Archie Vol. 3 ReviewSeptember 3, 2017
In Archie Vol. 3, Mark Waid continues weaving his hilarious tale of high school romance and friendship drama. When we last left off in Vol. 2, Veronica was shipped off to a private boarding school in Switzerland after her insanely rich father Hiram Lodge lost the mayoral election for Riverdale. In Vol. 3, Veronica finds a new best friend (or so she thinks) in Cheryl Blossom, a fellow rich girl who will do whatever it takes to get her way.
When Veronica threatens her throne as the cool girl at school, Cheryl decides to take revenge by setting her targets on the loveable buffoon Archie Andrews. The chess match that ensues between Veronica and Cheryl is quite entertaining and hilarious, and now Jughead is left scratching his head at how three gorgeous women are vying for Archie’s affection.
Speaking of Jughead, he’s not in Archie Vol. 3 much at all, which is a bit sad. Same goes for Betty. It’s understandable since a lot of this volume is about the war between Cheryl and Veronica in Switzerland. But a little more of Betty and her relationship with Sayid would have been nice. Speaking of Sayid, it still feels like he’s a half-baked character just to have someone else for Betty to focus on. Hopefully, he develops into an actual character at some point.
There are plenty of great subplots in this issue, such as Jughead trying to plan Archie’s parents’ anniversary party while Archie is super depressed about Veronica, essentially turning into Emo Jughead. When Jughead asks Kevin Keller for help planning the party, Kevin’s casual remark about being asked to help only because he’s gay was pretty hilarious. I love how effortlessly the new Archie series manages to add modernity to the mix with things like Xbox, social media, Tinder, etc. strewn throughout, while also making the cast diverse but not just for the sake of diversity. MOST of the kids, aside from Sayid, have a distinct personality and contribution to the story and don’t feel tacked on just to have a token Asian or Latino person. Multiple characters express interest in the same sex without it being made a big deal, and this is very refreshing to see.
I would say that Joe Eisma’s artwork is overall good and pretty consistent with the overall look and feel of the rebooted Archie series, but it’s not quite up to the standards set by Veronica Fish in Volume 1. There are some very weird facial expressions throughout that pulled me out of the book at times. Overall though, it’s relatively well done and the colors pop brilliantly in Archie Vol. 3.
Overall Archie Vol. 3 is a very FUN and funny book that is absolutely worth your time and cash. It might not hit the highs of the first two volumes, but it’s still a very enjoyable read.