Outside of being Back to the Future Day, a once in a lifetime event, today is also a day many of us like to refer to as New Comic Book Day! There are several fun titles releasing in stores this week, especially from one of our favorites – Archie Comics. If you’re headed to your local comic shop this week, here’s a quick look at some of the titles you’ll find on the shelf.
The first title we read from Archie Comics is Betty and Veronica #278, which is also the 625th issue. It’s a fun issue written and drawn by Dan Parent and also happens to be the final Betty and Veronica comic belonging to the original canon. Yup, Betty and Veronica are getting a relaunch courtesy of the one and only, Adam Hughes! We’re pretty excited for the summer relaunch set in the “NEW Riverdale Universe” and we even mentioned our hope for this to happen in our previous review of Jughead issue 1. You could read that here. Until then, Dan Parent’s work on Betty and Veronica is a bittersweet goodbye to the classic, old-fashioned charm of the original Archie Comics approach to drama and friendship.
Betty and Veronica #278 opens with the two girls learning that their school gym is being torn down. They reminisce over their fondest memories, which all primarily revolve around Archie, and in doing so, they end up setting forth a plan to get back at their friend for all the times he made a date with both of them on the same night. It’s your standard Archie shenanigans, but in knowing that this is the final installment, it makes for all the more an enjoyable comic to read. We’ve long been fans of Dan Parent’s work and he truly gives this issue his all in terms of script and art. Betty and Veronica #278 “Last Dance” gets five stars!
The Archie Action imprint of Archie Comics is particularly interesting in that it focuses on beloved Capcom characters. Mega Man and Sonic are the two biggest heroes of the Archie Action imprint and one of the most widely of requested titles. While I grew up with both of those legendary video game characters, they never belonged in a game that I played all too much. The same could be said for their animated exploits. It feels awful saying it, but it’s the truth. Considering we’ve gotten these issues from the good folks at Archie, I’ve felt there’s no reason to not read them, especially considering how popular they are.
Mega Man #54 is a great title for not just children, but anyone that loves comic books. The story by Ian Flynn is completely straight forward and ultimately a simple story of good vs. evil. Nothing more, nothing less. We like the idea of having comic books, especially ones with identifiable characters, that are accessible to anyone that is longing for a pure comic book experience. As time goes on, characters become harder to follow as a little thing called “canon” builds. Mega Man, even for someone who isn’t well versed in the story, could pick up the title and follow along. This only exemplifies writer Ian Flynn’s skillful and thoughtful approach to the story.
Mega Man is a super robot locked in a never-ending battle with Dr. Wily in the year 20XX. The themes of good vs. evil reflect in a recurring motif of “Who Am I?” and “Home.” They’re both very strong matters to deal with in a comic book, but again, writer Ian Flynn masterfully creates an issue with plenty of heart. Mega Man #54 gets five stars.
Complimenting the release of Mega Man is writer and “mega-scribe” Ian Flynn’s Sonic The Hedgehog #277. Sonic and his Freedom Fighters are captured authentically by Flynn and artist Adam Bryce Thomas. And, interestingly, is Terry Austin’s duties as inker. For comic fans such as myself, Terry Austin is prolific for his work on Batman Adventures and Superman Adventures, the comic series based off of the popular cartoons by Bruce Timm.
Ian Flynn writes Sonic The Hedgehog issue 277 with a similar voice he’s given to his Mega Man series. However, as straight forward as issue 277 is, it does seem hard to follow for those that have not been reading the Sonic comic book series. I enjoyed it, but felt it wasn’t as engaging as Mega Man. The theme of “hope” does run through the issue, even into a back up story written by Aleah Baker, and featuring characters Sally Acorn and Bunnie “Rabot” D’Coolette.
Sonic The Hedgehog #277 gets three stars.
Both Mega Man #54 and Sonic The Hedgehog #277 are enjoyable and entertaining reads. Despite Sonic being weighted down in its current story arc (and that’s just for me as I haven’t read the previous issues), we could easily recommend all of this week’s Archie Comics titles to those looking for something to read!
Dark Circle Comics, another imprint of Archie, released The Shield issue 1 this week. We’ve previously reviewed that exceptional title and you could find that here. The Victoria Adams Shield is “our kind of hero” and the must read for the week (and month). If you haven’t already picked that up or read it, we strongly urge you to do so.
What comic books are you planning on picking up this week? Are any of them the ones we’ve mentioned above? Let us know in the comments below.
*What’cha Reading would like to thank Archie Comics for providing us with the above titles to review.