Rating: 4/5 – Archie and the Gang Take Their Act Worldwide.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Alamo.
It’s a great time to be an Archie Comics fan! Next year promises big changes for the publisher as it expands or relaunches many of its current comic line and moves into television, movies, and fashion. Even its title character will be getting a fresh new look to celebrate his nearly 75 years in comics. One might say that Archie is getting ready to “rock the world” with these changes and while many feel anxious about a change in the status quo, I cannot be more excited. Before that happens, though, the Riverdale gang takes their musical act worldwide in Archie: Rockin’ the World, a volume that collects Archie issues #650-653. It’s a rockin’ good romp around the globe that has plenty of classic Archie to satisfy longtime fans.
Joining the Archies on this world tour are fellow musical acts Josie and the Pussycats, the Bingos, and the Madhouse Glads. As they hop from country to country, the reader gets a quick geography primer on the current locale that is then worked into the story. From there, all sorts of hijinks occur as the Bingos and the Madhouse Glads take off, the Bettys pop in for an emergency performance, and a cornucopia of Archie characters join the narrative. It’s really a who’s who of the Archie world as Dan Parent throws in the naughty Cheryl Blossom, the stylish Katy Keene, the magical Sabrina Spellman, and many more. It makes for a lot of fun to guess who will make an appearance next. Parent even introduces a new character that causes the Archie love triangle (or is it a love square at this point?) some stress. Parent is no stranger to creating new characters and I love that he expands the cast yet again. I also like that he follows up on the previous Archie/Valerie relationship, which keeps with the series’ continuity. Has Archie’s days as a player finally come to an end? Though history and experience would tell you no, you’ll have to read this story to find out. The volume wraps up with short bios on the bands as well as great reprint material featuring some of their older stories. These bands have graced the pages of Archie for over 40 years, so it helps to provide some history for new readers. Dan Parent also handles the art duties on this story arc and as I’ve said before, I believe he’s the best modern Archie artist. He takes a very consistent house style and makes it his own without ever losing the essence of the characters.
Overall, Archie: Rockin’ the World is a big ball of fun that incorporates everything that makes an Archie Comic great: the art’s consistent house style, the cast’s never-ending shenanigans, and the girls fighting over everyone’s favorite redheaded teen. It’s a nice respite before the promised changes of next year. And while I’m all for trying out new things, modernizing the brand, and hopefully raising some interest in this publisher I like so much, I think I’m happy to sit here for a while before all the big changes occur.
Reviewed by: Adam Alamo
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