Comic reviews: Archie & Friends #153, Betty & Veronica #252

Archie & Friends #153Archie & Friends #153

Written by: Tom DeFalco (first story), J. Torres (second story), Ian Flynn (third story), Tania Del Rio (fourth story)
Art by: Ron Frenz (first story), Tim Levins (second story), Giselle (third story), Tania Del Rio (fourth story)

This month’s issue is an April Fools’ Day themed story, and as such, all the tales are about the pranks Reggie pulls this time of year. In the first story, we see Reggie wreak havoc at school, which includes pulling the old “bucket of water over the door” bit on the girls, and the “shoe polish on the camera viewfinder” bit on Raj (the Asian Indian student interested in film-making). We also see Reggie sabotage Archie’s car—which, bizarrely, has reverted back to the old Model T/Model A jalopy of the old days, despite Archie having long gotten rid of it (even in-universe)/the improbable nature of a 2011 teen owning such a car. (Maybe he’s borrowing it from his look-alike grandfather shown in a recent digest?).

The second story shows the Riverdale High faculty being paranoid over what Reggie will do to them prank-wise (it seems Miss Grundy got the worst of the previous year’s pranks). The third story was more pranks against the girls. The fourth and final story was written and drawn by Tania Del Rio, the woman who did the manga version of Sabrina a few years ago, and also does this story manga-style. This story involves Raj again, and takes advantage of how similar Betty and Veronica look facially, aside from their hair color.

The first and fourth stories were the best of the bunch. Unusually, Reggie manages to get away with his antics for once, versus the usual comeuppance he often gets (being beaten to a pulp by Moose, etc.).

Despite the cover, Chuck doesn’t seem to appear in this issue, but his father, Coach Clayton, is one of the paranoid faculty featured in the second tale.

Betty & Veronica #252Betty & Veronica #252

Written by: Angelo Decesare (first story, third story), George Gladir (second story), Craig Boldman (fourth story)
Art by: Jeff Shultz (all stories)

In the first story, Betty shows off her “In-Your-Facebook” page to Veronica, which prompts Veronica to start her own page with slightly more friends than Betty, resulting in a “friending” war between the two. The second story focuses on Betty learning how to be a high-society d√©butante from Veronica for the purposes of a play she’s in. The third story sees the girls break the fourth wall to address the reader on what qualities constitute a best friend. The final story sees Tomoko (a newer Asian-American character) tell Ronnie a secret about Tomoko’s new boyfriend, a secret which Veronica tries to keep.

The Facebook story was interesting, even if they changed the fake-Archie-universe name for “Facebook” again—it was “Spacebook” in a few earlier stories, an amalgamation of MySpace and Facebook. Though I guess since MySpace is now passe, I can see why they’d want a newer name. Interesting to see Reggie’s made the pseudo-Facebook page of Betty’s male friends (that she’s dated), but is absent (save one panel) in the “best friends” story.

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