‘Riverdale’ Is Based on Archie Comics: How Are the Two Different?

While characters like Cheryl Blossom, the manipulative redhead, and Reggie Mantle, the athletic jerk, may not have changed much from their source material, there are a host of characters who have been modernized and scandalized to turn the bright and bubbly Riverdale of the comics into a much rougher town.

Dark twists aside, at least one thing hasn’t changed. Pop Tate’s Chock’lit Shoppe, the gang’s frequented hangout spot is still a core location in Riverdale.

Many of the overly optimistic characters of Riverdale are drastically different thanks to their harsh experiences, and the comical town transformed into a place shrouded in mystery and murder. Head up! There are some spoilers ahead so proceed with caution.

The happy-go-lucky Archie is gone in ‘Riverdale’

Comic Archie is happy-go-lucky, but his Riverdale counterpart turns over a darker leaf, meddling in murders and shady business practices. Not only that but the new Archie is buffer, more handsome, and very popular. His iconic “love triangle” with Betty and Veronica is replaced with him focusing on Veronica. But that isn’t the most significant relationship faux pas in Riverdale. Ms. Grundy is also on Archie’s radar in the first season, one of the creepier liberties taken.

Jughead isn’t serving comic relief

Long gone is the old Juggie. The quirky character gets a complete overhaul in new Riverdale, leaving only his wry humor and headwear behind. Riverdale replaces his asexual lifestyle with a girlfriend, removes his trusty mutt, and turns him into a loner. That’s not all, Juggie isn’t just a part of the Archie gang anymore, and his new gang affiliation has him doing all kinds of questionable things around the city.

Betty isn’t all sunshine and rainbows

Betty is still the spirited student we all know and love on the outside, but the Betty behind the scenes is of an entirely different color. Hints to self-mutilation, depression (a trait she shares with her actor) and a lack of sense of self, shown by her alternate persona “dark Betty” clue viewers into just how troubled Betty is. That’s not the only things that’s changed. Her iconic crush for Archie has been traded for a relationship with Juggie, bringing more chaos into the beautiful blonde’s life.

Veronica and Betty are besties

Riverdale’s Veronica is striving to bring the kind heart that stays mostly under wraps in the comics up to the surface. Her iconic catty attitude is mostly down-played while her go-getting nature and desire to protect her friends is played up. In fact, Veronica and Betty have an excellent relationship in the show.

Veronica gives Reggie a shot

In season three the well-known comic couple, Veronica and Archie go their separate ways leaving Veronica ready to look for other suitors. Who does she stumble upon other than Reggie, the jerk jock who was fighting for her attention in the original comics. With the actors dating in real life, the chemistry is bound to be through the roof.

Josie and the Pussycats has more than one African American member

The race-bent version of the leopard clad comic performers is still taking Riverdale by storm with their music except now its jazz-rock instead of pop-rock. The sweet-natured Josie has become a sassy girl with a condescending attitude, and Melody Valentine no longer fits the “dumb” blonde stereotype. Meanwhile, Valerie Brown is mostly unchanged. Another difference, the once tight-knit band goes through plenty of rough patches in the new Riverdale.

Other ‘Riverdale’ characters who saw some changes

  • Chuck Clayton is known for his talents in sports and illustration. He is an all-around good guy and even greater friend in the comics. Riverdale changed all that by turning Clayton into a womanizing overconfident macho man. What a loss.
  • Ethel Muggs trades her stalkerish obsession with Jughead to wanting nothing to do with him. Welcomed changes as her unreciprocated attempts at courting him would have just been plain sad to see on screen.
  • Remember Geraldine Grundy? The prudish old woman from the comics was turned into the “stereotypical” hot teacher in season one with a thing for sleeping with her students, much to the dismay of Archie fans.

 ‘Riverdale’ parents come and go

  • Hermoine Lodge, Veronica’s mother, replaces Hiram Lodge who was sent to prison for fraud, as the primary caregiver.
  • Mr. Fred Andrews, Archie’s dad, is now a single hard-working father. The mother, Mary, has straight up left her husband and son behind in the earlier seasons of the Riverdale adaptation.
  • Alice & Hal Cooper, Betty’s parents, went from ultra-nice to the complete opposite. Alice is known for stirring up drama with her amoral antics. She’s strict and overbearing doing ANYTHING in her power to make sure Betty is the picture of perfection.