Daily Archives: August 11, 2012

Class Warfare

Archie & Friends All-Stars Vol. 17 – Archie: Clash of the New Kids trade paperback
Writer: Alex Simmons
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Colors: Digikore Studios
Letters: Jack Morelli
Cover artists: Parent & Koslowski
Publisher: Archie Comic Publications
Price: $11.99 US/$12.99 CAN

It’s been an awfully long time since I thumbed through the pages of an Archie comic. The only other one I’ve looked at in recent memory is World of Archie Double Digest, which collected the DC-published Tiny Titans/Little Archie crossover series. I couldn’t resist the super-cute character designs and the nostalgia of the digest format. I loved digest comics as a kid (both those published by Archie and the treasure trove of reprint material in the ones offered by DC back in the 1970s and ’80s), and I’m pleased Archie is carrying on the tradition and the format today. Unfortunately, this collected edition of a storyline that ran through different Archie titles more than a year ago is offered in a more familiar trade-paperback format (though slightly smaller than the regular comic-book size). There are several subplots that string this book together, all revolving around an influx of new students at Riverdale High, coming from a shuttered school elsewhere in the district. Obviously, I was expecting the noteworthy Kevin Keller to turn up in this volume, and he does. But despite Kevin’s appearance in a few background shots and on a profile page at the back of the book, he’s really not a participant in the stories included in this collection. Instead, the focus is on a number of other new Riverdale characters. The group is clearly designed to bring diversity and more modern sensibilities to the traditional, old-school foundation of Archie comics, but writer Alex Simmons wisely fleshes out the characters beyond their races and the social archetypes they represent.

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