Archie #11 Review: Let's Rock Out!

Archie #11 focuses on the recent enmity between Archie and Betty mediated by the power of rock. Veronica wants to regain the admiration of the Riverdale crowd by winning the school’s talent show. Sure, the plan sounds like something out of a Disney sitcom, but she’s a former reality tv star. Due to the scripted nature of most reality shows—and her sheltered life among the elite— she probably doesn’t realize that it’s an iffy plan. As for Betty, after hearing “The Ronnies” play, she immediately throws together her own band, comprised of her musically-talented acquaintances—and Moose. As Dilton says, do you really want to say no to Moose? 

I’m going to be completely honest: I’ve never been the biggest fan of the "Battle Of The Bands" trope. It’s just one of those plots that has never really interested me. At best, they can be an amusing excuse for some goofiness, but at worst, it devolves into pointless, petty arguments. It does work for this issue, however: music has already been established as a strong component of Archie’s life and his relationship with Betty and Veronica, respectively. In addition, the company itself has a precedent for those types of stories, one of the most recent being a contest between The Archies and Josie And The Pussycats in Archie & Friends.

Unrelated to the story where Valerie and Archie start dating, but it's an easy mistake.

To my delight, almost the entire first chapter is a throwback to the classic Riverdale ‘verse, with quick half-page stories and rhyming titles. It serves as an effective way to pay homage to the original stories while also providing a decent amount of exposition and revealing new plot developments. In a way, it’s the comic-book version of a movie montage. I quite enjoy it and I hope that it continues to appear in the comic.

As it turns out, most of the arguing doesn’t come from the competing bands, but from the audience. Archie and Betty end up making amends in a very touching scene. Not so touching? They’re being watched. “To be continued” indeed. 

Nice reference to the former double digest, especially with the recreated font.

I would definitely recommend Archie #11 to any current or new fans of the series, past or present. It’s a short and sweet story, packing in heart and humor. As for any other references to the classic comics, apart from the first chapter’s altered format, two new characters do appear. Frankie Valdez and Cricket O’Dell both appear as part of Veronica’s band. Frankie eventually got into a relationship with Marie, while Cricket can smell money. No, really. No sign of that in the issue, but I admit, I could picture a noir-style series about Cricket finding stolen diamonds.

Archie #11 is available now. You can find it at your local comic book store.

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