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

All-New Mythological Thriller GOD COMPLEX Coming from Top Cow

Writers Paul Jenkins (Inhumans, Wolverine: Origin) and Bryan Lie team up with artist Hendry Prasetya (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers) for an all-new mystery thriller in GOD COMPLEX, an ongoing series launching from Image/Top Cow this October.


GOD COMPLEX is set in the futuristic city of Delphi where a young digital-forensics investigator named Seneca finds himself embroiled in the bizarre murders of three church acolytes. Guided by his cryptic mentor, the Ruler named Hermes, Seneca uncovers a stunning conspiracy and a mystery that will turn his entire world upside down. 

Join the GOD COMPLEX team on a unique vision of a digital future powered by mythological gods. GOD COMPLEX is the first original toy line-up from Jakarta-based GLITCH. It features sci-fi and high-fashion reimaginings of mythological gods from various beliefs/regions like Greek, Egypt, China, and Japan. The toys first released in 2012 and are available for purchase at www.glitch-store.com. GOD COMPLEX is created by Brya…

REVIEW: 'Crosswind' #2 by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs

Chicago hitman Cason Bennett and mousy Seattle housewife Juniper Blue have inexplicably switched bodies and lives. A mysterious stranger has called them each to tell them they have to play the game. 'Crosswind' by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs is a juicy satisfying crime fantasy that sizzles with intrigue.


CROSSWIND #2 Story: Gail Simone Art / Cover / Variant Cover: Cat Staggs Published: July 26, 2017 Diamond ID: MAY170671 Digital : $3.99 Print: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
The mind-breaking crime fantasy continues! Slick Chicago hitman Cason Bennett and mousy Seattle housewife Juniper Blue have inexplicably switched bodies and lives, and a heartless, relentless killer seems intent on killing them both. Don't miss this edge-of-your-seat thriller by fan-favorites GAIL SIMONE and CAT STAGGS!
Cason and Juniper are forced to play their new roles in their new bodies. Juniper has to clean up a bloody crime scene from the end of the last issue and Cason has to make a killer dinner for Jun…

RAVEN YEAR 2 Begins: The Teenage Lesbian Pirate's Quest for Love and Vengeance

RAVEN is a pirate revenge adventure, a soap opera full of messy teenage love stories, and about a dozen coming of age stories set on the high seas. Think "Legend of Korra" at sea with an all female cast.


This series has one of the most diverse and exciting casts of any comic on the market. It's full of action, adventure, and revenge - but even more full of love stories and soap operas. RAVEN is one of the first YA comics with an openly gay leading lady. But on top of that, it has a cast of women who represent a wide spectrum of the LGBTQ community. It's equal parts soap opera and actual opera.
Writer Jeremy Whitley hopes readers experience "Joy, connection, and love" when reading this book. He goes on to say that "It's a book where different types of people are heroes than what we're used to, especially in YA fiction. I feel like everybody should be able to find at least one character they either relate to or fall in love with in the pages of t…

KICKSTARTER SPOTLIGHT: 'Death Metal Zombie Cop' Issue #1 by Felipe Smith

A Superstar LAPD Rookie (Marco Miranda) & his disillusioned Training Officer (Rhonda Riley) discover that a corruption-plagued Justice System and the tightening stranglehold of the Drug Cartel are just the tip of the iceberg when L.A.'s deadliest Urban Legend reveals itself to be very REAL.


The creator who brought Robbie Reyes, the All-New Ghost Rider, back to life for Marvel is back with another high-octane adventure with his Kickstarter passion project, Death Metal Zombie Cop. If the title alone doesn't grab you then check out the amazing art. 


DEATH METAL ZOMBIE COP is an Action/Horror comic originally conceived in Japan (shortly after ending serialization of PEEPO CHOO with Kodansha) & now made in Los Angeles. It's infused with Dark Humor, real LAPD situations, West Coast slice-of-life antics, and over 5 years worth of development and HEART! 

ABOUT THE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
"All pledged funds will go towards DEATH METAL ZOMBIE COP #1 production costs and bac…

REVIEW: 'Postal' #21 by Bryan Hill, Isaac Goodhart, and K. Michael Russell

This wouldn't be 'Postal' without a major scheme in the works by someone in the criminal haven known as the town of Eden. The fact that it's coming from Mark and Maggie is the surprising part. Meanwhile, Laura has her hands full trying to maintain her grasp on the town. Bryan Hill and Isaac Goodheart bring another exciting chapter in this briskly paced issue.


POSTAL #21  Writer: Bryan Hill Artists: Isaac Goodhart, K. Michael Russell Letterer: Troy Peteri Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: July 26, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Watching Mark and Maggie coupled up is a little weird but feels right. After all the drama they've been through it would only seem just for them to finally come together. They've had a seemingly unbreakable bond amid a neo-Nazi attack, the murders of the psychopathic daughter of the FBI director, and a near rebellion against Mark as the interim mayor. With all that out of the way, Mark and Maggie can finally decompress. How…