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How The Cast Of Riverdale Should Really Look

The CW's Riverdale promised a sexy, updated take on the classic Archie comics series, and thus far, the show has delivered. Taking the comics' central group of teens and placing them smack dab in the middle of a burgeoning murder mystery, Riverdale has the intrigue, sass, and fun of a bona fide hit.

While the show is based on the comics, it takes a lot of liberties with the storyline and the characters, both in terms of their personalities as well as their looks. While we wait to see how the show will interpret the comics' canon, we've done a little Photoshop work to show you how the cast should actually look based on their comics counterparts.

Jughead Jones

Cole Sprouse made a huge transformation from Suite Life child star to the angsty version of Jughead Jones shown on Riverdale. The actor had to dye his naturally blonde hair dark brown for the part, although he keeps it slightly longer than Jughead does in the comics. Still, Sprouse did a great job of adopting Jughead's signature squint and (slightly less pointy) beanie.

The only other thing keeping him from being a dead ringer from the character is the nose. In the original Archie comics, Jughead has a Pinnochio-style nose, which Sprouse lacks. However, Apa has said that the series more closely follows the new Archie comics, in which Jughead has a still long, but more normal nose.

Show Accuracy: 9/10 - If Sprouse's nose were a bit longer, he would look exactly like his comic book counterpart.

Fred Andrews

Archie's dad Fred in the comics is overweight and nearly bald, but The CW decided to give him (like his son) a little bit of an upgrade, casting former Beverly Hills, 90210 heartthrob Luke Perry in the part. Perry's Fred is pretty buff, with a bit of a beard and a messy hairstyle to match. He's also definitely not sporting the mustache Fred has in the comics.

Show Accuracy: 0/10 - A bald Luke Perry with a mustache is not the Luke Perry we want nor the Luke Perry we need, but it is classic Fred Andrews. Sadly, Perry's tenure with the show ended on March 4, 2019, when the 52-year-old actor's life was cut shockingly short by a massive stroke that he'd suffered the week before.

Archie Andrews

Even though it's a world that technically includes time travel, magical Christmas elves, and at least one teenage witch, the most unbelievable thing about Archie Comics has always been, well, Archie himself. Don't get us wrong, he's not a bad-looking kid, but he doesn't exactly look like the kind of guy two best friends would be fighting over for the entirety of high school, let alone the 80 years that this has actually gone on in the comics.

On Riverdale, though, K.J. Apa has finally given us a pretty compelling argument for Archie's enduring appeal. There are, of course, a few differences: while the comics Archie is an athlete involved in whatever sport is in season when the comic comes out, he doesn't exactly have the incredibly ripped muscles that, according to Riverdale, you can get from a part-time job working construction for three months. That said, while his hair tends to be a little darker than the comics Archie's bright orange coif, the show actually did manage to pull off the shocking feat of giving us a teenager with red hair and gigantic black eyebrows who still looks like the hottest dude in town.

Show accuracy 6/10: While he swapped out the freckles of the clumsy comic book Archie for the jacked body of an Adonis, Apa's look is a solid translation of the core design into a world full of vigilantes, murders, and a lot of excuses to go shirtless.  

Cheryl Blossom

Cheryl Blossom gets a much bigger role in Riverdale than in the Archie comics, where she mostly just serves as a supporting character and further romantic rival for Archie. Riverdale High's HBIC, Cheryl and her brother Jason are at the center of the show's murder mystery, and what Cheryl knows could end up being the key to solving the crime.

Like her comic book counterpart, Madelaine Petsch is a redhead, although her hair is a bit darker than the character's bright locks. Petsch also has brown eyes, while Cheryl is usually shown with green eyes in the comics. Again, like Reinhart and Mendes as Betty and Veronica, Petsch doesn't have bangs, unlike Cheryl in the comics.

Show Accuracy: 7/10 - Petsch needs bangs and green eyes to perfectly embody Cheryl.

Kevin Keller

Kevin is fairly new to the comics, introduced in 2010 as the series' first openly gay character. In the comics, Kevin is blonde, matching his best friend Betty, as opposed to actor Casey Cott, who has dark brown hair. Cott also has green eyes, while his comics counterpart's are blue.

Show Accuracy: 3/10 - Cott should be blond and blue-eyed to match Kevin in the comics.

Betty Cooper

Riverdale's resident brilliant blonde is played on the show by Lili Reinhart, who's shown she already has the character's sweet persona down pat. However, while the actress does sport Betty's signature blonde ponytail, her hair is a little darker than the comics' yellow. She also doesn't have the bangs that Betty is usually depicted with. Other than that, though, Reinhart is pretty much a dead ringer for her classic character.

