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by Doug Warren on August 23, 2017

Story by Mark Waid
Art by Audrey Mok
Colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick
Published by Archie Comics

If you are anything like me, putting down last month’s issue gave you an uneasy feeling. With all the changes in the Archieverse lately, we aren’t promised happy endings anymore, and anything can happen. While this issue might make us more hopeful, the situation is still dire, and the outlook could be grim.

What Waid did more than anything this issue is humanize the characters. Yes, Archie is still a klutz, but instead it making him a punch-line and the butt of the joke, it makes the reader sympathetic to him. You will connect emotionally with a guy who is doing his best, and desires with all that’s in him to help, but just can’t manage it.

In the same vein, I think the most poignant moment was the brief interlude between Moose and Dilton. Though it was only one page long, and devoid of dialogue, it told the whole story. The story of how the town was affected by the accident. How even the people on the outside of the clique were grieving. Of how they were coming together to comfort one another. Man. It’s the best single comic book page I can think of. I wish I had a print of it. I would frame it and hang it in my office.

Like I said before, it’s too soon for optimism, but there is a thread of hope. Even if it’s only one.

To end this on a not-so-depressing note, I just want to say I love how the girls’ noses are draw in this series. Seriously, for the past 25 years I’ve been reading Archie, that is the one thing that bothered me. As a kid, I could even piece together in my head how Betty and Veronica even had noses. I thought there was just a hole for a uni-nostril. And as I got older, I could rationalize that there was a nose there, they were just stylistically made dainty, but I still couldn’t see it. So, hats off to design team of the revamp because Betty and Veronica finally have the noses they deserve!

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