t very good. Well, at least we know that they aren’t good enough to play with punk rock gods The Ramones. Even though Archie is musically talented, his crew is a garage band: a formative failure in many teens’ lives. But somehow, after Archie’s band totally bombs at school, they travel back in time to jam with one of the greatest punk bands of all time in “Archie Meets The Ramones.”
This entire storyline is insane, mainly because the choice of band. Because “Archie Comics” is mostly depicted as conventional, it would have made more sense for Archie to meet The Beach Boys, The Monkees or maybe even The Beatles in their early years. The Ramones spearheaded the punk rock movement in the 1970s, which was built on the ideology of anti-establishment and anarchy. The ultra-conservative little town of Riverdale is far from everything The Ramones stood for… but maybe that’s exactly why it works!
8. ARCHIE VS. ZOMBIES
Hot Dog is the name of Jughead’s fluffy, white and loveable dog. Hot Dog could do no wrong; after all, he is man’s best four-legged friend. That is, he couldn’t until Hot Dog started a zombie outbreak that is currently ravaging its way through Riverdale, turning everyone and their mother into brutal brain-eaters. How could a cute little puppers be responsible for such a horrific, deadly situation? We usually see Hot Dog lounging at Jughead’s feet while playing video games!
In the first storyline of the ongoing series “Afterlife With Archie,” Hog Dog gets hit by a car. Jughead rushes to find Sabrina (yes, the witch), so she can bring him back to life. Hot Dog returns but he is carrying the deadly undead virus and spreads it around by biting people, including his loving owner Jughead. This is definitely one of the craziest Archie stories, mainly because we never expected “Archie Comics” to hop on the zombie train and churn out such an amazing horror comic! And it all started with an innocent little pooch. Poor Hot Dog, he never even had a chance at surviving!
7. ARCHIE GETS BUFF
Archie is no longer a classically drawn character with somewhat dopey characteristics; he is one good-looking teenager. In the new television series, “Riverdale,” on The CW, Archie seems to have mysteriously grown some big boy abs, pecs, glutes and muscle beach arms. Although Archie is a great athlete, we never see him hitting the gym or doing crossfit in the comics. Did he just wake up one day ready for a tough mudder? It turns out that everything is explained in the one-shot prequel comic to the “Riverdale” television series.
In “Riverdale,” which recently turned into an ongoing series based on the show, we learn about all of the events that took place the summer leading up to Jason Blossom’s death. Betty is gone, Jughead drifted away and Archie is lonely enough to take a job working construction at his dad’s company. His dad even refers to him as stringbean until Archie is tasked with lifting heavy rocks all day long, rips his shirt off and reveals his new buff bod. Yes, it’s crazy that Archie is now a muscle man, it’s even crazier that he got that way lifting rocks.
6. THE BLOSSOM TWINCEST
When Cheryl Blossom came to town, she was the sexiest character that Riverdale has ever seen and, of course, all the boys went wild. Betty even had to stop her from taking her bikini top off. Cheryl was once deemed too risque and removed from the comics. Cheryl and her twin brother Jason are the two most attractive people to ever grace the pages of “Archie Comics” and the screen on “Riverdale.” On the television series, there is a creepy overtone that Cheryl and Jason share more than sibling love for each other and that they may possibly be… twincesting. This isn’t crazy, it’s just insanely weird.
However, as it turns out, that same creepy vibe originated in the ongoing comic book series “Afterlife With Archie.” In this particular storyline, Jason gets jealous of Cheryl paying too much attention to Archie. She whispers into Jason’s ear, “Think of me as a cat and Archie as an orange ball of yarn… a plaything… a passing fancy… at best, a friend, whereas you my brother dear… are family and that means forever,” as she pulls him in closer and the two twins interlock hands. Alright, that’s enough. We’re officially uncomfortable!
5. BETTY GOES STEADY WITH JESUS
“Archie Comics” began as a story based on a real-life love triangle. In the comics, the infamous triangle was made up of Archie, Veronica and Betty. Archie could never choose between the wealthy, powerful Veronica or Betty, the average girl next door who was in love with him (when she wasn’t trying to murder him). Enter Jesus in “Archie’s Date Book,” a series of Christian comics starring the Riverdale kids where Betty has a direct line to God, who at any second can damn these teenagers to hell.
