The Archies have hit a few snags on the road, but no obstacle may be bigger than keeping feelings from each other. Will Archie feel pushed out when Betty takes the spotlight and plays one of her songs? Will Reggie’s ‘base rig’ finally be acknowledged and allowed? Will Jughead continue to eat? And how does the synth-pop band Chvrches fit into all this?
The Archies #3
Written by: Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg
Art by: Joe Eisma
Colors by: Matt Herms
Lettering by: Jack Morelli
Published by: Archie Comics
Right from the first page, The Archies #3 switches gears a bit. Whereas we had mostly been following the story through Archie‘s eyes the last issue, this issue is all about Betty Cooper as she struggles with wanting to put more of herself into the band. The bulk of the narrative is made up of entries from Betty’s journal, and it’s a great way to get not only into her head but a different perspective on the rest of the characters as well. Segura and Rosenberg flesh Betty out, giving her both strength and vulnerability. And again, they are writing possibly my favorite version of Jughead who not only continues his hilarious constant quest for food but also dispenses some true sage-like advice to Archie and Betty when they both need it.
Of course one of the draws this issue is the role Chvrches plays in the story, and it’s a good one. The band serves as both characters and a plot/narrative device without coming across as an artificial cameo. Their interaction with the Riverdale gang feels real and natural.
Joe Eisma and Matt Herms once again draw a book with plenty of energy and movement. The art team is equally great at capturing quiet and loud moments, as well as creating some great splash page moments of performances. There is nuance in facial expressions and the body language is captured and expressed in a way that makes this feel like animation; the art simply moves.
Jack Morelli’s letter’s also deserve attention as the font and caption boxes used for Betty’s journal entries are a big part of this issues charm and success.
The Archies continues to be one of the most joyful and just plain fun books to read. It’s light without being vapid and it’s a treat for new and old fans alike. It’s also extra fun for music nerds. Don’t sleep on this book and turn the volume up on it!