This October, Archie Andrews is hitting the road with his best friends in The Archies, a new ongoing comic book series from Archie Comics. The series will pick up right where The Archies One Shot, by writers Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg, with art by Joe Eisma, left off: with Archie and his bandmates Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and Reggie pursuing their rock and roll dreams as The Archies.
Now that they've played their first successful gig together as a band, the teen rockers are saying goodbye to Riverdale and going on tour, and they'll meet some real-life bands along the way. MTV News can exclusively reveal that indie band Chvrches will be the first IRL act to crossover to the Archie-verse and guest star in The Archies.
Watch the announcement:
The band — which consists of front woman Lauren Mayberry and multi-instrumentalists Iain Cook and Martin Doherty — will make a brief appearance at the end of The Archies #2, then feature fully in the following issue as mentors to The Archies, who find themselves at a major crossroads in The Archies #3.
Take a look at Eisma's incredible sketches of the band, exclusively on MTV News, below.
For co-writer Segura, including the electro-pop trio from Scotland in The Archies was a no-brainer, given how their "comic book energy" and colorful aesthetic translated immediately into comic books. "One of the first bands Matt and I thought of was Chvrches just because they've got such a modern, fun vibe and we're both fans of the music," he told MTV News at the Archie Comics headquarters in Pelham, New York.
"And when we saw Joe's first sketches of the band," he added, "he just nailed it so perfectly that it made sense to have them be the first band."
Being in a band with your best friends is tough, as Archie learned the hard way in the previously released one shot. But that doesn't mean he's fully ready to relinquish creative control as the band's chief songwriter, which makes things awkward between him and the girl next door Betty — well, even more awkward than their confusing feelings for one another.
"Betty wants to be a songwriter," Segura said. "She wants to find her voice within the band. She doesn't want to just play the tambourine. She wants to be engaged in creating this music. And as you can see on the one shot, Archie pushes back a little. He's a little controlling. He needs to figure out on his own how to let go a little bit."
The writers describe The Archies as a rock-and-roll version of The Real World, where these classic Archie Comics characters stop being polite and start getting real. "You can only pretend to be nice for so long when you're nine days, shoulder-to-shoulder to someone else in a van," co-writer Rosenberg told MTV News. "It will be them at their most honest selves."
"What is Veronica like when she hasn't slept? What is Jughead like when all he can eat is the stuff at a gas station?" he added. "Taking them out of their elements is really key. That plays a lot into their roles in the band and who they are."
Good-natured everyboy/front man Archie Andrews is the "driving force" of band. After all, being in a band was his ambition in the first place. Meanwhile, co-vocalist Betty Cooper will develop as a songwriter as the issues progress, and keyboardist Veronica Lodge, the financial backbone of the band (though, not for long), is put to the test while running on very little sleep and a lot of "raw emotion." Looking for some semblance of control, bassist Reggie Mantle steps in as the band's manager. But perhaps the book's biggest surprise is Jughead Jones, Archie's best friend and drummer extraordinaire, who emerges as the band's voice of reason.
"At the end of the day, Jughead is the person who's really just trying to make sure to have fun and have a good experience," Rosenberg said. "He can play a show to four people, and if they played well, he'll have a good time. He just wants everyone to be happy, and that's going to be interesting on tour when it's not always a good time. Can he rally everybody? That's not his role traditionally."
In The Archies #3, Chvrches will guide Archie and the band through their first major conflict. But Mayberry's professional experience as a "badass front woman" will be especially significant for Betty and Veronica, who have to deal with being treated like they're with the band instead of in the band while on the road.
"Lauren handles everything from hecklers at the shows to the way the press portrays her with such grace and such skill and is still a badass front woman who is always putting the focus on the music and on her band," Rosenberg said. "Betty and Veronica would look up to and would take inspiration from her."
Ultimately, Segura and Rosenberg hope that all of the bands featured in the book can teach Archie and the Riverdale gang how they can overcome squabbles and still remain friends who make awesome music together. Oh, and have fun. That's the most important lesson of them all. Just take it from Jughead.
The Archies #1 hits shelves on October 4, 2017, so make sure to call your local comic book shop to reserve a copy.