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Quote1 This town isn't big enough for two Archies, stranger! Quote2
Leroy Lodge

Appearing in "When Worlds Collide"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Ronnie Lodge (First appearance)
  • Micro Chip (David Lieberman)
  • Hiram Lodge (First appearance)
  • Jughead Jones (First appearance)
  • Betty Cooper (First appearance)
  • Reggie Mantle (First appearance)
  • Moose Mason (First appearance)
  • Dilton Doiley (First appearance)
  • RPD (Main story and flashback) (First appearance)
    • Sargent Scott Pansky (First appearance)
    • Officer Kip Burland (First appearance)


Other Characters:

Races and Species:




Synopsis for "When Worlds Collide"

Somewhere in New York City, the Punisher chases after a trenchcoated figure, who loses him in a nearby train station and purchases a one-way ticket to Riverdale...

Melvin Jay (Earth-616) from Punisher Meets Archie Vol 1 1 0001

A fatal similarity

In said town, meanwhile, Archie Andrews is about to fetch his girlfriend Veronica for a date at a 50's sock hop event at Riverdale High, but receives a wet greeting by Veronica's brattish cousin Leroy. He takes immediate retaliatory action with a nearby waterhose, but accidentally drenches Veronica too, who promptly dumbs him. Morosely, Archie wanders off to ask his other girlfriend, Betty, to accompany him, unaware that he is being followed by two men in a car. In the meantime, Veronica is introduced by her father, Hiram Lodge, to a visiting young "pharmaceutics firm chairman" calling himself Melvin Jay, who bears a startling resemblance to Archie (except for frontal buck teeth and a rather vicious demeanor) and intends to settle down in Riverdale. Having no one to go to the dance with, she promptly asks Melvin to accompany her. However, in the dance hall "Red" is spotted by a low-life informant named Scooter, who promptly informs his criminal contacts in exchange for a fee.

In the meantime, however, Punisher also arrives in town, accompanied by his associate Micro Chip, to hunt down the fugitive criminal he had chased. The criminal is Archie's doppelgänger Melvin Jay, also known as "Red Fever", a dangerous drug-running mobster boss. For once, though, Punisher isn't here to kill Jay outright; rather, he has cut a deal with the government for a pardon in exchange for bringing back "Red" alive, as "Red" has extensive insider knowledge about the drug running organizations on the Eastern Seaboard.

Francis Castle (Earth-616) from Punisher Meets Archie Vol 1 1 0001

Worlds collide!

The first confrontation quickly ensues as Archie, who is disgruntled that Betty has already departed for the dance, and his best friend Jughead are taken from Pop Tate's café by two mobsters (who mistake Archie for "Red"), pretending to be federal agents, for a ride. Punisher and Micro Chip, who were about to get refreshments for themselves in said café, immediately tail the car. When his quarry notices him, Punisher fires a few warning shots, then rams the car, sending it spinning. When Archie comes to again, he finds the Punisher looming menacingly above him; but while he is about to soil his pants, Punisher quickly comes to realize that his captive is not the man he wants. A trick by Jughead enables Archie to slip away from the vigilante; he and Jughead race for the local police station, but due to several false alarms Archie had unwittingly given in the past, the officer on duty, Sgt. Pansky, does not believe one word of Archie's story and instead has the two boys simply dropped off at the dance.

Melvin Jay (Earth-616) and Francis Castle (Earth-616) from Punisher Meets Archie Vol 1 1 0001

Trouble Ball

Meanwhile, after losing Archie, the Punisher and Micro Chip have followed the two would-be kidnappers to a gathering of drug mobsters who, as is "Red", are trying to stake out Riverdale, so far untouched by organized crime, as their new turf. With the Punisher chasing "Red", and with all the dangerous intel the latter has on them, the gangsters decide to finish "Red" before he has the chance to talk, let the Punisher find him and close the case, then move into Riverdale themselves. However, Punisher and Chip eavesdrop on the conversation, and from them they also learn of "Red's" presence at the high school dance. After a brief run-in with two local policemen (who were called upon the scene by the Riverdale High cafeteria cook, Miss Beazley, because the Punisher had inadvertently parked his van on her driveway), the two depart for the school.

