The Archie characters have survived a lot in their more than 70 years of publication, but things in Riverdale are sure to get interesting in November.
KISS is coming to town.
"It's the biggest band in rock history crossing paths with Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and Sabrina," said Alex Segura, who's writing the four-issue story with art by Dan Parent. "Two major pieces of Americana joining forces for the first time."
It may seem like an odd pairing, to put the milkshake-sipping teens from Archie with a hard-rocking band like KISS. But the story, which begins in Archie #627, sees Riverdale invaded by monsters from another dimension. Their presence makes the town ripe for a visit by the KISS personas: Demon, Starchild, Spaceman and Catman.
"The Riverdale gang are looking to cast a protection spell to protect the town before Halloween," Segura said. "Of course, that means Sabrina is coordinating things. But when the spell goes awry and a cabal of dangerous monsters appear, who's going to stop them? Enter KISS. Can the Archies team up with the rock legends in time to save the town from the legion of monsters? Stay tuned. Oh, and zombies. There'll be zombies."
The story will also introduce a gang of four monsters that Segura said will "simultaneously frighten and amuse, and fans of pop culture stuffs will get a kick of them."
The Archie Meets KISS comic will coincide with another KISS comic from IDW, making this a rare situation where two major comic publishers are sharing a popular trademark license simultaneously. And this isn't the first time the on-stage personas from KISS are showing up in a comic, but it is a first for Archie and the gang.
"Most of my non-musical interaction with KISS has been through comics," Segura said, "whether it was the older stuff from Marvel or titles like Psycho Circus and the like. They're as close to real-life comic characters as you can get."
For Parent, getting to draw KISS has brought back a lot of memories. "I remember playing the 45's over and over of Rock and Roll All Nite and Christine Sixteen," he said. "I remember the first dance I ever went to, in eighth grade, I danced to Beth and I kid you not, the girl I danced with was named Beth too."
Segura said he's trying to give each of the KISS members a unique voice in the four-issue story, but he admitted that writing the mixture of the Archie teens with KISS has been a little odd.
"It's a treat to type out scenes like 'Demon spits fire next to Betty in the Chok'lit Shoppe,'" he said. "One of those 'huh, this is my life' moments."