This Wednesday saw the release of a brand new Betty & Veronica comic courtesy of the estimable Adam Hughes and Archie Comics.
Like the Archie and Jughead comics released over the last year, we see Betty and Veronica as teens in Riverdale. This book picks up the thread of those characters from previous books, where we saw Betty and Veronica hovering between friends and enemies. The first issue of Betty & Veronica leads them further down this road (mostly the latter).
This book was an excellent read. Hughes expertly captures the dialogue between all of the characters as each one comes to life on the page. He wins readers over immediately in the first couple of pages with an incredible conversation between Archie and Jughead. It’s funny, clever, and so darn realistic that it leaves you feeling like Riverdale is just next door and these characters are living, breathing people that you would love to meet.
Hughes introduces the book with a narrator (J. Farnsworth Wigglebottom III—Jughead’s dog) who just adds to the comedy when he ‘eats’ two pages of the comic and we get Betty and Veronica in bikinis with exposition. Of course, this is only the beginning of Hughes’ comedic finesse. When reading this book, readers alternate between laughing out loud and staring intensely at the page as they read about the growing conflict in Riverdale. There’s a little mystery, some suspense, and a whole lot of laughs throughout this book.
The art is fantastic as well, as goes without saying. My particular favorite is toward the end of the book when Veronica succeeds in making Betty blow her top. The panels here are so gloriously rendered that I had to stop and just look at that page for a few minutes. As Betty’s expression gradually changes from frustrated to outright furious, the transformation is so intricately crafted it makes my heart skip. Seriously, this book is worth picking up just to look at that page.
When I picked up this book at the store, I knew that I would be getting a great piece of art for my collection, but I never expected to enjoy this book so much. Hughes has an incredible comedic style that kept me laughing throughout the book, but he also has the skill to craft an excellent story that promises a great ride. I’m looking forward to reading the next issue of Betty & Veronica, and I’m hoping that many readers will join me in picking up this excellent comic. This is a perfect example of what comics are supposed to be: funny, beautiful, interesting, and with a good story to make me come back for more. I definitely know I will be picking this up, and it may just replace Archie as my monthly guilty pleasure.