By Mark Waid (Author) and Fiona Staples, Annie Wu and Veronica Fish (Illustrators) Archie Comics (Publisher)
> Review by Maia Bankhead
What do you think of when you add an unwitting, red-headed engine of destruction, a love triangle and Pop Tate’s? If you know your comics, then you know I’m talking about Archie Andrews, the lovable (yet hormonal) teen at Riverdale High. Years after its last relaunch in 1987, his comic has started from scratch with an all-new style. And it’s freaking awesome. This new Archie mixes the old and new: Archie is sweet, yet prone to accidents like setting ice cream on fire; Betty Cooper is independent and tomboyish like the newer comics have shown; Veronica is the spoiled daughter of “jillionaire” Hiram Lodge, who sees others as dirt; Reggie Mantle is a villainous prankster; and Jughead Jones is back to being extremely intelligent and looking out for his friends, while giving Reggie hell. It starts with everyone gossiping about how power couple Archie and Betty have broken up, which, to translate, means the world’s ending. Enter Veronica Lodge. Archie falls head over heels shortly before destroying the framing of the would-be Lodge mansion. Chaos ensues. The creative team, which knows when they have something good, happily uses the students from the “Clash of the New Kids” arc, along with foodie Toni Topaz and the honest Kevin Keller. The artistic style changes depending on the issue, but the story’s so engaging you won’t mind. Besides, the art is beautiful, going back and forth between realistic, cartoonish, and vaguely like manga. Considering Archie Comics’ series were the first comics I read growing up, I had high expectations, and this reboot met all of them. I highly recommend Archie for old and new readers alike.