Book Review: Archie, Volume 6 by Mark Waid

Archie, Volume 6
By: Mark Waid & Audrey Mok (Illustrator)

archie vol.6

After the events of Volume 5, this next volume sees the last book that is written by Mark Waid in this revamp of the Archie’s comics as a more graphic novel style. Volume 6 sees everyone trying to sort themselves out in time for homecoming whether its Archie trying to find a date, Veronica and Betty finding a friendship together or the Blossom siblings dealing with their family issues, things all coincide into the homecoming having a major event that shakes everyone up.

The art style and the change in its direction of the Archie comics has definitely been the highlight of this revamped story. It works on many levels and for fans like myself, who grew up with the much more comic-looking version, these books have been a joy to have matured with my own tastes. Suffice to say that this volume takes a much more drastic and dramatic end game with homecoming having a lock-down with a gun man ready with his own family issues to do some pay back. Its a much darker turn of events that somehow has its space because this version is more of a graphic novel and allows for something with that sort of flair and danger elements and changes the game from the more lighthearted and somehow binds the tone of Archie and the series Riverdale into the darker area.

However, this volume did bring in a lot of other elements. Somehow, its focus on Archie seems to have faded a little in the midst of the set-up of the whole situation making it fall a little short of the normal good pacing that it would have but giving it more on the other characters as well. It is nice to see that all the characters have their spotlight in the midst of this story as everyone scrambles to do what they need to do for the dance. In the world of high school students, it does feel like the little things like finding a date that will come through while letting the characters remain true to their nature. This time, all the characters do have their individuality especially as Betty and Veronica find themselves and their friendship while getting over Archie and as Archie tries to find a date, his usual clumsiness gets in the way with everything. There’s still a lightheartedness to the story throughout up until the big final dramatic bit.

There’s a lot to love with what Mark Waid has achieved in this volume (and the previous 5) which does have so much of a different feeling while still managing to use these wonderful characters from the original Archie comics and breathing new life to them. Of course, Archie by Mark Waid may be done but the revitalization continues in Archie by Nick Spencer and its all up in the air how that will be as the art style seems to also have changed.

What’s Up 2020: Week 3

Week 3 of 2020 has come to an end and its been something of a weather bomb. Luckily, we didn’t lose any power so things proceeded as it should..mostly. I’m having some other issues that is somewhat hindering some writing and whatnot so its been a slower week than usual. Not to mention, the desire to sit in front of the computer has been a little less as Chinese New Year preparations started as well. Let’s see what’s going on!

READING

archie vol.6

  • Archie, Vol.6

Currently reading: Buried In My Past

After a few reading rushes, I decided to take a little break and read a graphic novel. The reboot Archie comics set like a graphic novel and with a somewhat darker story (still not quite as dark as the TV series) has been one that feels like a refreshing update to the characters, making the more modernized. There’s a lot to like about it as it is helmed by Mark Waid. Volume 6 is the last one that will be helmed by Mark Wait for these Archic comics but will be handed over to someone else for the next one. Review for this one coming up!

PLAYING

glass masquerade

Currently playing: Overcooked 2, The Pedestrian

Wrapped up the base game of Glass Masquerade on the weekend and have been debating getting the DLCs but its been kind of getting in the way of the actual gaming that I need to do to record the next Game Warp podcast. You can check out the review for Glass Masquerade as that’s already done. Its a bit short but the game isn’t too complex either.

The husband and I are still working on Overcooked 2. We usually stretch it out quite a bit as we only play on the weekends. I think we’re more than halfway done at this point. At the same time, I started up The Pedestrian which is an indie puzzle game that I had backed on Kickstarter 2 or 3 years ago which is finally getting released on January 29. As backers, we got the game in advance, which is great. I’ll be playing that and hopefully getting a review out for next week or something.

WATCHING

godzilla king of the monsters

  • Short Term 12 (2013)
  • Mike Birbiglia: Thank God For Jokes (2017)
  • Leslie Jones: Time Machine (2020)
  • Deep Blue Sea 2 (2018)
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

Its been a tad stressful at work so I’ve been honestly just busy with that and not watching a ton of movies as they don’t work in companion to work as much, especially first time viewings. With that said, I like to watch/listen to stand-up comedies. I can’t say the two I chose were really my cup of tea but they had some good bits. While Short Term 12 got added into viewing list as it left Netflix Canada and that review is coming up in a double feature. Other than that, Deep Blue Sea 2 literally just got added to Netflix and of course, I had to see how bad it was. I’m not being negative but the original is one of my favorites so its best to keep the expectations low and it became as a monstrous weekend as we also caught up with Godzilla: King of the Monsters which is a kick-ass movie. It was so awesome!

