Previously in Archie #1
Archie #2 by Mark Waid, Fiona Staples, Andre Szymanowicz with Jen Vaughn, Jack Morelli
Life for the kids in Riverdale continues to be turned upside down thanks to Betty and Archie’s sudden break up. In his attempts to turn a new page in his young life, Archie spreads his gangly wings and tries to gain more character in acquiring a demanding part-time job. Meanwhile, Betty keeps a torch lit for her best friend despite efforts by her friends and new interest (!) to move forward.
Typically the butt of many jokes, the complete reinvention of Jughead has been a revelation and unknowing necessity to advance Archie for contemporary readers. No longer a one-dimensional eating machine, this Jughead – also known as Forsythe P. Jones III, but don’t call him that – was born into a life of privilege. Unfortunately for the Joneses they lost nearly everything and poor Forsythe became the laughing stock among his peers. Through the formative years of his life, Jughead learned the hard way that people won’t always have your back. Although he could have acquired a me-against-the-world attitude, in developing a pragmatic approach to life, Jughead is well regarded by his small circle of friends, especially Archie. In a sense, Jughead is the person Archie aspires to become.
Waid’s writing continues to shine as he thrusts Archie in some highly dangerous scenarios; a homage of sorts to the teen’s early days in the 1940s. Apparently his clumsiness is already renown within the student body as Archie’s pals do their best to make sure he doesn’t gravely injure himself and others in the workplace. A quick montage drawn by Fiona Staples of Archie’s hilariously disastrous job history only proves Andrews definitely hasn’t found his niche. Regrettably, his voyage of discovery usually results in creating a wide trail of destruction behind him.
The best moments within the second issue focused on Betty’s endeavor to change her view of things, including her self. Chapter two – titled “One of the Guys” – is only three pages, but filled with as much expression, energy, and presence few artists like Fiona Staples could expertly construct. Everyone is excited for Betty’s birthday, but of course, she remains in her bedroom not far from her window, wondering about the comings and goings of her former beau. The “lipstick incident” remains the great mystery that looms in the shadows yet could possibly not be mentioned again until the next arc. It doesn’t seem to be that severe an event, as opposed to its outcome. Betty and Archie may have split amicably, yet Ms. Cooper still has an inclination to take care of her former ginger sweetheart who’s all thumbs.
The only gripe (and it’s an extremely trivial one) is how quickly each issue ends! Perhaps it’s partly due to nostalgia or the simplicity and playfulness of the storyline, but it’s amazing how engrossed one can be while delving into the colorful world of Riverdale. Each page truly is a pleasure to experience, and the comic itself is a testimonial to our cherished medium. Archie and his friends’ contemporary transformation have left many captivated; in only two issues, Archie has established itself as a comic that must be read first from one’s pull list. Life in Riverdale will only become more entertaining as the Lodges make a grand first impression among their new neighbors. I’m certain it won’t take long before a certain billionaire’s daughter sets her sights on a newly single klutz.
Prepare for the drama in Archie #3, available at your shop or digitally September 30!