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Archie #22

by Olivier Roth on July 21, 2017

Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Pete Woods, Jack Morelli
Publisher: Archie Comics


Comics today often overpromise with their storylines and too often under-deliver in the end. Going into this new arc by Waid and Woods, I was fearful that trend would continue. “Everything changes.” is stamped right on the front cover of Archie #22 and you could be forgiven for rolling your eyes at this near-monthly proclamation from the comics world. However, Waid and Woods have given us a concise, three-part story that succeeds in delivering on this promise when looked at within the never-changing world of Archie comics.

Right from the word go, we are shown the devastating aftermath of Archie and Reggie’s ill-conceived road race and how the victim’s life now hangs in the balance. In the previous issue, Waid stepped away from the typical narrative to utilize a neat writing technique. To prolong the suspense of the discovery of the victim, Waid chose instead to use a succession of scenes of various Riverdale residents finding out about the accident. In this issue, Waid continues with this same technique, but shows instead how the victim of the accident has affected the lives of those around them. This great use of a “show, don’t tell” narrative helps mount the suspense leading into the final act.

Paired with Waid’s script, Wood’s art truly shines in this issue. The line work is truly expressive and you can feel the character’s anguish as the issue unfolds.  Woods also utilizes a neat artistic trick during the flashback sequences of incorporating the character’s facial expression at the current situation superimposed on said flashbacks. Coupled with a beautiful two page spread that must be seen, Woods art is a great compliment to Waid’s script.

In the end, this story arc may not go down as the greatest of all time, however, Waid and Woods have crafted a story that will have an immediate impact on the residents of Riverdale. And more importantly, it lives up to its “Everything changes” proclamation in the never-changing world of Archie Comics.

Our Score:

9/10

A Look Inside

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