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

PREVIEW: 'Red Sonja & Vampirella Meet Betty & Veronica' #2 by Amy Chu and Maria Sanapo

The body count increases and the mystery deepens as Vampirella and Red Sonja investigate the deaths plaguing Riverdale High. Turns out American high school life is as mysterious and perplexing as the murders themselves! Meanwhile, Betty and Veronica have troubles of their own when they butt heads with the editor of the school newspaper over their investigative news coverage. Is there a coverup afoot?


Red Sonja & Vampirella Meet Betty & Veronica #2
writer: Amy Chu artist: Maria Sanapo covers: Fay Dalton (A), Robert Hack  (B), Laura Braga (C)              Dan Parent (D), Cat Staggs (E)               Dan Parent (RI-B/W), Laura Braga (RI-B/W),                Laura Braga (RI-Virgin), Dan Parent (RI-Virgin)
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+  










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 …

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:

Legendary Comics Releases Volume Two of 'Lost in Space: Countdown to Danger' and 'Firebrand: The Initiation of Natali Presano'

Legendary Comics announces the release of the second seasons of popular comic series: LOST IN SPACE: COUNTDOWN TO DANGER and FIREBRAND: THE INITIATION OF NATALI PRESANO.


Launching into comic stores and online today, Volume Two of Lost in Space: Countdown to Danger tells all new thrilling backstories of the show’s favorite heroic characters, with a special focus on Parker Posey’s villainous ‘Dr. Smith’ and fan favorite ‘Robot.’ While, Season Two of Firebrand: The Initiation of Natali Presano, created by Jessica Chobot and Erika Lewis, continues the journey of a young witch who has come to Seattle to defend humanity against darkness, now available exclusively on Webtoon. Readers can download the official Webtoon app by visiting the Apple App Store and Google Play.


LOST IN SPACE: COUNTDOWN TO DANGER:

Penned by writer Richard Dinnick (Doctor Who; Thunderbirds) and Brian Buccellato (Detective Comics; The Flash) with stunning artwork by Zid (Skull Island: Birth of Kong; Trick ‘r Treat: Days …

'Black Terror' Back in New Series from Dynamite and Max Bemis

The Nemesis of Crime is back in a new limited series by writer Max Bemis (Moon Knight, Polarity) this October!


In this series, Bob Benton aka the Black Terror, is living in the 1970s and contending with his post-war mental health as well as the rapidly evolving social landscape around him. Say Anything band frontman and acclaimed comics writer Bemis is joined by artists Matt Gaudio (John Wick, Bettie Page) and Ruairí Coleman (Cloak & Dagger, Turok). Rounding out the team on colors and letters are Brittany Pezzillo (Bettie Page, Green Hornet) and Taylor Esposito.

Each issue of the series acts as both the next chapter and a standalone deep dive into the Black Terror's life and the chaotic 1970s setting. Fans can expect to see Black Terror's infamous plain-named sidekick Tim, cult leaders, mobsters, experimental drugs and more. Bemis has described the title as a bit of an Alan Moore take, but less depressing and with some 70s Batman DNA.


Writer Max Bemis said, "I loved w…