Written by Christian Bischoff
The second book in the Archie reboot continues the promising trend begun by the first, and delivers an all around-stellar issue. The story picks with a jobless Archie searching desperately for work. Like most jobless teens, Archie is flat broke, and needs money to fix up his beat up old car. Unlike most teens, Archie is plagued by a remarkable clumsiness that leads all of his attempts at employment to failure.
This issue features the Lodge family for the first time, along with Archie’s first encounter with Veronica. Betty on the other hand struggles with her life without Archie, and her attempts to move on after their relationship while still maintaining friendly ties with him.
Waid’s work goes down like butter, and makes for an incredibly quick and enjoyable read. The book’s only crime is its near criminal brevity, a mere twenty-four pages. Typical length for a most comics, but the winning combo of Waid’s storytelling and Staples’s art leaves the reader hungry for more, and cursing the monthly issue date that keeps the presumably keeps the story so fresh.
Waid’s Archie is a perfect narrator and protagonist, equal parts relatable and likable, and well equipped with the wit and humility to successfully narrate an entire comic dedicated to himself. Staples’s art is expressive and exquisite, and with her incredible skill she brings Riverdale and its many townsfolk to life. Combining Waid’s words with Staples’s work has revitalized the world of Archie, and has recreated the classic comic into a contemporary masterwork.
Archie #2 hits all the right notes, and continues to reintroduce readers to the world of Archie while continuously modernizing it. The introduction of Veronica promises future conflict between Archie’s new and former flames. With the world of Riverdale finally content with the status Archie and Betty’s split, the reader must beg the question; what lies in store for Archie? And what exactly happened during this fabled “Lipstick Incident” that caused their split in the first place? Waid and Staples do an excellent job of enticing the reader to continue on, and leave a significant sense of mounting anticipation surrounding Archie’s monthly release. Time will tell whether this extremely high quality work can be replicated in all future issues.