Francis Castle (Earth-616) from Punisher Meets Archie Vol 1 1 0002

A tentative first approach

At the entrance of the dance hall, Archie and Jughead meet Betty and her night's date, Reggie Mantle, and while trying to relate their tale, they learn of Veronica's date and his startling likeness with Archie. Alerted, Archie, Jughead, Betty and an unwilling Reggie run inside to warn Veronica, who in the meantime finds herself unnerved by Jay's progressively aggressive attention. But as fate wills it, both the mobsters and the Punisher have already infiltrated the scene: the mobsters having taken the place of the caterers, and Punisher introducing himself to a delighted Miss Grundy as the new phys ed teacher while on the lookout for "Red".

Mayhem breaks out when "Red" spots the Punisher and forces Veronica towards the exit at gunpoint. When Archie sees the Punisher, he immediately tries to call the police; one of the fake caterers spots him, mistakes him for "Red" and attempts to shoot him from behind, forcing the Punisher to intervene to save Archie's life. In the resultant shootout, "Red" manages to get away from Micro thanks to the unwitting aid of Moose, and Archie is personally saved by the Punisher from the boss of the mobsters, thereby finally clearing the misunderstanding between them.

Archibald Andrews (Earth-616), Francis Castle (Earth-616) and David Lieberman (Earth-616) from Punisher Meets Archie Vol 1 1 0001

Teaming up

While Sgt. Pansky has his hands full with calming the panicked adults in town and Hiram Lodge bursts in with the news that his daughter has been kidnapped, Archie's and Punisher's groups team up to track down "Red" - Archie because of Veronica, the Punisher in order to keep his eye on the kids lest they stumble into his line of fire once more. While going over a tape with a ransom demand issued by "Red", Betty and Archie notice several strange formulations by Veronica, which clue them in on their actual location: a Riverdale warehouse used to store paraphernalia for the upcoming Fourth of July town parade. But before they can go off to the warehouse, Punisher receives a call from the feds which adds a new unexpected facet to the case...

In said warehouse, Veronica tries to slip away from "Red", but the gangster tracks her down and finally realizes that she has given away his location. Before he can retaliate for this, however, the Punisher and Archie's gang arrive at the scene, and the Punisher reveals that the feds have found a new informant in Scooter, who was scared by the dance hall shootout and turned himself in, thereby reneging "Red's" status as an "alive only"-convict - meaning, in short, that Punisher does not have to hold back any longer. "Red" starts a shootout with the Punisher, making Archie jump into a nearby laundry cart. A wild shot punctures a parade balloon, which sags down on Punisher, making him inadvertently kick the cart into a run which hits "Red" dead on. As a side effect, "Red" inadvertently opens up the rooftop (as well as losing his red toupee), then gets his foot caught in a line for a Shield balloon and is hoisted helplessly into the air. Apparently inspired by the usually peaceful nature of Riverdale, and with "Red" and his drug operation thoroughly finished, the Punisher for once makes no further effort to finish him off.

James Howlett (Earth-616) from Punisher Meets Archie Vol 1 1

... And the misadventure continues.

The next day, the Punisher and Micro Chip depart from Riverdale, having made themselves a lot of new friends here, for another mission in Gotham City. However, somewhere else, a certain grumpy, Adamantium-clawed individual prepares to hunt down the perhaps most dangerous mutant on the planet - who happens, on top of things, to be a dead lookalike of Jughead...



  • The concept of a crossover between the Punisher and Archie originated as a joke between Archie Comics' editor Victor Gorelick and Marvel Comics' then Editor-In-Chief Tom DeFalco, who were good friends. When Gorelick recounted the silly idea to his friend Batton Lash, Lash encouraged Gorelick to make it happen. After Lash came up with a pitch to make the crossover work, Gorelick sent it to DeFalco, who loved it, which led to the crossover becoming a reality.[1]

See Also

Links and References


  1. Cronin, Brian (13 November 2017) Comic Legends: The Secret Origin of Archie Meets the Punisher? Retrieved on 13 November 2017.