Archie, Vol. 1: The New Riverdale

If you walked into my basement right now and turned left at the bottom of the stairs, you would find a bookshelf more than half full of Archie comics. My mom saved every one she got in the mail when she was growing up in 1970’s, small-town Iowa. When I was in elementary school, I came across the stack of comics one day and I read them almost non-stop. After I finished all of her copies, I started begging my mom to buy me the newest one whenever we went to the grocery store, so I was excited to read Mark Waid’s revamp of the characters.

When this comic begins, Archie and Betty have just broke up and Veronica Lodge is just moving to town. Now I was already set on Team Betty when I started reading, and by the end of it I hadn’t budged an inch. I don’t even blame Veronica that much, just Archie. I mean, he breaks up with Betty for being too girly and wearing too much makeup, then turns around and dates someone like Veronica? I understand his resentment that Betty tries to be someone that she’s not and hanging out around girls with a bad influence, but he handled the situation very poorly.

I think in the original series, Veronica is more likable and easier to sympathize with. In the newer one, she just comes off as kind of a brat and just tries to flaunt her wealth to get people to like her. Towards the end, it starts to seem more as if she genuinely cares for Archie, like when they dance at her party, but for most of the novel, she’s demeaning and mistreats him. I hope in further volumes Waid portrays Veronica in a kinder light, as she was in the original comics, so that the reader is less inclined to like Betty and dislike Veronica, instead understanding why Archie struggles to choose between them.

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