cover image Riverdale: Vol. 1

Riverdale: Vol. 1

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa et al. Archie Comics, $17.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-68255-958-1

Billed as an “Archie Comics Presentation,” this volume serves as a prequel and tie-in with the recent CW series Riverdale, but any nostalgic connections readers might have with the characters from the original series are jeopardized by the bizarre situations they are forced into. Jughead still works at a drive-in theater and orders piles of burgers at a 1950s-era diner, but Archie is sleeping with the high school music teacher, Ms. Grundy. Betty has left for a summer internship in L.A., and Veronica only arrives in town after her billionaire father is arrested for embezzlement and fraud. Betty’s sister, Polly, was dating the star quarterback Jason Bloom, but after an absurd tragedy leads to her breakdown, Polly ends up in a mental institution. Every chapter of this book has a different writer/artist team, and some switch artists literally mid-scene. The result is choppy and inconsistent, and though it may still appeal to avid fans of the reboot, the drama comes across as forced and boring. (Oct.)