Archie: Volume One

Archie: Volume One

I’ve never read an Archie comic, nor have I seen Riverdale, but I get the premise. Archie goes to high school. His best friend likes hamburgers. Archie is torn between two girls. The end. But, like I said, I’ve never read one, so maybe there’s more to it. I mean, a non-superhero comic character who has been published continuously since 1942 has to have something interesting.

Cut to, an Archie reboot by famed superhero writer Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, et al). This is a reboot that doesn’t deviate front the source material too much (I think). The art is wonderful with big, colorful panels and cartoony characters with a modern style. Jughead loves cheeseburgers (but he’s rich). Archie has just broken up with Betty because of “the lipstick incident” and Veronica, a rich snob, moves to town and steals his attention. Archie is a loveable clutz. Moose is a dumb football player.  Nothing revolutionary, but familiar for new and old readers.

Archie: Volume One contains light, suitable-for-all-ages stories with a modern twist for a 78-year-old character.   

Collects issues 1-6 by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples

Y: The Last Man: Volume One

Y: The Last Man

Y

No capes. No monsters. No heroes (well, there’s one-his sister, Hero). No powers. No villains. No magic (possibly a magic medallion). Y: The Last Man isn’t like most other comic books.
Without warning or explanation, every male on earth dies. The story centers on the humans, but all the male animals die as well, leaving the females to clean up a patriarchal civilization.
The Why in the comic book is:
Why.
Isn’t.
This.
A.
Show?!
It reads like Heroes or Lost, or even 24. You might respond with “Isn’t there a show about the last man on earth called, um, The Last Man on Earth?” Well, invisible questioner, that’s true. But the show is different because it’s a comedy and the comic book is more of a dramatic fantasy. The comic came first, and it’s hard not to imagine that the basic idea of the show was inspired by (ripped off) the comic. No spoilers, but the climax of the first trade paperback is a plot point in the show.
Y: The Last Man is thought-provoking in its execution. The real world concerns of every male dying at once are addressed (What do the survivors do with the bodies? What about the mostly-male governments of the world?) Yorkick, an English-major and escape artist, along with his monkey Ampersand, does his best to travel from the United States to Australia to reunite with his fiancee. Along the way, he encounters violent Amazons, the remnants of the elected government escape from the White House, and a discovers a seemingly utopian town. Did I mention that technology has been knocked for a loop? Oh yeah, the phones don’t work and things like cars and gasoline are scarce.

I look forward to reading the other books in the series. There are many mysteries to be answered, such as: What happened to wipe out half the human race? Will Yorick reach his girlfriend? What’s the deal with his sister? Is Yorick (and his monkey) really the last man (males) on Earth?
Y: The Last Man is written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Pia Guerra and published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics collecting issues 1-10.