Appearing in "When Worlds Collide"
- Punisher / "Frank Castiglione" (Frank Castle) (Main story and vision)
- Archie Andrews (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Ronnie Lodge (First appearance)
- Micro Chip (David Lieberman) (First appearance)
- 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 (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Red Fever (Mel Jay) (First appearance)
- Red Fever rival gang
- Leroy Lodge (First appearance)
- Flip Mason (Named only)
- Pinky (First appearance)
- Pulaski Pharmaceuticals (Mentioned)
- Lodge Enterprises (Mentioned)
- Lisa Castle (First appearance; vision)
- Maria Castle (First appearance; vision)
- Frank Castle, Jr. (First appearance; vision)
- F.B.I. (Mentioned)
- Pop Tate (First appearance)
- Gladys Jones (Mentioned)
- Forsythe Pendleton Jones II (Mentioned)
- Scooter (First appearance)
- Josie & the Pussycats (First appearance)
- Ike Eisenhower (Named only) (Topical reference)
- Ethel Muggs (First appearance) (Cameo)
- Mr. Svenson (First appearance)
- Waldo Weatherbee (First appearance)
- Bingo Wilkin (Mentioned)
- Fred Andrews (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Bernice Beazley (First appearance)
- James Dean (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
- Katy Keene (First appearance) (Cameo)
- Millie Collins (First appearance) (Cameo)
- Hedy Wolfe (First appearance) (Cameo)
- Patsy Walker (First appearance) (Cameo)
- Sabrina Spellman (First appearance) (Cameo)
- Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange) (Mentioned)
- Dino Manelli (First appearance)
- United States Army (Mentioned)
- Junior Juniper (Mentioned) (Deceased)
- Elmer Flutesnoot (First appearance)
- Geraldine Grundy (First appearance)
- Coach Kleats (First appearance)
- Mary Andrews (First appearance)
- Mayor Jerimiah Glibb (Mentioned)
- Hot Dog (First appearance; float)
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker) (Float)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (Float) (Topical reference)
- Shield (Joe Higgins) (First appearance; float)
- Wolverine (Logan) (Cameo)
Races and Species:
- Humans (Main story, vision, flashback)
- Martians (Mentioned) (Only in flashback)
- Dogs (First appearance; float)
- Hedgehogs (Float) (Topical reference)
- Pigeons (Mentioned)
- Mutants (Cameo)
- United States of America
- New York
- Glendale (Named only)
- Ivy Town, New England (Named only)
- Happy Harbor, Rhode Island (Named only)
- Sail Port (Named only)
- Gotham City, New Jersey (Named only)
- Hartston (Named only)
- United States of America
- Notre Dame de Paris, Paris, France (Mentioned)
- Heavens (Invoked)
- Punisher's Suit
- Punisher's Arsenal
- Punisher's War Journal (First appearance)
- Spider-Man's Suit (Float)
- Betty's Diary (First appearance)
- Signal Watch (Mentioned)
- Cerebro (Mentioned)
- Punisher's Battle Van (First appearance)
Synopsis for "When Worlds Collide"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
- Archie Meets the Punisher (Aug. 1994) was a one-shot comic book intercompany crossover published by Marvel Comics and Archie Comics. This was the title of the Archie version with the same interior contents as The Punisher Meets Archie, published by Marvel. It featured the unlikely meeting of Marvel's murderous vigilante, the Punisher, and Archie Comic' all-American teenager, Archie Andrews. The book was written by Batton Lash, with artwork by John Buscema (handling the Punisher and Micro Chip) and Stan Goldberg (handling the the rest).
- The comic is full of references to various teen comics and superhero comics published by both companies. Archie's Josie and the Pussycats and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch make brief appearances, as do Marvel and Archie romance characters Millie the Model, Katy Keene, Hedy Wolfe, and Patsy Walker. Some characters, like That Wilkin Boy, are mentioned, but not seen. One girl's comment, "So I asked the Doctor if the Hosts of Hoggoth were really hoary," implies that she has met Marvel's Doctor Strange.
- A reference to Marvel's next intercompany crossover is made at the end of this issue, when Micro Chip claims that their next stop is Gotham City. Shortly after this comic book was published, Marvel Comics and DC Comics collaborated to release Batman/Punisher: Lake of Fire and Punisher/Batman: Deadly Knights.
- 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.