Archie: 1941 #4
Writers: Brian Augustyn & Mark Waid
Artist: Peter Krause
Archie: 1941 has been a very strong comic in its first three issues. It feels very of its time, which is World War 2 America. So far, the writers have done a great job of touching on many aspects of pre-war and at-war issues in a small town. We have seen Fred and Mary Andrews wrestle with Archie’s decision to become a soldier. Seen Betty fret about Archie’s enlistment. However, this issue finally gets into the real battle that Archie is headed to, and bullets start flying. Let’s take a dive into Archie:1941 #4.
Archie and Reggie are shipping out to North Africa from their station in Alabama, and things are uncertain for the newly enlisted soldiers. We get to see more of Hiram Lodge and his potential profiteering as the gas prices hit a quarter per gallon in Riverdale. A lot of this issue is spent on Betty and Veronica becoming friends and finding a shoulder to lean on. The military wives are always a big part of going to war and sending out armed forces, but somehow with Betty and Veronica, it just isn’t heartfelt enough. I think Waid and Augustyn did a phenomenal job handling the parents take in the previous issues, but somehow I am not feeling Betty’s worry and loneliness the way the comic wants me to. Issue #3 spent some pages on the racism in Riverdale, which has been non-existent before and since. That would have been another issue that is very heavy and realistic, but instead, we are getting two teenage girls bonding. We get some action by way of Archie and Reggie’s unit finally meeting resistance on the road to Tunisia. This was inevitable, but we will have to see where this goes with only one issue of this mini-series left.
Brian Augustyn and Mark Waid are leading us to a finale, but unfortunately, it will be after the series’ worst issue. The first three issues set the bar so high that keeping up the quality would have been hard, but this issue was just noticeably weaker. The bright spots are a moment with Pops and Jughead which did seem reminiscent of what the previous chapters had offered and a moment with Archie and a local girl. The interest in this issue is very up and down, but the end is near and is only a month away.
The entire creative team on this book is doing a great job and cements the feel of 1941. The line art. The colors. Everything. There isn’t a ball dropped in the art department. It feels like careful attention has gone into making this as authentic as possible. It is apparent to me that if this book were done with a modern art style, it would be a much lesser product so kudos to everyone involved.
Yes, this issue was the weakest of the series so far, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from finishing this series. At five issues, this mini will be too short for sure. There is a lot of content to help push the series on and with the foundation that is set already, it is a shame that the series was only meant to be this short. So get ready readers, because this series is about to end and it will be too soon. Let’s hope the final issue ends on a high note. That is about all we can do at this point.
Archie: 1941 #4
Archie: 1941 has been a great mini so far. This series focuses on the wrong things but still manages to get a few solid moments in as the series rolls into the finale.