Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Betty & Veronica' #1 by Adam Hughes and Jose Villarrubia


★★★☆☆ (3/5)

Archie Comics has done an incredible job of revamping, updating, and marketing their line of comics. Archie, Jughead, and the Archie Horror line have been critical successes for honoring its characters with modern fun stories or reimagining them under scary ones. It's no easy task to keep the momentum going if you're Adam Hughes who was tapped to do the same with Betty & Veronica. It's an uneven debut with questionable decisions including making the iconic frenemies supporting characters in their own book. 

Hughes is unquestionably a talented comic veteran that goes without saying. He may have been an odd choice for this series but so was Mark Waid on Archie and he's produced some of the best stuff in his career. So as both artist and writer, Hughes has a lot invested in this series by going out of his comfort zone. Unfortunately, the result is mostly entertaining but not an easy read.

The surprising narrator is Jughead's suddenly talkative and verbose dog Hot Dog. It's a cute gimmick that gets old especially when pages are "missing" because he ate them. The dialogue between Archie and Jughead is funny and natural creating some nice character development to open the story. The same can't be said for Betty and Veronica who don't interact in a similar fashion or as often. The conflict for the Riverdale gang is Pop's soda shop is in trouble and Betty leads the charge to help save it from a big corporate coffee chain. This is where she finally emerges, fired up, rallying the gang with her passion for saving the shop. 

It's not enough though because until the twist at the end, there isn't a real conversation between Betty and Veronica. When it finally happens it's confrontational and angry. We get some dimensions from Betty but Veronica is barely in her own issue. I can't help but compare this series with other Archie books and it's disappointing that Hughes' creative choices don't pan out. 

Considering the art is great as expected from Hughes with muted pastel colors from Jose Villarrubia I wish I could have seen more of it. Hughes injects a ton of word balloons that fill up panels leaving what little beautiful art there is. There are even pages made up of mostly all balloons on a white background. It's all too meta for me even as a fan of Harly Quinn and Deadpool

It's evident that Hughes wants 'Betty & Veronica' to be fun and quirky. There's a core of that here but reaches too far becoming too cute for its own good. With the conflict established between them at the end, issue two will be vital in determining whether 'Betty & Veronica' keeps Archie Comics winning streak alive or not. The first issue has put that in doubt. 



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

ADVANCE REVIEW: 'Babyteeth' #1 by Donny Cates, Garry Brown, and Taylor Esposito

Donnie Cates is one busy man. As if writing two concurrent titles for Image Comics - Redneck and God Country - wasn't enough, Cates has found more time and inspiration to pen one for AfterShock Comics. That's where 'Babyteeth' #1 comes in. It's the latest page-turner from one of the hottest creators in comics.


★★★★★ (5/5)
This is Sadie Ritter's story. A first person account as told to her smartphone recording a video for her new offspring. The teenager recounts the incredible details leading to giving birth to the antichrist. That's right, the antichrist. At this point, you couldn't blame Cates for going hog wild with the supernatural fireworks from riding a wave of success and critical cache in his career. Instead, Cates shows some restraint adhering to some professional discipline and lets the story unfold quietly. 
With any pregnancy, there's enough anxiety and stress to deal with. Imagine your water breaking unexpectedly and having your older sis…

Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman are Back With The Sequel GENIUS: CARTEL

From writers Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman (Castle Rock, Alphas, X-Men Origins: Nightcrawler, The Authority, The Highwaymen) and rising-star artist Rosi Kampe, comes a sequel series that promises to set Destiny’s world—and ours—ablaze in GENIUS: CARTEL. The five-issue story arc is set to launch from Top Cow this August.


In GENIUS: CARTEL, 17-year-old Destiny Ajaye took on the LAPD in her South Central Siege and paid for it—not with her life, but with her freedom. Now, Destiny is sequestered in the Madrasa Institute, a government school for prodigies. But will she use her gifts to wage war at the military’s behest—or is she already planning another revolution?

GENIUS: CARTEL #1 (Diamond Code JUN170655) hits stores on Wednesday, August 16th. The final order cutoff date for retailers is Monday, July 24th.

Read the first volume, Genius Volume 1 Trade Paperback by Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman, and Afua Richardson from Amazon:


2017 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Nominations Announced

It's Sonny Liew's world and we're just living in it. On Tuesday, the 2017 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards nominations were announced and Liew's The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye garnered six including Best Graphic Album–New, Best U.S. Edition of International Material–Asia, Best Writer/Artist, Best Coloring, Best Lettering, and Best Publication Design. He's the leader of the pack this year for his dazzling work that covers the social history of Singapore through multiple art styles.
Right behind Liew are Saga and Kill or Be Killed with four nominations, Monstress and Mooncop with three, and publishers Fantagraphics and Image with twenty. 
Named for acclaimed comics creator Will Eisner, the awards are celebrating their 29th year of highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels. The 2017 Eisner Awards judging panel consists of Comic-Con International board member Alan Campbell, reviewer/critic Rob Clough, comics retailer Jamie Newbol…

REVIEW: 'Wonder Woman ’77 Meets Bionic Woman' #4 by Andy Mangels, Judit Tondora, and Roland Pilcz

By this point, you have to love Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman as we enter issue four. Andy Mangels and Judit Tondora have brought not only a nostalgic crossover of television icons together but a great duo of heroic and kind-hearted women with great respect for each other and justice.


★★★★☆ (4/5)
The heart and joy of 'Wonder Woman '77 Meets the Bionic Woman' #4 is seeing Jamie Sommers being welcomed to Paradise Island as Wonder Woman brings her home for a visit. It's a scene fans may not have ever imagined before this comic arrived but get to relish the love and hospitality of the Amazons. The beauty of crossovers like this is making things that seemed impossible possible. Two characters from different worlds brought together to fight a malicious menace that combines the idiosyncracies of each into one fantastic fun read. 
Along with Diana's mother, Queen Hippolyta, we get to see a couple of fan favorites from the television series. Drusilla, played by Debra Winger …

‘Marvel’s New Warriors’: See Which Characters Join Squirrel Girl on Freeform's Comedy

Marvel's New Warriors comedy series featuring Squirrel Girl is actually happening and the Freeform network revealed the character lineup that will join her. The live-action, 30-minute series will include Microbe, Night Thrasher, Mister Immortal, Debrii and Speedball.
The series is loosely based on 2005's mini-series by Zeb Wells and Skottie Young. Created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, the New Warriors first appeared in The Mighty Thor in 1989, before launching their own title run. The New Warriors is a superhero team of teenage and young adult heroes who aren't quite ready to be Avengers.
'New Warriors' characters clockwise from the top: Zack Smith (Microbe), Dwayne Taylor (Night Thrasher), Craig Hollis (Mister Immortal), Doreen Green (Squirrel Girl), Deborah Fields (Debrii) and Robbie Baldwin (Speedball).
Marvel.com provided a character list with a description:
Doreen Green (Squirrel Girl)Superpower: "The powers of a squirrel, the powers of a girl" (is acro…