Relationship Troubles Are On The Rise In Riverdale In Archie #28

by James Ferguson

Relationship troubles are on the rise in Riverdale. Archie and Veronica have broken up, sending the redhead into the arms of Betty, who shoots him down. Searching for love, Archie goes on a variety of dates, all of which end in disaster. This is worrisome because the Spring dance is coming up. What to do?

Archie’s chaotic clumsiness is always hilarious. Writers Mark Waid and Ian Flynn create these impossible situations that he gets himself into. We always see the aftermath, never how they happened, so we’re filled with questions. The kicker is that the other characters seem to feel the same way, yelling “HOW?!” into the heavens. Archie #28 features some top notch gags, expertly illustrated by Audrey Mok. It’s a wonder the boy hasn’t accidentally killed himself yet.
The issue flows between different sets of characters, giving each of the main ones some time in the spotlight. This is welcome after the bombshells that have been dropped recently. It serves as a check-in with everyone to gage their emotional well being. Jughead is the only one that seems OK. So long as he’s fed, he’s fine. The same cannot be said for Archie, Betty, or Veronica. They’re each struggling with their hearts, some are having an easier time of this than others.

Archie is lovesick, but not in the traditional sense. He’s been in relationships for a bit, so he doesn’t seem to know how to act when he’s not in one. This is why he ends up going on a variety of dates with other girls. There’s a great scene where the women are comparing war wounds from their dates. The thing about Archie is that despite his penchant for messes, he’s a really great guy, so it’s worth the risk to go out with him.
I’m glad that Betty and Veronica’s friendship is surviving the fallout from the Archie back-and-forth. The two make a great pair and complement each other well. You can see how supportive they are of one another as they enjoy a spa day. It’s funny that you can tell Betty is uncomfortable in this setting, while this is just another day for Veronica.

Then there’s Reggie. Boy, is he a jerk. He’s already on the outs because of his involvement in the car crash that nearly crippled Betty. Now he’s got some juicy gossip so he’s trying to figure out the best way to spill it. Waid and Flynn have made Reggie such a slimy guy. There are little to no redeeming qualities about him right now. You’d think he’d have some humility after what he went through, but judging from his home life, he has no support anywhere at all. That’s a little sad, however, it does not excuse his behavior.
Reggie is like the Grinch in human form. There is literally a shot of him walking down the street, popping balloons in the hands of children. What a monster. He’s planning to cause the most damage possible with this gossip instead of handing it delicately. For more Grinch-like behavior, just look at the last panel he’s featured in, where a sickly, conniving grin spreads across his face. There are so many people that would love to smack that right off.

Archie #28 takes stock of the relationship status of the key characters in a much more concise way than checking their Facebook profiles. They may have just been through some rocky times, but they’re still standing. They’ll need that strength and confidence to deal with what Reggie has in store for them. Oh, what a jerk.
Archie #28 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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