Review: Archie #20 or “How I learned to stop worrying and love the nostalgia.”

ARCHIE #20

Written by Mark Waid

Art by Pete Woods

Published by Archie Comics

Release Date: May 17, 2017

Let’s face it, if you’re an adult, the world is just not a fun place right now. Sure, you can make some fun out of it as best you can, but everywhere you look something or someone is telling you it’s all going down in a heaping fire. I don’t know about you, but part of the reason I love reading comics is to get away from reality for a little bit. For my money, there’s no better place to escape than a timeless little burb called Riverdale. I’ve been reading Archie digests since I was knee high to a person who is quite a bit taller than me, and the stories have rarely changed. To me, that’s one of the draws. I know what I’m going to get. When I heard Archie was getting a new monthly series written by none other than Mark Waid, I was over the moon. So far, I haven’t been let down. Sure, things have modernized a bit, Archie’s jalopy is a mustang now, kids have cellular phones, sexual orientations among the populace have broadened a bit. None of that matters, the teens still get into the same squabbles and have the same resolutions they aways do, and I love it.

Issue 20 starts a new arc with an old conflict, Archie versus Reggie, isn’t this always the case? We open with everything as close to normal in Riverdale as you’ll really get. Archie’s repaired his relationship with Veronica and his friendship with Betty. Things are finally looking up, until………you guessed it, ol’ Reggie being Reggie. You know something’s serious when Archie’s opening monologue says flat out that he hates Reggie, the “H” word is typically not used when referring to acquaintances in this town, even Reg. Everyone hates him secretly, they just don’t say it like that. I digress……

Betty and Archie start fixing up his Mustang to get it street ready. This was a childhood plan coming to fruition. A couple of friends fixing up a car like friends do, well, Betty fixing up the car, Archie screwing everything up, and Veronica not wanting to get her expensive clothes dirty. Insert Reggie. Reggie has a secret about our red headed friend and threatens to tell Veronica if Arch doesn’t agree to his terms. It’s a classic premise for a classic world. When I say classic, I mean James Dean classic.

The issue opens the arc with a great level of suspense and leaves you going WTF? Seriously!? If I say anymore I’ll ruin everything. I’ll close with some thoughts:

Pros:

You really want the story to keep going.

The art is quirky and simple, not overly detailed and the colors are bight.

Betty (I’m biased)

Cons:

Almost half of the book is a preview of a one off Archies (the band) issue. I WANT MY CLASSIC ARCHIE REPRINTS BACK!

The top of the cover made me go buy a bag of doritos.

The Blossom family is shoehorned in just to let readers know they still exist.

Questions: 

How did Reggie, or his parents for that matter, afford the car he drives? My teenage car had blue shag carpet and 25 cent stickers on the back windshield.

When did Reggie get henchmen?

Why isn’t my burrito ready?

Johnny Pipes
Johnny Pipes is a freelance procrastinator and avid pog collector. His hobbies include eating chicken wings and writing lists of hobbies.