If you’ve been living under a rock you may have missed the announcement that one of the longest running comic characters, Archie Andrews, is being relaunched. Not just Archie but all of Riverdale has undergone a full reboot. Archie and the gang have been around for 75 years, some would say the time has come.
I’ve been a super hero guy for most of my life so Archie just never caught my imagination. Archie is your average popular kid. He thinks he’s average but when you look at his life, parents he gets along with, friends, a great girlfriend, his whole school gossiping about his love life, he’s probably got it a lot better than most. This was my biggest problem with the title when I was younger. I couldn’t relate to which girl should he take to Pop’s burger joint as a problem. I was too busy getting picked on and trying to get any girl to speak to me. By the time I hit high school Archie’s big issues over who to take to the dance didn’t really stack up against my parents obviously looming divorce. So I was going to pass on the Riverdale reboot, just didn’t seem like something I’d enjoy.
So what do they do? Relaunch the book with Mark Waid and Fiona Staples! Perfect. Now I have to check it out. I am, like most of you, a fan of Mr Waid’s work on Cap, Spider-man and a host of other stuff (though I have a special place for Crossgen’s RUSE miniseries, a book worth finding if you can) and Fiona Staples? Have you seen SAGA? And besides that wonderful ongoing don’t forget her work with Steve Niles on the “M?stery Society” mini series (another personal favorite).
Well I read an advance copy of issue one and the simple truth is… It’s a good book. It’s solid teen drama, well scripted, beautifully drawn, the plot keeps even an old jaded dude like myself turning pages. But as my buddy Bob at Royal Collectibles keeps reminding me, I’m old, this isn’t a book written for me.
So with that in mind I tossed the book to Rebecca, my 9 yr old daughter, and asked if she’d check it out. It took her about 10 minutes and when she brought it back her first remark was, “not bad Dad, it’s a good first issue, and there was only one bad word…” Tell you that kid is talkative. I dug a little further, asking what she thought of the plot, the characters, the use of a twitter tag, what I got back was pretty interesting. She liked Archie (he reminded her of some of the characters on the shows she enjoys, Lab Rats and such) and the rest of the Riverdale crew, she spoke about the book very comfortably, like any of “her” comics. She also loved Marks use of a repetitive term throughout the book to describe a conflict between to characters. He created a buzz word, and from it a hashtag, that I’m sure we’ll see a lot of come July 8th.
After listening to her comments and reading the book again I realized something interesting, Mark’s got a few years on me but I’m pretty sure he remembers Saved By The Bell. If you take away the lead’s (Zach) absurd level of confidence you’ve pretty much got Archie Andrews. I don’t mean that in a bad a way, Mark has found that “likeable kid” formula that makes a comic (or tv show for that matter) work. Couple that with Fiona’s art and I think we have a series that will find an audience. Now let’s see if they’ll let Mark bring some more serious story lines in.
Script: Mark Waid
Art: Fiona Staples, Andre Szymanowicz with Jen Vaughn, Jack Morelli
Regular Cover: Fiona Staples
SDCC Exclusive Covers: Fiona Staples
Variant Covers: J. Scott Campbell, Colleen Coover, Tania del Rio, Joe Eisma, Francesco Francavilla, Genevieve F.T., Michael Gaydos, Sanford Greene, Robert Hack & Steve Downer, Dean Haspiel, David Mack, Moritat, Mike Norton, Jerry Ordway & Jose Villarubia, Ramon K. Perez, Ron Salas, Greg Scott & Steve Downer, T. Rex & Andre Szymanowicz, Brittney Williams, Chip Zdarsky
Blank Sketch Cover Also Available
On Sale Date: 7/8
32-page, full color comic