Show Accuracy: 8/10 - If you give Reinhart bangs, she is a spot-on representation of Betty Cooper.

Veronica Lodge

Actress Camila Mendes said she wasn't planning on auditioning for the part of Veronica until she found out producers were making the character Latina, a departure from her Caucasian background in the comics. Mendes, who is Brazilian, said she liked that the character "wasn't a stereotype" of Latinas, which ended up attracting her to the role.

Aside from Riverdale's change in Veronica's background (and demeanor—Veronica and Betty aren't quite as friendly in the comics), Mendes is pretty much identical to her comic book counterpart, with the same striking beauty and dark hair. However, Mendes doesn't have bangs, which the character is usually shown with in the comics.

Show Accuracy: 8/10 - Just like Reinhart, all Mendes needs to perfectly represent Veronica is bangs.

Reggie Mantle

Archie's comic book rival Reggie is played by former Disney Channel actor Ross Butler on Riverdale, changing the character's Caucasian background to Eurasian. However, Butler definitely has the slicked-back dark hair, cocky attitude, and good looks to bring Reggie to life.

Show Accuracy: 10/10 - Even the haircut is perfect here.

Josie McCoy

Riverdale made the decision to make the entirety of the Josie and the Pussycats lineup African-American—unlike the comics, where it's just Valerie. Ashleigh Murray leads the band as Josie McCoy, embodying the character's signature sass, spunk, and musical talent pretty much perfectly.

In the comics, Josie is a redhead (like many characters in the Archie universe) who likes to wear cat ears and a cat suit while rocking out. Riverdale moved away from the character's outlandish style into more toned-down, fashion-forward outfits, which reflects the character's transition from sweet girl to ambitious rocker.

Show Accuracy: 7/10 - Murray would need red hair to match her comic book counterpart.

Ms. Grundy

Spoiler alert: the woman who Riverdale initially introduces as Ms. Grundy is not, in fact, Ms. Grundy. As shown in episode four of the teen drama, the Ms. Grundy we've all come to know is actually named Jennifer Gibson, a woman who changed her name and adopted a false identity in order to escape her abusive ex-husband.

"Ms. Grundy," as played by the 34-year-old Sarah Habel, is a far cry from the Ms. Grundy introduced in the comics, where she's an older woman who, at different points, has had issues with her wig falling off, revealing that she's actually bald. Habel's Ms. Grundy has hipster glasses and dirty blonde hair (that has yet to fall off).

The real Mrs. Grundy is briefly shown on the show in a newspaper clipping, and she looks pretty much exactly like her comic book counterpart, right down to the outfit.

Show Accuracy: 0/10 - Yes, the show earns some points back by having the Ms. Grundy we are introduced to not actually be Ms. Grundy, but this one is just way too far off base.

Hiram Lodge

In the comics, Hiram Lodge is often presented as an adversary of Archie's when it comes to his relationship with Veronica, but "cool" and "sinister" aren't really the words that come to mind to describe him. With his white hair, thick mustache, and glasses, he's more of a stuffed-shirt businessman whose only real villainy comes from being a ruthless capitalist who occasionally wants to put the Chock'lit Shoppe out of business in order to further his vague, businessy goals.

Mark Consuelos, on the other hand, has a charming menace that makes him equal parts compelling and threatening — especially when he's grappling with Archie on the wrestling mat or holding clandestine meetings with a Canadian mobster named Poppa Poutine.

Show accuracy 3/10: From a visual standpoint, Consuelos bears almost no resemblance to his comic book counterpart, but a frowny executive with a tendency to fall into swimming pools wouldn't really fit in with the world of Riverdale. As the show's primary villain, Consuelos has the sinister edge to fit right in as Camila Mendes' father, even if he doesn't have a mustache and glasses.

Midge Klump

In the comics, Midge rarely appears alone. Instead, she's almost always an object of affection for Archie or Reggie, who are willing to risk the wrath of her jealous and incredibly strong boyfriend Moose — not to mention Betty and Veronica — for the chance of a date. On Riverdale, Moose is the one who seems a little more in demand thanks to some secret trysts with Kevin Keller. Either way, Emilija Baranac as Midge might actually be the single most accurate character design on the entire show.

Show accuracy 10/10: Admittedly, Midge's look isn't complicated — there are only two elements, in that she a) is cute and b) has a dark pixie cut — but visually, Baranec nails it. The only big difference is that in the comics, she's not... well, just watch the end of season 2, and rest assured that doesn't happen in the pages of Archie's Pals 'n' Gals.

