Archie #20
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Writing
Art
Lettering

Archie Andrews has started to work things out with his girlfriend, Veronica Lodge and slavage his friendship with ex Betty Cooper. In fact Betty and him have started fixing his grandfather’s old mustang. But Archie and Reggie Mantle’s ongoing feud reaches a dangerous level that pitches the two Riverdale rivals against each other in a deadly race on Serpent’s Tail! Will the usual peaceful town become a place of tragedy? And will these two ‘frienemies’ finally cross a line that one of them may never come back from?Archie #20

Archie #20
Over The Edge Part 1
Written: Mark Waid
Art: Pete Woods
Lettering by: Jack Morelli
Published by: Archie Comics

The new Archie title has really been a revelation in the industry. Writer Mark Waid has made the Riverdale gang modern and urgent, but still recognizable and relatable to classic fans. And although the title has never crossed over into outright melodrama, serious story beats and themes have definitely been worked in. And now we have what seems to be one of the most serious and timely stories the book has tackled before. But does it work? The answer is yes! Read on for 11 reasons Archie #20 drives the title into new and welcome roads!

Archie #20
Page from Archie #20
  1. Pete Woods’ GORGEOUS art captures that classic sense of youthful energy Archie books have always had, but with a modern style that is expressive and flowing with movement.
  2. Mark Waid’s ongoing narrative trick of having Archie speak directly to the reader. It really connects you to the title character and makes you feel like part of the gang.
  3. The way the story is broken up into chapters with headings really helps to spotlight themes and sequences.
  4. The subtle ways every character uses their specific skills or personality traits to help Archie and Betty fix the Mustang.
  5. “Thanks for getting the food, Jughead”-Dilton. “Thanks for eating half of it on the way back, Jughead.”-Betty
  6. The “Widdle Archie” chapter heading and it’s lettering by Jack Morelli. A neat call back to the classic font.
  7. Morelli’s lettering in general. Great use of sound effects with the cars.
  8. Woods panels and layouts are filled with subtle border breaks and clever design. It really creates a great pace!
  9. The story’s great balance. It’s fun and funny, but there is enough menace suggested coming around the bend that tension hangs around the whole issue.
  10. The race scene is tense and cinematic.
  11. The ‘cliffhanger’ ending.

    Archie #20
    Page from Archie #20

There ya go. If you haven’t been reading Archie (or any of its satellite books), you’re missing on one of the best and most effective relaunches ever. And as the starting point to a new storyline, this issue us a great one to start doing so. So go ahead and join the Riverdale gang already!

Pick up Archie #20 at your local comic book shop this week!

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Manny Gomez is a freelance writer based out of Florida’s west coast. He obsessively reads interviews, binge watches TV shows, loves comics, movies, punk rock, hip-hop, stand-up comedy, detective novels and the mythology of baseball. His best friend is a dog.

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