Archie Comics 2016
WRitten & Illustrated by Adam Hughes
Coloured by Jose Villarrubia
Lettered by Jack Morelli
The highly anticipated new series from Adam Hughes is finally here! Betty and Veronica have been the best of friends and frenemies for so long now and with this new series we see all of that on display. This first issue was extremely well done by Adam and has all the feelings of the classic friendship while still being modern and fitting in with their new vision. I love that this story is being narrated by Hot Dog as if it were some sort of television programme and starts at it’s climax and then reverts to how this opening page came to be.
I know this is about the girls but Adam opens up with Archie and Jughead and it’s the first time i’ve seen them look this good and Jughead in particular. Even with that nose which looks good on him here. We open with the boys because they are on their way to the girls and it’s nice to see this hands on strong Betty in contrast to the spoiled, that’s why I have servants, Veronica.
The witty banter aside, the kind that only friends can get away with while talking to each other by the way, there’s humour in some unexpected ways. Jughead trying to lift a bag of stones that Betty has no problems with for instance is a joy to see and goes a long way in her characterization here without having to do the descriptive route. So the quartet has decided to go have a bite to eat at Pop’s just the four of them and away they go.
Now this is Archie and as Hot Dog talks about this cast of characters they run into a slight problem and then something that gets them riled up. It’s kind of classic stuff they have to band together in a cause to stop what they consider an injustice to a local institution. This is where we get to see the activist Betty in all her glory as she’s the driving force behind the injustice and effort to save something that all the kids love.
The story is great it’s well told, the characterization is utterly delightful and while stays true to what’s come before it really is that more modern take that the company was aiming for. The girls ever at odds and besties with one another face another conflict that could tear them apart or bring them closer together. Or instead of friends it’ll finally be the rivalry for the ages between them only this time Archie isn’t the prize.
Oh the added bonus of seeing Midge and Moose and their personalities are just an added bonus this issue. Personalities galore and some may surprise you others won’t.
Then there’s the other thing Adam’s famous for and that’s his interior artwork. I cannot believe we’ve waited this long for him to do an Archie book! His work is amazing and who knew that the girls could be both wholesome and sexy at the same time? His use of pages and panels, which have backgrounds that complete the look and feel beautifully are extremely well done. Heck even the kitsch gimmick moments work extremely well and he’s really outdone himself with what he’s brought to the table here.
This is how I want all the Archie books to look it’s just so perfectly done from story to characterization to artwork.