Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Archie' #11 by Mark Waid, Ryan Jampole and Thomas Pitilli


★★★☆☆ (3/5)

The line has been drawn. Two bands enter, only one comes out on top. With Veronica's popularity waning after her father's mayoral campaign drives his opponent, an equally loved and reviled teacher who happens to be Betty's uncle, out of town she and Team Ronnie form a band to win back the public. Still steaming and hurt, Betty does the same as the two meet at the Battle of the Bands. 

It's a classic showdown between rivals in a familiar trope that reveals the emotional state of both Veronica and Betty. Seeking to get back in the good graces of her fellow Riverdale classmates, Veronica enlists Archie and Jughead to form "The Ronnies" (what else, of course) and win the school's talent contest. It's an interesting way to make good to half the student body but for someone used to the limelight as a reality star it makes perfect sense. 

Betty is incensed when she hears The Ronnies rehearse, she demands her friends form a band of their own. "Betty and the Waves" are born with Sayid, Moose, Dilton, and Toni. It becomes an outlet for Betty's rage, banging on drums and spitting out some angry lyrics. Needless to say, Team Betty is concerned. 

Mark Waid usually adds some deeper meaning to Archie and the gang's shenanigans but this whole rivalry between Veronica and Betty should have been handled more directly than the passive aggressive route Betty takes here. She shows some immaturity in the way she handles her anger at Veronica and Archie. She alienates Sayid and has to be consoled by Toni. Ultimately, the battle of the bands doesn't resolve Betty versus Veronica but does reconciles Betty's friendship with Archie but way too easily. The plot seemed to be tied up far too cleanly considering the set-up.

In issue eleven we're also greeted by new artists, Ryan Jampole and Thomas Pitilli, whose work is excellent and in the same spirit of this new series. There's nothing wrong with the art but this revolving door of artists is a little dizzying. The rebooted series began with the award-winning Fiona Staples for three issues, then Annie Wu did issue four, Veronica Fish took over from there until this issue. That's five pencilers in the first eleven issues. Just when you've fallen in love with one particular look, you have to adjust again to someone else's style becoming extra critical of the difference. Jampole/Pitilli do fine work but isn't as clean as Fish's lines but do convey a sense of fun during the rehearsals. 

'Archie' has become one of the best comics available. It's a testament to some of Waid's best work in years. So the bar has been set pretty high in only eleven issues. The fact that issue eleven isn't as good as we've become accustomed to is normal and probably a little unfair. We expect more but it's still a pretty good read despite the simple resolutions and shallow plot. And now we have to get used to new artists yet again. We're probably being picky because 'Archie' is still worth waiting for every month. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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:

KICKSTARTER SPOTLIGHT: Tyler & Wendy Chin-Tanner's 'Dead Beats' Music Themed Horror Anthology

Dead Beats is a 160-page full-color anthology of music-themed horror comics centered around the curiosities for sale at one peculiar record store by its enigmatic Shoppe Keeper.

..if you're looking for new or used vinyl, cassettes, CDs, gear, or merch, Dead Beats has the best selection in town. Of course, everything we sell has a story and our friendly Shoppe Keeper is happy to tell you all about it. All sales final Edited by Joseph Corallo (Oh S#!t, It's Kim & Kim, Mine!) and Eric Palicki (This Nightmare Kills Fascists, All We Ever Wanted), Dead Beats features more than twenty comics stories and more than forty up-and-coming creators and industry veterans, as well as cover art and interstitial narrative illustrations by Lisa Sterle (Long Lost, Submerged).




From the Dead Beats introduction, illustrated by Lisa Sterle



From "Vanishing." Illustrations by Sally Cantirino from a script by Matthew Erman.

From "The Cursed Saxophone of Skasferatu." Illustrations by…

Poison Ivy's Rebirth From Child to Sexed-Up Adult on 'Gotham' Covered in New Featurette

The wacky world of Fox's Gotham has long embraced its brand of crazy. "Anything goes," seems to be the motto as the show has tried to fill in the blanks of a pre-Batman Gotham City. Besides making the future Commissioner Gordon an erratic hot-head, his future wife a sociopath, and brought back a villain from the dead, the latest stunt involves aging-up a teen Ivy Pepper magically into an adult to use her powers as a seductress.
Executive producer Ken Woodruff explained this creepy premise to THR: We made the change for two reasons: The character Ivy in the comics, one of her greatest powers is the power of seduction. Everyone was much more comfortable with that with an older actress as opposed to a teenager. We want to explore that classic, canonical power of Ivy. And we didn't just make her older with that attack. When she's changed and transformed, there's a real character change as well. She'll still have some of the same traits, but she'll be much d…

An Artist Will Get His Revenge in The Post-WWII Original Graphic Novel SIMON SAYS

Image Comics announces an all-new, original graphic novel Simon Says by Andre R. Frattino and Jesse Lee which will paint a post-World War II Europe in a scarlet shade of revenge this September.


Simon Says is a drama-filled, crime noir story that follows a former artist to the Führer who hunts down and seeks justice upon the Nazis he witnessed murder his friends and loved ones during the war. It is an original graphic novel inspired by true events and by a real-world Holocaust survivor, Simon Wiesenthal, an artist who lost his family and took justice into his own hands.
"Simon Says is about an innocent and gentleman, an artist, whose family and life are destroyed by a real-world event. Not something sci-fi or fanciful, but something that has happened and could happen again. In that way, it's the story of any of us, and how we would respond if who we were and what we had were lost,” said Frattino. "The real-life, famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, was quoted as once sayin…