What do you get when you take beloved, decades-old comic book characters and throw them in the middle of a dark and dangerous criminal underbelly? Riverdale, which ended up being one of the best new series of 2017. The CW teen drama follows the classic characters from Archie Comics. But on the screen, their lives are less about hanging out at Pop’s and more about trying not to end up dead before they make it to graduation.
Season 1 of Riverdale focused on a murder investigation that threatened to tear the titular small town apart, and Season 2 is shaping up to be every bit as exciting. That’s not only because the series is offering up a new mystery. There will also be several new faces that will up the ante on drama in Riverdale.
Here’s everything we know about the new players and how they’ll keep our favorite characters on their toes.
1. Toni Topaz
— Archie Comics (@ArchieComics) September 29, 2017
We still don’t know all that much about the Southside Serpents. But that’s going to change in Season 2, as Jughead begins to dabble with his father’s posse. And one of the first people he’s going to meet will be Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan).
She’s both a fellow student at Southside High and a leather-jacket wearing, authority-bucking member of Riverdale’s biggest biker gang. In Archie Comics, Toni is bisexual — and it appears that trait will carry over onto the small screen, too.
On Riverdale, she could drive a wedge between Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse). But there have also been hints that she may end up falling for Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch).
While it’s too early to tell if Toni will try to break up Bughead, there is one character that’s sure to cause serious trouble for Riverdale’s other power couple though.
2. Nick St. Clair
When Season 1 of Riverdale drew to a close, Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) and Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) were growing closer (like, a lot closer). And that’s a good thing — because their romance will be put to the test in Season 2.
Ronnie has already proven that she has what it takes to stick by Archie’s side when times are tough. But the former city girl will face a new set of relationship challenges when Nick St. Clair (Graham Phillips), her ex-boyfriend, stops in for a visit.
Series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has described Nick as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing: a hard-partying Lothario with dark desires and an unchecked sense of privilege.” And though he may be charming, and serve as a reminder to Ronnie of what she left behind, he’ll also be up to no good.
According to Aguirre-Sacasa, Nick won’t just pose a threat to Archie and Veronica’s relationship. He’ll be part of Riverdale’s darkest storyline so far and may even wind up putting some of the other characters in danger. But he won’t be the only new character who’s up to no good.
3. Penny Peabody
Remember FP Jones (Skeet Ulrich), Jughead’s well-meaning but unstable father, and a leader of the Serpents gang? He’s still in prison — at least for now — for the role he played in covering up Jason Blossom’s murder. But he won’t be for long if the younger Jones has anything to say about it.
That’s because he’ll be enlisting the help of Penny Peabody (Brit Morgan), a wiley lawyer for the Serpents who’s so good at what she does, she’s earned the nickname “The Snake Charmer.” Penny may be willing to work to get FP released from prison — but it won’t come easy for Jughead. That’s because after years working both sides of the law, Penny has come to expect not just money, but favors, as payment for her efforts.
Anyone who’s seen The Godfather knows when organized crime is concerned, owing someone anything usually leads into dangerous territory. Jughead will have to keep his head up to avoid getting in too deep. And if he does wind up in trouble and is looking for Betty to bail him out, she’ll be busy dealing with her own drama from yet another new face.
4. Chic Cooper
Hello, Chic Cooper!
— RIVERDALE NEWS! (@CWRiverdaleNews) October 6, 2017
In Riverdale’s Season 1 finale, we learned that Alice and Hal Cooper (Madchen Ameck and Lochlyn Monroe) gave the child they conceived as teenagers up for adoption. Their daughter, Betty, was shocked at the revelation. And apparently it won’t be too long before we finally get to meet the long-lost Cooper sibling.
Chic Cooper (Hart Denton) will make an appearance in Season 2 of Riverdale. We don’t know all that much about him yet, other than that he shares his parents’ and siblings’ not at all unattractive Cooper genes. But the Coopers already have a tenuous grasp on the perfect family dynamic they try to hold onto. And since they have a tendency to keep their unsavory secrets buried deep, it’s safe to say Chic’s emergence could throw everyone for a loop.
5. Midge Klump
Archie Comics fans are likely very familiar with Midge Klump, Moose Mason’s longtime squeeze. But thus far, she’s hasn’t broken out of the comics universe and into Riverdale, where Moose (Cody Kearsley) isn’t just a brawny football player — he’s also deeply in the closet.
In Season 1, Midge’s name came up on a few occasions. But we’ll finally get to meet her in Season 2 as the gang convenes to work through their ongoing hometown dramas. It’s too early to tell how big of a role Midge (to be played by Emilija Baranac, as seemingly confirmed in her Instagram post above) will play in Season 2.
But if Moose rekindles his secret relationship with Kevin Keller (Casey Cott), it’s safe to say it may not go over well with his girlfriend. It also may cause Moose to deal with some fallout from his friends — including a returning character who may look a little different.
6. Reggie Mantle
Okay, so Reggie Mantle isn’t exactly new to Riverdale. He served as a secondary antagonist and occasional pal to Archie in Season 1. But Reggie didn’t get much screen time, because the actor who played him, Ross Butler, was also filming 13 Reasons Why. Butler left Riverdale after Season 1 so he could commit to the latter series full time. Now, a new actor, Charles Melton, will be taking up the gauntlet as Riverdale High’s football captain.
That doesn’t just mean a new face — it also means an expanded presence for Reggie. Aguirre-Sacasa told TVLine that in Season 2, “We want more Reggie on our show — he’s Archie’s rival!”
So our redheaded hero could be headed for some trouble on the football field. But he’ll also have to contend with even more extracurricular drama when he meets another new character with some big plans for his hometown.
7. Hiram Lodge
Even when he was in jail, Hiram Lodge’s (Mark Consuelos) presence loomed large over Riverdale’s first season. We saw his wife, Hermione (Marisol Nichols), finishing deals that he started behind bars. And Veronica even suspected he had something to do with Jason’s death.
But now Ronnie’s dad is a free man, and he’ll certainly be stirring things up in Riverdale. It’s hard to imagine he’ll be on the straight and narrow, considering his inability to set aside his shady business dealings last season. And given Fred Andrews’ (Luke Perry) tryst with his wife, Hiram is definitely a suspect in Fred’s attempted murder.
Even if Hiram does try to play nice, he’ll still bring a new layer to the Lodge family dynamic. Consuelos told Entertainment Weekly that Hiram “loves, loves, loves his family and he’s fiercely protective over all of that and anything that has anything to do or comes into contact with his family.”
It’s safe to say that probably includes Archie — so Ronnie’s boyfriend better be on his best behavior.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on the CW.
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