By Stefania Rudd. “Hot, sweet, super-cool/Don’t you know these kitties rule?”
Archie Comics’ Josie and the Pussycats #1 may be another inevitable reboot of famously iconic characters in the Riverdale universe (and one that’s coming just before a Reggie Mantle ongoing, of all things), but I can’t think of a better way to woo those who initially rolled their eyes at the prospect of an all-new Archie than with this introductory issue. Josie, Valerie, Melody — they’re all still as vibrant as you remember. Josie and the Pussycats #1 captures the spirit of the Seventies TV show that sprung from the Archie Comics’ original series, while maintaining a contemporary veneer.
Writers Marguerite Bennett and Cameron DeOrdio jump right into the fracas, establishing this killer band, their rockin’ tunes, and… their relationships with one another. (Aw.) They also introduce their main antagonist, Alexandra, the formation of their band, and allude to how quickly these gals are going to rise to the top… of the charts! (I had to!)
One of the stronger points of these characters are their distinct personalities and how their interpersonal relationships play so well off each other. Even though Josie and Melody just meet Valerie in this issue, it’s abundantly clear that they already have a good energy between them. Bennett and DeOrdio capture that beautifully. The conversations between them are fast-paced, playful, and provide a dose of reality when one of them is getting of track. Friendship is going to be a strong theme to this series, and I think that no matter where the ladies go in this series it will all come back to that. It’s a beautiful thing.
Audrey Mok and Andre Szymanowicz’s artwork fits very much in line with the whole new Archie universe in keeping the classic features, but modernizing it for new audiences. At times Mok’s work looks very anime-like, when Melody’s eyes tear up after finding a lost kitty, but it meshes together well overall. Szymanowicz’s coloring is vibrant and bold, which is precisely what I would expect for this book. Josie and the Pussycats #1 does not disappoint. I look forward to seeing how this series unfolds, but I’m also interested as to how they’ll play into the whole Riverdale scene. After all, these teenagers need a soundtrack for the soap opera that is their lives.
Written by Marguerite Bennett and Cameron DeOrdio.
Art by Audrey Mok.
Colors by Andre Szymanowicz.
Letters by Jack Morelli.
9 out of 10