Previously in Archie #15
Of all the new comics released and all the events and retcons that came and went in 2016, no other book has been as charming, engaging and just plain fun to read than Archie. Mark Waid has been a miracle worker of sorts in reviving substantial fan interest in an ageless freckled klutz by triumphantly launching him into our meme craving, emoji-happy world.
While the series has never stopped being a delightful read – coupled with Joe Eisma’s polished art – Archie has delved into distinctly somber material in its recent issues, especially during Hiram Lodge’s failed mayoral campaign. Though Mark Waid has successful proven Archie and the gang can provide so much more than (relatively) harmless teenage hi-jinks, issue 15 has brought things back to basics with the anticipated introduction of Riverdale High’s resident virtuoso, Dilton Doiley.
Just when things were seemingly returning to normal after The Lodge’s brief yet tumultuous stay in Riverdale, chaos continues to rain down upon its wholesome populace. Leave it to Reggie Mantle to spread his particular brand of vile among his classmates and neighbors; except this time Mantle has found a more effective means to make everyone as miserable as he feels.
Surprisingly all the discord endured by Riverdale’s finest is due solely on Dilton Doiley’s naivete in regards to people. When a bumbling goofball like Archie recognizes Doiley is achingly trusting of everyone and doesn’t recognize treachery when it’s in front of his face, you know you’re in trouble. In any case Dilton’s genius can never be denied and is on full display yet again with his creation of an app that rates virtually everything. Technically, Dilton designed it to rate the best romantic spots in Riverdale, however Doiley innocuously left his programming open-ended, meaning locations and people could be judged rather unfairly.
Naturally, things go awry real fast thanks to Reggie’s involuntary desire to bring anyone and everyone down to his level. Of course things weren’t going to be a perfect storm of for long, now when Dilton is pals with the monosyllabic study buddy/star athlete Moose Mason. If anything, Waid whipped us through a whirlwind of a tale to set up the secret crush Dilton has on Betty Cooper. Who doesn’t have a thing for Coop though? After she and Archie broke up, Betty had a few boys interested in earning her attention. Unfortunately for her – and Arch and Ronnie – Cooper misjudged the new girl in town and gave her all the ammunition she needs to make their lives a living hell.
While Reggie was causing all kinds of bedlam across Riverdale, Cheryl Blossom had already ensnared her claws in hapless Betty. Both Cheryl and dear brother Jason hit the ground running to hastily exact their revenge on Veronica. Blossom already had a foothold knowing Archie is Veronica’s number one boo, but in becoming chummy with Betty, she basically hit the mother lode. It isn’t Cooper’s fault that she spilled the beans to Blossom… How was anyone to suspect in a town that treasures honesty and integrity there would be yet another family of questionable motives and dubious practices moving into town to destroy the previous family of ill repute?
If the CW show can match Waid’s narrative that deftly switches from whimsical to dark in a matter of panels, we can only hope it may last for a thousand seasons.
Archie #16 | Writer: Mark Waid with Lori Matsumoto | Artist: Joe Eisma | Coloring: Andre Szymanowicz | Letterer: Jack Morelli | Publisher: Archie Comics