Wednesday, May 18, 2016

[BOOK REVIEW] Archie Volume 1: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid

Title:  Archie Volume 1: The New Riverdale

Author:  Mark Waid

Artists:  Fiona Staples, Annie Wu and Veronica Fish

Genre:  Comedy / Romance / Drama / School

Year Published:  2016

Year Read: 5/18/2016

Series: Archie #1

Publisher: Archie Comics

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 13+ (Some Language)



Who would have thought the day would come when Archie Comics would finally decide to reboot their beloved “Archie” series which has been around for nearly sixty years now!  I must admit, I was quite surprised at this new establishment for Archie Comics (I mean come on, Archie and the gang have been in high school for the past sixty years now)!  So, when I heard that Archie was going to get a reboot and it was being written by Mark Waid of “Daredevil” fame, along with artwork by Fiona Staples, Annie Wu and Veronica Fish, I will admit that I had mixed feelings about this whole thing since A) I have a love / hate relationship with reboots and I was worried that they were going to mess up one of the greatest comic book icons of all time with this reboot and B) with all the constant reboots going on during this decade, I was getting sick and tired of having yet another reboot of a beloved classic character happened.  But, as it turns out “Archie: Volume One: The New Riverdale” had certainly exceeded my expectations in a fantastic way!

What is this story about?

Meet Archie Andrews!  He goes to Riverdale High School and is best friends with food loving Jughead Jones and was in a relationship with his childhood friend Betty Cooper (do not even ask why they broke up).  One day however, Archie’s world changes when Veronica Lodge, the daughter of a billionaire moves into Riverdale and he ends up falling instantly in love with her.  Unfortunately, this puts him at odds with Betty and Jughead as they do not want to see their friend being used by this rich snob and they will do everything in their power to make sure that Archie does not end up with Veronica!

What I loved about this story:

Mark Waid’s writing: Wow!  I was quite impressed with Mark Waid’s writing in this story!  Even though I was quite familiar to Mark Waid’s work in the past, I never would have thought that he would create a truly interesting and modern retelling on everyone’s favorite teenage comic book icon!  I loved the way that Mark Waid gave an interesting new spin to each character, such as making Betty more tomboyish than in the original series (it really shows when she has trouble giving herself a makeover) and making Jughead more cynical. But, I loved the fact that Archie still remains to be the lovable goofball he was in the original comics and his clumsiness is definitely played for higher laughs here!  I also loved the way that Mark Waid still kept the characters and its setting faithful to the original comics, but still modernizing the situations they are in such as actually showing us Betty and Archie breaking up and how that breakup affected them afterwards.  I loved the fact that the story is a mixture of drama and comedy as it made the story much more interesting to read and there were various moments where I laughed and cried such as feeling great sadness over Archie and Betty’s breakup, but laughing my butt off from Archie’s clumsy shenanigans!

Fiona Staples, Annie Wu and Veronica Fish’s artwork:  The overall artwork in this volume were amazing to look at, as all the “Archie” characters are drawn in a realistic and refreshing way that made me really relate to these characters.  But probably my most favorite artwork in this volume were the ones done by Fiona Staples as her artwork is so gorgeous to look at and I have always loved her work on Brian K. Vaughan’s “Saga!”

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

Anyone who has been reading the “Archie” comics for a long time might be a bit shocked that there is some language in this volume including the use of “hell” in one instance.  However, the language is not too strong and it would be easy to overlook this whenever you read this volume.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Archie Volume One: The New Riverdale” is a truly fantastic volume that fans of the original “Archie” comics will enjoy and I am definitely looking forward to reading more of this series soon!

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