Archie Comics reboot may be my new favorite comic

Between Marvel’s Star Wars books: Star Wars, Darth Vader and the Lando mini-series, the steady consistency of Larry Hama’s G.I. Joe and the greatness that is Secret Wars, there’s starting to be some major competition for the last (and most anticipated) comic I read in my monthly pile.

Thanks to the recommendation of the gang at Third Eye Comics, a new entry is quickly putting in its bid for bottom of the pile reading — the fantastic Archie reboot by writer Mark Waid and artist Fiona Staples (“Saga”).

Archie was one of those gateway comics for me thanks to the grocery store digest editions and this new series looks to be a perfect introduction to a new generation of future lifelong comic readers and Archie fans.

Archie-reboot-meet ArchieWaid captures the modern teen voice without coming across like a hopelessly out of touch old fogey trying to write “kewl” and “hip” slang. That means thankfully the characters aren’t sounding like they’re straight out of Twitter and there’s a welcome shortage of “LOLs” “OMGs” and “ROFL.”

The first two issues are just as upbeat and fun as you remember. In an all-too frequent violent and cynical comic book age, the lighthearted mood makes the issues a refreshing change of pace read.

Archie 1 coverStaples’ artwork strongly compliments Waid’s writing with a loose, fluid style that further conveys a sense of energy and enjoyment.

Best of all, Waid and Staples maintain the charm and spirit of the long-running comic without dumbing it down or modernizing Archie and his supporting cast to the point they’re unlikeable TMZ headline feature jerks.

That’s the biggest accomplishment here. Longtime fans will feel right at home reading this updated take without feeling like it’s a complete betrayal of the characters they’ve read for years.

Archie’s still a bit of a klutz, Jughead is smarter than everyone realizes, Reggie’s got a terrible reputation and Betty is the perfect tomboy/girlfriend/best friend with a knack for car repair.

For a new take on the Archie universe, Waid doesn’t treat it like an origin. Characters already have had extensive histories with each other, which helps the series hit the ground running.

Archie frequently breaks the fourth wall to explain his predicament and occasionally provide some background on characters. That direct reader interaction is a natural fit for Archie, who makes for an engaging, likeable lead character.Archie Comics reboot - Jughead, Betty and Archie

Longtime favorites like Reggie, Dilton, Moose and newcomers like Trev Smith and Kevin Keller are around and their characterizations are spot on. Vanessa Lodge made her debut in Issue #2, which arrived on comic stores Wednesday,  and I’m already looking forward to the follow-up next issue.

I can’t recommend this series enough. If you’ve ever enjoyed an Archie book this reboot is quickly going to become one of your new comic book addictions.

And how awesome was this?

  • keith

    Yeah, my older bro used to love them. I would rather see this become a animated series quick. Not a terrible one like the 90’s one

  • It’s funny. Archie’s format to me has always been one of those things that works best in comics/digest form not so much like a movie or TV show.

  • keith

    True. its a good old school throw but im kind of miss the old way they are thrown but i can see why they want to make them less disney like and more real so the kiddies can like them. I always appreciate cartoon artists who can make the ladies he draw all innocent looking while being what most would consider attractive. I always like Moose( the good hearted version not the jerk/angry hulk version) and dalton ( the non overly um “sissy” version) . They were always funny together. and Yes reggie is a hater before the word was even used in the lexicon from way back lol. I think i look at anyone named reggie sideways for min lol

  • LOL at Reggie. He was the original hater, wasn’t he?

    That’s funny. I’ve only read stories where Moose was a nice, not so bright, big guy.