by Doug Warren on April 11, 2018

Script: Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg
Art: Joe Eisma, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Cover: Greg Smallwood
Variant Covers: Dan Parent, Matthew Taylor
Publisher: Archie Comics

It’s hard to figure out where The Archies fit in with the current world of Archie Comics. With Riverdale and the main Archie series consistently giving us drama and darker tones, I think many of us came to The Archies looking for something more lighthearted because, let’s be honest, The Archies, at least in their original run and purpose, were silly. And The Archies definitely doesn’t have the darkness of those other series, but the drama is still there.

But, the drama’s just not as good as it is in the other Archie series. Case in point. We ended last issue with Betty and Veronica feuding because Betty walked in on Archie “hooking up” with Veronica (their words, not what I would’ve called it). This conflict was resolved at the beginning of the issue in a very unsatisfying way. It doesn’t even really feel like there was a real resolution. What could’ve (should’ve) been worked through was just rushed through in three frames, and it’s all over now.

Then we get to the main conflict of the story. The Archies are going to record an album with Blondie producing it. But, Jughead is still gone. Missing. Quit the band. And when the Archies meet Blondie, it is clear, they are really only impressed with Jug’s drumming. No Jughead on drums, no album. There is more uncertainty here. The build up was better, but the resolution came without enough fight or reasoning. (And note, resolution means the conflicted ended, not that there was a positive outcome. You aren’t getting any spoilers from me about which way it went.)

There was excitement over the buildup of which band the Archies will play with at the end of their tour, but after the other bands we’ve seen this series (including Blondie this issue), I can’t say that I think many readers will be excited. Maybe I’m wrong, though. We will see what they do in future issues.

Speaking of Blondie, their role in this issue literally could have been filled by any other band. There was nothing uniquely Blondie in any of it. It did serve well to have a female lead singer as she could have a heart-to-heart with Betty and Veronica when they needed it, but that being the case, you could substitute in No Doubt, Garbage, Joan Jett, any of them, and there would be no difference.

I think the high point was the artwork. The characters have the classic Archie look that will make long time readers feel at home, but it’s sharper and more defined to let it keep up with other modern comics.

This comic doesn’t have the classic Archie charm; it doesn’t have the dark undertones that are causing the current surge in Archie’s popularity. I don’t know what it has.

Our Score:


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