Review: The Katy Keene Detour Concludes In ‘Archie #713’

by James Ferguson

Katy Keene has stolen the spotlight, but she’s at least taken the Riverdale gang to New York City for some fun and adventure. The thing is, she’s gone missing so Archie and the others have to find her.

While this arc with Katy Keene has been enjoyable enough, it feels like a distraction. With a TV show centered on her, the character seems shoehorned into this series. She’s literally taking all of the characters out of their story arcs and everything they were up to in order to have this fashion-filled journey to NYC that is completely and entirely centered around her.
Writers Mariko Tamaki & Kevin Panetta weave into a handful of elements to move the overall plot forward, specifically with Archie and his future with music. Otherwise, everything is pushed to the side. Jughead was a suspect in a murder investigation a few issues back and now he’s hosting a fashion show as “Captain Thrash.”

Laura Braga is the perfect artist for a fashion-centric Katy Keene story. Everyone is gorgeous and their clothes really stand out. The designs here are varied and impressive. Each one also brings out an aspect of the character’s personality, although some are a little on the nose (I’m looking at you, Sabrina in your witch costume.)
Archie #713 culminates in a big fashion show. Braga delivers a great double-page spread for this with panels overlapping all over, adding to the excitement. This is a small, intimate affair, but it feels like an arena show with how it’s laid out.

Colorist Matt Herms makes everything pop on the page. The characters practically sparkle, especially during the fashion show. The palette lends itself to the bright lights of the big city and the dreams that can come with them. Letterer Jack Morelli adds some excitement with the word balloons during the big event too. You get a sense of how much fun these characters are having.
Now that the Katy Keene detour has wrapped up, I’m excited for the gang to get back to Riverdale and wrap up at least a few of these loose ends. I do wonder why this arc had to be part of the main Archie series and not a separate mini-series as that’s what it feels like. I think that hurt the story overall as it’s not bad on its own. It just feels out of place.
Archie #713 from Archie Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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