Moose Mason

Marmaduke Mason, better known to his classmates as Big Moose, has been a fixture of Archie Comics since he first appeared in 1949. His intellect is nothing to write home about — he literally starts most of his sentences with "d-uh," just so we all know where we stand — but he makes up for it with prodigious strength, a towering size, and a short temper whenever he catches someone hitting on his girlfriend Midge.

The show's version doesn't quite have the rage issues that we see from the Moose of the comics, but as a closeted bisexual student who keeps his relationship with Kevin Keller a secret, he's still pretty protective of his love life. Like Kevin, the major change from the page to the screen has been in hair color, from blonde to brown. Beyond that, Cody Kearsley's got the square jaw and height to be Moose.

Show accuracy 5/10: Moose's bright yellow crew cut probably wouldn't work for a modern student in a setting as fashion-conscious as TV's Riverdale High, but it doesn't quite line up. Not having him grunt his way through stunted sentences, on the other hand, is a bit of inaccuracy that we can probably all be happy with.

Ethel Muggs

Poor Ethel. Not only has she spent decades chasing Jughead, who in the comics is famously uninterested in dating, she's also been the subject of years of unflattering portrayals, including a first appearance where she was only referred to as "that zombie." It's only recently that she's been portrayed in a less insulting light. Ironically, her original design, with a tall, lanky figure and dark hair, bears a pretty striking resemblance to the object of her affection, with the only real difference being her prominent front teeth. Well, that, and the fact that she's always shown with her eyes open, unlike the perpetually sleepy Jughead Jones.

On the bright side, Ethel would probably be pretty happy with her onscreen counterpart, Shannon Purser, who rose to cult icon status with her portrayal of Barb on Stranger Things. She bears very little resemblance to the Ethel of the comics, leaving most of the work of distinguishing her from her castmates to the wardrobe department, who provide her with far less fashionable ensembles than characters like Veronica.

Show accuracy 1/10: With her red hair, Purser probably would've made a better TV version of a much more obscure character called Cricket O'Dell. Unfortunately, Riverdale hasn't quite gotten to the point of including a character with the supernatural ability to literally smell money. Yet.

F.P. Jones

In the comics, older characters like Fred Andrews, Pop Tate, and Principal Weatherbee are all portrayed as bald, presumably because in comics meant for children, it's a useful visual shorthand for "old." In that respect, Forsythe Pendleton Jones II — and now you know why he goes by "F.P." — is no exception. He's basically just an older version of Jughead, with thinning hair, a mustache, and the family's trademark prominent nose.

In other words, he looks absolutely nothing like extremely handsome Hollywood actor Skeet Ulrich. If nothing else, the F.P. of the comics is far more clean cut, which probably wouldn't work for the show's take, a critically sketchy gang leader who lives on the wrong side of the tracks and was arrested for being an accessory to murder.

Show accuracy 3/10: They don't share the mirror-image looks of the comics, but Ulrich actually is pretty believable as Cole Sprouse's father. Much like Fred Andrews, however, a comics-accurate F.P. Jones isn't what Riverdale's creators or fans want on the show if we can have some brooding hot dads instead.

Toni Topaz

Much like the show's version, Antoinette "Toni" Topaz was introduced into the comics as a potential love interest for Jughead. That meant that she had to share one of his interests, and since Jughead's interests in the comics revolve entirely around food, that meant she was originally portrayed as a competitive eater who smoked the competition at a cupcake eating contest.

On the show, Vanessa Morgan's ability to scarf down desserts has yet to be fully explored — we're guessing they'll get around to that in season 4 or so — but beyond that, she bears a pretty strong resemblance to her comics counterpart.

Show accuracy 6/10: On the page, Toni's neon-purple hair is shorter and usually kept under a cap, with her outfits usually depicted in the same shades. On the show, however, that wouldn't fly. Not only is Toni always seen in the signature leather jacket of the Southside Serpents, there's no way that her girlfriend Cheryl Blossom would approve of such matchy-matchy ensembles — even if she did get a custom bright red Serpents jacket of her very own.

Penny Peabody

In the entirety of Riverdale, Penny Peabody is arguably the single most dramatic change from the comics. She's also one of the most obscure characters to make it to the screen, originally appearing in the Little Archie spinoff as a love interest for Fangs Fogarty. As the title implies, she's only ever seen in the comics as a child, and even then, she barely has a character.

