Archie Comics Publications 2017
Written by Frank Tieri
Illustrated by Pat & Tim Kennedy & Joe Eisma
Inked by Bob Smith (1-10)
Coloured by Matt Herms
Lettered by Jack Morelli
Archie Andrews, along with werewolf hunters Betty Cooper and her cousin Bo Cooper have been hot on the trial of their best friend/part-time werewolf Jughead Jones. They’ve followed him to the circus where he was taking a respite, but he had to flee after the brutal murder of Abbey, a beloved carnival worker. Now the entire circus is joining in on the fight against the teen. Meanwhile the death toll continues to rise as Jughead battles with his animalistic urges. Can his once-believed-to-be-dead and fellow werewolf Bingo Wilkin help coach him through his new life?
Hands down this is one of the best books to read everyday of the week and twice on Sunday. What started with Afterlife With Archie, where the hell is that btw, then moved to Chilling Tales of Sabrina, that needs more issues too!, now this and next up a vampire book this supernatural Riverdale is one of the most exciting mind-blowing experiences to come around in a long time. It isn’t very often that a re-imagining is going to pretty much surpass expectations—including that of the company.
I do like that That Wilkin Boy is being revived for this series. It isn’t often that a company kind of rips off it’s main character in an effort have lightning strike twice still that it was later modified so that Bingo and Jughead were found to be related to one another, cousins, and it’s nice to see Frank reaching into the plethora of characters rife for revival. Also while he may no longer be a beatnik he well versed in the family tradition and we learn a bit about how he ended up out here alive and not dead like everyone believes.
Frank is an amazing storyteller and that he can take our squeaky clean group of ragtag misfits and make them something familiar, terrifying and ever so deadly while also making it as fun as possible well that takes real talent. The way the book is structured is phenomenal and between the constant revelations between all the various factions and they each serve to move the story along nicely. Of course there is also the characterisation that he brings to the table as well and to see them go from kids we know to some we don’t recognise well it’s quite the feat. I do so enjoy seeing these kids as they are here and it makes me want to know even more about them.
The interiors here are interesting to say the least. The first half seems less horror oriented and more like it belongs in a Joker story. Mentally unhinged that’s how I’m seeing Bingo here and there is one moment when Jughead transforms and it’s uber gross. I do like the peek at Betty’s aunt’s face with just a hint at what she might be and what else could exist in this world. The way page layouts are used so that we see the angles and perspective in the panels show off a few nice eyes for storytelling. Also the innocence on Archie standing there after doing what he did was extremely well done!
Then as if things weren’t already complicated enough Reggie was turned into a werewolf and unlike Jughead he is embracing his new life. Already far more in control than Jughead he’s been putting himself a small little army for him to control to repay Jughead for what he did. With the success of her character on Riverdale I’m not surprised to see Cheryl with them.
This really has reinvigorated the Archie franchise in ways I never thought we’d see with some of the strongest writing and complimentary interior artwork if this keeps coming out on schedule this is one of the years best series.