Betty and Veronica #1 Review
There’s probably not been an Archie comic that more people have looked forward to since its announcement than Betty and Veronica #1 by Adam Hughes. I, for one, looked forward to sharing my thoughts with you about this comic, until I got the chance to read it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but therein lies the problem. Please, read to the end of the review.
Script: Adam Hughes
Art: Adam Hughes, José Villarrubia, Jack Morelli
Cover: Adam Hughes
Variant Covers: Mahmud Asrar, Tom Bancroft, Stephanie Buscema, Cliff Chiang, Colleen Coover, Bilquis Evely, Veronica Fish, Francesco Francavilla, Genevieve F.T., Rian Gonzales, Robert Hack with Steve Downer, Erica Henderson, Rebekah Isaacs with Kelly Fitzpatrick, Tula Lotay, Alitha Martinez with Kelly Fitzpatrick, Audrey Mok, Ramon K. Perez, Andy Price, Ryan Sook, Jenn St. Onge, Chip Zdarsky, Chrissie Zullo
Blank Sketch Cover Also Available
On Sale Date: 7/20
32-page, full color comic
IT’S BETTY VS. VERONICA! The most highly-anticipated debut in comics history is here! Betty and Veronica are America’s sweethearts… until they turn on each other! “Pops’ Chocklit Shoppe is being taken over by a huge coffee company. When Betty and Veronica go head-to-head over the issue, all bets are off! Friendships will shatter. Cities will burn. Nails will be broken. Betty and Veronica are back in this ALL-NEW #1 from comics legend Adam Hughes (Wonder Woman, Catwoman)!
The artwork is fantastic, exactly what you’d expect from Adam Hughes. However, his hyper-naturalistic style means that some of the characters don’t quite look the same as in either Jughead or Archie. His Betty is the real star, since he has Veronica wearing sunglasses on all but two pages. The appearance of the girls sunbathing on page 20 seems pointless except in the service of the joke, and given that it’s relating to a story told in fall, logically doesn’t feel reasonable that the girls would be sunbathing while proofreading the pages. Midge also seems far too mature in her appearance, but at that point it seems to be nitpicking.
The story is sound, but given the odds that Veronica has often put herself at with her father’s business dealings, it seems contrived that she would suddenly go along. Adam Hughes does an adequate job of framing a good story, but all along, it just feels slightly above average, and more like it belongs in the old Riverdale than the new. The framing of Jughead’s dog Hot Dog telling the story is good, and it allows Adam Hughes to incorporate one of his non-comics passions, English Sheepdogs. I do give Archie Comics credit for allowing him the creative freedom to indulge.
However, in a nutshell, this comic doesn’t feel special, and almost out of continuity with the other New Riverdale series. As I said, the art is exquisite, but the story is slightly above average, which would be refreshing in almost any comic except the premiere issue of a new Betty and Veronica series.
Which leads me to my conundrum. I expected a lot from this comic and the comics I hold as the best ones are usually the ones I went into blind, not knowing what to expect or expecting mediocrity at best. We, as fans, tend to put artists like Adam Hughes on a pedestal and we really need to stop it. It’s not fair to other artists, it’s not fair to us, and most of all, it’s not fair to them. Adam Hughes could not live up to what most people are expecting from this series and we need to go in with a blank slate, whether that creator is Adam Hughes or anyone else whose name and body of work has become known to all fans of great comics.
(Because we have the images, we might as well share them)