On the show, however, Peabody, played by Brit Morgan, is "the Snake Charmer," a ruthless attorney working for the Southside Serpents who only offers her help in the form of downright devilish bargains. While she only appears sparingly, she's one of the show's most threatening villains, and is at the center of a few of its most shocking moments.

Show accuracy 1/10: As hilarious as it would be to see a six-year-old ordering Jughead to become a drug smuggler in exchange for somehow getting his father released from prison, the fact that Jughead cuts a tattoo off her arm with a switchblade at one point means that it's probably best to cast a full-grown adult in the role. The one point she does get is on account of being blonde, but that's where the resemblance ends.

Fangs Fogarty

They're a close-knit street gang on the show, but when they originally appeared in the pages of Little Archie, the Southside Serpents were... well, a close-knit street gang, really. The difference is that rather than running drugs and occasionally covering up a filicide, they were mostly just schoolyard bullies.

In either version, the Serpents' lineup included Fangs Fogarty, a pretty deep cut reference to show up on the CW. In the comics, he was their most prominent figure, an older kid who frequently got his clock cleaned by Little Archie. In the show, he's much older, and overshadowed in the Serpents by Jughead, F.P., and even Tall Boy (he's the tallest one there).

Show accuracy 6/10: The show's version of Fangs Fogarty definitely hasn't undergone as dramatic a change as we see from Penny Peabody, his would-be girlfriend in the comics. The version played by Drew Ray Tanner is definitely older, but it's easy to see him as exactly the character that the comics' Fangs would've grown into by the time he got to high school.

Nick St. Clair

Unlike most of the characters on Riverdale, Nick St. Clair wasn't originally designed for the cartoony style that we all recognize from Archie Comics. Instead, he was designed as part of an experiment in "New Look" stories that dealt with slightly less comedic themes. In this case, Nick was a "bad boy" who showed up to mack on Betty and Veronica while also bullying Dilton into doing his homework and beating up Archie in a boxing match.

On the show, Nick's bad-boy tendencies went significantly further than that, what with the part where he tries to sexually assault Veronica and Cheryl Blossom, and then literally kidnaps Archie with plans to torture him to death if he's not paid a million-dollar ransom. Let this be a lesson, kids: trying to cheat on your homework is a slippery slope.

Show accuracy 8/10: Graham Phillips' take on Nick lacks the comics version's spiky hair and soul patch — would you believe that character was created in 2007? — but it's hard to deny that there's a striking resemblance. Beyond the looks, though, Phillips is absolutely playing Nick with all the smarminess that a human body can project.

The Black Hood

It might seem shocking that a serial killer who wore a black hood and preyed on sinners was lifted directly from the pages of Archie Comics, but that's exactly what happened when the show decided to make a murderous vigilante into season 2's arch-villain.

In the comics, the Black Hood is a character who dates back to 1940's Top Notch Comics #9, where he originally appeared as a cop who became a masked crimefighter after being framed for a crime he didn't commit. The look of the Black Hood we see in the show, however, was inspired by a more recent, much darker version: Greg Hettinger, who first appeared in 2015 as a cop who suffered a disfiguring injury while killing the previous Black Hood, and took the identity himself after getting addicted to painkillers. Surprisingly, that might be the one example where the comics are actually darker than the TV show.

Show accuracy 10/10: We'll admit that putting a ski mask on a dude is a little easier than finding someone who looks exactly like Jughead, but they actually managed to get the shape of the eye-holes exactly right, and that has to count for something.

The Red Circle

Okay, now this one's weird. In the comics, "Red Circle" was the name that MLJ — the original name of the company that would later become Archie Comics — gave to its superhero line in order to distinguish them from the teenage comedies of Archie and his friends. Characters like a patriotic hero called the Shield, the Jaguar, the Comet, Fly Girl, and the Web were all published under that label in the '80s as a super-team called the Mighty Crusaders, but the name would be revived a couple times, including as an in-continuity name for a rebooted version of the same heroes.

Riverdale's version of the Red Circle, however, was buck wild to a truly delightful extreme. After being unable to find the Black Hood — a character once published by Red Circle Comics — Archie decided that the best thing to do would be to form a vigilante gang composed entirely of masked but shirtless high school boys and put out threatening videos online. Astoundingly, this did not work, although setting cars on fire as a darker version called the Dark Circle — another publishing imprint that put out The Black Hood — had slightly more success in their exploits, albeit with more shirts.

Show accuracy 0/10: At this point, full-on superheroes showing up on Riverdale wouldn't even be the second weirdest thing that show has done. Until that happens, we'll just have to settle for a shirtless boy gang naming themselves after a deep-cut comics publisher as one of the most hilarious things the show has ever done.