There can be no great drama without great conflict. For decades the great conflict in Riverdale has been the infamous love triangle between Archie, Betty, and Veronica. In 'Archie' #10, things come to a head as the catalyst for the drama, knowingly or not, is Archie. What happens leads to big repercussions, for not just the kids but some unsuspecting adults.
Mr. Collier is one of Riverdale High's most tenured teachers but also its most polarizing. Students, past and present, either love him or hate him. And he happens to be Betty's uncle. Without giving too much away, Archie's infamous penchant for being a clutz creates a chain reaction that causes chaos for Betty, her family, Veronica, and an uproar for the registered voters of Riverdale. Just in time for this election season, Archie is in the middle of a political scandal.
It sounds like typical Archie hi-jinks and laughs, but Mark Waid has been able to find real pathos and emotional weight underneath the slapstick humor throughout the series so far. There is understandable pain and anger from Betty, from Veronica, from others that Archie either directly or indirectly hurt. In this iconic love triangle, the bad guy isn't the spoiled rich girl Veronica as we've been led to believe. The problem has always been Archie. His buffoonery, his indecision, his passive aggressiveness, has Betty rethinking what she ever saw in him and even giving Veronica pause about her real feelings.
Veronica Fish has designed some wonderful characters and because of Waid's scripts she's had to express just about every kind of emotion known to man. Shock, anger, dismay, sadness, defeat, shame, you name it, Fish has had to convey it, most in this issue alone. It's a testament to Fish's talent that she can exude emotion so effectively with the slightest change of an eyebrow, a lip, a sloping shoulder, or other body language. Andre Szymanowicz and Jen Vaughn continue to provide bold vibrant colors to great affect. The scenes with Mr. Collier in his classroom are especially impactful with striking colors that mimic his rage.
The Archie, Betty, and Veronica love triangle has always been a point of drama for the otherwise goofy comedy of the classic comic. Waid has added some depth and some real emotional weight to this messy situation while keeping the series fun and light. In Fish, Waid's found the perfect artist to express his thoughts to paper, exceeding all possible expectations. This is another turning point for our favorite dysfuntional Riverdale threesome making 'Archie' one of comics' A-list properties.
Read the first arc of the new 'Archie' series: