Archie #4 Review

The new Archie series has been one of the gems of this year, so it’s no surprise that we’ve been looking forward to Archie #4. Mark Waid has been crafting a wonderfully charming and believable Riverdale and revealing each character slowly. He’s also crafted the mystery that opened the series with “the lipstick incident” that broke up the couple of Archie and Betty. If you’ve been wanting to find out exactly what happened, this is the issue for you.

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Script: Mark Waid
Art: Annie Wu, Andre Szymanowicz, Jen Vaughn, Jack Morelli
Cover: Annie Wu
Variant Covers: Mahmud Asrar, Francesco Francavilla, Jaime Hernandez with Rosario “Tito” Peña, Joe Quinones, Paul Renaud
On Sale Date: 11/25
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Synopsis:
The biggest comic series of the year continues as the greatest mystery in comic books is finally revealed! The “lipstick incident” split Archie and Betty apart and left Riverdale changed forever. What exactly happened and can things possibly be fixed? Find out in this issue and welcome ANNIE WU (BLACK CANARY, HAWKEYE) to Riverdale, as she takes over art duties in this brand new issue!

Preview Pages:

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Review:
Other than those preview pages above, we can’t spoil anything about “the Lipstick Incident.” Mark Waid maintains the realism of this event and keeps the characters true to themselves. It’s also great to get a view of the happy times between Archie and Betty, since we’ve only seen them be distant and pretend to not care about each other before now.

Annie Wu’s artwork is excellent on this book, and is able to almost immediately stake her claim to Archie and the Gang. She doesn’t try to emulate the style of FIona Staples, and for an artist of her talent to try to would be surprising. She maintains the bright style of the new Riverdale and at no time leaves us wanting for Fiona Staples to return.Her Betty doesn’t seem as consistent, but she’s always Betty, so she doesn’t stray too far. The one view that we get of Reggie Mantle doesn’t have a Reggie Mantle feel in the same way as his cameos in Jughead have had.

I like the book very much but find it a bit of a letdown as it spends so much time explaining the past the current subplots get very little progression. I believe firmly based on the first four issues that Mark Waid is playing the long game with this story, and that we’re going to get characters that grow and change slowly, instead of the perpetual characters that were a staple of the old Archie Comics.

Variant Covers:

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