Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Review - Betty and Veronica Vixens #1 (@ArchieComics)


"...it means we're about to kick some ass."

Betty and Veronica is an example of one of the most enduring love/hate relationships in all of media. The two of have moved from best friends to worst enemies at the proverbial drop of a dime. In Betty and Veronica Vixens #1 from Archie Comics, the two take their relationship to a new place as members of an outlaw biker gang. The issue is written by Jamie Lee Rotante, illustrated by Eva Cabrera, colored by Elaina Unger and lettered by Rachel Deering.

The toughest gang in Riverdale is one you'd least expect: the Vixens, led by Riverdale High's own Betty and Veronica!

Betty and Veronica have the frenemy angle locked down pretty tight and that's what Rotante leverages to great effect in Betty and Veronica Vixens #1. Rotante reimagines the two female leads as something more than just bookworm and the most popular girl in school; instead, they're both intent on becoming a biker gang. It's a pretty radical departure for the two characters for sure, but Rotante works in enough of their primary characteristics that it doesn't feel that far-fetched. Rotante's dialogue is a little sassy for a comic in the Archie universe, but considering Betty and Veronica are going up against the Serpents it's to be expected. And there's a focus on making Betty out to be more than meets the eye; in fact, Rotante ensures that the reader knows there's a lot more to Betty than just her intelligence.

Cabrera's art style in Betty and Veronica Vixens #1 is a modern take on the old school Archie comics. The characters are illustrated in a way that hearkens back to the comic strips boasting the same characters while at the same time looking as if a fresh coat of paint has been applied. Cabrera focuses on the details with thin, wispy lines that sport heft and allow the characters to stand out. The panel layout is very formal and gridlike leaving the reader to wonder if maybe a few insets and overlays would've better matched the burgeoning rebel personas of Betty and Veronica. Unger's colors are rich, striking the right balance between being bold and not going overboard.

Betty and Veronica Vixens #1 is a departure for the main characters that a lot of readers probably weren't expecting. Betty and Veronica are reinvented in a way that upends what people typically think of the two leading women. Rotante's script is evenly paced and effective in giving readers a glimpse at new versions of the iconic characters. Cabrera's illustrations are a great mix of classic looks and a more modern, slick approach. Betty and Veronica Vixens #1 is a fun reimagining of the new characters that gives them a lot to contend with, but they're surely up to the task.

Betty and Veronica Vixens #1 is available November 15.

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