*Warning Spoilers Below*
Archie #22 is the latest addition to the “Over the Edge” event in the relaunched Archie books, and it raises the stakes even further. Told in the same patchwork style as the previous issue, Archie #22 gives us flashbacks in to Betty Cooper’s origins, from her days as a screaming baby, to her childhood friendship with Archie, to the day she met Veronica. Unlike previous issues, the comedy is completely dropped from #22, keeping tension high throughout the book and giving the final moments the gravity they deserve.
Mark Waid’s script brings drama to the series in a way that’s been on hold since “Death of Archie” in 2014, the last major event when life or death played a part in the Archie universe. This time, however, there’s more “life” than “death”, as we finally discover that Betty has in fact survived the crash from issue #20. She flatlined at the end of issue #21, but in #22 the doctor’s bring her back from the brink. The accident still had a major impact on her, however, as the issue ends with a big reaveal: Betty can’t feel her legs.
While Betty’s fate is resolved here, there are still plenty of questions to answer. What consequences will Reggie face (Archie was released from questioning by police in issue #21, but they made reference to “dealing with” Reggie later)? Is Betty’s condition permanent? How will this effect Archie’s relationships with both Betty and Veronica? And is someone’s life still on the line?
Pick this one up for yourself–it looks like “Over the Edge” is building up to something bigger.
Story: Mark Waid Art: Pete Woods Lettering: Jack Morelli
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Archie Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review