Uptown Girl in a Downtown World - Archie #9 Review

See the ultimate lifestyle clash as Veronica is forced to stay in the Andrews household if she wants to spend time with Archie!

Archie #9 is the comic version of a “bottle episode.” For the most part, it takes place in Archie’s house and the surrounding neighborhood. This is by no means a criticism. It shows how Mark Waid can tell a succinct story with a limited amount of space. We get to see the consequences of Veronica partially living with the Andrews family. Firstly, slightly played for laughs, we see how an incredibly rich teenage girl deals with a normal, lower-to-middle class house. She expects fanciness, being mystified by paper towels and a lack of soup spoons. The cover perfectly exemplifies this, with Veronica and several associates politely watching a fashion show. Archie, meanwhile, is falling asleep, head resting in his palm.

Secondly, we see what happens when she tries to bring over the Lodges’ butler, maid, chef, and gardener. At first, Mary Andrews enjoys the extra help, but soon becomes frustrated with everything being done for her. Even gardening, a seemingly relaxing task, becomes unnecessary when the gardeners craft ostentatious designs.

Fred, on the other hand, luxuriates in the riches that he’s gained access to, immediately falling in love with an outrageously large television.

Live that dream, Fred. Mooch on your son's girlfriend's stuff.
As for Archie, he’s dealing with an emotional crisis of his own. While spending some time with Veronica on the lawn, they overhear Mrs. Andrews complaining about how Veronica is making their life more difficult. Veronica runs off, and Archie has a heart-to-heart with Betty in the next chapter. This results in a sweet scene where they commiserate over the difficulties of trying to live with someone who’s obscenely rich. It’s a great scene that reminds the reader that Archie and Betty truly know each other. They joke and laugh like old friends, even gently mocking the Lodge’s exorbitant wealth. They almost kiss, but Archie runs off after receiving an emergency call from Veronica, leaving Betty crestfallen.

Veronica also gets some character depth. Much like a scene in an earlier issue where she inadvertently humiliates herself in the school cafeteria, she's out of her depth in the supermarket. She secretly took Mrs. Andrew's shopping list and tried to buy everything for her, but ended up completely lost, not knowing how to find anything and crying in an aisle. Archie and Veronica kiss, and the issue ends with everything going back to normal, for the most part. With the workers and gadgets back at the lodges, Veronica's trying her best to live like a regular person. The story closes out on Archie joyfully playing his guitar as the music travels over to Betty, who silently cries as she works on repairing a car. The next issue teases an uncivil war, no relation, I'm sure, to a certain blockbuster movie, so Riverdale won't stay calm for long.

Perfectly symbolic of this issue and the themes within.
So, if Chip Zdarsky is leaving Jughead and Howard The Duck, does that mean that he can write a Anatole spinoff comic?
Don't think that I missed this subtle Josie easter egg. I wonder if this was planned before the announcement of a new series.
Archie #9 is beautiful. From the realistic depictions of trying to adapt to new situations, to the solid one-joke scenes with Jughead and the gang, it's stellar. As always, I hope that you try out the series. This issue works pretty well as a jumping-on point.

Additionally, Veronica Fish's art is spectacular. Her work perfectly fits with the writing style. In order to emotionally connect with the reader, the writing and the art need to be in sync. Veronica Finch's art perfectly matches the writing, making already emotional scenes all the better. You can actually see the sadness on Mrs. Andrew's face and Betty's frustration with Archie. It is a level of quality that astounds me.

Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or the Harry Potter books.