The classic American comic, Archie, has had a revamp over the past few years in a “New Look” series. Archie Goodbye Forever is the last instalment in this series and it seems Archie may have to leave his home town for good, leaving all his friends behind him.
The new series promised to take on newer, modern storylines and the illustrations were to have a less ‘cartoony’ feel to them. It’s pretty understandable that the Archie series has gone in for a bit of a revamp. His first appearance was back in 1941 and the series has always had a ‘wholesome’ mid-west America feel to it. It may have lost touch with what real teenagers in America were going through, so this was an attempt to rectify that.
The Archie comics centre on Archie Ardrews, a carrot-topped, clumsy, but loveable guy who is certainly the most popular guy in his town of Riverdale. His best friends and other major characters include Jughead Jones and Reggie Mantle, but the most interesting storylines in the comic series are those of his love triangle between two friends, Betty and Veronica.
So, this instalment sees Archie’s dad finally get the promotion he has been waiting for, but with this good news comes some awful news for Archie and all his friends. The new promotion will see the Andrews family move to another city in another state.
Obviously shocked at this news, Archie and his mother are quick to tell Mr Andrews they will do anything to see him fulfil his dream of this promotion, even if it does mean leaving the one place they love.
It’s not all bad, though. As Mr Andrews keeps bringing up, they’ll have lots of money due to this promotion. Lots and lots of money.
With the news spreading round the close-knit town like wildfire, their dearest friends come to terms with the news they’re losing a special family. Some take it better than others. Archie’s love triangle is affected the most, with Betty and Veronica both putting aside their differences to console themselves over what they will lose.
The new look series has definitely added more depth to some of the regular characters we’re used to from the comic, in this edition especially. We learn more about the social class and wealth of the parents of a few different families. This definitely has been an effect of the revamp and will connect the readers with the story more.
Also, the introduction of new writers and illustrators is refreshing. The artwork is beautifully vibrant throughout the book, and something they have only enhanced since doing this new look series. So, hardcore fans will not be disappointed in that respect. It’s also endearing that there’s still many of the slapstick scenes that Archie is known for in this book.
The wholesome feel to the comics has not been lost, which is a good thing, as too drastic a change would ruin the tone of the comic, and the classic values it started with.
If you’re a fan of simple, well meaning comics, then you‘ll already be a fan of the Archie series, and this particular edition will be very pleasing to you. It’s very upbeat, despite the changes the town is faced with, and it’s heart-warming to see how it all turns out in the end.
However, if you’re into fast paced stories, lots of action sequences and are the type to roll their eyes at an American after school special drama, then maybe this is not the book for you. But you’ll already know that.
Archie fans will embrace this collection and it will fit in perfectly with the previous editions.
Archie: Goodbye Forever is out now and available from the Den Of Geek Store.
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