Adrenaline, Fear, And Raw Energy: The Archies #1 Hits The Ground Running In October

by Brendan M. Allen

What’s next for the teenage rockers The Archies? When someone makes a decision that leaves the rest of the band scrambling, can the group keep it together? It’s friendship vs. fame in this must-read #1 issue to the new, ongoing THE ARCHIES series! After successfully playing their first real show together as a band, Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica, and Reggie leave Riverdale as they begin their first tour across the country – and meet real-life bands along the way!

The first issue in The Archies’ new ongoing series picks up right where the one-shot left off back in April. The band is on stage, playing their first real gig, when it suddenly gets real. Archie starts freaking out in the middle of the show when he realizes the band doesn’t have any real direction.
Archie has been around since the early 1940’s. Just about everyone has picked up at least one of the dozens of Archie titles off the supermarket endcap, right next to The Enquirer and Weekly World News. It presents a unique challenge for any creative team to pick up a set of characters as well known as these and bring something new to the table without alienating long-time readers.
Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg nail the script, tying in just enough of the classic characters’ personalities to make each recognizable, while also not relying on the fact that most readers grew up occasionally reading the classic titles. Segura and Rosenberg have Archie break kayfabe a few times to bring the reader up to speed, but they do it so slyly that you could almost argue the fourth wall isn’t actually being broken. Archibald “Chick” Andrews could be narrating to himself, talking it out to clear his head.
The artwork by Joe Eisma has strong lines that throw back to the series origins, but each character’s appearance has been updated to make them slightly less cartoony than classic Archie. Colors by Matt Herms are bright and loud, without being overwhelming.
The Archies #1 plays heavily into nostalgia, but you actually don’t have to have read a single Archie comic to get into it. If you’ve read the one-shot, fantastic! No worries if you haven’t, though. The Archies #1 hits the ground without any assumptions of foreknowledge.
The problems faced by the band are easily relatable and are present in the history of every successful band. Weak leadership, varying levels of commitment, equipment failure, focus, low (or no) paying gigs…Anyone who’s ever picked up an instrument and jammed with friends has been there.
An added benefit to “reading” music that you can’t hear is that the music sounds however you want it to. All the bands in this first issue sounded like Swedish Prog Rock in my head. Don’t judge me. They tell me there will be actual, real life bands in future issues. That’ll make it harder to convert in my head, but I’ll get it there.
The Archies #1 hits comic book stores on the 4th of October 2017.
The script is co-written by Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg. Art by Joe Eisma, color by Matt Herms, letters by Jack Morelli. Cover A by Joe Eisma, with variant covers by Matthew Dow Smith, Sandy Jarrell with Kelly Fitzpatrick, Thomas Pitilli. Pre-order this issue from your local comic shop using Diamond ID AUG171217.

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