Archie has defeated Hiram Lodge and is allowed to spend time with his daughter Veronica, as long as they do it at Archie’s house. How will Veronica, who is used to all the luxuries of wealth, handle roughing it in an average suburban neighborhood?
For the uninitiated, Mark Waid’s Archie is a modernization of the classic Archie comics your parents might have read when they were kids. Worried that your lack of exposure to the older Archie comics might be a barrier to entry into this newer series? Don’t be. I’ve only ever read the Archie Digest issues given out on Free Comic Book Day, and have still immensely enjoyed the entire run up to this point. While previous fans might get a kick out of a new spin on beloved characters, this book is by no means targeting only them. Obligatory introduction aside, let’s dive into what’s going on with this issue.
Archie #9 is your traditional fish out of water story. Rich girl Veronica is shocked and amazed by the “awful” living conditions of her average middle-class boyfriend, Archie. She decides to help his family out by filling their house with every luxury she can, as well as bringing her butler and house staff along for the ride. In the process, Veronica realizes she is doing more harm than good and has a change of heart, trying to live in their world instead of forcing them to live in her’s.
In lesser hands, such a straightforward and familiar story could easily be a slog and a bore. Instead, in Mark Waid’s hands it is a joy to read. Every character here has a unique voice, and is a delight for however many panels they are in. Waid manages to make every character interaction have weight, there is a nuance present for each and every relationship. There is so much heart and humor in this book, and they play well off each other. From an awkward family portrait to a somber guitar tune, Mark Waid will keep you engaged and invested for every page.
Veronica Fish had some gigantic shoes to fill after Fiona Staples’ first arc. She somehow managed not just to live up to Staples, but in a way to surpass her by truly making this hers. If the script wasn’t enough to get you fully invested, Fish’s amazing cartooning will pull you all the way in. Every emotion that a character is feeling is represented perfectly in not just their expressions but in their postures. By the time Fish visualizes the script it truly becomes a living world. There might be other comics drawn as well as this, but not many that are drawn better.
As if this review needed to heap any more praise on Archie #9, the colors and lettering manage to make this the complete package. The colors are approaching an almost minimalistic style, yet they really bring out the life of every panel. Even the lettering manages to add to the quality of this book, it is dynamic and aids in making the already expressive artwork more so.
Archie #9 is a triumph of masterful storytelling. It is a breath of fresh air as a more relatable and down to earth book than most of the action driven comic landscape. Every aspect of this book screams quality and deserves recognition. Only the most jaded of readers won’t find something to delight in here. Everyone should be reading this book.
- Engaging character driven story
- Beautiful and unique artwork
- Never misses a beat
- Literally nothing