Archie Meets Ramones #1 (Archie)

archie-meets-ramones

CREDIT: Archie Comics

Rating: 5/5 – This Book Has Me All Revved Up and Ready to Go!
by ComicSpectrum Guest reviewer Adam Alamo.
With all the wild things coming out of Archie Comics in the past few years, including a crossover with the Predator, a zombie apocalypse, and a line-wide reboot of their 75 year old property, nothing got me more excited than the news that Archie and the gang would be meeting the Ramones. It would be a merging of my favorite comic book property and my favorite band, a clash of two icons of their respective mediums, and a move that can only be defined as “punk rock!” Add writers Alex Segura and Matthew Rosenberg, with art by Gisele Lagace, and this book instantly climbed to the top of my anticipatory comic book chart. I think you get the picture—I couldn’t have been more hyped! A year and 48-pages later and I can say that this book did not disappoint me.
 
As I meticulously consumed this book that I anticipated for so long, slowly reading each word and absorbing every panel, it was obvious to me that writers Alex Segura and Matthew Rosenberg are big fans of the Ramones and the era that spawned them. References and Easter eggs to both the Ramones and the punk scene in general are littered throughout its pages. Cameos of people and places also abound. What a far cry from the clean, idyllic world of the Archies and their “sugar sugar” and “jingle jangle.” And yet, as the Archies struggle from dysfunction in the book’s opening pages, it seems that some wisdom from this era is exactly what they need. The story is mostly a fun, humorous romp, never taking itself too seriously, but it leaves the Archies with some of basic tenets about life and self that only the best punk rock song can preach. I found myself smiling throughout my reading, an especially big grin when the Archies belted out some punk tunes. But seeing the Ramones, every single one of them shown on those pages now deceased, offering up advice to the kids of Riverdale? I think I felt what the Archies themselves must have been feeling. Segura and Rosenberg definitely “get” the spirit of the era, and as a result, so do the Archies, and so does the reader.
 
Even better than the story is Gisele Lagace’s exquisite art. It was done in the “classic” Archie style, or as close to classic as she gets. She definitely has a distinct style that brings to the Archieverse a fresh and new look that I really wish was part of an ongoing Archie title. And yet, I couldn’t tell if her Ramones were “Archiefied.” They simply looked like themselves, which to me is an example of her talent. Panel after panel, it never looks like she “calls it in,” no matter how many times she had to draw the Archies or the Ramones, or both in the same panel! And those glorious splash pages! As a collector of original art, I really wish she didn’t work digitally. Combined with colors by her oft collaborator Shouri and Digikore Studios, this really is some of Lagace’s best Archie work. As a side note, Lagace is a big fan of Josie and the Pussycats, and whether it was her or a product of Segura’s and Rosenberg’s script, keep an eye out for some humorous background hijinks featuring Riverdale’s premiere female rock band.
 
What else can I say about this book other than if you are a fan of Archie and the Ramones, what are you waiting for? It’s the best of both worlds! A fan of just one or the other? You may just walk away a fan of both. As Archie Comics pushes further into their reboot, it was just the shot in the arm of classic Archie that I needed. I only hope we can see more classic style stories like this in the future. Until then, I’ll grab by friends Jackie, Judy, and Sheena, catch a ride to Rockaway Beach, and enjoy this book again under the California Sun. Yes, I know Rockaway Beach is in New York. But it’s cold here. A guy can dream.

 

Reviewed by: Adam Alamo
(adam@comicspectrum.com
)
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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