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Archie: A Review

A while ago, I bought a collection of the updated, new Archie Comics written by Mark Waid.  I like Waid's writing, and I was curious to see what he was doing with this new version of Archie.

The digest contained the first six issues.  I found I liked it very much.  It reminded me a little of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, in that it was a story about mostly realistic teenagers with a hefty dose of comedy.

Archie is the everyboy resident of Riverdale, and he's been best friends--and recently more--with Betty, the literal girl next door, since childhood.  At the beginning of the story, we learn they had a bad falling out over "the lipstick incident," and now they're barely speaking to each other.  Meanwhile, a new girl has moved into town--rich, former reality show star Veronica Lodge.  Archie is smitten, and he gets a job at the construction site where the new Lodge mansion is being built. What with one thing and another, Archie accidentally destroys the framework of the house, but only Veronica knows about it.  She uses this knowledge to sort-of blackmail Archie into being her semi slave, but the smitten Archie doesn't mind, much to the dismay of Jughead, Kevin, and the others.  (Jughead has an interesting backstory of his own.)  Add the smarmy, conniving Reggie into the mix, and we have the makings of a long-term story.

The characters turned out more fun than I thought they could be.  Archie himself is bright and likeable and funny.  HIs relationship with Betty works very well, and Jughead (who we'll later learn is asexual) is interesting enough to carry his own book.  I would have liked to see more of Kevin, Moose, and Midge, but it's early days yet, and I'm assuming we'll get up to speed on them eventually.

I''m going to pick up more digests as they become available.  If you read Archie when you were a kid, these are way worth reading for the new interpretation.  If you never read Archie, they're still worth reading for the fast, funny stories and interesting characters.  Highly recommended.


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