Summary from Archie Comics: COMIC SUPERSTARS MARK WAID AND FIONA STAPLES REIMAGINE AN ICON! Change is coming to Riverdale in this can’t-miss kick-off to Archie’s new ongoing series! Familiar faces return in new and unexpected ways in this must-have #1 issue! As the new school year approaches, you’d think Archie Andrews would be looking forward to classes and fun–but nothing is as it seems in the little town of Riverdale. But is this a one-off or a sign of bigger changes awaiting for America’s favorite teens–and the entire town? Find out in this exciting and remarkable first issue!
I want to begin this review by saying that I have NEVER read an Archie comics before this issue. I have been reading Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which might be my favorite indie comic being published, but this is a first for reading the character of Archie. And, I’ll be honest, I only got this book because my LCS had the Chip Zdarsky variant (cover U). I love Fiona Staples (Saga) and I enjoy Mark Waid (Daredevil), but I wasn’t looking to add more books to my list. But, with the mental odds stacked against this book, I throughly enjoyed the book.
Onward with the review!
I have seen people commenting that they really dislike the new Archie look. I have heard people mention that he’s too “Jockish” or he looks too much like a “Hipster,” but yet again, I won’t lie. The new look sold me on the book. I like the fact that Archie and I kinda have the same haircut, and dress somewhat alike (Does this make me a jockish hipster? You decide). I appreciate the effort to bring Archie into the 21st Century and if I was still in high school, I think this would seriously be a contender for one of my favorite comic books.
When it comes to the team behind this book, I can’t think of anyone better for it. I’m not a huge Mark Waid fan, but that’s just because I haven’t read enough of his work. I loved his Daredevil comics and even though I wasn’t the target demographic, I really enjoyed Princess Leia. Now, when it comes to the art work in this book… it is absolutely beautiful, vibrant, and crisp. Fiona Staples works with Brian K. Vaughan on the incredible Image Comics book Saga (Which is practically the Star Wars Mos Eisley Cantina weirdness meets Romeo and Juliet). Seeing Fiona Staples do art work for a “normal” book is great, because it has the look of Saga, but without the weirdness, which I can understand it being a turnoff for some people, but Archie #1 in grounded in beautiful art. As long as Fiona Staples is on this book, I can promise you, I’ll be reading it.
Big things are happening in Riverdale, and changes are coming. Archie and Betty aren’t together at the moment, because of the “lipstick incident,” Archie has overcome some self fears, and a new company “Lodge Industries” are on their way into Riverdale to rebuild it from the ground up. Things are truly changing for Archie Andrews, and all of the Riverdale community. So, remember, this isn’t your parents Archie comic, and that’s exactly why you need to pick this book up. But, there is a cool 6 page flashback from the first issue of Archie released in 1941 in Pep Comics #22. It’s cool to see how far the character has come.
I was talking with Stephen Andrew about what music a “Hipster Jock” would listen too. And we both agree that no such thing can exist, since the two are such opposing forces. But, a band in that middle ground would have to be X Ambassadors. I can see a jock-ish guy jamming this band because they are a bit cutting edge, but also a hipster could be a fan because, “I liked them before they were popular.” So, jam Renegades by X Ambassadors while you read the wonderful Archie #1.