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‘Archie’ #5 has too much Reggie to handle

Archie #5 lacks the visual panache of its first four issues and makes the interesting, if unfortunate story choice of focusing on its least likable character. Villain-centric stories can be supremely fascinating (See Hannibal, Breaking Bad, or even Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s Darth Vader), but this is the equivalent of spending an entire issue on the douchebag lead of an Axe bodyspray commercial. And touching moment between Veronica and Archie and closure for Betty aside, the issue has really to add to the teen genre and falls behind both Jughead and books like Giant Days in the surreal humor department.

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‘Jughead’ #3- Suspensions and Secret Agents

Jughead #3 mixes a little bit of sad and little bit of surreal pop culture homage/parody/tribute/however the hell you want to read it with a whole lot of funny as Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson put the whole town of Riverdale to work as the series’ plot gets just a tad weirder. Also, Jonesy should get his own spinoff one-shot or miniseries.

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Best Comics of 2015 (Part Two)

5. Paper Girls (Image) Paper Girls #1-3 Written by Brian K. Vaughan Art by Cliff Chiang Colors by Matthew Wilson Letters by Jared K. Fletcher Only three issues in, Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang’s Paper Girls has already piqued intense fandom. Grounded in the recognizably familiar–1988 Midwestern suburbia–with its head in the clouds–aliens on dinosaurs, time travelers, …

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‘Archie’ #4 is kind of silly, kind of beautiful

Archie #4 is an excellent showcase for Annie Wu’s energetic depictions of friendship, romance, and heartbreak with subtly powerful colors from Andre Szymanowicz and Jen Vaughn. Sadly, Mark Waid’s script gets bogged down in a cycle of dated and cliched teen melodrama instead of exploring the relationship and falling out between Betty and Archie in more depth. However, Jughead is funny as ever, and Veronica lights up the few pages she appears in.

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Detention Still Sucks in ‘Jughead’ #2

Jughead #2 is yet another silly, sarcastic entry in writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Erica Henderson’s surreal, slice of life series starring the Riverdale’s most non-conforming conforming teenager. This issue shows Jughead’s basically superpower of being able to skirt by the rules without breaking from getting free milkshakes from Pop’s to even avoiding detention for the most part under the draconian rule of Principal Stanger. He even has a cheat code that hacks P.E. class, but Zdarsky and Henderson bring an end to his good luck with a dark and compelling cliffhanger.

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‘The Shield’ #1 teaches an old patriotic hero some 21st century tricks

The Shield #1 begins as a standard thriller story with maybe a little too much narration from novelist-turned-comics writers Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig, but turns into a more psychological story about PTSD and patriotism as the comic progresses. Much of these psychological effects come from the art and colors of Drew Johnson and Kelly Fitzpatrick, who shy away from the red, white, and blue of the color art and play with grit, grime, and hellfire explosions as Victoria Adams tries to figure out who she is, what’s she’s been, and what she stands for as the Shield.

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‘Jughead’ #1 is Not Your Father’s Archie Comic

Erica Henderson and Chip Zdarsky’s incarnation of this classic Archie book launches the titular sidekick as the most unlikely of heroes. Zdarsky revives Archie’s sarcastic, egocentric best friend with his distinct brand of petulant humor. Though it may be classified as a ‘kids’ comic, Jughead potentially offers the most enjoyment for a different demographic. That is not to say Jughead lacks the intrinsic, whimsical joy found in other Archie books. Rather, Zdarsky’s not-so-subtle allusions are simply more likely to be appreciated by an audience familiar with mature pop-culture content.

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‘Archie’ #3- Veronica Brings the Drama to Riverdale

After being teased for the past two issues, Veronica Lodge finally attends her first day of school at Riverdale High in Archie #3. Artist Fiona Staples makes her the most fashion forward member of the comic’s ensemble cast while writer Mark Waid gives her quite the complicated personality as she can go from a sly joker to a spoiled rich girl or a detached observer at the drop of a hat. Her arrival heightens the melodrama of the series to a boiling point as Archie starts following her around like a puppy because he is smitten with her and also because he accidentally destroyed her father’s mansion in Archie #2. However, the breakout character of the series continues to be Jughead.

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Interview with ‘Archie’ Writer Mark Waid

Mark Waid is a living legend in the comic book industry. His career began with DC Comics in the 1980s with runs as editor on titles from Action Comics and Doom Patrol to Secret Origins and Wonder Woman. He eventually left his role as editor in favor of freelance writing for DC, specifically their Impact line, before settling in on an eight year run on The Flash. In the 90s, Waid worked for Marvel Comics on the X-Men series before heading back to DC to produce Kingdom Come with Alex Ross. He has worked on a number of Justice League titles for DC as well as Superman, Legion of Super-Heroes, and the Brave and the Bold. His work for Marvel includes stints on Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, The Indestructible Hulk, Daredevil, and several others. He has served as editor-in-chief of BOOM! Studios and has launched his own digital publishing website, Thrillbent. His most recent venture is breathing new life into the characters of Archie for Archie Comic Publications. Mark Waid is also the 2015 Guest of Honor at the Baltimore Comic Con.

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‘Archie’ #2- Keep Riverdale Weird

Whereas Archie #1 was rooted in the teen soap opera, Archie #2 goes the teen sitcom route with a lighthearted issue about Jughead’s secret origins and Archie’s ineptitude at finding any kind of employment. Writer Mark Waid and artist Fiona Staples create a nice parallel between Archie’s inability to do something successful with his hands, and Betty’s ability to fix a car in a wink and a flash while also dealing with the realization that boys see her in a sexual way after she has broken up with Archie. Waid and Staples handle this in a not-too-creepy banner as Betty has her own Sia “Chandelier” moment in this issue’s montage to counteract her mixed emotions about breaking up with Archie and growing up.

