I am a longtime Archie fan, going back nearly forty years now, I was such a fan that I had a subscription to the regular Archie book for years, right up to the end of the #600’s. When the series ended a few years ago I kind of lost track of the new series after seven or eight issues, it just didn’t give me what I was looking for. It is hard to quantify into words how it was missing that Archie magic but it was and the series was soon left behind. Archie recently relaunched the core series with what would have been the next issues number if it hadn’t been rebooted and thus #699 graced stands a few month ago and it was almost like the rebooted just kind of was pushed aside.
The new writer for Archie is one of my favorite writers right now, Nick Spencer who has written Superior Foes of Spider-Man and is currently knocking it out of the yard with his run on Amazing Spider-Man. The fact that Archie can attract such great talent like Nick, Mark Waid, Marguerite Sauvage and Fiona Staples is a testament to the characters enduring influence on the comic book world. Nick continues the format of the previous series with one ongoing serial story with some mysteries but the writing seems a bit less “clever” in a good way. It seems confident in its story and does not feel like it is trying too hard to convince the reader of its worth.
There are two mains storylines in this issue; Archies budding romance with Sabrina and the abduction of Reggie’s father who was investigating a mystery within the limits of Riverdale which may have gotten him killed. Sure, that sounds like heady stuff but it is handled with a nice touch by the creators and there are a few genuinely funny moments in the book which breaks up the seriousness of the situations. Sabrina is a nice addition to the regular cast, particularly with her Netflix series taking off, and it gives readers a chance to see what may have happened if the character originally appeared on the Riverdale TV series as originally planned.
I am really digging the new Archie series and it is also great to see the original numbering return. In the future I hope that they adapt Marvels way of providing legacy numbering on series relaunches to allow collectors to track and enjoy the entire run of a books life. The Archie legacy is just to important to throw away and returning to the original numbering gave Archie a nice boost of sales to almost 20,000 copies of the landmark issue being bought by retailers. Not bad for the little red-headed high schooler.
Archie Comics – $3.99