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5 Bonkers Archie Comics Crossovers

Crossovers and team-ups are hallmarks of comics. They’re the basis of The Avengers, but not all team-ups are as logical as Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor uniting against a horde of space monsters pouring out of a portal. Some of the most bonkers team-ups and crossovers have involved Archie Andrews and crew. As these five comics illustrate, Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica are versatile enough to go anywhere: from the gritty world of a vigilante to an alternate universe.

1. ‘Archie vs. Predator’

You know it’s not a typical Archie comic when you read a line like this: “I, Betty Cooper, call down jaguar vengeance on nasty old Cheryl Blossom!” Featuring a teenage Predator and traditional-looking Archie art by Fernando Ruiz, this recent series is so warped even Hunter S. Thompson couldn’t have imagined it. If you ever wanted to see beloved Archie characters hunted by an alien beast whose signature move is ripping out the head and spine of his victims in one motion, this is the series for you. Archie Vs. Predator is a little reminiscent of an ongoing Archie mash-up: Afterlife With Archie, which shows what might happen if a zombie apocalypse came to Riverdale. Bonus crossovers: Each issue contains an extra one-page story such as “Sabrina Meets Hellboy” and the even odder “Jughead Meets Mind Mgmt.” (Mind Mgmt is a thinky conspiracy thriller about government agents with mental powers that I cannot recommend enough).

2. ‘Archie Meets Kiss’

Since the Archie-verse is so stable and well-known, it’s a perfect ingredient for virtually any kind of “worlds collide” story—even if one of the worlds involves the most absurd, theatrical band ever: Kiss. This story started as a classic horror tale, as the Riverdale Monster Society decided to start reading out of an old book of spells. How could that go wrong? In addition to summoning real monsters, the somewhat monstrous fellows in Kiss also appear. I won’t spoil which battle is fiercest: Kiss vs. the monsters or Kiss’s wardrobe vs. Veronica’s fashion sense.

3. ‘Archie Meets Glee’

Of all the Archie crossovers, this is the least far-fetched on paper, since it involves the Riverdale teens meeting another bunch of teens. Fortunately, teen cheesiness is not the focus, as this has a surprising sci-fi edge, with science geek Dilton creating a “portal-porter” to the Glee-verse. Alternate universes have been a staple of superhero comics since the sixties, when the Silver Age Flash met the Golden Age Flash—a meeting referenced in this comic. In Archie Meets Glee, writer Robert Aguirre-Sacasa embraced multiversal comic-book science by positing the Archieverse and Gleeverse as alternate versions of each other: Archie, Betty, and Veronica’s counterparts are Finn Hudson, Quinn Fabray, and Rachel Berry. As various characters switch universes thanks to a portal-porter accident, the displaced teen heroes struggle to maintain the integrity of the space-time continuum. And you thought love triangles were complicated.

4. ‘Archie Vs. Sharknado’

This one-shot—co-written by Anthony C. Ferrante, director of the Sharknado movies—is set to debut July 22, the same day as Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No. Since Archie & Co. have proven to work well with zombies, portals, vigilantes, alternate universes, and Kiss, a swirling tornado of sharks and campy humor seems like the logical next step.

5. ‘Archie Meets The Punisher’

Frank Castle (aka The Punisher) became a killing machine in Vietnam, then started his own war on criminals after watching his family get mowed down by mobsters. The Punisher has been the perfect foil for superheroes (especially Daredevil and Spider-Man) who follow that pesky “no killing” rule, and he proved an even better foil for the non-crime-fighting, non-spandex-clad Archie. I reckon this 1994 story is still the pinnacle of the bonkers mountain that is Archie crossovers. In Archie Meets The Punisher, Marvel’s murderous vigilante comes to Riverdale with a redhead on his hit list: a redhead who looks a lot like Archie. As they say, hijinks ensue. Like so many superhero battles, the initial battle—in this case, an attempted murder by The Punisher—proves to be a meet-cute for the inevitable team-up. The highlight here is reading The Punisher’s clipped, hardboiled, noir narration in the world of eternal sock hops, milkshakes, and (in the words of Veronica) “Archikins.”

