“Archie” #3 (8 out of 10) Written by Mark Waid (“Irredeemable”, “Daredevil”); Art by Fiona Staples (“Saga”); Coloring by Andre Szymanowicz (“Hell Yeah”) with Jen Vaughn; Published by Archie Comic Publications; Publication Date: September 30, 2015

 

Archie Comic’s recent semi-reboot of their main title has been widely successful with critics and fans. Under new art direction with the spectacularly talented Eisner & Harvey Award winning Fiona Staples, the modern look of the comic book has been paired with one of Comic’s great writers and historians, Mark Waid. The two have combined to bring a marked update to a book that was already breaking social barriers and telling mature but appropriate all-ages stories. Archie has never looked better and Waid’s modernization would look like any other Archie book if not for Staples.

That’s where this book shines is through her art. I’m immediately familiar with characters I know from youth but their world is fresh. Much like Francesco Francavilla over in “Afterlife with Archie”, the art in “Archie” is special. Mark Waid is telling a funny story and Staples, with help from colorist Andre Szymanowicz, is bringing the punch lines a light and happy essence any reader will quickly fall in love with. That’s not to say that I can see how a long time Archie fan might balk at the art. Long time Archie fans may even find the stories by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa in “Afterlife with Archie” too much but Mark Waid sticks the landing, as far as I’m concerned, with this modern take on Archie.

Best Comic Book This Week: 'Archie' #3

In this issue, the third in the all-new series, Archie is mesmerized by Veronica as she spends her first day at school being Veronica. Archie is behaving like, as Jughead puts it, “a horn-dog.” He is genuinely worried that his friend is going to upset Betty and tries to enlist Betty’s help with Archie through a flurry of texts. Betty doesn’t think it’s her problem and isn’t jealous at all – at least she wants everyone to see it that way. Staples gives readers a brilliant moment in a splash page where the story turns and Veronica is seriously embarrassed. Betty, being a good person, helps her out with the problem but that jealousy she claims she isn’t experiencing may actually be a bit of a white lie.

The extra content in the back of the issue is, for long-time Archie fans, worth the price of admission even without the rest of the pages. There is some history, some historical pages and panels, and the promise of more to come.

TL;DR Even with a modernized artistic style by Fiona Staples, and a bit of modern storytelling by Mark Waid, Archie continues to be an all-ages comic book worth reading over and over again.


Best Comic Book This Week: 'Archie' #3
Image Credit: Archie Comic Publications


Best Comic Book This Week: 'Archie' #3
Image Credit: Archie Comic Publications


Best Comic Book This Week: 'Archie' #3
Image Credit: Archie Comic Publications


Best Comic Book This Week: 'Archie' #3
Image Credit: Archie Comic Publications

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Tags: Archie Comics , Best Comic This Week , Archie , Mark Waid