Archie #2 Review
Archie #2 is out this week, and while I really liked the first issue, I was still hesitant about the series as a whole. Could the tone and the elements that made me like the first issue be maintained? How will Veronica’s introduction into Riverdale be handled?
Needless to say, there may be spoilers.
Script: Mark Waid
Art: Fiona Staples, Andre Szymanowicz, Jen Vaughn, Jack Morelli
Cover: Fiona Staples
Variant Covers: Howard Chaykin with Jesus Aburto, Erica Henderson, Paul Renaud, Paolo Rivera, Chrissie Zullo
On Sale Date: 8/19
32-page, full color comic
COMIC SUPERSTARS MARK WAID AND FIONA STAPLES CONTINUE THEIR REIMAGINING OF AN ICON! The new school year continues to bring with it daunting new challenges and interesting changes for the teens of Riverdale High. But there’s one thing that remains constant: Archie’s car is still a piece of garbage! With car problems comes money problems, which means that Archie’s on the hunt for a new job. Fortunately, a mysterious new building in Riverdale is offering some career opportunities for Archie and his friends. Who’s behind this new conglomerate and what are their intentions for Riverdale? Find out in the second issue of this all-new Archie series!
Archie #2 gives us some background for Jughead and Betty. I never cared enough to seek out their origins. I just accepted them as they were. Jughead’s history tries to explain his attitude, especially his devotion to his friends. I think it’s a little too exceptional of a story, but for one of the main supporting characters, I’m willing to accept it.
Betty Cooper’s character is another matter. Betty was always the good girl, and while Mark Waid maintains that, he adds a tomboy element, which is refreshing. What helps it be so acceptable is Fiona Staples artwork, which helps keep Betty adorable and feminine. Her handling of Veronica almost makes her ethnic, which visually separates her from Betty.
This issue has some slapstick, which doesn’t come across as well with the more naturalistic style of Staples. These are gags that we are used to seeing in the old Archie, and they just don’t fit in this new, re-imagined Archie. I do like the exploration of how Betty feels about her break-up with Archie, and really wonder how Mark Waid will handle the introduction of Veronica into the iconic teenage romantic triangle. It’s very refreshing that Waid is keeping the book from becoming too dark, which is where a lesser writer would have gone.
I’m keeping up with this series, which brings the number of Archie comics that I’m following to three, and if you’d told me two years ago that I’d be waiting for the next issues of three Archie titles, I’d have laughed. Archie Comics is changing.