Riverdale: The Ties That Bind OGN cover

Riverdale: The Ties that Bind

Writer: Micol Ostow
Artist: Thomas Pitilli
Color Artist: Andre Szymanowicz
Letterer: John Workman
Cover Artist: Thomas Pitilli

Riverdale: The Ties That Bind is the upcoming original graphic novel set in the Riverdale TV show universe. It is written by Micol Ostow, who is no stranger to Riverdale, having already written four novels set in the Riverdale universeI have said it before about Micol Ostow’s writing: she perfectly captures the voices of the Riverdale characters. Jughead sounds like Cole Sprouse is talking on the page; Archie sounds like KJ Apa and Veronica sounds like Camila Mendes.

Artist Thomas Pitilli is also no stranger to the world of Riverdale, having previously illustrated the monthly Riverdale comic for Archie Comics. I like his art style a lot. It’s both all his own and distinctly Riverdale. There’s no wondering which character is which, but Pitilli also doesn’t go for that overly photorealistic dead-eyed style that plagues so many TV and movie based comics on comic shop racks. Pitilli’s characters are lively and move with fluidity. Plus, he has a distinct eye for fashion.

Riverdale: The Ties That Bind does not take place after the season 5 time jump, but rather in the early to middle part of season 4. Without giving any spoilers away, you can loosely put in the part of season 4 where Jughead is already attending Stonewall Prep, and Veronica and Cheryl are in the middle of their rum company launch. It’s a fast paced story, divided up into separate chapters based on which character is being spotlighted. This reminded me a lot of old Silver Age Justice League stories, where the team would divide up into duos before coming together at the end. The four different stories among the characters seem to be completely separate and distinct from each other, but they all connect in the end, and set up a bigger mystery for the future.

Jughead in Riverdale: The Ties That Bind

Reading through it, I was worried that the story would seem inconsequential, but Ostow and Pitilli are setting up what appears to be a series of graphic novels with an overarching story. Think of it as a season within season 4, and this book is the first episode.

Comic shops have until Monday, March 22 to get their orders in for Riverdale: The Ties That Bind ahead of its April 14 release date. If you’re a Riverdale fan like me who misses the pre-time jump era of the show, this book is for you, and you’ll want to let your shop know you want it.

Published by Archie Comics, Riverdale: The Ties That Bind is due out in comic shops on Wednesday, April 14th, and in bookstores on Tuesday, May 4th.