Rating: 4/5 – Are Betty and Veronica Leaving Riverdale for Good?
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Alamo.
I attended an Archie Comics panel while at Baltimore Comic-Con this year based on the publisher’s successes with Life with Archie and Afterlife with Archie, two comic books with which I’ve fallen in love. The panel, which featured an all-star cast of creators, spoke about the publisher’s recent innovations, and rightly so. After all, their fresh, new interpretations on characters and stories drew me into the Archie universe for the first time since I was a kid. Looking around the room, it was apparent that I wasn’t the only one. With that, they promptly moved into promoting a couple of upcoming books and storylines that they felt continued to push the Archie universe into the future. One of these new stories begins in Betty and Veronica #272. The new story arc sees the duo saying goodbye to Riverdale, not in an alternate universe or reality, but in mainstream Archie continuity.
Written by Michael Uslan, who brought us the groundbreaking “Archie Marries…” storyline that lead into the Life with Archie series, the cover to this issue puts it all right out there with Betty and Veronica proclaiming, “Hello World, Goodbye Riverdale.” Though Archie comics are extremely new reader friendly, this issue pretty much lays out the premise of Archie in its entirety, just in case anyone doesn’t know about the eternal Archie-Betty-Veronica love triangle. Everyone proceeds to say goodbye in his or her own way. The moments are mostly touching, though Veronica manages a line at the end that cuts Archie to the bone, truly epitomizing her character. Betty and Veronica then hop on a plane and take off to places unknown (not really a spoiler, c’mon, this is on the cover and is the premise of the entire storyline…)
Tackling art duties this issue is Dan Parent, perhaps the best modern Archie artist. It’s hard to judge art on an Archie comic because there is a very consistent house style on the majority of their stories. The Archie house style is something that has remained consistent over 70 years, which seems almost unbelievable. Nevertheless, Parent has really perfected it over the years and it’s always a pleasure when he’s penciling the Riverdale gang.
Betty and Veronica #272 is primarily a set-up issue, with the last page promising that the next issue will provide the answers. Although the story is a little thin in that respect, there are tons of great one-liners and zingers sprinkled throughout this issue that gave me a good chuckle. There was a reference to Casablanca that was brilliant and finding out that Miss Grundy is a Walking Dead fan is priceless. These two scenes, something old and something new, demonstrate how far the publisher has come in modernizing their comics. I’m really curious to see where Uslan is taking this story of Betty and Veronica leaving Riverdale and this was a great start. Wherever they go, I’ll be following.
Reviewed by: Adam Alamo
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