05th Jul2017

‘Archie #21′ Review

by Dan Clark

Written by  Mark Waid | Art by Pete Woods | Published by Archie Comics

archie-21-cover

Mark Waid and Pete Woods are doing something special with this current storyline in Archie. This has long been a book about low-risk struggles such as teenage romance and local town elections. ‘Over the Edge’ adds a more ominous tone to all the hamburger gags and slapstick humor. Here the stakes are much more than who will win this year’s big talent show.

Not that those types of stories are inherently bad, nor that Archie needs to be serious in order to be a quality book. In fact, this is a type of story that is best done is small doses otherwise you end up making it feel like an after school special in comic book form. Last issue we saw things get serious when a car race literally went over the edge. With the notion that this would forever change the world of Archie the hope was this book would give some major answers.

Waid shows his veteran nature making us wait till the very end to get any idea of the fate of these beloved characters. We get a series of vignettes showing major Archie characters living their lives like they normally would only to have their world shaken by the power of a phone call. It is an effective technique that works to show the seriousness of this moment while keeping you in suspense. When those answers do come they are as impactful as you would hope.

Who knows if this will have the ramifications it promises. This is the world of comics after all. For now, it is simply a good story that has given this book new life. If you are someone who has thought about getting into this book this is not an ideal jumping on point as these events will mean a lot more if you have an understanding of these characters. It’s odd but in the year 2017 one of the most consistent books on the shelves comes from one of its longing lasting characters. This feels like the story Waid has been building to since he first relaunched this title.

****½  4.5/5

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