BINGING

The Circle

  • The Circle (Season 1, 2019)

Currently binging: Who’s the Murderer 5, Ashes of Love

The Circle’s 3 week competition finally ended. I’m working on the TV binge for it as its an interesting little social media competition to talk about, both as a structure, the contestant choices as well as the mechancis as well as the concept of this being a social experiment which all has elements to talk about. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t be opposed to another season of these. TV is fairly calm right now as I’m trying to do some wrapping up on different things and Who’s the Murderer 5 is currently ongoing so only updating an episode a week and Ashes of Love is over 60 episodes and I’m pretty much halfway and things are getting really good, so I’m focusing on that.

However, focus will be cut short when Eternal Love’s sequel, Three Lives Three Worlds: Pillow Book (also titled recently Eternal Love of Dream), starts up next week and well, Handsome Siblings got acquired by Netflix and is releasing new episodes on weekly basis. All very exciting things!!

That’s it for this What’s Up for Week 3!
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

Archie, Vol. 5 by Mark Waid

Check out the reviews for the previous volumes below:

Archie Vol.1
Archie Vol.2
Archie Vol.3
Archie Vol.4

Archie, Vol. 5
by: Mark Waid & Audrey Mok (Illustrator)

Archie Vol.5

The fallout from OVER THE EDGE is here! One life has been destroyed, another family has been torn apart–and only the kids of Riverdale High can save their town from imploding! – Goodreads

Volume 4 ended with quite the bomb as we realize that Betty has lost the feeling in her legs after the accident. A honest tragic turn in events and a particularly darker moment because Betty is one of the nice girl next door characters and while enduring losing her best friend and having that whole breakup situation, she has lost even more now.

Volume 5 takes a dramatic turn of events. Its not so much comedic in this one even if it tries to inject some moments with the Classic Archie screw-ups and Jughead intervening with Betty’s parents at one point with his clever ways. However, at some point it felt like it was meant to go in this direction and that change of pace continuing from the previous volume really helped continue making this even more thrilling because we can see Betty’s strength and also see Betty and Archie face their feelings between them and have to make some choices. In that sense, all the characters are developing and growing with this one big event that happened. Its a heartbreaking experience but also one that sees her parents putting in extra effort to protect her. It also throws everyone’s life off balance but also appreciate the good that we the readers don’t see especially when the characters take up all the work that Betty is involved in Riverdale.

I’ve always been a fan of Betty because she is a beautiful girl next door that kind of never really follows the norm of how girls are and its especially true with this revamped version. As much as I loved the original Archie Comics, I only read a few volumes in the ton that has been released so its hard to be fully aware of how she was. This modernized Archie Comics makes Betty in a character that I love even more so this volume really hit me a hard especially as she struggles to be positive through this situation. Its nice to see the shift in tone as well in these versions which gives a good focus on each of these characters and giving them their own spotlight. I gave this one full points for being brave enough to take these daring paths into darker and more serious territory while giving the characters a lot of room to develop as they go through their different situations as well as bringing forward some of the more supporting characters and giving them their own story highlight as well. I loved this volume a lot!

Goodreads: 5/5

Archie, Vol 4 by Mark Waid & Pete Woods (illustration)

You can see the reviews for previous volumes:

Archie Vol. 1
Archie, Vol. 2
Archie, Vol. 3

Archie, Vol. 4
by: Mark Waid & Pete Woods (illustration)

Archie Vol.4

The fourth volume of the Archie series features the headline-making comic event ‘Over The Edge,’ where the lives of Archie and his friends are forever changed. – Goodreads

The foreword of this volume starts about this book having a pivotal moment that happens. With that said, it seems to be something to look forward. At this point, its already done a lot right. Every volume has crafted these characters that we love but modernized them and given it the graphic novel treatment. The art has been fantastic and each issue also brings out a different story for each of the characters.

Volume 4 is a pretty solid volume. We go through Veronica coming back from boarding school and having to find back her rhythm with Archie in their relationship while still having resistance from her father. Betty tries to move on and starts to have a bond with Dilton. At the same time, Archie and Reggie’s feud gets worse. Archie and Jughead both are really quirky characters and still inject humor but there is a more than usual switch of tone here as we barrel to the ending which gives us a rather heartbreaking moment. The way the story sets up about how each character finds out about the situation is a really clever move. Its gives this life to Riverdale. There is a real change in pace also because there is essentially more drama going on as well. At the same time, the different issues here have focus on a wider range of characters and not just the four main ones like for Dilton for example. Its a nice way to change the angle every once in a while.

