Archie, Vol.1 – The New Riverdale

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Archie, Vol. 1: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid is one of the sleeper hits of the past year and with good reason. Good stories and good artwork. Mark Waid brings Archie and the gang from Riverdale into the 2000s with modern day problems and challenges but still maintaining the feel of the comic that started its run back in 1941.

Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones and the whole high school crew of Riverdale have been America’s favorite teenagers for over half a century and for the later part of their reign, have been somewhat stale and unrelatable. But Waid brings Archie into this century and still keeps the characters true to their original nature.

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Riverdale is consumed with the rumors of the breakup of Archie and Betty. A couple who have been friends since they were children. They were friends and not really a couple in the romantic sense of the word but all of Riverdale High saw them as a couple. But that was before the lipstick incident and now Betty and Archie are not even talking to one another. The kids of Riverdale High had no choice but to devise a plan to get the duo back together. But to do so, they have to enlist the help of Archie’s best friend, Jughead Jones. All looked like it was going well until the arrival of the new girl in town; Veronica Lodge.

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When I began reading comics as a kid, I was mostly into horror and superhero books. Archie was my hidden joy. The hokey and cute tales of Riverdale, which I am sure don’t even remotely resemble the television show, were a relief from the life around me. They were Norman Rockwell paintings at a time when the world resembled a Jackson Pollack chaotic frenzy. In the sixties and seventies, Archie Comics reminded everyone of a time that seemed lost. Now, with the strong writing of Mark Waid, Archie brings a sense of innocence to Archie that was central to the character as a whole. An innocence that is its calling card. The time has changed. But the setting and the characters remain true to themselves and there is something very endearing about this.

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A good and fun read.

ARCHIE VOL. 1 collects ARCHIE #1-6.

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