It’s time once again for another installment of Heroes & Villains! With the current state of the world I desperately crave the escapism that only comic books can provide me with. Something sweet….like sugar, or honey-honey…
“So do I have to have read the previous 699 issues of Archie to get this or….?”
Out last week is the brand-new to you Archie #700 which serves as a soft-reboot of the previously rebooted main Archie book and it’s great! If I were saying this out loud you would indeed detect a hint of relief in my voice. The comic-reading public at large tend to meet new creative teams with a dose of apprehension, especially when they’re following a run that was largely considered to be a great update of the character.
Spencer and Sauvage’s take on America’s favorite teenager appears to have been brought more in-line with its sexy television counterpart Riverdale but only on the surface. The book is still very much a continuation of the reboot that Mark Waid and Fiona Staples launched back in 2015 in that it’s taking place in the same continuity but #700 serves as a great jumping on point.
If you had told me three years ago that I would be religiously reading an Archie comic book and watching an Archie TV show (on the CW of all places) I would have told you that you’re insane. I still can’t believe that Sexy Jughead is a thing. The very concept that a seventy-six year old comic book property could be updated for today’s audiences across multiple platforms is mind boggling. I want to sit down with with whoever orchestrated this and ask…how?
As I mentioned above, things have been brought a little more into the world of Riverdale: Jughead is now a writer (about burgers, not the seedy underbelly of the town…but that could change?), Archie had a mysterious summer (not with Ms. Grundy this time), Cheryl Blossom remains the queen bee of the Riverdale social scene. It’s all there but with the benefit of not being tied to the show’s mythology, the comic is very much its own thing.
Which is fantastic. The book is the perfect antidote for superhero fatigue that still provides readers with recognized and beloved characters. It’s also potentially great for readers that want to dip their toe into the world of character driven, small press books. It makes a great case that not every comic book has to be stuffed wall to wall with superhero insanity.
The book does throw a bit of curveball which I won’t spoil here (even though the variant cover I got in my weekly pull did spoil it for me), but I will say it’s very much on-brand with the current Archie TV Renaissance. Not to mention it also opens up several hitherto unexplored story elements for the Riverdale gang.
Definitely pick this book up it’s a fun, easily accessible read which is something I think we all need these days. The simple joy of picking up a great comic like this on a Wednesday cannot be overstated.