Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Archie' #3 by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples



★★★★★ (5/5)

Veronica Lodge finally made her presence felt at Riverdale and as expected she came in like a wrecking ball. She totally has Archie under her spell. Mark Waid provides a very funny script that shows his increasing comfort level with teenage shenanigans. Sadly, issue #3 also marks the end of Fiona Staples' run but goes out in style with her signature emotive character work. The arrival of socialite and reality show star Veronica could have been a one-dimensional depiction, but instead she's allowed to be a fallible human being with more layers than usual.
 
It doesn't hurt that Veronica has something over Archie, his destruction of her home's construction site wouldn't sit well with her dad if he knew, but he's more than eager to help out the new student. This doesn't sit well with Jughead who sees right through Archie. He spends the issue trying to snap Archie out of his servitude to Veronica. He even enlists Betty to help. 

Some funny mischief ensues, but Waid finds a moment of pathos in an unexpected way. After the school's cafeteria food doesn't agree with Veronica causing a mortifying scene brilliantly illustrated by Staples in a splash page, she retreats tearfully into the restroom. Feeling overwhelmed with embarrassment she calls her dad and explains she doesn't understand why the kids treat her in such a polarizing way.

Betty's in one of the stalls and hears her distress. She helps Veronica clean herself up and the distinction between the legendary "frenemies" is as clear as ever. They share a moment where Betty is ever caring and Veronica displays a vulnerability that betrays her aloofness. By the end, it doesn't remain so congenial but something more was established beyond some ridiculous love triangle.

Staples' talent is undeniable and ever present. So much of the story and its emotions are told through the expressions of the characters and their body language. The look of shocking humiliation on Veronica after her lunchtime incident is cringe-worthy for its relatable horror. Jughead's side-eye he gives to Archie expresses so much incredulous distrust it speaks volumes in its execution. Staples is a master of depicting human nature even in the wildest of situations. Andre Szymanowicz and Jen Vaughn provide wonderfully bright colors, keeping the focal point on the lead characters with contrasting hues. The attention to detail is impressive by portraying the fashions and hairstyles as contemporary as possible. 

'Archie' #3 is another reminder that rebooting the iconic comic could be fresh and entertaining while adding depth and nuance. Even the well-worn love triangle between Archie/Betty/Veronica is reconstructed devoid of platitudes. Waid and Staples have tapped into what makes the Riverdale experience so relatable to its readers. At its center is the emotional toll that being young takes and how that manifests in actions, usually in hilarity. Despite the loss of Staples moving forward, 'Archie' will continue to take readers on a hilarious journey with friends they continue to rediscover.   


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

Eliza Dushku Stars in Sci-Fi Short 'The Gable 5'

Kevin Tancharoen, the filmmaker that created the popular webseries, Mortal Kombat: Legacy, has returned to Machinima with his latest short film entitled The Gable 5 starring one of Joss Whedon's favorite action heroines, Eliza Dushku. The ties to the Whedon-verse are well intact as Tancharoen's brother-in-law is Jed Whedon, who co-produces along with wife Maurissa, the super spy drama Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. on ABC. Dushku once again shows off her killer moves in this dark and action-packed sci-fi short film.

PREVIEW: 'PUNK MAMBO' #4 (of 5) by CULLEN BUNN, ADAM GORHAM and JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA

Punk Mambo faces off against a sinister sorcerer!


What does Azaire want with the loa he’s collected?
Mambo reaches deep into her bag of tricks to level the playing field. Sex magic may or may not be involved. But voodoo dolls definitely are.
PUNK MAMBO #4 (of 5)
Written by CULLEN BUNN Art by ADAM GORHAM Colors by JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA Letters by DAVE SHARPE Cover A by DAN BRERETON Cover B by DAVID MACK Cover C by CRIS DELARA Pre-Order Edition by ADAM GORHAM
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JULY 31st









TV REVIEW: Jonathan Frakes Directs as Charlize Theron Visits ‘The Orville’

The Orville crew comes to the aid of a stranded mining vessel stuck in the orbit of a star. They save the captain of the ship, Pria (guest star Charlize Theron), and soon Ed Mercer (Seth McFarlane) is making "googly-eyes" at her to the chagrin of a very suspicious first officer Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki).


 It's only right that a show that borrows so much from Star Trek would have Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes direct this episode. He does a stellar job as the episode named "Pria" takes the audience to new areas of the ship, an impressive FX-heavy dark matter field, and an amusing subplot involving Helmsman Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes) teaching Issac (Mark Jackson) the how practical jokes work. The mysterious stranger turned love interest with ulterior motives proving a suspicious (and possibly jealous) ex correct makes this story predictable but it's still massively fun with Oscar-winner Theron shaking things up on board.

Theron’s Pr…