ARCHIE 1941 #1
Written by: Mark Waid and Bryan Augustyn
Art by: Peter Krause
Published: Archie Comics
What it’s about:
THE HISTORIC, GROUND-BREAKING MINI-SERIES STARTS HERE!
Archie has been around for over 75 years and has been through many significant moments in time, but never before have we seen the characters take on real-world events as they unfold. WWII is looming and Archie and many young men from Riverdale are close to enlistment age. If you’re a Riverdale teen, how would you cope with a looming world-changing event? Join the writing team of MARK WAID and BRIAN AUGUSTYN along with artist PETER KRAUSE for the all-new mini-series that is sure to have everyone talking!
What I thought about it…
The new Archie 1941 mini-series from Archie Comics, is a return to form for the characters or Riverdale. However, this is also one of the more serious, somber, and realistic takes on Archie and the gang I have ever seen. But after twice reading Archie 1941 #1, I think that’s what I like best about this book.
Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn write a dark and grounded tale that unlike a certain tv show, feels real. The two writers once again deliver some solid character development that makes the reader sympathize with him or her. If you’ve read any of their previous work, then you know these two writers know how to develop strong characters, and Archie 1941 is no exception. Every character in this book gets a moment to shine, but being an Archie book, he’s the one with the most screen time.
In this issue we see Archie and friends graduate high school as the rest of the world is consumed by the war in Europe and the Pacific. Archie is having trouble dealing with so much change: graduation; choosing a job; home life; girl issues; and the possibility of war. His friends meanwhile, seem more concerned with how they’ll spend their last summer together. But that doesn’t mean they are not concernced about Archie.
Artist Peter Krause depicts the first issue with a solemn, intimate style, somewhat similar to his work on The Power of Shazam in the 1990’s. In Archie 1941. Krause uses excellent facial expressions, and minimalistic details. I particularly enjoyed the scenes at Pop’s. The art made me want to visit and get a burger.
Peter Krause’s subtle approach to Riverdale is perfect for the early 40’s setting of the series. From the clothes they gang wears, to the newsreel scenes at the movies, all of it looks beautiful and I want to see more. Even thought its only one issue in, Archie 1941 might be some of the best stuff Peter Krause has done.
The only thing I didn’t like about Archie 1941 #1, was a snarky comment high school principal Mr. Weatherbee makes to Archie. I get the kid was a pain to deal with for the last few years, but his “I’m rid of you” comment seemed like a low blow. Even in a more grounded and realistic version of this world, I find it hard to believe any teacher would say that to a kid.
With stong dialogue, an interesting premise, and gorgeus art, Archie 1941 turns out to be more than meets the eye. I want to see more of this world, and I hope the upcoming issues are just as intriguing as this one was. This is an awesome book, and one that’s worth checking out whether you read Archie or not.
Archie 1941 #1 score: A-