Archie and Sabrina have been successful at keeping their relationship a secret from everyone—even despite Archie’s now-public persona. But can they continue their mystery around the people in Sabrina’s life? Meanwhile, Reggie and Jughead continue to investigate their own mystery… and stumble upon some big hints!
After several months of fun but divergent story-telling, Spencer and Tamaki’s tale of mystery and the supernatural seems to be coming into a sharper focus against a backdrop of the tug of war between environmentalism and corporate Capitalism. Betty and Veronica now find themselves at odds not as would-be suitors to Archie Andrews but in a real world sense with real world stakes, caught between the false dichotomy of creation and preservation.
Standing dead center between Betty’s conversationalist stance and Veronica’s attempts to bring industry and jobs to “underdeveloped” land are Jughead and Reggie. The unlikely allies look to the past (with help from a Deepthroat like benefactor) to explore the secret (possibly supernatural) history of Fox Forrest, helping to make the inclusion of Sabrina in this arc feel much more organic than the previous “meet-cute/chance encounter” scenario that had been playing out up to this point. As the story continues to progress towards whatever lurks in these woods, be it supernatural or perhaps more overtly political in its base (the signs are all there, albeit moderately covert in the execution), this issue will certainly be looked at as the catalyst for what is to come.
There continues to be a quiet sophistication to the story being crafted here that both embraces and defies the history of the one-page-gag of Archie Comics. Jarrell continues to breath life into the story and Herms’ work on the colors cannot be overstated. The finely crafted balance between nostalgia and growth is the strength of this brave new era in the ongoing saga of Riverdale.
Archie #708 (Spencer, Tamaki, Jarrell) accelerates the story after a brief narrative holding pattern, bringing several story elements together elegantly.
Archie #708: The Plot Thickens
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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