Archie #14 – Has Archie Given Up?
Writer – Mark Waid, Lori Matusomoto
Art – Joe Eisma
Colors – Andre Szymanowicz
Letters – Jack Morelli
Publisher – Archie Comics
Veronica has been shipped off to a boarding school in Switzerland, keeping her out of contact with her boyfriend Archie but she has her hands busy being at war with the school’s prima donna, Cheryl Blossom. Archie #14 focuses on their rivalry as Veronica sets out to get payback for the prank pulled on her last issue while Archie has his hands full trying to prepare for his parent’s anniversary party. This is of course Archie we’re talking about so don’t expect for things to go smoothly.
I really enjoyed this issue and the way the stories actually counterbalanced each other. In Switzerland, Veronica is going forward full throttle for revenge on Cheryl for what she’s done. Veronica is ready to dethrone her as the queen bee of the school and spend as much of her father’s money as it takes to do so.
On the other hand, Archie is becoming overwhelmed by life and his broken heart and has instead chosen to give up and adopt a come-what-may attitude. This couldn’t come at a worse time as he was in the middle of planning an anniversary surprise party for this parents but now is unmotivated to do so. It’s very entertaining to see Archie so out of character, luckily he has Jughead to try and help him out. I also love rooting for Veronica to win but even so, I love Cheryl, when I don’t love to hate her.
The artwork continues to be top-notch in this issue focusing on the characters and their movements along with facial expressions. But background characters and scenery are also not ignored and every panel is full of color. A highlight moment for me was when Veronica was throwing a party for her friends at the boarding school. She shows up in a bright red dress and is the only one wearing red. I loved how she stood out in those panels showing she’s the center of attention, and rightly so.
My only complaint about the art is that I felt the faces were a bit flat. Sometimes it seemed that their noses disappeared all together. Also, I took issue with how the mouths were drawn in some panels. Especially towards the end with Jughead when he’s smiling with his mouth open. Most open mouth shots in the issue looked off to me.
Sadly, we don’t get anymore insight from Mark Waid at the end of the issue nor are we treated to a classic Archie story. Instead, we get an excerpt from Jughead #11 where Jughead goes on a date with Sabrina. It was amusing and I enjoyed reading it. However, I liked the previous set-up a lot more but I do understand this helps cross-promote their newer titles. Overall, Archie #14 is a strong issue. It has plenty of laughs but other emotions as well. And if you’re a Veronica fan like me then this is certainly a must-read issue that really helps develop her character and shows growth. So far, I’m really enjoying the Cheryl Blossom saga and find it to be some of the best reading this series has has had to offer.