Archie 1955 #1
BRAND NEW SERIES from the writing team that brought you ARCHIE: 1941! Can a rocking teenager from a small, sleepy town find fame and fortune through this new phenomenon called “rock and roll”? When Archie Andrews proves to a local DJ that he’s got the makings of a hip-shaking stardom, he begins an ascent to fame that will carry with it both triumph and tragedy.
Following up on the team’s previous hit, Archie 1941, this time we see what Archie might have looked like in 1955 for the rock’n’roll explosion that shook the world. Framed by a “Where Are They Now?” story in which people wonder what happened to Archie Andrews, Archie 1955 is an excellently written story using familiar tropes and familiar faces but in a fresh and exciting way. As Archie and his band seek inspiration for their big break into the music business, the framing narrative serves as a subtle reminder of the fates of so many others from the era who made it big only to lose it all.
The dialogue work in this book is a monument to 1950’s rockabilly culture, a culture that continues to live on today, albeit relegated mostly to the underground music scene (if such a thing truly exists in 2019). In addition, this issue includes lyrics to a number of songs that I believe must have been written by Waid and/or Augustyn. I have a pretty extensive knowledge of rockabilly music and although each of these songs echos the proper sentiments and rhythms, none of them are anything I’ve heard. It would have been all to easy to snatch familiar lyrics but instead, it would appear just that extra bit of care was taken here to make this book sing. And while this book takes Archie out of a time and space that the reader may be used to, all of the crucial dynamics that have helped Archie persist over all these many decades remain intact.
The combination of Tom Grummett’s skill at capturing youthful exuberance (see Superboy) and long-time Archie inker Bob Smith’s careful hand makes for a beautiful book in addition to the superb writing. This project is clearly a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Take a jaunt back through time with Archie and the gang as the hit writing team of Archie: 1941 returns to show us Archie at the dawn of rock'n'roll in Archie: 1955 #1 (Augustyn, Waid, Grummett, Smith).
Archie 1955 #1: Be Bop a Lula, He’s My Archie
Writing - 10/10
Storyline - 9/10
Art - 9.5/10
Color - 9.5/10
Cover Art - 9/10
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