Well, look at that, we’re up to my lucky number thirteenth Archie’s House of Horrors. And I can’t imagine a better title to celebrate that milestone than ARCHIE COMICS: JUDGMENT DAY. After all, who doesn’t love talking about the end of the world?

It’s no mystery why apocalyptic settings are, ironically, a fertile playground for horror stories. The stories basically write themselves, as whether we consciously admit it or not, we’re always consumed by the fear of the end of the world. We’re constantly reminded of the doomsday clock and its hands shifting ever closer to midnight. Every day the world throws a new curveball at us and gives us stark reminders that life on planet Earth is not infinite.

That’s why, perhaps, there’s some fun in creating fiction about the end of the world. It gives us the control to articulate how it’s going to go down. And, as we’ve learned with a lot of horror, it’s that element of control that we truly desire. By giving in to our basest desires and forcing ourselves to confront our most horrific fears, we’re actually putting ourselves in the driver’s seat, steering into the danger with the knowledge that we’ll safely come out the other side… okay, maybe with a bit of trauma, but we’ll make it out alive nonetheless.

And when it comes to apocalyptic horror, the best way to approach it is by embracing the unknown . . .  and the highly unlikely. There’s a reason we so often love alien invasion stories. We all truly want to believe, and the idea of aliens touching down on Earth and taking over is, at worst, a fun scary story, and, at best, a weirdly optimal outcome. (Who wouldn’t want to just relax and let the alien overlords take over? Sounds refreshing, to be quite honest).

Television shows like The X-Files and movies like Mars Attacks! create off-putting alien creatures that both strike a chord of fear and disgust with an added dose of humor, poking fun at the absurdity of aliens coming to Earth. On the opposite end of the spectrum, television shows like Ancient Aliens pose the question of what if aliens were there at the beginning, rather than the end. But the hardcore devotees and true believers of that show might be more of one of those real-world warnings of doomsday than apocalyptic fiction.

Another favorite, when it comes to the end of the world, is that of the zombie apocalypse. There’s a reason why The Walking Dead ran for nearly 200 issues, spawned a television show that ran for 11 seasons, and multiple spinoffs. The world can’t get enough of those brain-eating monsters. That’s also where Archie’s jaunt into horror begins, with the noteworthy AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE series that launched in 2013 and placed Archie and his closest friends and family right smack dab in the middle of a zombie apocalypse that touched down in good old Riverdale.

Thankfully, the world of apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic horror isn’t a barren wasteland, and there are so many different avenues you can take to tell a horror, dystopian, or sci-fi story in that setting. Writer Aubrey Sitterson is no stranger to the Archie apocalypse. He also penned 2023’s ARCHIE VS. THE WORLD one-shot, a dystopian tale in the vein of resource depletion storytelling, à la Mad Max. Aubrey is also one of the most positive, chill dudes ever so there’s a bit of a sick thrill in getting to see him take these characters to the ends of the Earth and beyond. Joining him on this ominous venture is artist Megan Hutchison, whose love of all things horror shines in each and every demonic design, all capped off with colors and letters from the formidable duo of Matt Herms and Jack Morelli, respectively.

The epic three-part Archie Premium Event ARCHIE COMICS: JUDGMENT DAY takes its inspiration from a very different kind of apocalypse story—one that’s, in many ways, biblical in nature, but with Archie serving as the ultimate arbiter of people’s fates. Demons have taken over Riverdale, and Sabrina baddie and former Queen of the Underworld Madam Satan binds a demon to Archie, making him the person who has to decide who in Riverdale is righteous enough to remain living, and who has been possessed beyond recognition by demons and needs to be eliminated.

Not an easy task for a high schooler.

Of all the possible comparable media, interestingly enough this series is most inspired by various horror manga and anime. For many, the first name that might come to mind is Death Note. Death Note is a manga (and later anime) series where a high school student named Light Yagami discovers a mysterious notebook (the titular “Death Note”) that grants its user the supernatural ability to kill anyone whose name is written in its pages. Light goes on to use these powers, under the moniker Kira, to carry out a worldwide massacre of anyone he deems immoral, in an attempt to create a crime-free society.

Another apocalyptic manga series is D.Gray-man, which tells the story of Allen Walker, a young man who joins an organization of exorcists named the Black Order as they defend humanity against the Noah Family, reincarnations of Noah and his twelve apostles who bear hatred towards humanity and God led by a man known as the Millennium Earl. The Noah Family's weapons are derived from a power source known as Dark Matter. Dark Matter grants the Noah superpowers, along with the ability to create and control demons.

Even more of an inspiration for ARCHIE COMICS: JUDGMENT DAY is the series Devilman. In Devilman, high schooler Akira Fudo absorbs the powers of the demon Amon and, along with his best friend, Ryo Asuka, the pair battle demon-like creatures hidden in human society. Its updated ONA web series, Devilman Crybaby, sees Akira and Ryo facing an ancient race of demons that seek to destroy humanity.

But manga isn’t the only inspiration, elements of various apocalyptic and supernatural investigative media also helped shape ARCHIE COMICS: JUDGMENT DAY including movies, TV shows, and comics like Constantine, Van Helsing, Hellblazer, and even the classic Kolchak: The Night Stalker. That said, despite all the influences, JUDGMENT DAY does what an Archie comic does best: stands completely on its own, with the type of wild and bizarre horrific antics that could only take place in a little town like Riverdale.

ARCHIE COMICS: JUDGMENT DAY issues 1–3 may be about the end times, but it’s also the beginning of a new era of storytelling at Archie. So tell me, it’s the end of the world as we know it. Do you feel fine?

The first issue of the Archie Comics: Judgment Day #1 is on sale now.


Read on for additional details on Archie Comics: Judgment Day, and go here to catch up on all of the past installments of Archie's House of Horror!


In a world overrun with demons, Archie Andrews is on a quest to cleanse Riverdale of all wicked-kind. Harnessing the destructive power of a captive fiend, he will have to destroy corrupted and possessed versions of the people closest to him. Questioning his own morality and forced to make difficult sacrifices, are Archie’s efforts truly good, or the work of pure evil? Traverse the most horrifying version of Riverdale yet in the first Archie Premium Event.

Script: Aubrey Sitterson
Art: Megan Hutchison
Colors: Matt Herms
Letters: Jack Morelli
Cover: Megan Hutchison
Variant Covers: Francesco Francavilla, Jae Lee, Reiko Murakami
On Sale Date: 5/22
32-page, full color comic
$4.99 U.S.