The Archies One-Shot

by TalkNerdy2Me on May 24, 2017

Script: Alex Segura, Matthew Rosenberg

Artist/Colorist: Joe Eisma, Matt Herms

Publisher: Archie Comics


Pay enough attention to Archie Comics these days, and you’ll see that a lot of world-building is being done, not least in the universe that Mark Waid so carefully rebooted in the summer of 2015. There’s also a whole new Riverdale being built from from the ground up in the CW teen drama of the same name that just concluded its first season. I mention this simply because this one-shot seems to combine some of the best elements of each to become better than the sum of its parts.


There’s no dead Jason Blossom or dark, “Twin Peaks” undertone in this book, but Archie himself is a bit more emo than readers are used to seeing him. He’s always been a bit goofy, sort of happy-go-lucky and never one to stay down in the dumps too long. That doesn’t always lend itself very well to the image of the brooding artist, and this version of Archie is definitely the long-suffering songwriter.


It ends up being Jughead who suggests that Archie has a fever whose cure is the formation of a band (presumably with some cowbell, but one never knows). I was glad to see Segura and Rosenberg bringing in a couple of really old-school Archie Comics characters like Jug’s crazy Uncle Herman and Bingo Wilkins. That being said, I was disappointed at the lack of Kevin Keller anywhere in this story. It seems like he would’ve been all over the social opportunities presented by a place like the club that Jughead’s uncle owns.  


Once it’s established that Archie is serious about being an artist, we get an extended montage in which he puts the band together, loses the band, and is ultimately redeemed by them on the big opening night. It really isn’t anything we haven’t seen in any number of previous Archie stories - or other teen media, for that matter. But the art and the writing work together to make you forget what a cliche you’re reading. I dug that Archie woke up wearing a Josie and the Pussycats t-shirt - of course a kid like him would be sporting merch from a local band made good. Lots of teenagers in my hometown of Portland, Oregon wear Cake t-shirts completely un-ironically. 


While I really wish the writers had been able to follow up a bit more on the visual gag of Archie and Jug both making heart-eyes at Toni Topaz singing, I understand that this book was all about how The Archies got started. That necessarily meant putting and Archie and Jughead together with Betty and Veronica and Reggie on a stage. That obligation fulfilled, I hope that Waid decides to run with it a bit more in his regular Archie books. Music is too universal a language to ignore, especially where teenagers are concerned.

Our Score:


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