Archie #13 Review – All Hail Cheryl Blossom
Writer – Mark Waid and Lori Matsumoto
Art – Joe Eisma
Colors – Andre Szymanowicz
Letters – Jack Morelli
Publisher – Archie Comics
Things are cooling down in Riverdale after the mayoral election nearly divided the whole town. But things have gone ice cold for Betty and Archie as they deal with the fallout of their broken relationships. With Veronica shipped away to boarding school and Sayid having dumped Betty, it’s up to their friends to remind them that there is more to life than dating. This issue is also the introduction of fan-favorite character Cheryl Blossom as she befriends Veronica at their Swiss boarding school. However, can this red-headed she-devil actually be trusted? Read Archie #13 and find out!
The issue’s story takes place in two separate worlds, Riverdale and the prestigious all-girl boarding school Veronica Lodge was sent to after her father moved the entire family away from Riverdale. In Riverdale, we focus on Betty being glum because Sayid left her and her buddy Kevin does his best to cheer her up. Likewise, Jughead aims to lift Archie’s spirits since he doesn’t know where Veronica is and can’t contact her. While what’s happening in Riverdale is important to see how the characters are dealing with this, it’s not nearly as entertaining as Veronica in Switzerland.
She has no access to the outside world and is forced to make new friends in yet another new school. It is here Veronica meets Cheryl Blossom, who goes out of her way to get to know the new girl. Long time fans can probably see the writing on the wall as to what will happen from this but the payout was satisfying nonetheless. I won’t spoil anything but I will say Ronnie has her work cut out for her.
I’m quite pleased by the new artist taking over with this issue. I was personally not a fan of the past few issues art choices but things are much better now. The characters are well-drawn with bright colors and facial expressions readers can relate to that don’t even need text to be understood. One of my favorite moments is when Cheryl and Veronica are talking, the whole page is just them sitting and talking but no words. Just bubbles showing pictures of what Veronica saying, like mention Archie and how she was becoming friends with Betty. It’s a well done page with great use of negative space that clearly conveys the message without text. Another good moment is when Jughead and Kevin are trying to cheer up Archie and Betty respectively. The scenes mirror each other well and make the story flow smoothly and also quickly.
While seeing our heroes being melancholy isn’t very entertaining, Archie #13 approaches the topic in a good way that still leaves readers hopeful things will work out in the end. Cheryl adds a whole new dynamic to the series and gives Veronica something to focus on until she figures out a way to return to Archie. As a bonus, the issue also includes a classic Archie story from 1982, Cheryl and Jason Blossom’s first appearance to the series. It’s a fun story and Cheryl’s personality has evolved since this. You can still tell she’s a bit of a troublemaker from her first few panels. Just like she did then, her appearance in this revival series is sure to stir up some trouble -and fun.