Friday, September 16, 2016

Review - Josie and the Pussycats #1 (@ArchieComics)


"Win some, booze some. Riverdale."

Making it big in anything takes not only talent but patience too. That especially holds true for the music scene, where just about anyone and everyone thinks they can be the next big thing. It takes a really special group such as Josie and the Pussycats in Josie and the Pussycats #1 from Archie Comics to fight through all the drama and succeed. The issue is written by Marguerite Bennett and Cameron Deordio, illustrates by Audrey Mok, colored by Andre Szymanowicz and lettered by Jack Morelli.

Friends, countrymen, lend me your long tails and ears for hats - the Pussycats are back! In this series kick-off, Josie's getting the band together to help achieve her dreams of musical stardom. But for the group to last, it needs a strong foundation of friendship and trust. Can the girls get going, or will Alexandra's plotting put a stop to the whole thing?

The story in Josie and the Pussycats #1 is certainly nothing new, but Bennett and Deordio succeed in giving it a breath of fresh air. Each of the members of the band are introduced very cleanly, building up to their inevitable union for a concert where their individual talents bubble to the surface. Bennett and Deordio achieve this through slick dialogue and entertaining exchanges--all of which makes the expected at least enjoyable. And Alexandra is enough of an antagonist that the series likely won't be all sunshine and rainbows for the band as they struggle to make it big. The characters in the property have always thrived on camaraderie and friendship, both of which feature heavily throughout the first issue.

The light and airy artwork provide a generally optimistic lens for viewing the story through. Mok does a great job of illustrating the characters in a way so that each of the primary characteristics stand out. Mok's style is refined and clean, with characters cutting striking profiles against the scenic backdrop of coffee houses and parks. There's an energy infused into the artwork by Mok that reflects the energy of a young band hoping to strike it big. Szymanowicz's colors further buoy that energy in that there are plenty of bright, vivid colors throughout that capture the youthful optimism of Josie and the Pussycats.

Josie and the Pussycats #1 is a lot of fun in a very subtle way. Josie and the Pussycats know they're talented and are just looking for the right opportunity to showcase that talent. Bennett and Deordio's script is very entertaining and doesn't take itself too seriously, subtly laying the groundwork for what will be a great series. Mok and Szymanowicz does a phenomenal job on creating a world where everything is possible and demonstrates a vivid cheerfulness. Josie and the Pussycats #1 is a great way to reboot a familiar property and is another strong entry in the Archie Comics universe.

Josie and the Pussycats #1 hits stores September 28.

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