Archie #705 Twists And Turns Before Ending Up In The Same Exact Spot

by James Ferguson

Riverdale’s version of The Bachelor has reached its climax where Archie has to pick who to give the final flower to. You’d think that since the series has been renamed as Archie and Sabrina that it would be a certain teenage witch from Greendale, but that would be too easy. Instead, we’ve got some twists and turns that will keep us, not to mention the scheming Betty and Veronica on our toes.

For a book that has Sabrina’s name in the title, she’s not in it all that much. The focus shifts more to Betty and Veronica as well as the investigation into Reggie’s father’s disappearance. In hindsight, this isn’t too much of a surprise as this is the beginning of a new story arc. It serves as a level set and a new jumping on point for anyone interested in checking this out. That also explains the two page recap that opens the issue.
Sabrina’s presence is definitely felt. More specifically, her relationship with Archie has faced its first real challenge and it’s risen above it. If you had any doubts about how these two would work as a couple, writer Nick Spencer puts those to rest in Archie #705. They fit together well in a way that complements each other’s strengths. It’s just that it’s all a secret. You have to wonder how it will work out once everyone knows about this clandestine romance.

While this relationship is integral to the series, I found Betty & Veronica’s storyline to be the standout to Archie #705. Here you have two best friends that have spent decades fighting over a boy. The two women suddenly realize how silly that all sounds in a pointed conversation. It’s a definite turning point for this friendship as they prepare to conquer the world together…and then promptly end up on two sides of a major issue. This sets up the next big conflict of the series in a big way.
This plays out separately for each girl and artist Sandy Jarrell mirrors the scenes. This shows how Betty and Veronica are opposing each other not just on the basis of this upcoming project, but literally as they’re facing different sides. This is a great artistic choice.

While I like Jarrell’s art direction, I’m not a fan of the character designs. Everyone is impossibly thin with little form to their bodies. They’re kind of like walking sticks. The faces are all very similar too. If it wasn’t for the different hair colors, it would be tough telling some of them apart.
The narration in Archie #705 guides us through the various storylines in a somber, yet ominous fashion. Letterer Jack Morelli casts these caption boxes in a bluish grey that fits well with the overall tone of the issue.

While there are some serious elements in Archie #705, it’s still set in Riverdale. The sun is always beaming, even when a man has disappeared without a trace. Colorist Matt Herms creates a quaint mood for this issue, making this look like any town in the country. This story could play out anywhere. Of course, it wouldn’t be the same without characters such as these.
While Archie #705 serves as a potential jumping on point for new readers, it treads water in all but one of the storylines. Betty & Veronica’s arc is the only one that gets any real traction. The relationship between Archie & Sabrina is still moving along, but it’s maintaining its secret status, so it’s more of the same. Similarly, Reggie’s dad is still gone and no one has any idea as to where he could be. Now that we’re entering the next phase of this relaunch, I am hoping for some movement in these threads as there is so much potential for them all.
Archie #705 from Archie Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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