Following on from the previous issue’s interlude – in which we caught up with the banished Sabrina, finding her trapped with HP Lovecraft and many of his monstrous creations in the Nether-Realm – we’re back with Archie and the survivors of the zombie apocalypse.

Having escaped from Riverdale, the survivors are attempting to make their way to the CDC in Pittsburgh – but, despite the ever-present threat of Jughead and his horde of undead companions, tensions run high in the group. Betty and Veronica’s friendship is fracturing – and the Blossom twins, Jason and Cheryl, seem to also be heading into dangerous territory in terms of their relationship. The ghosts of the past seem to be haunting many of the surviving characters, it seems…

Though the Lovecraftian elements were a little heavy-handed in issue six, the seventh issue is a return to form for Afterlife with Archie; the drama and tension wrung from the perilous situations our characters find themselves in is masterfully handled by writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Francesco Francavilla – whose art has been consistently brilliant, even carrying the slight disappointment of the sixth issue with some superb depictions of the denizens of the Cthulhu Mythos – again gives readers a visual treat, with stunningly atmospheric art.

The reprint story is another black and white classic from the Chilling Adventures in Sorcery vault; a 1970s tale of a loving pet and a gypsy curse, complete with a creepily foreboding ending. It’s potent stuff and an excellent bonus.

If you haven’t already caught up with Afterlife with Archie, what are you waiting for? It’s a perfect spooky season read; wonderfully written and brilliantly illustrated. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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