With the resurgence of Archie Comics, the time was right for a review of one of the reboots of this iconic comic book company. The series adaptation on Netflix, Riverdale, seems to do well. And both reboots of Archie and Jughead are hits. They even made great horror adaptations of two of their titles, Afterlife with Archie and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. With this onslaught of hits, how does Betty and Veronica do in comparison?
Archie Comics has been around since 1939 and the Archie comics since 1942. In 2010, when the ownership of the company changed, they also changed to comics they produced.
Life with Archie was produced, a more mature series with two alternative timelines. One where Archie marries Betty and one where Archie marries Veronica. Plus in the regular comics the first gay character was introduced. After this came both horror series: Afterlife with Archie and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
In 2014 Archie Comics started their relaunch of their flagship title Archie. And in 2016 it was Betty and Veronica’s turn. The artist and writer was Adam Hughes, coming of writing Wonder Woman and Catwoman. He is also known for his pin-up style of drawing.
Battle of the BFF’s
Betty and Veronica used to be frenemies, but nowadays they have become best friends. In this book they go head-to-head. Betty finds out their favourite hangout Pops’ Chocklit Shoppe is being bought out by a huge coffee company.
When Betty asks her friend Veronica to help, she discovers it is her dad who owns the coffee company. The battle is on. As Betty tries to raise money, Veronica thwarts her every move with fundraisers of her own. Will Betty succeed? Or does Veronica have the last laugh?
This book is a mixed bag for me. The plus is the art. It is beautiful. Adam Hughes knows how to draw and luckily he makes the girls age appropriate. There is not a lot of Archie goin on, which makes the plot focus and the two female leads.
Now, here’s why I have mixed feelings. The narrator is a weird choice: Hot Dog, Jughead’s dog. His role is to give colour commentary on everything and everyone. Except for Veronica. He has nothing on her. This gives it a weird meta vibe and it doesn’t help the plot at all. Betty and Veronica are the leads, but most of the story focuses on Betty. Veronica only functions as her foe to counter what she is doing.
I don’t know if this book is for new fans or older fans. This book could have been a kick ass series for girls, but in the end it’s a mediocre plot with great art. Fun to read if you have time to kill, but don’t go out of your way to buy it. Only if you are a big Adam Hughes fan.