Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Fiona Staples
When Archie Comics announced that they would be rebooting their flagship series, they were met with excitement and high expectations, and for good reason. Not only was this a great chance for the character to get a fresh start, it was also an excellent opportunity to introduce a new generation of readers to one of the most iconic characters in comic book history. It certainly didn’t hurt that the book is being written by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, both superstars in the industry. Somehow, Archie #1 has lived up to all of the hype, and has even exceeded some expectations, and is a fun read all the way through.
Archie #1 begins its fresh start with a massive break-up that is shaking up Riverdale. The “lipstick incident” is the subject of gossip in the halls and it’s clear that Waid is taking Archie in a fresh, new direction. I really don’t want to spoil anything, because the issue is full of charm and fun times, and half the joy of reading this title is discovering the drama and seeing it play out in ways that you would expect from high school. Every event is incredibly dramatic and every minute is life changing for these students, as it was for everyone in high school. The issue is a blend of clichés and new approaches, and for the most part it works. There are a few moments where a few panels have some awkward dialogue or rough pacing, but otherwise this debut reads fantastically.
While this reboot is family friendly as expected, it does seem to be aimed more at adults. This isn’t because of adult content, but more because they can simply relate more to what’s happening. This title can probably be enjoyed by everyone, but it will be most appreciated by those who have experienced the breakups, drama, and antics you can only find in high school. The creative team does exceptionally well at grabbing the reader and connecting with them until the issue ends.