Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Archie' #8 by Mark Waid, Veronica Fish, and Andre Szymanowicz


★★★★★ (5/5)

The struggle for Archie Andrews is real and getting on the good graces of Hiram Lodge has been nearly impossible. Such is life for Veronica Lodge's boyfriend who despite his best efforts is being undermined at every turn. What's a red-headed teenage clutz to do? Mark Waid balances the crazy shenanigans you'd expect in an Archie comics with some serious testing of Archie's character. It's a pivotal turning point for the series that elevates it from mere kid's play to coming-of-age drama built on family values. 

What Waid has been able to do with this rebooted series is remarkable, developing characters we thought we knew with added dimensions and emotions. On the surface, I had always considered Veronica simply a spoiled rich girl accustomed to getting her way and some of that remains but she's actually more complex than that. The way she fights for her relationship with Archie to her dad reveals just how much she truly cares for the dork. She's even seeing him secretly against her dad's wishes causing a deeper rift but forcing Hiram to try more extreme measures to keep them apart. 

It's pretty heady stuff for the Riverdale gang but it's Archie that has to make a big decision. Does he continue to date Veronica and jeopardize a big opportunity for his father or does he swallow his pride, lose her, and give in to the manipulative Mr. Lodge? Archie comes through swimmingly, standing up to Lodge making it clear where he stands while keeping his father in mind. It's a revelatory scene that shows maturity and character all the while exposing Lodge as the small petty man that he is. 

Waid continues to impress as he raises the emotional stakes in ways you don't expect in an Archie comic. The drama ramps up and sure there's some slapstick occasionally that adds laughs but 'Archie' has a heart, a mind, and a soul that makes it one of the best comics on the market. Veronica given an agency you didn't know the character was capable of, making her human and vulnerable even if you're rooting for Betty to get back with Archie. 

Veronica Fish is as dynamic an artist as there is and her versatility in managing the slapstick and the drama demonstrates why she was a fitting replacement for Fiona Staples. Her superb character designs and fluid scene staging never takes you out of the story. It's just the opposite, drawing you further into the emotional turmoil expressed on the faces of Veronica, Archie, and especially Mr. Andrews. The look on Archie's dad's face is a heart-wrencher. The color work by Andre Szymanowicz and Jen Vaughn is some of the best the industry has to offer. 

Seeing what Waid is capable of, moving Archie and Veronica beyond caricatures and more complex beings has me yearning to see the same done with other characters. Betty, Sayid, Sheila, and Maria could use more development and agency themselves. Waid has proven he can do it which makes me all the more excited to see what happens next. Fish is doing exceptional work handling the waves of emotions and humor with her art. There's never been a better time to pick up an 'Archie' comic. 


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









VIDEO: Happy Father's Day, Walter White!

Just in time for Father's Day, Screen Junkies in association with the online men's magazine, Made Men, are celebrating TV dads and they got R.J. Mitte who played Walt Jr. to Bryan Cranston's Walter White, the school teacher turned meth kingpin on AMC's Breaking Bad, to reminisce about what made Big Walt a great dad. Maybe he wasn't so bad after all.