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REVIEW: 'Archie' #9 by Mark Waid, Veronica Fish, Andre Szymanowicz, and Jen Vaughn



★★★★★ (5/5)

Mark Waid has had a pretty storied career. An award-winning career with work on books like The Flash, Kingdom Come, Superman: Birthright, and Captain America. Yet, his crowning achievement in comics just might be the revitalized, updated, and relatable world of 'Archie.' I'm not sure how a man his age can make this teen dramedy both classically slapstick funny and heartachingly poignant. Waid obviously has a youthful soul to capture the innocent fun side of 'Archie' with the emotional roller coaster that is young love. 

With Archie banned from the Lodge estate and other properties, he's had to entertain Veronica at his family's home. Suffice it to say, normal middle-class living is quite the culture shock for Veronica who's accustomed to butlers, yachts, and fine silverware. She tries to adjust and sincerely understand the simple lives of the 99% but Archie feels guilty that she has to "slum it" with him. Archie's sweet mother gives Veronica the vote of confidence to make herself at home. And does she ever, even buying a humongous television that nearly brings Archie's dad to tears of joy. 

Yet, despite the butler and personal chef, living in the lap of luxury just isn't for the Andrews family. Veronica's world and Archie's world clash and it could be driving a wedge between them. This leads to a scene between Archie and Betty that will break your heart. Again, Waid hits the right notes mixing comedy and over-the-top hijinks with emotional moments that seem shallow but actually cut deep.  

Veronica Fish is a marvel. The reason the story has such an impact is the way Fish can convey the range of emotions in these characters. The unbrideled joy in Veronica's face and body language is infectious when she gets permission to make over the Andrews home. On the other end of the spectrum, the soul-crushing look she reacts with later on will demand sympathy for Veronica you never knew you could muster. And then there's Betty, that's all I'll say but Waid's words and Fish's visuals are the ying and yang of comic book dreams. 

This might seem like an afterthought but Andre Szymanowicz and Jen Vaughn truly do an amazing job with the colors. They keep the focus on the characters with bolder deeper hues while background are lighter by comparison or no background at all. 

'Archie' is not just great for an Archies Comic, not just great for an all-ages book, but a great comic book period. Waid adds layers to well-known characters and Fish infuses them with personality and passion. Archie's love life has never been this involving and authentic before. In an industry that can make fans cynical and frustrated, 'Archie' has staked its corner of the world where comics are still a joy to read. 

Comments

  1. "sympathy for Veronica you never knew you could muster"--only for the Veronica in this reboot because Waid made her such a screaming bitch. I always liked her before that. And what happened to Sayid?

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