Jughead is captured by his mystery assailant in the wake of Mr. Mantle's disappearance. Meanwhile, Betty and Veronica enlist Cheryl Blossom to help root out Archie's mystery lover by holding a Bachelor Auction! The mysteries of Riverdale threaten to tear the town apart but none are deeper than whatever Mr. Mantle has bequeathed to Reggie!
This review is my first review of an Archie Comics publication. In fact, picking up and reading from #700 through #703 is the first time I’ve read Archie Comics since I was a kid in the 80s. I’ll start off by saying– what a pleasant surprise this has been! I’ve been watching Riverdale since it began and expected something similar but that is simply not the case. Nick Spencer manages to strike a perfect balance between classic Archie fare (the romantic tensions and awkward situations coupled with light-hearted attempts at modesty and humor) and elevate them for a more mature audience without resorting to sex and darkness to propel the narrative. This comic is clean, both narratively and visually, but doesn’t read as a book targeted to children. The maturation of this series is a spectacle of modern comics story-telling.
Jarrell and Herms’ clean and vibrant art style fit the story seamlessly. Stylistically, they manage to still evoke the standard art of the Double Digests with the simplicity of design but add a modern flair, to include in the layouts department. If I had one complaint, it would be that the female faces are mostly interchangeable, but each character has a distinct style eliminating any problem of knowing who is who.
It is 2019 and I am here to say that Archie Comics' flagship title, Archie, is worth your time and your money. A well-crafted narrative with perfectly suited art that doesn't stoop or pander in its efforts to deliver a relevant Archie story in the modern era of comics.
Archie #703: Blondes to the Left of Me, Brunettes to the Right…
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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