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review 2020-02-22 16:38
Archie (graphic novel, vol. 1) by Mark Waid, art by Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, Veronica Fish
Archie, Vol. 1 - Mark Waid,Veronica Fish,Annie Wu,Fiona Staples

Archie and Betty seemed like the perfect couple...until they broke up over "the lipstick incident." What's the lipstick incident? They refuse to say. Their friends try to get them to make up and get back together, but nothing seems to work. And now Veronica, a beautiful heiress, has moved into town, and Archie seems to be wrapped around her finger.

This was an impulse purchase. I have absolutely no nostalgic feelings for the original Archie comics. Neither their art style nor their humor worked for me. But then I tried and enjoyed the Jughead reboot. When I spotted the first volume of the Archie reboot while book shopping, I figured "hey, why not?"

The first three issues worked best for me. Fiona Staples' artwork was great - there was a nice energy to it, and the characters' facial expressions were fabulous. One of my top favorite panels is the one where Archie got a job at an ice cream shop and somehow managed to set all the ice cream on fire.

I was really curious about the lipstick incident and actually managed to guess what had happened before it was revealed. The full story was...a little disappointing. And didn't quite gel with something that happened earlier in the volume. There was a part where Betty got ready for a party that should have been a painful reminder of the lipstick incident and yet somehow wasn't.

I liked Annie Wu's art well enough, although not as much as Fiona Staples', but Veronica Fish's art didn't appeal to me at all. I also didn't enjoy those portions of the story as much. Whereas the first part of the volume was focused on characters' efforts to get Betty and Archie back together and maybe find out what the lipstick incident was, the second half of the volume was more about getting between Veronica and Archie. And there was an interrupted centipede joke that definitely didn't live up to its build-up.

I liked that Veronica wasn't 100% awful. Okay, so she was horribly spoiled and stuck up, but she wasn't malicious, and there were times when she was genuinely nice. Reggie Mantle was more of a true villain than her. I just wasn't as interested in the efforts to break her and Archie up (although, were they really dating? it was more like he was being blackmailed...) as I was in the efforts to herd Archie and Betty back towards each other and hopefully talk through their problems.

Overall, I enjoyed this, although I'm not sure yet whether I'll be continuing on with it.


An introduction by Fiona Staples, a cover art gallery (four pages of teenie tiny covers), a 2-page "how this comic was made" feature, an afterword by Mark Waid, and a 20-page preview of the Jughead reboot.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2020-01-14 20:12
Leia in her own right
Star Wars: Princess Leia - Terry Dodson,Mark Waid

Among the benefits that I have gained from my recent immersion in Star Wars media is an appreciation of why people find Princess Leia so awesome. For a long time she seemed to me to be part of the trio in the movies in order to give Luke and Han someone to rescue or to fill a spot as the object at a love triangle (an icky one considering that one of the men in it turned out to be her brother) or as a figure in a gold bikini for adolescent boys to lust after. While her role in the more recent Star Wars movies was larger, when it came to the action she was still too often sidelined in favor of the men or newer characters like Rey.


By contrast her portrayal in the "Disney canon" series could not be more different. Freed from the limitations imposed by Lucas, she comes into her own as a leader and a warrior. And nowhere is this demonstrated than the pages of her own eponymous series. Set in the aftermath of the events of the original Star Wars movie, it's centered around Leia coming to terms with the destruction of her home planet of Alderaan and the duties that have been thrust upon her because of it. With the assistance of an Alderaanian pilot flying for the Rebellion, she travels to other worlds in an effort to bring together the scattered survivors to form the core of a new community. Throughout its pages Leia has to deal with the hostility of others, the challenges to her new status as the leader of her people, and her own guilt over Alderaan's fate. It's a wonderfully mature and emotional portrayal, one that demonstrates the core strength of the character that I had missed until now. It makes for a graphic novel that every fan of the character should own, and one that anyone trying to understand her appeal should read.

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review 2019-06-02 03:24
Avengers: No Road Home (2019) #9 (of 10)... Avengers: No Road Home (2019) #9 (of 10) - Al Ewing,Jim Zub,Mark Waid,Yasmine Putri

Still not crazy about these huge events.   They usually try to shoehorn something in or are too bombastic for me, or... something.  I just don't tend to like them. I'll take a tightly written smaller arc in an ongoing title over events like this any day of the week. 


But Vision and Rocket, so, yeah, I was gonna see this through somehow.

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review 2019-03-21 23:35
Not enough Rocket and Vision
Avengers: No Road Home (2019) #4 (of 10) - Al Ewing,Mark Waid,Jim Zub,Yasmine Putri

And it looks like there'll be less of them. I'm giving up on this series, at least for now, and maybe I'll finish it up eventually if I'm persuaded it gets better.

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review 2019-03-21 19:38
Avengers: No Road Home (2019) #3 (of 10) - Yasmine Putri,Jim Zub,Al Ewing,Mark Waid

So to be fair, I've read four and skimmed through five at a store by now.  I just don't feel the need to go on: there's not enough Rocket and Vision, aka the reasons I bought this in the first place. I may eventually go back and read it, but right now I don't have the patience for this.   Not a bad storyline, but...

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