Some­one from Archie Comics will be in a car crash — and the gang will never be the same

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - DAVID BE­TAN­COURT

Mark Waid needed to know he truly cared about Archie, Betty, Veron­ica, Jug­head and the rest of the teenagers he over­sees in “Archie” be­fore adding a lit­tle dark­ness to the re­cently re­vamped Archie Comics se­ries.

So now, two years into his “Archie” writ­ing run, Waid says he is fi­nally ready to bring a lit­tle bit of pain and con­se­quence to Riverdale.

“Archie” no. 20, avail­able now in print and dig­i­tally, de­buts the first part of a three-part sto­ry­line ti­tled “Over the Edge,” writ­ten by Waid and il­lus­trated by Pete Woods.

The three is­sues will deal with what hap­pens when Archie and his con­stant ri­val Reg­gie turn their never-end­ing war of words into a war on wheels. A car race be­tween the two will end with a ma­jor char­ac­ter be­ing se­ri­ously in­jured and near death.

Can­di­dates for who that char­ac­ter might be are the rac­ers — Archie and Reg­gie — plus Betty, who, if you’ve been read­ing Waid’s “Archie,” you know would be a bet­ter racer than Archie. Betty ac­tu­ally zooms to­ward Archie, try­ing to pre­vent him from par­tic­i­pat­ing in the race, know­ing the red­head isn’t as fast and fu­ri­ous as he thinks he is.

Waid points out that just be­cause other clas­sic Archie char­ac­ters, such as Jug­head and Veron­ica, are safe from the high-im­pact car ac­ci­dent, doesn’t mean they won’t be ef­fected dras­ti­cally.

“I re­al­ize this sounds like over­sell, but I mean it — the events of ‘Over the Edge’ change all the kids, and most of the par­ents,” Waid said. “I would, that said, keep my eye on Mr. Weather­bee, Archie’s fa­ther, and Veron­ica Lodge.”

As for how he de­cided which char­ac­ter would have a life-chang­ing event, Waid says he be­gan look­ing at res­i­dents of Riverdale that had the least amount of strife go­ing on in their lives cur­rently. Af­ter two years, he felt, it can’t just be all fun and laughs in “Archie.”

“I love th­ese kids as if they were my own, and I’m very pro­tec­tive of them, but no one wants to read noth­ing but sto­ries about peo­ple who are al­ways happy and un­trou­bled,” Waid said. “With that in mind, no one should be safe from plot twists and turns ex­cept for maybe the kid whose name is on the cover, and even then, I can and have heaped lots of prob­lems on his head.”

And yet, the world of Archie is a comic book uni­verse. And with that come the as­sump­tions that which­ever char­ac­ter is af­fected the most in “Over the Edge,” the mo­ment won’t stick, and things will be back to nor­mal soon, as comic book worlds are quick to hit the re­set but­ton.

“The gang will not be the same, I prom­ise,” Waid said. “Th­ese kids did some­thing stupid, and there are con­se­quences.”

Don’t ex­pect this new dark chap­ter to change the tone of “Archie” too much, though. Waid says some as­pects of “Archie” are time­less no mat­ter the drama.

In “Over the Edge” Archie and Reg­gie wage a war on wheels.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.