JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS #6
Script: Cameron DeOrdio, Marguerite Bennett
Art: Audrey Mok
Publisher: Archie Comics
I never thought I’d see the day when familiarity with OG James Bond films would improve my appreciation of a Josie and the Pussycats book, but today is apparently it. Josie and the band have been “arrested” by Alexandra Cabot’s comic book super-villain of a twin brother for plagiarism. He’s also hauled them off to his secret lair somewhere in a frozen fortress of solitude in Antarctica.
The writing in this issue was just adorable, really dense in terms of dialogue, and hilariously meta about the whole plagiarism business. There’s a running gag through the entire book involving Melody and the Disney blockbuster “Frozen”. I also really adore the continued presence of Melody’s cat, Lord Cute-ington. He seems to be added to the story as catnip (hee, see what I did there?) for Glee fans who also read Archie comics. That’s a pretty large overlap, in case anyone was wondering. The only disappointment I had with the writing in this issue is the complete lack of music notes surrounding Melody’s speech. I know in this reboot the girls are a little older than their classic counterparts, but I miss that sweet, goofy part of Melody. That being said, I love seeing her written as less overtly ditzy and more charmingly childlike.
Audrey Mok’s art is some of my favorite in any of the “new” Archie books. I really dig the anime-ish look to all the girls. I also appreciate that Valerie is drawn in the same style, but isn’t just styled like a white character that got colored with the brown crayon. Her features in closeup are unambiguously African-American. This is a wonderful thing - representation matters! I also really enjoyed the animals in the book, particularly the polar bears. The backgrounds are lovely too; I was surprised at how cold much of Cabotopia looked!
The ending was actually really satisfying, emotionally speaking. I like that I can actually not hate Alexandra Cabot. She’s still a rich girl and still prickly and snarky, but not the mean-girl Chryl Blossom knockoff she was in the classic Josie stories. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this story arc is heading next month.