Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Marguerite Sauvage
Going through a revitalization over the past few years, the Archie Comics line is consistently releasing fun books. The milestone Archie #700 is no exception. With the New Riverdale era bringing serial drama, Spencer fuels that fire while keeping the classic comics feel.
Taking a cue from CW’s Riverdale, resident burger-chomper Jughead opens the issue framing the town’s majesty. It’s a simple American small town with countless aesthetic and suburban pleasures, but deep down there’s the twitch of mystery. Summer’s come and gone for the teens in town, with almost all of them having left Riverdale for personal adventures. Veronica’s internship brings her close to the stars, Betty works on the campaign trail, even Jughead starts writing for the Riverdale Gazette! But with no one hearing from him since summer’s start, what has Archie Andrews been up to all break?
Throughout the issue, Archie’s friends attempt to unseal his lips about his vacation. Jughead starts his questioning at Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe and we follow his interrogation most of the issue. Archie gives a kernel of truth to his best friend, telling him there’s some event that left him different. Soon after, Betty and Veronica both manage to corner Archie, looking to share their summer reflections with him. In classic Archie Comics manner, he’s flustered and fumbles away. He’s incredibly obvious that something else is on his mind. The last few pages tease a fan-favorite character as what’s been replaying in Archie’s mind, Sabrina Spellman. Spencer has a perfect lock on the characters and is setting up plotlines any reader can enjoy. The issue has romance, mystery, drama, all packed neatly into the start of this new arc.
Invigorating the visuals of Riverdale is the flashy, colorful stylings of Marguerite Sauvage. Her art enraptures anyone who looks at it, catching their imagination and dragging them into a world close to fantasy. Each page is picturesque, making the world seem filled with models and vibrancy. There’s a dream-like scene of Jughead pounding back hamburgers in a single panel which is worthy of limited edition posters. It captures his character well, showing off his classic foodie enjoyment along with his newfound sense of style and purpose. Sauvage absolutely kills it on this book and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for future issues.
Archie #700 sets up an exciting new direction for the series while still keeping that which makes it special. Spencer’s storytelling is well-paced with sprinklings of different genre finding its way into the mix. Sauvage blows me away with nearly every panel, proving she should be declared a monarch of art. Jughead as a journalist, Archie’s mysterious event, Sabrina having a larger role in the comics, all reasons to keep reading. With the promise of magical hijinks to come, I’m hype to see the new stories Spencer and Sauvage are spinning.
A perfect jumping on point for new readers with fun twists for older fans.