Archie Comics 2015
Written by Mark Waid
Illustrated by Veronica Fish
Coloured by Andre Szymanowicz & Jen Vaughn
Lettered by Jack Morelli
So here we are with part two of the introduction of Reggie Mantle and the aftermath of Archie having told Jug and Betty to stop interfering with his romantic life. Though in all honesty his relationship with Veronica doesn’t seem healthy in the slightest and I guess that’s part of the point of this new series and re-imagining of the Archie-verse. I kind of really enjoy Archie talking to the reader, for me it’s much more engaging than hearing his musings or getting narration boxes it adds a more personal touch like you are his friend and he’s talking to you sussing things out for himself.
I’m starting to really get more into this series as we’ve finally gotten around to meeting just about everyone of some importance. It’s been fantastic since the get-go don’t get me wrong but now that Reggie’s up to his old tricks and seeing Archie as a real rival and doing dirty underhanded deeds well it’s starting to feel like home again. Sure it’s got a slightly different look and the clothes are definitely now but yeah it’s somehow more complete.
I do have one issue here and it’s with Veronica Fish. I thought the whole idea behind this updating of the franchise was to make it more realistic. Correct me if i’m wrong but while Veronica is a talented artist this feels like it’s sliding backwards instead of forward in terms in making them look less cartoon style. She has nailed a great look but it’s too Saturday morning and not very up to snuff with what the idea behind the relaunch was supposed to be about, at least for me anyway. It’s may be too simple or generic i’m not sure but it definitely doesn’t make me think of this as new more like a continuation of the original run.
I’m not gonna talk about what happens this issue specifically but I will say a few things. One the introduction of a new character and potential love interest for Betty was an unexpected treat. The staff at Lodge Manner and Mr. Lodge himself are being fleshed out so incredibly well and thanks to Reggie’s interference they are going to have a lot more shown about them than we may realize. Plus with the characterization of everyone we see this issue really continues to keep them growing and evolving beautifully.
That the story has that homegrown, aw shucks feel with a tad bit of --insert favorite teen or adult nighttime soap opera here--to really make this something different than it was. Mark is one of those rare writers who can seemingly do no wrong and he’s proving that with his run here. It literally has everything, even a kitchen sink somewhere. While gone is the half hour sitcom solution, thank goodness, it mimics real life in ways that everyone can appreciate. From a story standpoint this may be the Archie the world’s been waiting for.