Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Archie' #1 by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples

A great reboot
★★★★★ (5/5)

In one of the most anticipated reboots in comics to come in years, Archie Comics has reimagined their legendary pop culture icon, Archie, with a brand new series. And who better to be the caretaker of such a national institution but prolific veteran comic book writer Mark Waid and the award-winning artist of the smash hit Saga, Fiona Staples. They've updated the 75-year old symbol of campy teenage hijinks but maintained the endearing spirit that have made the Riverdale gang an American classic.

Waid is no stranger to putting his own spin on long-established characters. The Eisner-award winner has had acclaimed runs on Daredevil, Fantastic Four, The Flash, Superman, and many more. Archie Andrews and the kids of Riverdale represent a unique challenge because, unlike superheroes with their world-altering calamities and larger-than-life villains, the drama in high school is much smaller but no less important. 

Archie breaks the fourth wall, welcoming the reader to Riverdale. It's a clever introduction for new and old fans to see the charming innocence of Archie draw us in with his narrative. And he and everyone else looks so modern and distinguished with Staples' updated look. They appear more realistic with a hint of resemblance to Saga's Marko and Alana. The art tells its own story in certain scenes, perfectly driving the plot with few words but brilliantly expressed with action and interaction of supporting characters. 

Archie refreshingly resists trying too hard to be "hipper" or forcibly relatable with modern technology or popular lingo. There are a lot of familiar names to go with some fresh faces. Betty and Jughead of course but there's also Kevin, Reggie, Maria, Sheila, Dilton, Raj, and others. They are well conceptualized with modern attire and colorful hair but without any snark or mean-spiritedness. The art team of Staples, colorists Andre Szymanowicz & Jen Vaughn, and letterer Jack Morelli have brought a fresh, vibrant and contemporary look to Riverdale. 

It's also without camp. Just a light-hearted approach with the soul of the Archie Comics we've known forever. It's full of sweet moments, funny moments, mixed with uncertainty and melodrama. It reminds me of the first season of Beverly Hills, 90210. You might scoff, but that show was a hit, full of drama and romantic entanglements. Not unlike our Riverdale friends. 

Anyway, Waid and Staples have exceeded expectations by bringing Archie into the 21st century with  style, humor, and tons of heart. They have honored the sweet innocence of the series with a mature approach that is still fun and inviting. In fact, they've opened a whole new world ready to embraced by old and new fans alike. Archie #1 is off to a spectacular start and one of the best debuts of the year. 


Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: 'Bonehead' #2 by Bryan Edward Hill, Rhoald Marcellius, and Sakti Yuwono

Bryan Hill pumps the brakes a little in the follow up to the fast-paced debut of 'Bonehead' with more great world building. The mystery surrounding Bonehead 56 deepens but we at least get some backstory and details about what his arrival means for a pair of brothers with opposing viewpoints.

Writer: Bryan Edward Hill Artist: Rhoald Marcellius, Sakti Yuwono Letterer: Jaka Ady Graphics: Comolo Editor: Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: January 31, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score:★★★★☆ (4/5)
After a thrilling video game-like first issue, issue two gives way to the brothers Kray. Aleph is a tech scientist examining the unconscious "56" and marveling at his abilities. He reminds him when his brother Hideki roamed the city as the vigilante Blackdeath. Hideki is a Gladiator (cop) now and he questions Aleph's methods with 56 and its legalities. Nonetheless, they need 56 to be free on the streets for now so they can monitor him. The brothers c…


Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

REVIEW: 'Infidel' #1 by Pornsak Pichetshote, Aaron Campbell, and Jose Villarrubia

'Infidel' #1 by Pornsak Pichetshote and Aaron Campbell arrives at a time when the horrors of everyday life for marginalized people is scary enough but add misogyny and xenophobia from demons and well, that's just multi-dimensional haterade. This contemporary horror story feels timely and brimming with scary thrills.

Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote Artist: Aaron Campbell, Jose Villarrubia Letterer: Jeff Powell Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: March 14, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
Aisha is an American Muslim woman who just moved into a haunted apartment building with her boyfriend, his child, and his mother. It's the perfect horror movie set-up that includes a tragic incident that led to the killing of several people, the haunting aftermath of the explosion, a boyfriend's xenophobic possibly racist mother, and terrifying nightmares. Pichetshote has cooked up a potent cauldron consisting of the right horror tropes mixed with equally horr…

REVIEW: 'Hit-Girl' #1 by Mark Millar and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz

Hit-Girl is most certainly back and as deadly and crazy as ever. She's gone international looking to fight injustice and find a worthy sidekick. Mark Millar is in top form with help from artists Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and Sunny Gho. The heart of the Kick-Ass legacy lives on as bloody and as thrilling as you remember.

Writer: Mark Millar Artist: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Sunny Gho Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: February 21, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★★ (5/5)
The retirement of Dave Lizewki as the original Kick-Ass has left a void in Mindy's crime-fighting life. Trying to recruit his replacement has been challenging to say the least. She's going to go it alone and taking her skills global as a cry for help leads her to Colombia.

Millar hits the floor running with a wild prison break, Mindy parting ways with an unworthy partner, and a grieving mother looking for justice. The sudden blitz back to the world of Kick-Ass is like comfort food for comic book fans. …

ADVANCE PREVIEW: Veronica Goes Vampire in New Horror Series 'Vampironica'

NEW ONGOING SERIES! When Veronica is bitten by a centuries-old vampire, her thirst for blood threatens to turn Riverdale into a haven for the undead. Will she put an end to the vampire threat or give in to her bloodlust?

Script: Greg and Meg Smallwood Art: Greg Smallwood, Jack Morelli  Cover: Greg Smallwood Variant Covers: Francesco Francavilla, Audrey Mok, Djibril Morrissette-Phan, Marguerite Sauvage On Sale Date: 3/14 32-page, full-color comic $3.99 U.S.
Artwork by Greg Smallwood