Riverdale is based on the Archie comic book series which debuted in 1942. The comics follow the same characters, but there are some major differences that each cast member has in relation to the comic books and show. Here they are, without giving away any spoilers.
Archie Andrews (K.J. Apa)
When we first met Archie, it was 1941 and he was “America’s typical teenager.” He was a goofy guy who had the average teen boy look, he was a bit clumsy, he loved playing his guitar, and his most loved hobby was girls and he did everything and anything to impress them, usually with embarrassing results. Riverdale Archie has more teenage angst than goofy klutz., but he’s still into his guitar and girls. Also, it’s been noted that Riverdale Archie spends a lot more time without a shirt than comic Archie.
Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart)
Much like comic Archie, Riverdale’s Betty is the textbook “good girl next door.” They’re also both bright, nice, considerate, and hardcore into her best friend — Archie. Unlike the comic, Riverdale Betty’s more into the cheerleading team rather than sports, and her home life is pretty crappy, too. Her family is totally dysfunctional and she has a dark, troubled side that will surely unfold as the series progresses.
Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes)
Veronica Lodge got a dramatic character retooling. In the comic, she was the rich, spoiled new girl who would regularly get Archie all jacked up, completely disrespecting Betty in the process. (And yet they remained, great friends). Riverdale’s Veronica is kinder, gentler teenager – she even gives a wink and nod to the viewer when she mentions how she’s so much different to the “old Veronica.”
Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse)
Good old Jughead is easily the most different in terms of his comic book character and how he’s played on Riverdale. Sure, he’s still an outsider, but whereas he’s sort of a lazy goof – almost a troll – on Riverside, he’s a brooder, trying to solve the murder mystery, and write a book. His relationship with Archie is different, too. They were buds in the comic, but on the show, there’s a weird beef.
Moose Mason (Cody Kearsley)
Everyone loves both comic book Moose and Riverdale Moose because everyone has known a Moose in high school, and they’re all fun to be around. There’s one big difference between comic Moose and Riverdale Moose: In the comics, he’s obsessed with his girlfriend Midge. On the show, he’s secretly interested in Kevin, and Midge is nowhere around (although Kevin did mention her once).
Miss Grundy (Sarah Habel)
Even the most casual fan of the Archie comics is the obvious difference between Grundy in the books and Grundy on Riverdale. In the comics, she’s a mean, crabby old school marm. On the show, Miss Grundy is a hot, young, and having sex with Archie. And then there’s that thing about how Miss Grundy isn’t even really Miss Grundy! (I’ve said too much, any more would be a big spoiler.)
Ethel Muggs (Shannon Purser)
Riverdale Ethel isn’t like her comic book character at all, but it’s early in the series and to be fair, she hasn’t gotten much screen time, but so far, here’s what we know. In the book, Ethel is a boy-crazy teen girl incredibly obsessed with Jughead. On Riverdale, she’s shown no interest in Jughead, and she’s not all that boy crazy either. She is however, becoming a part of a girl-powered revenge plot against all the male jerks of Riverdale.
Reggie Mantle (Ross Butler)
Riverdale Reggie might be most like his comic book character from where he originated. Both are jerks, and both love causing chaos with his whacky schemes and childish jokes. Both are also Archie’s arch nemesis in most things, especially when it comes to girls. Riverdale Reggie is still developing so expect his character to unfold nicely.
Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch)
Riverdale Cheryl Blossom is a lot like her character is in the comic. They’re both very rich, very vain, and very manipulative. To use one word, she’s a bitch. We’re already getting different layers of her on Riverdale though due to the aftermath of her brother’s murder. Cheryl is going to become a fan favorite.
Kevin Keller (Casey Cott)
Riverdale’s Kevin Keller is probably best known as being the first openly gay character in the Archie universe. That’s a big difference from comic book Kevin. Also in the comic, Kevin was the new kid in town, having spent his childhood moving around because his dad was in the military. On the show, Kevin, besides being the only openly gay character, and he seems to have grown up in Riverdale, and now his dad is the sheriff.
Josie and the Pussycats
Josie and the Pussycats haven’t received that much love on Riverdale so far – especially Melody and Valerie, who have barely spoken thus far, but they’re still part of the best teen band in town. Josie herself seems to have a bit more attitude than her sweet comic counterpart, but she still seems to have a loyal and good heart. And while the band may have ditched the catsuits, the ears are here to stay.
All images: CW