By Stefania Rudd and Arpad Okay. Our Week In Review collects our thoughts on the comics that demand attention. Do you have a deep-rooted desire to know what we think about all your favorite books? Well. This is where you need to be.

Archie10Archie  #10

Archie Comics/$3.99

Written by Mark Waid.

Art by Veronica Fish; coloring by Andre Szymanowicz with Jen Vaughn.

Lettering: Jack Morelli

SR: It’s like the drama never ends with these Archie kids, amirite? But that goes with the territory for any smallish town where people and their families have know each other for who knows how many generations. Of course things escalate when new blood enters the fold: allegiances are forged, friendships are tested, and what you thought you knew of someone may no longer be true. In Archie #10 we begin with a bang—a fiery one to be exact—that creates a rift between Archie and Betty. And in true Archie nature it all starts with a misunderstanding, one that only gets worse as others start to get involved.   

At a C2E2 panel earlier this year, Mark Waid said he drew some of his inspiration for the revamped Archie from a television show called The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which if you have seen the show, it makes total sense (thanks Nick at Night in the ‘90s). Waid brings an honesty and realness to the way Archie and Betty engage in their arguments — these are two teenagers still trying to figure out their complicated feelings towards each other. There is a deep hurt that goes beyond their current predicament, and it’s impacting the relationships they have with others, like with Betty’s new friend (and possible love interest), Sayid.

Veronica Fish and the rest of the artistic team do a fantastic job with the art. (The cover alone is a stunner: Archie and Betty gaze at each other as Riverdale goes up in flames… if this doesn’t stir up any residual angsty teen emotions still left inside you, I don’t know what will.) Inside the book the art is beautiful and expressive; the characters look like the teens they are and little details — like Veronica’s triangle necklace (so on trend right now) — give them a realism that make them all the more relatable to us.

Mark Waid and Veronica Fish give us a highly entertaining and emotionally charged issue that will set the stage for continued friction, but as we fans of Archie know, these kids will find a way to resolve it. How they do that will test their character, and what they are willing to lose (and gain) in the process. That’s the quality of good drama. I hope you’re reading Archie.

9 out of 10

STL010485Black Panther #4

Marvel Comics/$3.99

Written by Ta-nehisi Coates.

Art by Brian Stelfreeze; colored by Laura Martin and Matt Milla.

Lettered by Joe Sabino.

AOK: Finally, a king emerges. It would seem that T’Challa’s streak of playing the fool has ended with his most recent defeat at the hands of his rivals. Now, instead of rushing in, he sits on a war council, advocating restraint, clarity, surety. As the poet said, before the move, sit on the perspective. Wisdom.

Which he will need. We have to trust the time that T’Challa takes to act is meditation and not bureaucratic red tape. Ayo and Aneka don’t leave you time to guess. The Midnight Angels are mobilized. They’re bringing up self-sustaining communities to replace the oppressive regime that once put them down.  Shouldn’t they? The crown’s world was filled with blind justice and it left its people suffering. Yet their conviction runs so deep it may beggar reason. Both sides, Angels and Panther, seem right. Both sides seem wrong. The beauty, the madness, of politics. The trouble of calling it politics when people are dying. In short, if you are an American citizen, you ought to be talking to your friends about that crazy shit you read in Black Panther this month.

The people — you and I — that is what still lacks a voice in this book. The first quarter closes with issue four. Is the king wise? Is his opposition right? Can two women be a better voice for all of us than one man? The fire rises in Wakanda, and its stars rise with the flames, each of them vying to be the one who saves all the lives burned in their ascension. You. Must. Read. This. Book.

8 out of 10

From earlier this week — 

REBIRTH IN REVIEW: When Misfits (Wally West & Jason Todd) Get Their Due


Fear, Contradiction, And Rage Inform Frank Miller’s ‘HOLY TERROR’

‘CAPTAIN KID #1’ And DC’s Problem With Batgirl 

‘POWERPUFF GIRLS’ Is An IDW Knockout, ‘GOOD AS LILY’ Is A Timely Good Read

Agree? Disagree? What books are YOU reading this week? We want to know! Tell us about those feelings of yours in the comments section below.