Introducing Cheryl Blossom! After Veronica (Archie’s girlfriend) and Sayid (Betty’s boyfriend) leave town, things got a little tense in Riverdale. Both Archie and Betty are depressed and need some friend time with Jughead and Kevin to get their minds off their significant others, but it doesn’t work. Elsewhere, Veronica has started going to an all girls’ school in Switzerland (with no cell phone service or wifi), courtesy of her father, Hiram Lodge. There, she meets Cheryl Blossom, queen of the school and local bully. She makes Veronica involuntarily take part in pulling a prank on a less rich classmate, so now Veronica has even less friends. But Cheryl won’t stop there. What else has she got up her sleeve?
I’m really not a fan of this series changing artists so often. It happens on an issue-to-issue basis and, while exploring new art styles is both important and entertaining, it seriously messes with the fluidity of the series. This isn’t to say that the artwork is bad, though. The characters are drawn in such a way that we can easily tell who is who, but they aren’t as instantaneously recognizable as a few other artists have portrayed these kids. Andre Szymanowicz’s colors bring the same liveliness to Riverdale that we know and love. Switzerland seems a bit more rural, which makes a nice mix of scenery.
We can easily tell that Archie and Betty are suffering. Archie barely cracks a smile. They both whimper and even complain about their situations, feeling bad for one another, too. Writer Mark Waid reinforces this sadness when he makes a bit of Archie and Betty’s dialogue the same. The script is really natural and seamlessly flows from scene to scene. There are no pauses and no awkwardness to the script at all. Waid has taken this classic pop culture icon and remade it into a largely relatable, just as interesting series in such a way that we feel like these Riverdale kids are our friends. Now that Cheryl is in the picture, I can only imagine what chaos she is going to unleash.
At the end of the issue, like in all of them, there is a small story. This one is Cheryl’s first appearance in the series from back in 1941. Pretty much, she decides to go topless at a beach while her brother decides to drink beer in public on the same beach. This introductory appearance clearly shows us what kind of person Cheryl is. That know-it-all, snobby, queen bee attitude is back and after Archie!
Waid continues his insanely entertaining remake of Archie with this issue. I was wondering when supporting characters would come into play, and I’m stoked that they finally are. Riverdale is about to get a lot more interesting, so make sure to stick around and see what happens!
Written by: Mark Waid
Illustrated by: Joe Eisma