I’m sure we all remember standing in line in the grocery store waiting for our moms to pay and glancing to the side and seeing the tiny Archie comic books just sitting there waiting for you to pick them up. I remember, but I barley remember what they were about. I would read them while I waited in line, but I never actually bought one. So when I found out there was going to be reboot soon, I really didn’t pay much attention to it but I thought, “oh cool maybe I can finally jump into the franchise.” I mean I wasn’t overly excited for it since I never payed much attention to it, but it was nice to have the possibility. But this past weekend while I was at Silicon Valley Comic Con I had the chance to get my hands on an early copy of Archie Volume One, and the first few pages absolutely pulled me in. It was witty and introduced the setting in a great way. I was no longer thinking I may jump in; I was instantly pre ordering my copy that exact moment. So I went ahead and preordered and just yesterday I was finally able to get my hands on it and I was certainly not disappointed.
The story begins by introducing us to Archie, or more like Archie introducing himself. This is one of those rare occasions where the character will occasionally look directly at you, and speak to you which is done extremely well for Archie. You feel like he’s talking to you almost as if you were just another one of his friends. It doesn’t hurt the immersion at all, it actually adds to it. The story itself revolves around the heartbreaking break up between Archie and Betty Cooper referred to everyone as the Lipstick Incident and the arrival of the new high class family The Lodge’s and their daughter Veronica. Throughout my time in Riverdale I really felt a strong sense of wonder. I just wanted to know more. More about Archie and Betty’s relationship, more about Jughead’s antics, and more about Veronica Lodge and how the story will expand from her on out. The writing is great, it’s funny, entertaining, and kept my eyes glued to the pages. Thank you Mark Waid. Mark Waid, the writer, really keeps the story going at a great pace and when accompanied by artists like Fiona Staples (Saga), Annie Wu (Black Canary), and Veronica Fish (Pirates of Mars) you’re bound to be pulled into the unique town of Riverdale. I can’t lie, I am definitely going to miss Fiona Staples being the main artist of the series because I absolutely loved the art style in the first three issues, and the cover, drawn by her, is one of the main things that drew me in when I first saw it. But Veronica Fish will be a pleasure to have as well, seeing how she will be taking over from now. Her work in the last two issues was great, and be sixth issue you could tell she was getting the hang of it.
Let’s talk about the characters for a bit.Let’s start with our main hero, mr. numero uno, Archie. Throughout the story I felt like Archie was an extremely well written character. He is relatable, funny, and just an overall likable guy. And like any genuinely nice guy, he’s also a huge klutz and completely dense, but excels at the guitar. Archie may be great and all but that doesn’t mean he gets to hog the spot light. Characters like Betty Cooper who is a tom boyish girl who is beginning to explore her girly side, albeit against her will, is a great addition to the Riverdale cast. We have Jughead Jones, a sarcastic guy who tells it like it is, as Archie’s best friend. He brings humor and some important reasoning to the table. He’s known Archie most of his life, and as his best friend he is going to be behind Archie no matter the trouble he gets in. I’m looking forward to seeing how his character development will go and how far he is willing to go for Archie. Reggie Mantle is your every day rich boy who thinks he’s way better than everyone else and hates Archie for being so liked despite being such a regular guy. It’ll be interesting to see how his relationship with the characters will change over time whether it be for the better or for the worse. And last but not least we have Veronica Lodge, the newest addition to the Riverdale Community. She is already seen as a queen by many thanks to her amazingly good looks, designer clothing, and filthy rich father. Due to some tragically funny events Archie immediately becomes tied to her in more than one way so it’ll be great seeing how her character changes as the series progresses and if her status as the Snobby Queen will stand the test of time.
Coming into this I had no past knowledge of Archie since i never bothered to read any of the old comics. So this is basically like starting a new series for me, with completely new characters. Archie Volume One does an amazing job of setting up the setting, characters, and story. All of the characters seem to be relatable in their own way, and they all bring completely different personalities to the table. It seems like a lot of things are brewing in the town of Riverdale and somehow Archie is in the middle of all of them so I’ll definitely be pre ordering Archie Volume 2 as soon as I can. Especially since Volume 1 came with some pretty cool extras. You get the First Issue of Jughead which features Archie’s best friend as the main heroine and they also threw in all the variant covers at the end so you could bless your eyes with some beautiful Archie artwork. So i’m definitely stocked to see what they do with Volume 2. Too bad it won’t be out for months. Which is the only upsetting thing I could find regarding Archie. If you’re on the edge or just looking for an interesting new story to start then I would definitely recommend picking up Archie. It does a great job of setting up a great story and will definitely keep you wanting to come back for more. I’m serious. I already want more, but it just came out yesterday so I have a long wait before me. I’ll probably be rereading this comic a couple of hundred times before I get the next iteration in my hands.
Final Verdict: Definitely Read. Seriously go buy this now. $13 on Amazon. Skip fast food for the week and do this instead. Now.