Up to this point and building from the first three volumes, it was time to give the story a real push in a new direction for its characters. Something really life-changing and I appreciated every bit of it. It captures a lot of those spontaneous decisions a teenager (or honestly possibly anyone) can make that end up having unexpected consequences outside of your own realm of control. That sets up the stage for some growing up for everyone in Volume 5 and I am looking forward to see how it moves from this ending.

I have Volume 5 so I’ll be jumping into that right away!
Have you read any of the Archie Comics?

Road to Riverdale, Volume 2

If you missed the Volume 1 review, check it out HERE.

Road to Riverdale, Volume 2

Road to Riverdale

In the past two years, the little town of Riverdale has changed in a number of amazing ways. The entire Archie universe has been given a fresh coat of paint and it’s only getting bigger and better from here. Road to Riverdale presents to readers all of the second issues of each of our new series so far, including Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats and Reggie & Me, timed to the Season One Finale of the brand new CW series Riverdale. This volume also contains a new story based in the show’s universe as a bonus for viewers! – Goodreads

Its surprising to see the there is a volume 2 of Road of Riverdale. I had talked about it when I first bought this that I had gotten it online without looking carefully and realized that its just a snippet of the different volumes in the Archie comics universe. If you want to follow through just snippets of their lives, these ones give you a good idea of the stories of each of the characters with their own graphic novels in the revamped Riverdale. This one does acknowledge the link of the revamp to the CW series, Riverdale so they added in an extra story for it, which is pretty neat. I’m a fan of the TV show (although I am currently behind on Season 2), so it was a touch that I appreciated.

The purpose as it stands with the review of the first one is to really get an idea of the stylings of each of these characters and their own stories. What is nice is that while we get the focus on different characters, like Archie is different from the tone in Jughead, as Betty and Veronica is different from Josie and the Pussycats. These diverse characters give us a hint of a different version of high school lives of these teenagers living in Riverdale. That is the charm of reading Road to Riverdale. For myself, I already try to catch up mostly with Archie however I am planning on getting the volumes from Betty and Veronica and Josie and the Pussycats as well because of Road to Riverdale because those tones work for me. However, it keeps me in the loop with say the Reggie & Me and Jughead stories also, which I feel less invested in.

With that said, I had already reviewed the full volumes of Josie and the Pussycat snippet and the Archie snippet. You can find them below:

Archie, Volume 2
Josie and the Pussycats, Volume 1

There honestly isn’t much to review here for Road to Riverdale. If you want a snapshot of Riverdale, these books are easier than having to follow 5 different series and still get the enjoyment as they pick the most standout story of the book (I would assume for the two that I didn’t read). Its a fun little trip to Riverdale. I still maintain that the revamped graphic novels are a modernized and stylistic version of the old comics as it retains the characters and their natures. While the TV series takes the characters but essentially changes them up quite a bit along with their back story and character arc. My best example always is that The Vampire Diaries did that and it worked out for an 8 season run so no reason that the TV series can’t do that. Putting aside the TV series (as this isn’t the discussion, that is coming up in a future TV binge post), Road to Riverdale has its benefits and charms for those looking for a quick visit to Riverdale.

Josie and the Pussycats, Volume 1

I’ve been working through the reboot of the Archie Comics branches. After being caught up with Archie Volume 1 to 3 and Road to Riverdale, Volume 1, its time to get into something fun with Josie and the Pussycats.

Let’s check it out.

Josie and the Pussycats, Volume 1
by: Marguerite Bennett, Cameron DeOrdio
Illustrated by: Audrey Mok

Josie and the Pussycats

Starting right from scratch, the reboot for Josie and the Pussycats start at the beginning from how they formed the band together. Josie’s sluggish solo career, Melody’s endless dating life and Valerie’s love of pets and great heart for the shelter are three very different personalities but somehow these three balance each other out to become this trio that found their agent fairly quickly and was hopefully on the road to fame.

Josie and the Pussycats is a very entertaining read. In fact, if you enjoy a graphic novel that breaks the fourth wall occassionally, this one is just for you. They are incredibly self-aware and because of that, it becomes very fun to be in this world. Reading about these three girls who don’t all know their dreams or where they want to go something of a coming of age experience for them. Perhaps its a relatibility thing here. They struggle for their careers and make some rash decisions that catch them in a snag and then they literally use comic book power to get out of it. They are also starting their friendship especially Josie and Melody with Valerie so they have arguments over who takes the lead and how to work together.

I’ve never read any of the original Josie and the Pussycats so how I have no comparison however, these three are three very interesting characters that could get decent arcs in future volumes. Josie struggles with love and sitting back to find a balance of talent with Valerie. Melody struggles to really keep the team together while Valerie doesn’t know what the future holds with mentions of being a veterinarian and now being in the band and performing. Three interesting characters are shown in volume 1.

