Rating: 4.5/5 – “Winter is Coming” to Riverdale in This Game of Thrones Parody.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Alamo.
Marvel and DC aren’t the only publishers that explore alternate realities, continuities, timelines, and variations of their characters. Over in the quiet corner of the comic universe occupied by Archie Comics, every so often we find the gang from Riverdale thrown into quirky realities that provide for interesting concepts and a good laugh. Whether it’s a Thor spoof in “Archie, Clod of Thunder”, or the recurring 1960s spy show parody “The Man from R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.”, the publisher has a long history of mixing it up with their loveable teens. In that great tradition, we find that this month “winter is coming” to the Kingdom of Riveros. So look out Secret Wars! Step aside Convergence! Multiversity? I’m not even sure what that is, but it sounds all wibbily wobbly and timey wimey. Here comes Archie and the gang in the dreadful, treacherous, and totally selfie-obsessed Game of Phones!
In a spot-on parody of Game of Thrones, this story finds the Riverdale kids in the kind of blood sport that can only be found in high school and medieval warfare. The king of the Riveros High School senior prom is stepping down and whoever is elected the next king will get to choose his prom queen. It sounds like the perfect set-up for all sorts of Archiesque antics and indeed it delivers. From the hilarious opening “credits” to the play on family names, writer Angelo DeCesare serves up plenty of nods to Game of Thrones while keeping the characters true to who they are. Archie plays the noble “Starch,” Veronica is the cunning “Lodgister,” and so on. As a casual fan of Game of Thrones I caught all of the references, so this certainly isn’t only for hardcore fans (Although I would love to see a Venn diagram illustrating the intersection between Archie fans and Game of Thrones fans). Thankfully things don’t get as intense and bloody as in Game of Thrones, but the scheming, plotting, and backstabbing are all there thanks to Reggie, who in this and every other Archieverse can be counted on to stir up trouble. The use of cellphones throughout was an offbeat contrast to the medieval premise, but it worked. It fit into the “millennial” vibe that Archie has been giving off for the past few years as it updates its characters. Fernando Ruiz tackled art duties this issue and I have to say he is quickly becoming my favorite Archie artist. His portrayal of Veronica as Cersei Lannister is uncanny. It was also fun to see him sprinkle Archie regulars into the crowd scenes and in one panel I believe I saw a cameo of Bran Stark and his three-eyed crow.
As far as Archie parodies go, I really loved this play on Game of Thrones. I like that DeCesare used something contemporary to lampoon, which to me demonstrates that Archie is continually modernizing a nearly 75 year old brand. Most of all, I thought it was just plain fun, which is something that the comic market can use more of. I don’t know what the future holds with Archie’s upcoming reboot, but I hope they keep these fun parodies as part of their stable.
Reviewed by: Adam Alamo
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