Wednesday, September 30th – One of the brightest and most entertaining of comic books released last week. No, no, no, it doesn’t feature any capes or heroics. This title is focused more on navigating the high school environment, friends coming together to help friends, and a still unclear #lipstickincident. Mark Waid and Fiona Staples’ Archie remains at the top of our must list for the past week (and month) and is available at your local comic shop now. Despite having a penchant for good vs. evil, heroes fighting villains, and multiple comic spanning story arcs, there is an undeniable quality about having a title that is purely focused on telling a good story. Archie is that comic book.
The pairing of writer Mark Waid and artist Fiona Staples have given fans a comic book worth getting excited over. Their re-imagination of the iconic characters of Riverdale fits perfectly in line with how many other comic publishers have handled their near mythic properties such as DC’s New 52 relaunch. Yet, Archie Comics re-imagination feels closer in tone to the original series and has maintained the heart of what came before.
The opening of Archie issue 3 finds Archie Andrews ruminating over Veronica Lodge, daughter of a “jillionaire.” After almost getting hit by a car as he contemplates the existential meaning of locking eyes with her after destroying their home, Jughead pulls him to safety from a car that goes “varoooom.” Issue 3 begins with it’s chapter format and Mark Waid and Fiona Staples craft another entertainingly enjoyable story. Mark Waid writes Archie with an authentic voice that Fiona Staples captures in her charming style of art. Originally Archie seemed like a tough sell as it may have been geared towards a demographic that I, along with the rest of the What’cha Reading staff, are a little too old for, but each issue reads very much like a non-teen reading a classic issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. Timeless. The feelings of falling head over heels, trying to fit in, and the winding road of growing up is something we all have experienced when we were young and still do to this day. Mark Waid happens to be one of the best writers of this day and he’s given the Archie re-boot a reason for its existence.
While Veronica Lodge made her cameo appearance in Archie issue 2 (check out our review here), she makes her full appearance in issue 3 and she’s every bit “the Kardashian Klone” that Jughead says she is. While turning Archie into her lapdog, Jughead attempts to win Betty over in an attempt to “save Arch from himself.” But let’s not forget about #thelipstickincident. We are still unclear as to what that was and why it broke Betty and Archie apart. Issue four promises to reveal what #thelipstickincident was, but we’re hoping it just turns out to be nothing more than a coy tease that reveals nothing.
Archie remains as one of the most endearing comic books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I’ve been a fan of Mark Waid since Superman Birthright and my first proper introduction to Fiona Staples has been through Archie. It’s the perfect comic book to pick up if you’re looking for a fun read and a new set of characters to fall for. I still stand by my beliefs that Jughead is being written as the Robert Downey Jr. character from the 80’s movies like Back to School and Tuff Turf which makes it even more exciting for me to sit down with Jughead issue 1 by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson, in stores this Wednesday. Stay tuned for our advance review!
Archie issue 3 gets five stars!