Josie and the Pussycats show a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing where they go next with this series. So far the reboots I’ve read have been very good. Its been exciting to catch up to this world in their different forms.

Book Review: Road to Riverdale, Volume 1

Maybe not a book but a comic/graphic novel. If you’re new here or missed it, I’ve been checking out the revamped Archie comics. So far, I’ve been incredibly impressed.

Road to Riverdale, Volume 1

Road to Riverdale

ROAD TO RIVERDALE is an entry-level collection featuring the first issues of all modern-day Archie relaunches. – Goodreads

Road to Riverdale was apparently timed alongside the launch of the Riverdale TVseries (which I seem to have a hard time drafting up for some odd reason). I’m a fan and I personally had misunderstood what this comic was when I first bought it. Its intention is great because it actually is like a first look at each of the branches of the Archie comic reboot from not only the first issue of Archie but also Jughead, Betty & Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats and Reggie and Me.

What is really nice is that in one book, it gives you an idea of the tone and the art style and also what angle its going for in each of these characters and their story arcs. Of course, in Reggie and Me and Betty and Veronica, it has Reggie’s pet and Jughead’s pooch Hot Dog doing the background narrative. Its cool.

Archie: You can find my thoughts on the Archie, all available volumes right now. I’m definitely a fan. The art style and tone work so well in modernizing it.

Jughead: I personally love Jughead as a character especially in the TV series Riverdale. Something about this series works but is missing a little something more. At least from just this first issue section.

Betty and Veronica: The art style here is the most unique of all these branches. As mentioned before, it is narrated oddly by Hot Dog, Jughead’s dog. That also gives is a nice twist especially when it doesn’t objectify these ladies and has these funny snippets in between. Its a fun one. Not surprising since I did like the original Betty and Veronica comics also.

Josie and the Pussycats: This one comes a little more mid-range. Josie is a fun character because she’s kind of silly and the entertainment value is on point. Plus, this one takes the origin story point where we see how Josie and the Pussycats form.

Reggie and Me: I like bad boys and villainous characters and yet somehow, I’ve never been into the Reggie character much. While I do think this is a decent comic, I wasn’t as drawn into it as the other ones.

Road to Riverdale is an entry point to get a taste of all the branches of the Archie reboot and see if all or which works beat for you. However, it does seem that they are expanding this into multiple volumes and I’m not sure how the second volume works. If that’s the case, this can be either a cash grab or a convenient collection. It really depends on how you look at it.

Archie, Volume 3 by Mark Waid

Next up in the reading adventures is back to the comic/graphic comic world. I still can’t decide which category I should call this one. Regardless, Archie Volume 3 was released just last month and there was a lovely online sale at Indigo so I ordered this one at a pretty awesome price. Its been a fun time reading these and is very cool to check out in between novels as a refresher to cleanse the palette before starting something new. However, this is one of the last new physical books for the year. I have a sizable TBR list and I really need to get cracking on a lot of them.

Let’s check this out! 🙂

Archie, Volume 3
By: Mark Waid
Illustrated by: Joe Eisma

Introducing… Cheryl Blossom! The fiery red-head takes center stage as Archie and Veronica’s worlds are torn apart as the two are living thousands of miles away from each other. What will happen to the rest of Archie’s friends in Riverdale? And just what kind of havoc will Cheryl Blossom wreak? – Goodreads

This renewed Archie world is great so far and this third book is no exception. I haven’t quite managed to get the TV Binge post put together for Riverdale but I love the character of Cheryl Blossom. She is a girl with a lot of motives but it is also with a character like this that has a hidden agenda that brings out the nature of some of our other characters. In this book, I am mostly referring to Veronica. It is always interesting how the book isn’t always about Archie and will turn its focus on the girls or the other feuds or situations with other characters. However, that sometimes still makes Archie the least appealing to watch grow (both in the comics or the show) because he always just literally stumbles clumsily into situations and tries to do everything with the best intentions and ends up with the worst results. It does warrant some funny moments. With that said, one of my fave parts of this one was when Archie wanted to be like Jughead and in turn, being his best friend, Jughead had to hold the fort and be Archie, making Betty point out why Archie wanted to be him and in a roundabout way, let us learn a little more about both of these guys. While there was a lack of Betty in this book, that one part made her presence be felt regardless.

Volume 3 truly picks up where the last volume ended and not only adds a new colorful character to challenge the group but also further develops the main players to make sure they remain interesting in this modernized version of Archie. While Betty is seen less in this book, the main focus was on Archie and Veronica and their fight for their romance. It brought forth changes in their characters that lead them to acknowledge who they are. Along with beautiful illustrations from Joe Eisma, Archie, Volume 3 is a great read.

Have you read this one? Did you read any of the modernized Archie comics?