Archie #8 | Writer: Mark Waid | Artist: Veronica Fish | Coloring: Andre Syzmanowicz with Jen Vaughn | Letterer: Jack Morelli | Publisher: Archie Comics
Things became very real very fast in Archie’s world in his eighth issue. While fawning over Veronica and fighting tooth and nail against his detractors, the Andrews family have been teetering on the edge of indigence. Seemingly out of nowhere, after being fruitless for months, Fred Andrews finds the job of his dreams. Lamentably, dad’s new posting requires a significant change for the household. The results of this conundrum require Archie to grow up fast and confront the person responsible for the recent adversities in his young life.
Mark Waid continues to craft wickedly amusing tales of our bemused gang in Riverdale, pitting their strengths (or weaknesses, depending on one’s view) against some wild plots that would make Aaron Spelling a lifelong subscriber. There’s never been any doubt that Hiram Lodge never had any love for the foppish ginger throughout the publication’s prolific run. This version of the billionaire is surprisingly thin-skinned, to the point that a teenager in a podunk town is crushed emotionally and financially because he holds the attention of Lodge’s equally atrocious daughter (we’ll get to her in a moment). Hiram is willing to literally uproot the entire Andrews family than meet eyeball-to-eyeball with a boy. A boy.
When people say “out of sight out of mind”, it’s never pondered in this magnitude.
Rather than showing any tolerance or signs of basic human decency, Hiram cannot stand that his darling trust fund baby is canoodling with a bumbling local yokel like Archie. Sure, he did happen to destroy the framework of Lodge mansion in the first issue, but does that truly justify the obscenely expensive solution of moving the Andrews halfway across the world? It’s been four issues since Veronica Lodge made her formal introduction in Archie and she still hasn’t displayed any redeeming qualities, like the dear old father she despises. Her enmity isn’t out of a deep-seated psychological trauma. Clearly, Ronnie was never been in want all her life. Hiram hasn’t always given her the attention she desired, but in the greater view of things, both Ronnie and her father have lived such insular lives devoid of any substantive purpose except acquire everything.
Everything they value in life has a price tag, and the larger the number the worthier they feel. Perhaps in time Ronnie will discover there’s more to life than designer whatevers and high end blahblah. Thankfully, Archie is too enamored to even recognize Lodge’s snobbish behavior. Her capriciousness is finally put on notice when Archie gets grown and handles his business with her father, the wannabe mayoral candidate.
One would hope Archie would finally realize that Veronica isn’t the most endearing person as evidenced. Then again, he’s a kid drowning in his own soup of hormones. All it takes to right Arch’s world is a long kiss from a cute girl – after she completely demolishes his world in one day and replaces him with a cat. As much as Ronnie cannot stand her father’s scheming (while simultaneously hoping he’d give her the attention she craves), she’s more like her dad than she realizes. Although Archie has been the exception for the most part, every person she encounters and room she inhabits is immediately scrutinized and monetized. Hopefully, given the way issue eight ended, the new development could give Veronica a greater appreciation for the have nots. Meanwhile, Archie continues to learn the hard way that in order to get anywhere, you have to be more assured and protect one’s interests.
In a conveniently timed moment of self-respect, Andrews finally confronted Mr. Lodge after discovering the greedy coot manipulated his family’s financial standing. Archie may love Veronica, but no one will ever be above his parents. He acquiesced to Hiram’s demands, but Fred overheard everything while sitting in Lodge’s office, effectively cutting all ties to Riverdale’s most powerful citizen and chief employer. In order to save face, Hiram gave Ronnie his blessing to see Archie and nearly everything is all right again.
Now that Archie and Veronica can freely spend time together in public, Ms. Lodge’s little redheaded play thing’s world will be flipped upside down in the next issue of Archie, available in stores and digitally June 22!