Solving last issue’s wormhole cliffhanger with style, you can almost listen to 70s music and smell popcorn and grease coming out of these pages. The run gets even catchier and smoothier, as we go into past times vibe with a bunch of over the top dialogues and expressions (you’re gonna ugly laugh at “all that boys think about is eating”), while our time travellers get as surprised and concerned about 70s stereotypes as us. Heck, there’s even a wardrobe scene there.
Amy Chu (Red Sonja, Alpha Girl Comics) seems to perfectly adapt her writing to the change of scenario, mutating everything about the dynamics and relationships between Vampi/Sonja and the Archie team, while maintaining all of the characterization as credible and fidelign. This proves how these characters stay as relevant and (literally) ageless whichever the time period, and how, in the end, their relationships flourish and develop naturally whichever the context. All the crossover characters coming and going work perfectly and leave here and there well placed nods and winks to other Archie mythos series, even most recent ones like Jughead’s Time Police. As a low point, and since the timing is set to one issue self-conclussive, we don’t really get a lot of depth on the trepidant invited cast, feeling for some of them more like a guest appareance in a musical video than part of a more extensive personal storyline.
In line with the shift in tone of this issue, Dan Parent (Kevin Keller, Die Kitty Die, Archie Vs Batman ’66) picks up on art duties, accompanied by Scott McRae (Animaniacs, Looney Tunes, Scooby Doo) on inks. This team gets back to vintage Archie style territory, and it surely helps make this “oneish shot” feel like a story of its own– like a different shiny piece of a winding puzzle. The cover, by Fay Dalton, has a 70s movies sci-fi poster design that fits the art and mood perfectly, as do the other Dynamite style variants. Some are specially astounding, like the mirror-look one by Laura Braga and the wardrobe scene reimagined in noir style by Cat Staggs.
What I’d personally like to highlight about this issue is that all the over-the-topness, both in narrative and visuals, seems perfectly calculated and works surprisingly well, even when it skims risky territories (yes we’re getting a Vietnam war refference), thanks to an stinging irony and cheerfulness that ends up giving strenght to both Sonja and Vampi’s dynamics and the social criticism spread subtly throught the panels.
I loved the 70s and vintage style of this comic! Probably gonna grab it to complete my Archie collection! The review is really nice too, and I love that we’re getting some one-shot-ish stuff from Dynamite/Archie in the middle of their series. Feels very much like comics I like, thanks for the recommendation Comic Watch!