Archie and Sabrina are the hottest couple in Riverdale—but how did their whirlwind romance come to be? This issue introduces readers to the history of their magical love story, as we welcome special co-writer Mariko Tamaki to the Archie universe!
This issue moves the reader back in time to tell the tale of how Archie and Sabrina became a couple. The shift back to the beginning of that fateful summer is accompanied by a structural shift to the narrative, at least in this first issue, that places both Archie and Sabrina’s stories in a parallel structure, alternating between the two stories nearly page by page. Each transition between shifts is structured around the dialogue from the last, so for instance, as Sabrina talks about Dark Heart mushrooms bleeding as being a “sign”, we jump to Archie being asked to repair the broken sign for Riverdale High. It was a nice narrative touch that helped the book to have a nice, natural flow throughout.
At its heart, this story is comprised of any number of “summer movie” or bildungsroman cliches, punctuated by the two protagonists’ missed connection at a special viewing of the movie Grease. The total-bummer summer movie feel, a la Judy Moody is in full effect as Archie copes with a summer without his friends and Sabrina tries to find meaning in a summer away from Greendale but all of that changes as Archie wrecks his car and Sabrina comes to his rescue, setting the star-crossed lover trope into motion. Despite being well-tread ground, the sharpness of dialogue helps to give this worn path a new sheen.
St-Onge’s artwork is not a far departure from previous artist Sandy Jarrell, with it’s clean sharp linework and cartoonist quality, and the color work by Matt Herms seems to help bridge this gap even further as he worked with both artists. I didn’t notice a particularly noticeable shift in quality, positive or negative, with the artistic shift and the addition of Mariko Tamaki as a co-writer, which goes a long way towards saying the consistent high quality of this book proves it to be worthy of Archie Comics’ flagship title.
Witness the tale that united Archie and Sabrina beginning in Archie #706, a fun and beautiful book on sale now!
Archie #706: Summer Lovin’, Had Me a Blast
Writing - 8/10
Storyline - 7/10
Art - 8/10
Color - 9/10
Cover Art - 8/10
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