Right on the tail of Riverdale‘s season finale, Archie Comics keeps up their momentum with a fresh storyline in their “All-New” Archie comics. The series rebooted in early 2016, so another reboot so soon would be largely pointless. “Over the Edge” continues the story that kicked off in issue #1, but raises the stakes from will-they-won’t-they to life-or-death.
It’s clear that at least some of Riverdale‘s appeal has rubbed off on artist Pete Woods, as Archie spends several pages gratuitously shirtless while he and Betty work on his classic jalopy. Much like every other element preserved from the original comics, the jalopy gets a backstory and becomes more important to our characters than ever before. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the vilification of Reggie Mantle, Riverdale’s ultimate bad guy.
Even in his own mini-series, the final words on Reggie declare him the “prince of darkness”, and this time he’s back with an attempt to steal Archie’s car (and possibly his girl.) *Spoiler – Highlight the text to read* However, all his plans are derailed when Betty speeds in to stop the plot, and they crash into each other mid-race. “Over the Edge” truly begins when Betty and Reggie go careening off the side of Serpent Hill. The story concludes with a line-up of the possible casualties of the storyline: Archie (already marked “safe” after this issue), Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and Reggie. *End Spoiler*
Writer Mark Waid has boosted the Riverdale gang to a new level of sophistication, without losing any of their timeless appeal. This continues in “Over the Edge”, as Veronica name-checks clothing designers, Betty remains fiercely protective of her friends, Jughead drops by with a bag of half-eaten burgers and Archie himself trips his way through life both literally and metaphorically. Waid remains easily one of the best things to happen to Archie since the whole universe rebooted in his “All-New Archie #1”, and the now infamous Lipstick Incident.
Archie Comics has raised the stakes before, most notably with their “Death to Archie” storyline, as well as their duel “Married Life with Archie” stories. “Over the Edge” seems more like a classic Life with Archie story, where life or death is teased for the sake of temporary drama, although the repercussions will only cause a small ripple in the universe as we know it. “Over the Edge” kicks off a little slow, but should slam into high gear by part 2 or 3.
Story: Mark Waid Art: Pete Woods
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
Archie Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review