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

REVIEW: 'Wonder Woman '77 Meets The Bionic Woman' #6 by Andy Mangels and Judit Tondora

The series has been great fun but for fans of the original Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter and the Bionic Woman starring Lyndsey Wagner it's been a time machine to what could have been when these two iconic heroines meet.


WONDER WOMAN '77 MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #6  Writer: Andy Mangels Artist: Judit Tondora Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Release Date: September 20, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
 Andy Mangels and Judit Tondora have put together a sprawling crossover event that faithfully captures the tone and aesthetic of the 1970's shows. Often complicated and full of exposition, the camaraderie between Diana and Jamie is genuine and to see them in action makes the cover price worth every penny. Bringing together not only the titular heroes but incorporating their respective supporting characters like Wonder Girl and combining villains was no easy feat but Mangels and Tondora pull it off with enthusiasm and precision.
The plot to use Fembots to…

REVIEW: 'Genius: Cartel' #3 (of 5) by Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman, and Rosi Kampe

Adam Freeman and Marc Bernardin tighten the vice around their hero Destiny when she deviates from the mission to a plan of her own. Now outgunned and trapped while trying to rescue dozens of frightened women from the cartel's sex-trade, Destiny must use her superior intellect to find a way out alive in Genius: Cartel #3.


GENIUS: CARTEL #3 (OF 5) Story: Adam Freeman, Marc Bernardin Art / Cover: Rosi Kampe Colors: Brad Simpson Letters: Troy Peteri Published: October 18, 2017 Diamond ID: AUG170655
Ignoring orders to assassinate the leader of a drug cartel, Destiny pursues her true mission—free two dozen young girls from the cartel’s sex-trade operation. With an army of mercenaries on her tail and the US border over 1,500 miles away, how will she fight her way out while protecting such fragile cargo?
Digital : $3.99 Print: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
When Destiny decides to alter the mission leaving her troops to complete the assassination of the cartel leader, she opts to lead the women a…

LONG BEACH COMIC CON Invades the Southland with William Shatner, Dave Gibbons, Cosplayers, and More

It's that time of year again when pop culture fans from all over Southern California and beyond descend on Long Beach to meet and greet some of their favorite stars from comic books, television, and movies. This year the 2017 Long Beach Comic Con offers some new exciting guests, panels, concerts, film festivals, cosplay contests, and an expansive Space Expo.


Visit downtown Long Beach on Saturday, Sept. 2 and Sunday, Sept. 3 for the annual Comic Con at the Long Beach Convention Center. This year's lineup includes legendary actor and cultural icon Star Trek's William Shatner speaking in the Main Stage room on Saturday as well as esteemed veteran comic writer and artist Dave Gibbons (Watchmen).
A con that still values comics will feature comic book vendors, artists, writers, and publishers. Approximately 100 other guests including animators, voice actors, and professional cosplayers will be participating in more than 100 entertaining and informative panels covering animation,…

REVIEW: 'Crosswind' #4 by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs

'Crosswind' #4 delves deeper into the situations that Cason and Juniper have found themselves in. The fates of both are increasingly in danger just as Cason as Juniper begins to stabilize the domestic life. Juniper as Cason has a target on his back and a deception that could cost a life before the two return to their rightful bodies.



CROSSWIND #4 Writer: Gail Simone Artist: Cat Staggs Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: September 27, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
The last issue was a satisfying chapter but things get inevitably messier. Cruz is out to get Cason for sleeping with his fiance Mika and making sure he keeps quiet about killing the idiotic son, Siggy, of the mob boss. He's got to play Mr. Randolph against Cason now and it's sure to set some deadly actions in motion. Meanwhile, back in suburbia, Cason just set Juniper's husband straight about his philandering. He needs help getting away as a woman so he enlists the help of a transgender woma…

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 …