Book Review: Archie Volume 1 by Mark Waid

America’s Favorite Teenager, Archie Andrews, is reborn in the pages of this must-have graphic novel collecting the first six issues of the comic book series that everyone is talking about. Meet Riverdale High teen Archie, his oddball, food-loving best friend Jughead, girl-next-door Betty and well-to-do snob Veronica Lodge as they embark on a modern reimagining of the beloved Archie world. It’s all here: the love triangle, friendship, humor, charm and lots of fun – but with a decidedly modern twist.

As an Archie Comic purist, it was a big hard for me to accept that they were rebooting the entire series back in 2015 with “The New Riverdale.” I honestly admit that it took me reading and absolutely loving the Afterlife with Archie series and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina before I decided to finally give the new Archie a chance.

The art is definitely not the same that you’d expect if you have read the comics for over two decades, but honestly I really like the update that Veronica Fish and Annie Wu gave.  It makes the core four look more like real people from the 21st century rather than holding on to the old style that evolved over the 20th.  I never thought I’d say that!

The story starts with the break up of Betty Cooper and Archie Andrews. For some inexplicable reason Archie is breaking the fourth wall and narrating directly TO the reader rather than us simply stepping inside of his world as an outside viewer like we used to. I wasn’t a HUGE fan of this shift, because it felt very much like it slowed down the overall narrative for me and for fans who already know all of these characters. I do think it would be beneficial for new readers, but after the success of Riverdale I do think that most fans will just breeze past that.

In this first volume we learn about Jughead’s past as a former rich child, Betty’s love for mechanics and activism, Veronica’s limited musical ability, and Archie’s incredible ability to be as fickle as ever (he’s my least favorite character, if you didn’t know).  Also, Reggie is still Reggie.

I have to give the writers credit for really amping up the drama in this volume, and I’m sure it will just continue.

4 Bards.

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