Archie 1955 #2 (of 5) Review

by Olivier Roth on October 31, 2019

Story by: Brian Augustyn & Mark Waid

Pencils by: Tom Grummett & Rick Burchett

Lettering by: Jack Morelli

Inks by: Bob Smith & Rick Burchett

Coloring by: Glenn Whitmore

Published by: Archie Comics


Archie Comics continues their streak of coming out with amazing new concepts set to the backdrop of Riverdale and staring their titular characters. This time around, Augustyn and Waid place Archie Andrews in the middle of the Rock revolution of the 19050s in the United States and this issue continues Archie’s ascent to super stardom. 


This month, Augustyn and Waid delve into the ramifications of a naive boy’s desire to play “good” music and how he will possibly hurt more than one person along the way. In the last issue, Chuck brought Archie to listen to a favorite musician of his on the “other side of the tracks” and Archie was mystified. So mystified that he worked tirelessly to imitate not only the sound, but the actual song. Playing it for his friends, he gets accosted by a music producer who wants him to record the song to allow for radio play. 


One thing that I’ve really enjoyed about Archie Comics as a publisher this past decade has been their fearlessness to tackle some pretty hefty issues within their comics. Here, we have Archie, with all the best intentions in the world, effectively stealing someone else’s sound and going somewhere with it. The first thought I had after reading the issue, if the cover wasn’t a big giveaway, is that we are seeing the story of Elvis Presley told by proxy of Archie. 


Augustyn and Waid also touch on the trope of the lead singer of a band also hitting big at the expense of his longtime bandmates. Here, Jughead and Reggie are experiencing signs that they may be left behind as the producer is more interested in Archie, even going so far as calling the band Archie and the Dales. 


This is all tied together by the third-person account of a currently unknown narrator that walks the reader through the story. It’s not necessarily needed, but the narrator does sometimes give context to a situation that some readers may not be familiar with. 


This month, the art duties art split between the team of Grummett and Smith with contributing pages from Burchett. I’m not always a fan of two different art teams on one book (especially a mini-series), but the split is well done within this issue: Grummett and Smith get the “main story” whereas Burchett gets a specific sequence. Grummet and Smith’s collaboration is pretty standard fare for all “non-main” Archie comics. Burchett’s sequence is a little jarring as his style is very different than Grummett but it does work to a degree for the sequence he’s given.

Our Score:


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