Archie Andrews has been gracing comic strips, digests, and solo comic books since 1942. You can go to your parents, even your grandparents and most of them will remember the name along with his friend Jughead and the lovely Betty and Veronica. His first appearance was in Pep Comics #22 and since then he has many stories and crossovers including Marvel’s Punisher and Predator. Recently he was relaunched after issue #666, with a brand new number one with writer Mark Waid (Daredevil, Kingdom Come, Hulk, and Princess Leia) and artist Fiona Staples (Saga and North 40).
Waid is a writer’s writer, he can bring any character to new depths and levels, like he did with Daredevil and the Flash. Instead of sticking to the same old Archie story people have been reading for years, he takes a risk and brings Archie into the 21st century. Waid sets a friendly tone from page one by introducing Archie in front of his school, from the get go you get a sense that these characters have depth and are not just cut outs from a different generation. He has mastered the teen-speak perfectly that it is almost shocking that this dialogue is coming from a middle-aged man.
Staples’ art does wonders for this book, I do not have the capability to describe how well it suits this book and the tone. One of her many talents as an artist if the expressions she gives any characters. She is excellent not only with faces, but she has mastered the body language that the words are not necessary and the whole book could be told without a single word bubble. Another great thing about the art is that Staples does every step of the process. Not only does she do pencils and inks, she also colors her own work and in this series it looks as good as it ever has.
The best part of this book is that there is a mystery surrounding the break up of Archie and Betty. The background story we get is that the two were inseperable and so much in love. Until something only known as the “Lipstick Incident” ended their relationship. Waid does a great job of keeping the reader wanting to know what happened between the two, but as of today has yet to reveal what exactly happened between the two. But the story is told so well you are okay with not knowing and just going along with the story. You see Archie dealing with the result of a break up that was his whole life. Betty is also his next door neighbor and his best mechanic. He has a hole in his life that he can not fill. All that changes when he first sees Veronica and claims it is “love at first sight”. Overall it is a fun story that just shows life from a different perspective and how hard life can be for a teenager that some adults may not see. It has teen agnst that we were all filled with one time, and we feel that no one understands us as we grow up in our time.
Even if you are no longer a teenager, the book will make you feel like one again. It makes you want to be a character in this book and get to be on these fun escapades. In the end this is just a fun story being told with characters that have been around for a couple of generations. It will give you warm feelings inside as you feel for every character. You get the sense of wanting Archie and Betty back together, but at the same time you want them to both be happy even if that means if they are not together. I guarantee that any reader will fall head over heels with this book. If you do not read comics or even if you have been reading for years pick up Archie or wait for the trade paperback it is a buy you will not regret.