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Archie #1 – Reality Comics Teen Soap Opera!
By Hervé St-Louis
July 9, 2015 - 10:23

Archie Comics
Writer(s): Mark Waid
Penciller(s): Fiona Staples
Cover Artist(s): Fiona Staples, J. Scott Campbell, Colleen Coover, Tania Del Rio, Joe Eisma, Francesco Francavilla, Genevieve F.T., Michael Gaydos, Sanford Greene, Robert Hack, Dean Haspiel, David Mack, Moritat, Mike Norton, Jerry Orday, Ramon Pérez, Ron Salas, Greg Scott, T-Rex, Britney Williams, Chip Zdarsky

The long hyped new Archie comic by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples has arrived. Archie and Betty are the power couple at Riverdale High. They’ve known each other since they were five years old. However, a notorious and untold #lipstickincident has made them split apart. It’s up to friends Kevin, Maria, and Sheila to try to patch things up again and make Archie date Betty again. But The infamous Reggie already has his eyes on Betty, while Jughead is sabotaging his friends’ effort at reuniting Betty and Archie. What else could go wrong?

This issue was really fun. I’m amazed that Mark Waid is able to write teenage drama just as well as he writes super heroes. Archie breaks the fourth wall and addresses readers directly. With the inclusion of a Twitter hashtag and a prompt for readers to follow share their comments about the drama, this comic look like a reality comics. It’s very funny and does not change the old Archie formula too much. They are still the same characters. I don’t recall ever reading about Sheila and Maria but we can see that Archie Comics is attempting to make this comic book as inclusive as possible. Nothing here will shock any parent or advocacy group, but it’s still good old American fun, just like Archie has always been. While I find the fourth wall break and the social media plug clever, I’m not sure if I approve of such commodification of comics.

Staples’s art is great. She is the perfect artist for Archie. If she can stay with this series for a few years, she might one day challenge Dan DeCarlo as the ultimate Archie artist. Her rendition of the characters makes them more realistic, but it’s still a comic with enough comedic moments and funny gestures. She renders the reality television / comic jam well. Much of the comic would have worked fine without as much dialogue. She’s a great storyteller. I want to read more about this new Archie and I am glad that Archie Comics is continuing their push to make their comics relevant for kids today. It's part of what I call the nouveau comics.

Rating: 10/10

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