Archie Comics 2015
Written by Mark Waid
Illustrated by Veronica Fish
Coloured by Andre Szymanowicz & Jen Vaughn
Lettered by Jack Morelli
Archie Andrews has been banned from the Lodge household, and from dating Veronica, after Mr. Lodge found out from Reggie Mantle that it was Archie who caused the collapse of his mansion while it was being built. Reggie, meanwhile, is sitting pretty at Hiram’s side, acting as his personal consultant. Archie tried to find out something that would completely destroy Reggie’s reputation, but his attempts were ill-fated. It wasn’t until he got a little help from the only person who knows everything about everyone in Riverdale—Pop Tate—that he was able put a stop to Reggie’s reign and get back to dating Veronica. But it’s still going to take nothing short of a miracle for Archie to win over Mr. Lodge, who’s got big plans for Riverdale.
There are some truly wonderful things happening in this issue. We see just how much Mr. Lodge and Archie will go in their rivalry with one another and it’s surprising just how low Mr. Lodge will go to foil a teenager that he can’t seem to handle as he would anyone else. The fact that Archie gets to him the way he does and that he behaves in such a manner as he does it’s really quite fascinating to watch unfold.
The conversation between father and daughter when Veronica realizes why her father moved them to Riverdale is a perfect example of Mark’s writing ability, skill and talent for how he understands the characters and to create drama.
What Mr. Lodge does however to “deal” with his Archie problem well that’s a decidedly low blow and one I wouldn’t have expected of the man and yet in this new modern setting it’s also one that has a lot of merit and sensibility to. Though how that ties into the all-american, albeit clumsy, ginger boy next door’s family life is another little twist I hadn’t seen coming. Mark is really good at throwing in some curves that you don’t see coming. This one was smart in that in terms of storytelling in kind of hindered Archie’s approach to things and really demonstrated his strength of character.
I also have to admire the fact that when Archie and Mr. Lodge “have it out” and Archie tells him how mad he is it’s terribly poignant but not overtly threatening. Still everything he said has this air of truth to it and his love and respect for his father is something Lodge will never understand or be capable of fathoming how important it is. To be that angry and to be that in control and still be respectful to the man your are telling how you feel well it’s what makes Mark one of the industry’s most respected and revered storytellers.
Then there’s the ending and uh yeah all kinds of great stuff going on. Really Archie and Jughead have the oddest, best and most complicated friendship around don’t they?
I like Veronica’s work and she has a very good eye and does a very good job with the flow of the storytelling here. Yes there are moments it feels like she gets away from the whole updated aspect and slides into familiar Archie illustration yet she finds a way to get back on track as well. There’s more to updating the look and feel than clothing, hairstyles and accessories so a more “realistic” approach is truly what i’m expecting though I may in the minority anymore with that.
Still I’ve been an Archie fan for more years than i’d like to admit and i’m just as thrilled by this as I was finding them for the first time.