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Archie #2

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by Mark Waid, Fiona Staples, and Andre Szymanowicz, with Jen Vaughn and Jack Morelli

Archie is easily one of the best series out there right now. The first issue was everything it should have been, so the second issue has a lot to live up to. But fear not! The second issue is just as good as the first. It’s not often that a first issue, or first two issues, of a series completely live up to high expectations – but Archie has done that, which is why it’s easy to say that it’s one of the best series available.

Like issue number one, this one had some nice little throwbacks included in it too. Archie’s inability to do any job properly, for example, plus the fact that he’s got a really beat up old car. That’s one of the best things about this series, that it’s all new and shiny and the characters are more updated to current styles and whatnot, but they’re still paying homage to how things have always been. It’s really something that long-time Archie fans are going to appreciate – the fact that it’s new, but it’s not SO different that it’s something else entirely. The first issue had that, and this one does too.

One of the things that’s pretty great about this new reboot is the addition of some really unique characters. Archie comics before were primarily filled with white characters. It’s not that way anymore, and it’s awesome to see the huge amount of diversity now. There are now characters of different races, characters with neon hair, and everyone’s kind of got their own style – not just the generic style from before. There’s a lot of that in this issue. There are some side characters we’ve seen before – Dilton, Moose, Reggie – but there are also some new ones there to add a little something extra. Fiona Staples has done an excellent job, of course, of making each character look unique.

The first issue was about Archie and Betty’s break up. So in this one, we see how they’re both dealing with that, in a way. And Betty just rocks. She’s awesome because she can use the word “no”, and she can totally admit to not being a girl. She’s one hell of a role model! There’s also a bit of classic Betty here – remember how she’s better with cars than Archie is? And, we finally get to meet Veronica, who looks a little Kardashian-esque (someone like Veronica would probably be pleased to hear that), and her dad gets his first distaste for Archie. Another throwback! It’s going to put a smile on anyone’s face. It will be nice to see what happens with Archie and Veronica (who haven’t met yet) next!

Not only is there a focus on Veronica and on Betty for a bit, there’s also a little peek into Jughead’s past, which is awesome. Jughead has ALWAYS been kind of a mysterious character – what’s with that hat? Or the ‘S’ on his sweater? And why is he called Jughead, anyway? There’s a little blurb in here that peeks into his life, and it’s really very satisfying.

After an absolutely perfect first issue, it’s easy to wonder whether the rest of the series will live up to it. And so far, issue two does. It was definitely just as good as the first one, which is saying a lot considering how great that book was. The high expectations for this series live on! Mark Waid and Fiona Staples are pretty much an Archie dream team. The story is perfect – new but not so new that classic Archie fans won’t be on board – and the art is just right for this series. Fiona’s characters look completely perfect. Their new looks fit in with their personalities just right. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more ideal artist for such a book!

So yes, Archie really is one of the best books out there right now. Definitely worth the read, for those who’ve never read an Archie book in their lives, or for those who grew up on them. Two issues in and it’s already lived up to everyone’s high expectations. It’s rare that a book wows you right out of the gate, but this one has done that and continues to do that. Bring on issue three!

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