Archie Comics 2015
Written by Mark Waid
Illustrated by Fiona Staples
Coloured by Andre Szymanowicz & Jen Vaughn
The more things change the more they stay the same yeah. What I loved about this first issue aside from Fiona’s take on the characters is that Mark kept the Riverdale sensibility to the story and kept this feeling to me like it’s an episode of Happy Days. The two have changed the aesthetic of the book but kept it so very much in the vein it was created in and I love them for that because it’s still Archie.
Sometimes you give something a sleek new packaging but it’s still the same product inside and for good or ill. This is for good because it takes the kids out of that perpetual state of happiness and things are just swell into a world where things are different, they’ll be okay they have friends and those that love them but it’s such a close re-imagining to the original that there’s no comparing it but at the same time it’s so different and similar enough that the vibe Mark is bringing to us is just there.
I love Fiona and the look she gives everyone here is spectacular, Archie’s suddenly a hot ginger and all his friends have their distinct look to them that represents real people and yet are instantly recognizable to whom they were. Not everyone is a thin model type it really is that they seem to represent the broad section that society has to offer really is one of the most positive spins she could’ve brought to this series.
That we still get the chapters from Mark is perfect and this issues narration from Archie that introduces us the all the characters and his relationship, that has recently ended, with his first love/crush Betty and how all the other students see this is wonderfully done. To see them both so beloved by their friends and to see what they are willing to do warms the heart. So while this is full of emotional drama and a little bit of heartache it’s still what I’ve come to think of when I visit this world for it’s feel good value.
There’s one major change to the way things in Riverdale have been and that’s one main character hasn’t arrived in town yet. Otherwise we’ve long established friendships and one prominent gay couple with another single boy in Kevin keep the progressiveness of the book in full swing. I’m so super impressed with Mark here already integrating a few things that have been essential Archie into the series, like his love music and guitar playing, Reggie being a creep, Jughead being his best bud and lover of eating all of it presented as matter of factly without much ado but still important to establishing the relationships between characters.
This was an absolute Brilliant first issue. This couldn’t have been any better with all the buzz surrounding a new look, creative team and the hooplah about it while ending the original run of the longest running series from Archie comics, with issue 666. It was bold move by the company and at this point it’s one that has paid off for them and it looks like it’s going to be the start, hopefully, of another record breaking run.