April 22, 2018

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Archie Vol. 1. by Mark Waid | SLJ Review

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redstarWaid, Mark. Archie Vol. 1. illus. by Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, & Veronica Fish. 176p. Archie Comics. Mar. 2016. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781627388672. Archie Vol. 1.

Gr 7 Up –Archie Andrews and the Riverdale teens have been reimagined by Eisner Award–winning writer Waid and “Saga” artist Staples with a fresh, 21st-century spin in time for the franchise’s 75th anniversary. While still keeping the boy-next-door charm and sweet sensibility of the original comics, this volume, which collects the first six issues of the new iteration, has a more modern twist. Blonde Betty is a baseball-slugging, down-to-earth car mechanic; Archie is a hapless but cool, guitar-playing teen with a streak of bad luck; and new girl Veronica Lodge is a sleek reality TV alum with a knack for dating boys whom her rich father wouldn’t approve of. School dances, breakups, mean boys, gossip, and, of course, love triangles make up some of the drama that peppers each issue. Flashbacks and backstory for each character are presented, so readers new to the series won’t feel lost. The art, with contributions by Wu and Fish, reflects the modern vibe of this redesign, complete with edgy but somehow timeless clothing; diverse secondary characters, including Betty’s multiple love interests; and a gem-toned palette that lets this comic pop off the shelves. The humorous narrative especially makes the philosophical Jughead, who seems to be teeming with ennui, crackle on every page he appears. Variant covers are featured throughout, and a preview of a Jughead-focused comic is appended. VERDICT Archie is reborn, and fans and new readers alike will be clamoring for more.–Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal

This review was published in the School Library Journal June 2016 issue.

Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz (sdiaz@mediasourceinc.com) is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.