Friday, October 13, 2017

Review - Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 (@ArchieComics @DCComics)


"Attention rabble! It's the opportunity of your young, unfortunate lives!"

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy have made names for themselves in the DC Universe as fierce characters willing to do whatever it takes to see their objective to the end. Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge have made names for themselves in the Archie Comics universe as fierce characters willing to do whatever it takes to see their objective (typically social) to the end. It only makes sense that the two square off in Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 from Archie Comics and DC Comics. The issue is written by Paul Dini and Marc Andreyko, illustrated by Laura Braga, colored by Tony Avina and Arif Prianto and lettered by Deron Bennett.

Free college tuition for all Riverdale residents?! That's the plan-after the town drains the wetlands that lie between it and Gotham City and then builds a new campus. The only snag? A certain botany-obsessed super-villain. When Poison Ivy enlists her bestie, Harley, to kidnap both Veronica Lodge, daughter of Riverdale's most important citizen, and her friend Betty, she's counting on some assistance-and the mayhem that ensues will probably work as well!

Crossing characters from different publishers can be a tricky thing to do, but kudos to Dini and Andreyko for pulling it off in Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1. Their script makes a lot of sense in regards to how it treats the characters, hitting all their characteristics in a way that doesn't seem too out of character. Much like Riverdale the CW series, Archie isn't the focal point at all really as Dini and Andreyko allow the characters of Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Betty and Veronica to breathe on their own. The dialogue is pretty excellent in that regard as well; the writing duo really know what makes the characters tick and that shows. The ending of the first issue also has a pretty lighthearted twist that sets the stage for the remainder of the series that allows the issue to straddle both worlds with ease.

Braga's illustrations really give the book a tremendous finish. All of the characters are easily recognizable throughout the issue with Braga rendering everyone as much more mature and more like adults as opposed to teenagers. The approach also gives the book much more of a comic book feel which helps as two of the characters in Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy hail from the more superhero-focused publisher (even if it does make the Riverdale side of things feel a little more superheroish as well). This is also picked up in the panel layouts as Braga is clearly bringing a much more big-publisher approach to the artwork--it's certainly not bad at all, but the style feels a lot like page after page of pin-ups. The colors by Avina and Prianto are bold and vivid throughout.

Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 is a lot of fun as it doesn't take itself too seriously while at the same time giving readers plenty of page-time with all the characters. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are on their mission that will pit them against Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge who are on their own mission as well. Dini and Andreyko get a little meta with the writing and the issue plays out a lot like a one-off episode of Batman: The Animated Series would've. Braga's artwork is gorgeous and definitely hews more modern-day comic as opposed to nostalgic Archie style. Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 is definitely worth taking the time to read as it's just plain enjoyable.

Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 is available now.

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