Archie: 1955 #2
BRAND NEW SERIES from the writing team that brought you ARCHIE: 1941! Archie Andrews’ rise to music superstardom begins to take form and all of Riverdale is captivated with their new crowned prince of rock and roll—but the cost of fame is already starting to add up.
As this story continues, it is becoming increasingly clear that despite being a fun exploration of Archie and gang at the birth of rock and roll, there is quite a bit more happening in this book than immediately meets the eye. Like so many before him, Archie’s first hit is another case of a white artist appropriating the work of a black artist, a notion highlighted in this issue as Archie is made aware of what he has done. This is the story of rock and roll writ large and Waid and Augustyn do not shy away that fact one bit.
As Mr. Lodge enters the fray as the band’s new manager, we begin to see something of a cautionary tale that has been nearly phased out of the music business given recent advances in self-distributed music sales and the drastic changes to the industry as a whole over the past decade or so. Yet still, the threat of white capitalism and the exploitative power their “support” brings remains a lesson worth investigating as we see here. It will be curious to track how this lesson factors into the inevitable fall of “Archie and the Dales” as jealousy and fame begin to the rear their heads. The Elvis foreshadowing in Archie’s nightmare seems to have the potential to run quite deep as the narrative progresses.
The artwork continues to be outstanding from top to bottom but that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody who has followed the careers of these artists– Tom Grummett in particular. Nobody draws the dichotomy of innocence and angst on the face of a teenager better than Grummett and the finishes from legendary Archie inker Bob Smith serve as icing on the cake. The book is simply visually stunning from linework to layouts.
Archie: 1955 #2 (Augustyn, Waid, Grummett, Burchett, Smith) delivers a fun read that is quietly laced with lessons in power and privilege.
Archie: 1955 #2: Hound Dog
Writing - 9.5/10
Storyline - 9/10
Art - 9/10
Color - 8.5/10
Cover Art - 10/10
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