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Advance Review: ‘Archie’ #1 is an accessible, visually striking relaunch

After 600+ issues, Archie is going the way of most comics and getting a new number one issue. And a slice of life comic hasn’t looked this gorgeous as Saga artist Fiona Staples gives all the inhabitants of Riverdale a fashion facelift along with bringing rich colors and facial expressions to the new comic. However, she hasn’t abandoned the stylized elements of the Archie mythos as the letter jacket and Jughead’s crown shaped cap remain intact. This mix of classic and new finds its way into Mark Waid’s script. The plot of the first issue (which stands on its own with a tiny bit of serialization) is classic Archie filled with romance, pranks, and high school pitfalls, but Waid adds some fourth wall breaking humor and revamps the characters of Jughead and Reggie to make them less annoying than their older incarnations while keeping some of their core elements.

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‘Archie Vs. Predator’ #3: Is there anyone left to kill?

It didn’t take long for the Predator to cut a swath through the idyllic town of Riverdale. It’s to be expected; it’s literally in the name. “Predator.” After taking out most of the background Archie characters, the alien menace has it’s sights set on the central Archie gang. However, after last issue’s bloody events, how long do Archie and his friends have left?

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Consider the ante officially upped in ‘Archie Vs. Predator’ #2

Now that we’re halfway through Archie Vs. Predator, it would make sense for pieces of the overarching plot to begin to take shape. If Archie Vs. Predator was a bad comic, it would fail to accomplish this task. If it was a good comic, it would already have done it and be content with itself. As it happens, Archie Vs. Predator is not simply a good or a bad comic, but an absolutely insane one. Our outdated notions of “quality” have no bearing on a comic such as this, and require a more in-depth analysis in order to fully understand it’s secrets.

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Ghosts of the past take center stage in ‘Afterlife with Archie’ #8

Afterlife with Archie is finally back, with the third chapter of the ominously titled arc “Betty RIP.” So far the series has shown it is willing to expand it’s horror goals beyond mere zombies, first intertwining H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos into the series, and now paying homage to Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick’s paranoia filled tale, The Shining, with a healthy dose of Charles Dickens thrown in for good measure. The result is an issue that is more somber and dread-filled than previous issues, full of slow-burn fear and hidden threats.

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NonCompliant #6 “Sabrina vs. Predator”

Katy Rex returns to NonCompliant as we discuss the new horror tinged take on Sabrina, the surprising feminist themes of Archie vs. Predator, the latest issue of female fronted Thor, and the all ages indie slice of life comic Nutmeg. Plus a couple of PSAs about the University of Mary Washington Divest arrests and Day of Silence and a very special puppy cameo.

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‘Archie Vs. Predator’ #1 is the bat-guano craziest comic of the year

Never ever let it be said that Archie Comics is content to let their flagship character stagnate. Coming off of the tragic death of Archie Andrews in Life with Archie, and the atmospheric, zombie-infested Afterlife with Archie, you’d think that Archie Comics would want to take a breather, and make something a little more traditional. Instead, they’ve teamed up with Dark Horse Comics to set Archie on a collision course with el diablo cazador de hombres – the devil that hunts men – in Archie vs. Predator.

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Archie launches an exciting new universe with “The Black Hood” #1

The Black Hood #1 Written by Duane Swierczynski Art by Michael Gaydos Colouring by Kelly Fitzpatrick Lettering by Rachel Deering Published by Archie Comics Archie Comics is undergoing a creative renaissance. It started with Afterlife with Archie (2013), which re-imagined the kid-friendly world of Riverdale as a survival-horror zombie series. It made Archie the most …

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‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ #269: A Real Slobber-Knocker

Sonic the Hedgehog #269: Champions Part 2 Writer: Ian Flynn Penciller: Diana Skelly Inker: Terry Austin Colorist: Gabriel Cassata Archie Comics Licensed by SEGA   Time for the main event! In this exciting issue of Sonic the Hedgehog, we finally get to the long awaited fights of the “Sonic the Fighters” story arc. At the …

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‘Sonic’ # 268 gets the preliminaries out of the way

Sonic the Hedgehog #268: “Champions” Part 1 Writer: Ian Flynn Artists: Diana Skelly and Terry Austin Colorist: Gabriel Cassata Letterer: John Workman Licensed by SEGA   So, Mobius is in pieces due to the Dark Gaia incident and the hunt for the Chaos Emeralds is on. What better than for Sonic, Amy, and Tails to …

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‘Sonic Boom’ #3 answers where the hammer goes

Sonic Boom #3: “Hammer-Spaced” Written by Ian Flynn Artists: Ryan Jampole and Jennifer Hernandez Inker: Rick Bryant Colorist: Matt Herms Published by Archie Coimcs Licensed by SEGA   Archie has created an interesting occurrence in their latest issue of Sonic Boom: an easy to follow continuity. Something that happens in a previous work leads into …

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10 Best Comics of 2014

2014 was an incredibly rewarding year to be a comics reader. Veteran creators, like Grant Morrison, Kurt Busiek, and Matt Wagner continued to churn out some of the best work of their career while new creators, like Noelle Stevenson, Babs Tarr, and Tula Lotay had very strong starts. Marvel and DC published their fair share of events, including Original Sin, …

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