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Marvel vs. DC: This Map Shows Each State’s Favorite Comic Universe
Disney/Marvel Studios
Disney/Marvel Studios

Which comic book company is the best: Marvel or DC? This is a perennial argument on middle-school playgrounds and Reddit threads, but this map, courtesy of USDish.com, might just give us a definitive answer. The information here is broken down by state, using information provided by Google Trends to give us a clear winner of not only the most popular comic book company but also the most popular individual hero in each state (let’s show a little respect to Indiana for championing the Martian Manhunter).

According to the map, Marvel is the most popular publisher in 37 states, with DC trailing behind at eight, and five additional states coming to a 50/50 stalemate. The totals weren’t a blowout, though. In certain states like Mississippi, Iowa, and Pennsylvania, the favored company only won by a point. And just because a state searches Google for a specific publisher the most doesn’t mean an individual character from the opposing team isn’t its favorite—Hawaii is listed as favoring Marvel overall, yet they love Aquaman on his own. Same with DC-loving Maryland showing Black Panther some love (helps to have a big movie coming out). Take a look at some of the most notable state preferences below:

So how did Marvel amass so many states when there are just as many DC TV shows and movies out there? Well, according to Andrew Selepak, Ph.D., a professor in the department of telecommunication at the University of Florida, and director of the graduate program in social media, the answer lies in the depth at the House of Ideas.

“While Superman and Batman may be dominant characters,” Selepak said in a statement, “the DC Universe offers few other well-known heroes and villains and when these other characters are presented to the audience in film and on TV, they often are less than well-received.” This is opposed to Marvel, which launches new heroes on the big and small screen seemingly every year.

Does this map tell the whole story? That’s up for debate. When it comes to comics sold, DC and Marvel are always in a close battle: In January 2018, DC had six of the 10 best-selling comics of the month, placing four of the top five. Marvel, meanwhile, had three, while Image Comics had one with The Walking Dead. In terms of overall retail market share, though, Marvel eked out DC 34.3 percent to 33.8 percent.

This is a battle that's been raging since the 1960s, and for an industry that thrives on a never-ending fight between good and evil, we shouldn't expect the Marvel vs. DC debate to be settled anytime soon.

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The Dark Knight Is Returning to Theaters, Just Ahead of 10th Anniversary
DC Comics, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
DC Comics, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Believe it or not, July 18 will mark the 10th anniversary of the release of The Dark Knight, the second entry in Christopher Nolan’s game-changing superhero movie trilogy. To mark the occasion, Showcase Cinemas—the movie theater chain behind the Cinema de Lux experience—is bringing the movie back to select theaters on the east coast for limited screenings on February 8 and February 11, /Film reports.

Many people consider The Dark Knight the best film in the Batman franchise (Tim Burton and LEGO-fied movies included). The film currently holds a 94 percent “fresh” rating with both critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the highest-rated movie in the Batman universe.

Much of the film’s acclaim came from Heath Ledger’s brilliant turn as The Joker—a role that won him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar (making him the only actor to win that award posthumously). Even Michael Caine, who plays Bruce Wayne’s ever-dutiful butler and BFF Alfred, admitted that he wasn’t sold on the idea of bringing The Joker back into Batman’s cinematic universe, after the character was so ably played by Jack Nicholson in Burton’s 1989 film, until he found out Ledger would be taking the role.

“You don’t try and top Jack,” was Caine’s original thought. But when Nolan informed the actor that he was casting Ledger, that changed things. “I thought: ‘Now that’s the one guy that could do it!’ My confidence came back,” Caine told Empire Magazine.

To find out if The Dark Knight is playing at a theater near you, visit Showcase Cinemas’s website. If it’s not, don’t despair: With the official anniversary still six months away, other theaters are bound to have the same idea.

[h/t: /Film]

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