Friday, July 22, 2016

Review - Betty & Veronica #1 (@ArchieComics)

"Bad word. Censored."

Friendship is a fickle beast. Some days you and your friends are loving life, whereas others something comes between the two of you and causes strife. Few duos have had as turbulent a relationship as Betty and Veronica of Archie fame and that turbulence continues in Betty & Veronica #1 from Archie Comics. The issue is written and illustrated by Adam Hughes, colored by José Villarrubia and lettered by Jack Morelli.

The most highly-anticipated debut in comics history is here! Betty and Veronica are America's sweethearts - until they turn on each other! Pops' Chocklit Shoppe is being taken over by a huge coffee company. When Betty and Veronica go head-to-head over the issue, all bets are off! Friendships will shatter. Cities will burn. Nails will be broken.

Betty and Veronica have always been frenemies, but Hughes takes that relationship to an entirely new level in the superbly written Betty & Veronica #1. The script in the issue is extremely dense and packed with tons of narrative, effectively building up to the issue's climax that reveals the origins of the cracks in the foundation of their friendship. In this regard, Hughes masterfully gives the reader enough information to pique their interest while at the same time offering a slow burn toward the pivotal battle. There's almost an information overload at points, but Hughes does a great job of managing it all and not overwhelming the reader, relying on some tongue-in-cheek fourth wall breaking to lighten the mood. And the entire cast is given attention in the issue which works against Hughes' plot slightly in that Betty and Veronica could've been given a bit more dialogue to further explain why they're at odds with one another.

While Hughes' script is thoroughly entertaining, the artwork is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. His style relies on soft curves as opposed to hard lines to define the players, giving the entire book a cohesive feel. Every page is filled to the brim with a stunning attention to detail as Hughes provides an abundance of action and backgrounds for the characters to interact with. All the Riverdale inhabitants look beautiful--especially the lead characters--and Hughes uses that to great effect in infusing the book with a hip, modern feel. Even Villarrubia's colors are fantastic, giving the book a refined sensibility.

If you haven't been checking out the modernized Archie universe you're missing out and Betty & Veronica #1 is a chance to remedy that. Betty and Veronica are at each other's throats and a lot of Riverdale is on the sidelines struggling to figure out the best course of action. Hughes' script is great and provides a ton of dialogue that moves between dramatic and humorous without hesitation. His artwork is marvelous and the only drawback is that there's so much dialogue that much of the art is covered by dialogue bubbles. Betty & Veronica #1 is yet another great entry in the revamped Archie universe and definitely worth checking out.

Betty & Veronica #1 is in stores now.


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