Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Audrey Mok
Colors by: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters by: Jack Morelli
Mark Waid continues to execute the current Archie comics incredibly well. Bringing these characters to a more modern era and having their stories relatable to an audience of all ages has been working from the start and this issue is no exception. We have been dealing with Betty trying to recover from an accident caused by Archie and Reggie and now Archie and Betty are forbidden from ever seeing each other due to her parents. We see how this affects their friends and how they are trying to deal with it. Archie continues to show his want to care for Betty and you understand Veronica may be getting a little upset since Betty is all he is talking about. It’s difficult to be mad at either of them, but you feel Veronica’s worrying, as she knows they were a couple before and seems to doubt this relationship right now.
Mark Waid also continues to balance the drama with the typical fun of Archie. Even when he’s having a serious conversation with Veronica, he is still unable to complete simple tasks, causing many others to run in, as they are worried he may catch a whole golf course on fire. The real highlight of the story is the interaction between Jughead and Betty. We get a great look at how they became friends. This is something that many will connect with and the theme of this issue to me is always about being there for your friends even if they say they don’t want you there. What Betty did to help comfort Jughead in a past events is so warming to the heart you can’t help but smile and you may even drop a small tear. This continues to lead into how Jughead shows his loyalty to his friends and he came up with a plan for Archie and Betty to meet up in secret.
Jughead gets a real shining moment as he has a talk with Betty’s parents about how she needs everyone to help her get better from everyone that loves her. He’s willing to get in trouble with Betty’s parents all for the sake of Betty to try and be happy with the people she has around her. Bringing up how a friend will always have a different point of view compare to the parents is a great statement as sometimes you need an outsider to help open your eyes in what may be best for the ones you love. While this does not seem to matter to Betty’s dad, her mother is seeming to have a change of heart. Finally, we have one small look at Reggie and where he may be going. Plus a nice setup with someone that appears to be the Blossom twin’s dad.
Archie continues to be a book many should check out as it continues to deliver the goofy and fun that he is mostly known for while adding drama and lessons that many can relate too.