The plot moves quickly when Pepper suggests Josie to perform at an animal shelter benefit to break out of her rut. From there, Josie then tries to talk her roommate, Melody, into tagging along. Much like the old version, this new model of Melody is still a bit dizzy, but not in the old traditional 'dumb blonde' mode as she is a passionate cat lover and, in the next scene, she dumps her date after she finds a homeless cute cat.
It is at the animal shelter where Josie and Melody take the new cat for a check-up where they meet Valerie, who proves to be quite useful to Josie new musical plan by calming all the pets in the shelter with her powerful voice after Melody the cat-lover obsessed monster innocently freaks out; both herself and the pets. (BTW, don't ask about Melody's name of her new cat, it's a long one)
From here, the plot shifts to the trio's debut at the benefit and despite Alexandria's back-stabbing attempts to poison their party even before the concert is over and yelling at the audience over Josie's new band, it is a success (as one audience member raves, "WHEW! I haven't felt a rush like that since fishing Keith Richards out of a New York gutter in '72!!"} with one more returning character showing up in the final frame.....music producer, Alan M!
With the momentum building, it was soon Josie's turn for a modern reboot that the other characters had enjoyed and on June 2016, it was announced a new Josie & The Pussycats #1 would be published in September of that year. This new series would be written by Marguerite Bennett (who's has been building up her resume with projects like Bombsells for DC comics, Red Sonja re-bot for Dynomite Entertainment, [formally] Neil Gaiman's Angela: Queen of Hell for Marvel) and new comer Cameron DeOrdio. Doing the art chores is Audrey Mok who is the creator of Heroine Chic and has been making the rounds through Archies new trend title like Cheryl Blossom stories and Jughead.
Archie was ready to push this new series with a set of 9 variant front covers by the likes of Gisele Lagace, Collen Cover, Francesco Francavilla, Rober Hack and Veronica Fish. (some of which you can see to the left and below)
This reboot starts off with Josie in the middle of her pre-Cat days.....actually, at the end of a failed acoustic set in an empty coffee cafe. In the middle of being consulted by employee and friend, Pepper, Alexandria dances in the middle of their session and hands out her poisonous vibe. After she leaves (and sneaking off with Josie's notebook), it is then revealed that Josie and Alexandra were once dear friends. "You got sick on the same Kermit the Frog cupcakes at your fifth birthday!!", proclaims Pepper. "Yeah, Well friendships a lot more than puking together, Pepper", Josie retorts. Pepper replies, "I did Greek week all wrong, then";
The last section of #1 introduces the new readers of Josie Mark 2016 to the history behind it all by not only featuring a reprint of 'Pussy Footing', but in the introduction piece written by Chris Cummings that goes into a brief (compared to this) yet detailed history of Josie and Dan DeCarlo. Quite the pleasant surprise for the old school crowd.
Where does this series go from here? As of this writing (late February 2017), three issues have seen print and the web thus far with updated action and shenanigans with Josie learning important lessons along the way; in #2, the Cats survive a punk concert and #3 has Alexandria showing up at spring break with the usual drama queen attitude of chaos and volume (in fact, in a chase scene where Josie chases a bad guy on jet skies, Alexandra chases after Josie while yelling at her that she will never catches up to him. Looks like someone skipped on their meds!)
.....and Josie's comeback is no longer restricted to the newly minted page as also as of this writing, she's about to return to the TV screen! Last year, it was announced that the Archie gang will be featured in a series for the CW TV network called 'Riverdale'. The series is planned as a one-hour teen drama with some Twin Peaks influences.....and along for the format ride is another new version of the Cats!
For the show, Josie Mark 2017 (see above) not only ditches the classic cheetah print motif but are all played by African-Americans; Ashleigh Murray (as Josie), Asha Bromfield (as Melody) and Irie Hayleau (as Val). This radical direction is part of series executive producer (and 'Afterlife With Archie writer) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa plans for the old gang as he saw the Cats as a variation of Destiny's Child. BTW, introducing new versions of old characters isn't over yet as there are rumors of Sabrina making an appearance, no doubt turning that Twin Peaks volume to 25.
So, where dose Josie go from here.....and how many versions can she go through? If you gotten this far in her history and this piece, the changes will continues as it has in her past, but there are a few fundamental characteristics that will remain that has carried Josie thus far. The bottom line of Josie's appeal and longevity is that she's basically the real All-American gal; as if fronting a rock band is hard and complicated enough, she remains uncomplicated, nice, sweet, smart, strong and sexy. These human attributes have made this fictional character, ironically enough, the real deal.