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Archie #588

August 22, 2008
Archie #588 (Archie Comics)
By Batton Lash & Bill Galvan

Archie’s take on the “year one” concept continues! It’s the first week of Archie Andrews’s first year at Riverdale High, and things aren’t going great. His best friend, Jughead, has moved away, the school bullies have made him into a target, and if that wasn’t enough, his old elementary school principal, Mr. Weatherbee, has followed him to high school. Lash actually does a really great job of capturing the 9th-grade American Experience. Archie is in that stage where he wants to be older, but he really isn’t yet. He needs his best buddy, but has to settle for a runner-up. The rest of the gang undergoes the same challenges — Veronica and Reggie get intimidated walking into what turns out to be a hangout for upper classmen, Moose meets the girl of his dreams, and in the end, a good friend saves the day. While this book still has the simplicity and the charm of the core concept, it’s wonderfully true to life. Lash has also succeeded in creating strong standalone stories that link into the larger narrative. Bill Galvan‘s art is great too — he manages to make the gang noticeably smaller, physically, without making them look like little kids. This book works on virtually every level, and you’ve just gotta applaud Archie Comics for taking such a chance on a story that is totally paying off.
Rating: 10/10

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