After taking a quick trip to the past to see how Archie & Sabrina got together in the first place, we jump back to the present and check in with the rest of the cast. How is the investigation into the disappearance of Reggie’s dad going? What conflict is brewing between Betty & Veronica? Seriously, what is lurking in the woods?
Reggie’s father’s disappearance has lost some steam in terms of importance. It started out really strong with a gripping idea and then petered out a bit since we’ve been focusing so much on the Archie / Sabrina secret romance. (Quick aside, what is the shipping name for this? Sarchie? Archina?) There have been some interesting twists and turns, however they’ve been few and far between. This could be the main focus of this arc and the next one with how this could play out.
Colorist Matt Herms sets the tone for Archie #708, striking a balance between the bright colors we’re used to in Riverdale and the darker shadows that have loomed up recently. It shows how there are secrets and mysteries lurking around every corner in this all American town.
I do like how all three plot threads are revolving around Fox Forest. They’re orbiting each other so it’s only a matter of time before they collide. Writers Nick Spencer and Mariko Tamaki are keeping each piece moving, giving time to all three as well as the characters involved.
The stand out in Archie #708 is the upcoming conflict between Betty & Veronica. The two are pursuing some things that are very important to them and that’s going to make them into adversaries. They come close to finding this out in this issue, so we’re set for a big clash in the next chapter. The pacing of this book is perfect, creating a ton of anticipation.
The thing about it is that they’re both noble causes. Betty wants to create more jobs for Riverdale by building a production facility and Veronica wants to preserve the forest. It’s just that they come into direct conflict with one another. On the surface, there’s no way to have both. One of them will have to prevail.
I’m warming up to artist Sandy Jarrell’s work on Archie. The characters are a bit too similar for my tastes. All the men have square jaws and all the women look like Barbie dolls. Despite this, the essence of each character shines through. For example, you can see how Jughead’s aloofness flows through his veins in how he carries himself, while Betty is strong and confident.
Letterer Jack Morelli’s sound effects are on point in Archie #708. I love how the screech of tires weaves around a car or the eerie snap of twigs in a secluded forest sends a shiver up your spine. It adds to the mood of a scene.
Although this comic is called Archie, it’s really an ensemble book. All of the main players get some time to shine here as we check in with their lives. We make some leaps forward in their story arcs, some more volatile than others. You can see this powder keg growing, leading towards an explosion of teenage drama and I can’t wait.