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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. More

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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, […] More

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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. More

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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. More

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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. More

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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. More

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    Pragmatism beats principle in ‘Daredevil’ #17

    It’s hard to stomach that Mark Waid’s Daredevil, which has been hitting stands every month for around four years, is about to end, but it is indeed going to be that time very soon. There’s a feeling of culmination in this penultimate issue, bringing back plot threads from not just the start of the “Marvel Now!” relaunch in 2014, but even before that from the first major part of Waid’s run. The result is solid modernistic superhero storytelling with high stakes, tough battles, and a constant questioning of the hero’s philosophy and capability. It’s a great read, page-for-page. More

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    ‘Princess Leia’ Features a Strong Premise, but Weak Execution

    The series kicks off well, using as its starting point an opportunity for characterization left unexplored by the film. After all, in A New Hope, we see Leia consoling Luke over the death of Ben Kenobi, a man he’s known for all of a few days, while the massive grief she herself must be feeling at the time over the destruction of her entire planet, including her family, goes unspoken. With the Death Star destroyed and the Rebellion victorious (for now), Waid and Dodson kick off their story by exploring how Leia is dealing with the aftermath of her homeworld being obliterated before her eyes. More

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    ‘Strange Fruit’ #1- Too Early to Judge

    Strange Fruit # 1 is not a comic for everyone. It is true the artwork is beautiful, and Jones ensures each frame is well-colored and thought out. The writing, however, suffers from wanting to be everywhere at once and appears to focus on nowhere. The more difficult topics of race relations and struggles are better left for other comics. Strange Fruit # 1 may be lacking the level of sensitivity and critical thought needed for some readers on the subjects. Still the comic and story arc are in their infancy, and it would be generous to grant it more time. More

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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. More

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    To Better Know a Hero: Daredevil

    Daredevil is a character more or less defined by two extended runs by two specific creators. Created in 1964 by Stan Lee and Bill Everett in a clear attempt to tap into the success of Spider-Man, Daredevil has one of the all time great superhero hooks: he’s a blind lawyer who puts on a superhero costume and takes the law into his own hands. Unfortunately, that hook only takes the character so far, and like the X-Men, Daredevil existed in his early years as something of an also-ran at Marvel More

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    ‘Princess Leia’ #1: a higher class of princess

    While the Disney overlords are keeping a clench fists over anything bearing the Star Wars name, this is about the closest they’ve gotten to a bona fide risk. Though restricted to a simple miniseries, one of the first flagship titles Marvel is churning out is a solo book starting the franchise’s leading female character. The book delves into Leia’s character and her place within the Rebel Alliance. Mark Waid does a fantastic job conveying subtlety through her actions and words, Terry and Rachel Dodson give a new spin to the look of Star Wars, and it all leads up to one of the most satisfying first issues in ages. More

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