Archie #10 Review: Teaching And Politics Collide

Isn’t that a beautiful cover? Archie and Betty stare lovingly at each other while Riverdale seemingly goes up in flames. I really enjoy the little details, such as the careful lines drawn on Archie and Betty and the small pieces of ash that fly up from the flames, even going so far as cover the main title. If more teen dystopian books had covers like this, I might have a more positive view of them. However, this probably won’t happen in the actual book, right? This is still Archie, and I doubt that Mark Waid would have any of the characters commit arson

—whoops. The issue starts in medias res, with Archie explaining precisely how they got into this mess. In typical Archie-verse fashion, it all started with a small misunderstanding. Mr. Collier, a new character to the comics, has a controversial role as a teacher at Riverdale High. Some students like his somewhat abrupt teaching methods, others can see the warm heart underneath his gruff exterior.

After Archie causes a popcorn-related mishap in class, Mr. Collier berates him while Veronica catches it on video. One thing leads to another, and the video is accidentally given to an associate of Mr. Lodge’s. She begins using it in a campaign video to help Mr. Lodge. It turns out that Mr. Collier is Mr. Lodge’s opponent in the current mayoral election. Naturally, this sparks a hotbed of controversy in the Riverdale community. Everyone has had some experience with the teacher, good and bad, and a lot of people have thoughts on Mr. Lodge’s campaign.

In the end, it turns out that the burning down of Riverdale is metaphorical, merely referring to the burning of bridges between friends and loved ones. Even Archie and Betty, separated after a thoughtless remark from the former, are affected by the chaos.

All in all, despite the splash page not being entirely accurate, Archie #10 is still a fantastic installment of the series. It brings up some wonderful topics about the roles of teachers in the lives of students and the appropriate ways to discipline. The art only adds to it, with funny moments looking appropriately cartoony and dramatic moments rendered in a perfectly serious style. It’s also wonderful to see Raj Patel, one of the few Indian characters in Archie Comics, having a supporting role. I hope that a future issue will have more focus on his filming aspirations.

If I had to think of one criticism, it would be that I want to see more of Mr. Lodge’s politics, if only to gain more information about his character.

Archie #10 can be found at your local comic book store. It is written by Mark Waid and drawn by Veronica Fish.

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