Like Cruel Intentions, The Omen, Needful Things? Read Blossoms 666 #1

by Brendan M. Allen

Cheryl and Jason Blossom are a pair of seemingly normal kids in Riverdale. They’re wealthy, popular and likeable-but they also harbor a deep, dark secret-one of the Blossom Twins is the Anti-Christ. Both want the title, and no one in Riverdale is safe.

Blossoms 666 #1 opens in the morgue, then transitions to Riverdale High, where “It’s not quite Summer Vacation yet.” The beautiful, rich Blossom twins are throwing a huge party, and they are pulling strings all over the place to make sure everyone can make it. Everything seems pretty “Archie” so far, except that morgue thing.

The tone shifts by the end of this opening chapter, blowing off with a seriously “what-the-everloving-hell?” moment that will make you go back to the beginning of the chapter and wonder who exactly is under that draped white sheet.

When asked to describe the series, Cullen Bunn replied,

With Blossoms 666, we reveal that there is an ugly, dark river of corruption and deceit running beneath the beauty and cheer of Riverdale. The Blossom twins, Cheryl and Jason, are taking the oars of the ferry, guiding Archie, Betty, Jughead, Veronica, and the gang on a cruise that could, quite literally, lead straight to Hell.

That’s about right. Bunn takes the most wholesome, apple pie community in American pop culture and turns it completely sideways before anyone notices. There are warning signs throughout, but nothing really screams danger until the situation is too far gone to reel back in. It’s a classic boiling frog. 

Art by Laura Braga and Matt Herms is brilliantly suited to Bunn’s script. There’s a whole lot of that virtuous veneer that screams Riverdale, with just a hint of the pure evil lurking just under the surface. Everything seems to check out, right up to the point where it doesn’t.  

There’s been a noticeable shift in horror over the last several years. The genre been steadily moving away from the ridiculously complex setups and implausible scenarios that have long defined it, to a much more relatable, real world approach. The really scary stuff, stuff that will keep you up at night, is the stuff that seems like it might just actually happen. That’s where Blossoms 666 lives. Five degrees to the left of reality.

Series openers are tricky business. This is about as complete a first issue as can be found. 

Blossoms 666 #1, Archie Comics, released 23 January 2019. Written by Cullen Bunn, art/cover by Laura Braga, color by Matt Herms, letters by Jack Morelli, variant covers available by Joe Eisma, Francesco Francavilla, Robert Hack, and Vic Malhotr.

 

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.

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