Review: Archie #17

archie17coverWhile the TV show Riverdale is all about the dark, sexy side of the iconic Archie Comics character, Archie #17 goes the quirky route like the old school comics with a shinier visual presentation courtesy of artist Joe Eisma (Morning Gloriesand colorist Andre SzymanowiczMark Waid‘s script is silly in all the best ways with Cheryl Blossom trying to seduce Archie and get revenge on Veronica because Mr. Lodge bought her father’s company, and she had to move from an exclusive boarding school in Switzerland to plain ol’ Riverdale. She is truly a terrible person as evidenced by a scene where she and Jason push over a homeless person during a walk and talk.

Waid and Eisma’s take on Archie Andrews himself is much clumsier and definitely less sexy than KJ Apa’s portrayal in the Riverdale show or the previous artwork of Fiona Staples and Veronica Fish. He has a nice jawline, but the old crosshatching and freckles are back, and most of the issue is spent with him being a general idiot and somehow ending up rolling down the road in a barrel molasses. Archie #17 is at its finest when Waid goes for screwball comedy, and characters not named Archie sigh and snark about his ridiculousness. For example, Cheryl Blossom has been building our favorite redhead as some kind of hybrid of a male model, guitar god, archie17interiorand with overdramatic dialogue and ends up being very disappointed by the end of the issue.

The comedic tone of Archie #17 extends to a zippy B-plot featuring Veronica, who uses her father’s influence at her school to be able to leave town as soon as she does all her work/finals. It’s amusing to see Veronica’s single-minded focus applied to academic work, and Eisma lays on the speed lines with papers and books flying everywhere until she finally gets to leave town. Not even Mr. Collier, the man who was humiliated by her father in a mayoral election and his draconian final project, can get in the way of her skill with fashion. Like seriously, why would making a simple man’s suit be a challenge for Riverdale’s and maybe comics’ best dressed character? It’s also nice to have Veronica be back with Archie and the gang, and her feud with Cheryl Blossom will be even more fun on Veronica’s home turf.

Even though it occasionally hits on some real teen/young people concerns, like how long is too long to wait to text someone back if you’re romantically interested in them, Archie #17 is mostly stylized wackiness from Mark Waid, Joe Eisma, and Andre Szymanowicz, who uses some overpowering reds in Cheryl Blossom’s scenes. It’s pure comedic melodramatic fun.

Story: Mark Waid Art: Joe Eisma Colors: Andre Szymanowicz
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Archie Comics  provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review