08/20/15 | by Mark Carpenter
| Posted in
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Fiona Staples
The reboot of the classic Archie Comics continues this week with its second issue. Courtesy of the consistently excellent Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, this offering once again deals with Archie and Betty’s recent breakup, but has more of a focus on their gang of friends dealing with the split and (mostly) attempting to bring them back together as soon as possible.
I really have to credit what Mark Waid has done with such a storied comic. His take, with protagonist Archie Andrews breaking the fourth wall, the high school drama, the attention given to each character, is very reminiscent of an after school special like Saved by the Bell. And with all the experimentation that’s been done with Archie as of late, it makes sense. In recent memory, Archie has died, fought Predator and Sharknado, and has run into the likes of KISS and the Glee crew. Why not have our main character address the readers directly? In any case, it comes off as very endearing and is a welcome addition to the series.
Fiona Staples has done a similarly masterful job with reworking the looks of the characters of Archie for the modern age. Each character both retains their iconic look to an extent, but also feels new and fresh without feeling as if Staples is just forcing them into 2015. Considering just how long Archie, Betty, and their supporting cast have been around, this is truly impressive. Beyond this, Staples’ art is just very easy to look at. The use of bright colors and subtle shading do a great job of keeping the reader engaged. Certain character models (Betty’s mother in particular stand out) do feel a little sloppy, but these instances are few and far between, and I really only noticed them when I made an active attempt to be critical of the issue. Otherwise, Fiona Staples is on point as usual.
One thing that I really love about this Archie run is that each issue is being broken down into three smaller stories, each about seven to eight pages long. They are quick and easily digestible, but still manage to succinctly and effectively tell a story and be humorous the entire time. Jughead greatly benefited from this decision in the reboot’s inaugural issue as you saw his efforts culminate by the third chapter, giving a good look at his friendship with Archie. Betty got a similar treatment this month as we were shown how troubled she was about her and Archie’s breakup. So far, so good for the creative team. I’m curious to see how characters with supporting roles such as Trevor and Dilton will be fleshed out in the coming issues.
Overall, this issue was a great followup to a home-run first outing. Mark Waid and Fiona Staples have truly done something great thus far with Archie and I’m anxious to what else they can bring to the table as a creative unit. If you haven’t already added Archie Comics to your pull list, I strongly encourage you to do so.
Story - 9.5
Art - 8.75
Characters - 9
An incredible second issue following up an even better first, Archie Comics is an absolute blast to read.