Archie and Katy Keene Comic Arc to Launch in January

Television's "Archieverse" of shows is set to expand next year, with the release of The CW's musical dramedy Katy Keene. If you want to get acquainted with the series' titular character before she makes her television debut, you're in luck. Over the weekend, Newsarama revealed that the Archie comic title will soon be co-billed as Archie & Katy Keene, beginning with the series' 710th issue in January. This comes after five issues of the series being rebranded as Archie & Sabrina, chronicling the two characters' burgeoning summer romance. Mariko Tamaki, who co-wrote the Archie & Sabrina arc with Nick Spencer, will be taking over as the series' lead writer. She will be penning this arc alongside Kevin Panetta (Zodiac Starforce, Bloom), with artists that will include Laura Braga, Matt Herms, and Jack Morelli.

The series will continue where the current Archie & Sabrina miniseries leaves off, with the “Insta-famous” Katy whirlwinding her way through town and rattling the ultra-competitive Archie Andrews. For the uninitiated, Katy Keene is an Archie Comics character who first debuted in 1945. Dubbed "America's Queen of Pin-Ups and Fashions", Katy was a model, actress, and singer who juggled her career with her personal life. The character fell out of print in the early 1960s, only to be revived in the 1980s. The character has only made a few appearances in recent years (including in 1994's Archie Meets the Punisher), which makes her return to Archie Comics a long time coming.

"I think our Katy has a lot in common with classic Katy, but the world is a different place now." Panetta told Newsarama. "Moving into adulthood and figuring out who you are is a lot more complicated than it used to be, and we wanted our story to reflect that."

"Katy’s arrival in town definitely makes a big splash." Panetta continued. "Pretty much everybody in Riverdale has something to say about it. Having a new girl in town rubs someone the wrong way, but it’s probably not who you think it is!"

The Katy Keene television series is expected to debut in early 2020, with Lucy Hale portraying the character. The cast of Katy Keene also includes Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy, Jonny Beauchamp as Jorge/Ginger Lopez, Julia Chan as Pepper Smith, Zane Holtz as K.O. Kelly, Katerine LaNasa as Gloria Grandbilt, and Camille Hyde and Lucien Laviscount as Alexandra and Alexander Cabot.

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"It is a watershed moment for the company," Archie CEO John Goldwater previously told ComicBook.com of Katy Keene earlier this year. "We are called Archie Comics, so most people don't realize the breadth and depth of our IP. We literally have hundreds of brands, thousands of characters, obviously some way more well-known than others. Comic book people know Katy but the world at large don't know Katy. And for us to be able to start to mine the depth of our library is a transformative moment for Archie Comics. It's such an exciting moment in time for the company and it's as exciting as when Riverdale first came along. It is that kind of seminal moment."

Are you excited to see Archie & Katy Keene hit the world of comics? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!