The modern era of Archie Comics has seen the company rapidly diversify the world of Riverdale and beyond since the reboot of — not just in style and tone Archie in 2015, but in his take on his characters and their identities, from introducing queer characters to moves like reveals Jughead’s asexuality. Well, in the range of his horror imprintthe publisher is ready to take a big step.
io9 can exclusively reveal the next upcoming chapter in the Jinx Holiday story – inspired by the old Archie character Li’l Jinx and revived for Jinx: Grim Tales last year on the precipice of a series of solo adventure one shots –Strange Sciencewill put the spotlight on the classic ’80s Archie Dilton’s Strange Science character Danni Molloy, now Jinx’s best friend, and reintroduces her as a trans woman – a major first for the company.
“I’ve wanted to make this a reality for a long time and it’s really cool to see it finally becoming a reality. I never wanted Danni’s trans identity to be put on or that she felt like she was made to be trans. So I want to apologize for smuggling her over the line in this way.” Hex said author Magdalene Visaggio in a statement emailed to io9. “I wanted you to have the chance to fall in love with her for who she is, not for who she is. I’m honored to have been able to make this possible, and I’m grateful to Archie that he never, ever, ever backed down from my insistence on making her books a little more queer. I hope Danni finds a good home with Archie, with supportive writers and artists to help keep her alive for years to come.”
Jamie L. Rotante, Senior Director of Editorial at Archie Comics added: “Strange Science is one of the most important one-shots we’ve released so far, if not the most important. It also shows just how eclectic horror can be, as it cleverly blends science fiction and horror and tells a beautiful, poignant story about coming to terms with the past. It’s all thanks to author Magdalene Visaggio, who came up with the idea of letting Danni Malloy tell her own story about her transition. We just had to figure out how it would fit best, and a throwback to her character’s classic origins mixed with the new horror setting she was reintroduced in just made the most sense.”
“I think it is clear to anyone reading this that there was a lot of passion and heart in this story that was shown on every page of the script. Every comic Mags has worked on has been my favorite, but this one really stuck with me and I think everyone who reads it will too. Butch Mapa wowed us last year with his work on a horror short film Happy horror days One-shot, and not only is his work both gorgeous and grotesque (though of course the script calls for the latter), but he also puts an incredible amount of care into every detail and design he creates.”
“I’m so proud of this book, but beyond that, it’s an honor to help bring this beautiful story to life,” concluded Rotante. “I’m always amazed by the incredible talent I get to work with.”
We’ll really get to know Danni in her solo story Strange Science, written by Visaggio and illustrated by Butch Mapa, in August. But she had a supporting role in Archie’s Free Comic Book Day special alongside Jinx The cursed library, by Visaggio and artist Craig Cermak (available now); The same creative team is behind this week’s Jinx and Danni one-shot Jinx: A cursed life. Although all four stories, including last year’s anthology, are standalone, readers who follow along with each story are subtly rewarded with an overarching story that ties them together.
“I was already very honored to do this one-shot, and that was before I even got to know what the story was about. “Magdalene is one of the most important voices in writing today, and I’m excited to join her in this chapter of her ongoing story with Danni and Jinx,” Mapa added in his own emailed statement. “I was a fan of Ellie’s [Wright, Strange Science’s colorist]’s work and I’m excited to see her wonderful tones over my lines. And of course the living legend [letterer] Jack Morelli completes this great group of co-workers that I am blessed with. Magdalene has written a story that is simultaneously vivid, poignant and brilliant while also being a fantastic piece of horror/sci-fi. Expect plenty of craziness, emotion, action and character.”
Strange Science is expected to go on sale on August 16th. Jinx: Grim Tales is now available as is The cursed library as part of Archie’s FCBD offering from earlier this month. The next story in the story of Jinx and Danni Strange Science, Jinx: A cursed lifewill be released on Wednesday July 17th.
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