In “Archie’s Date Book,” the gang learns about the dangers of the red light district and adult movies like “Blood Sex Sin.” They also learn that the only love that truly matters in the life of a teenager is the one they have for Jesus. With that, Betty decides to get over Archie and go steady with Jesus. When Veronica tells Archie, he isn’t even bummed that his girl chose another man. Archie agrees and says, “What a wonderful world it would be if everyone did!” With one panel, the love-triangle is broken because Betty picks Jesus and Archie doesn’t care. Now that is just nuts, Archie would be insanely jealous!
4. MAYOR MOOSE
For as long as we can remember, Moose has always been portrayed as the dumb jock stereotype in “Archie Comics.” He is big, dopey and a horrible student, but since they need him on various high school sports teams, he usually gets a pass. Later, it was discovered that Moose actually has a learning disability and the gang felt bad for him. In “Life With Archie: The Married Life,” however, Moose is the Mayor of Riverdale.
After Midge leaves Moose for good and breaks his heart, he meets a New Age type who talks him into finding himself. Moose is on a journey to connect with his inner-self so he decides to run for political office. By shocking surprise, the other candidate is corrupt and Moose wins the election by default. The entire gang is happy for him and supports him taking office. All of a sudden, Moose is in charge, making important decisions and calling the shots. This crazy little storyline would never happen outside of an alternate universe because Moose is still playing the role of dumb jock. Maybe Riverdale would be a better place if he was the Mayor!
3. SABRINA THE SATANIST
We all know that Sabrina The Teenage Witch is a part of the “Archie Comics” universe. After she appeared in “Afterlife With Archie,” she landed her own ongoing horror series. It’s official — the satanic occult has found its way into the purity of the Archie universe. “The Chilling Tales Of Sabrina” are just that – terrifying and surprisingly good stories, especially considering the crazy, twisted subject matter like necromancy, cannibalism and giving your life to Satan.
In “The Chilling Tales Of Sabrina” #3, it’s the eve of Samhain and Sabrina is about to turn 16 and take part in the ritual of a dark baptism in the middle of a dark, dreary forest. She begins by sacrificing a goat, using its blood and flesh to conjure up the Devil himself. By completing the ancient ceremony, Sabrina joins the followers of Satan. Well, if that isn’t disturbingly crazy, we don’t know what is! The truth is that this comic is brilliant if you’re into adult-themed horror series and you should definitely be reading it!
Now, we know that Veronica is both spoiled by her wealthy father and very concerned with her appearance. As such, she has always wanted the best things in life, and she wants to be the only person allowed to have those things. This includes 200 pairs of shoes, for example… and Archie for another. She often goes to crazy extremes to make sure she gets what she wants. Take “Veronica” #46, for example, in which we learn that she also has many… feet?
In this story, Veronica truly shows just how insanely selfish she is. She buys 200 pairs of shoes so no one else can. She does not want to see anyone in Riverdale wearing the same fashionable clothing that she does. Interestingly, as excessive as her plan sounds, it actually works! That night, Veronica dreams she has turned Riverdale into Veronicaville and residents bow to the new queen. Her dream turns into a total nightmare when Betty shows up wearing the same exact outfit as Veronica! She wakes up screaming bloody murder, apologizing to her dad. She eventually gives Betty 200 pairs of fancy shoes. Yeah, Veronica is a strange girl.
1. ARCHIE DIES
No one has ever been shot in Riverdale. We’re not even sure if Riverdale has a crime rate above zero. So, when the main character of “Archie Comics” gets shot it’s a pretty big deal. The event shocked readers as the cover of issue #6 of “Life With Archie” shows Archie with a hole in his chest, bleeding all over the place and surrounded by all of his friends. At least he lived and died a hero!
“Life With Archie” is set in an alternate universe, meaning Archie in the main continuity is still alive and well. However, in the craziest storyline of all time, Kevin Keller is a senator who is pushing gun control reform. Just before an assassination attempt is made on his life, Archie sacrifices himself by jumping in front of Kevin and taking the bullet like a hero, and more importantly, a friend. This makes us well up even just thinking about it, especially as the aftermath was so emotional. The red-headed, starry-eyed teen we all grew to love over a span of 70 years was shot dead at a fundraiser at Pop’s; a tragic event that no one ever expected. Crazy indeed.
What do you think has been Archie’s craziest story to date? Let us know in the comments!