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Betty and Veronica 1

Started by Purgatori, July 28, 2016, 02:09:04 am

Previous topic - Next topic

Purgatori

My expectations were mixed when I ordered this. I expected it to look good, but I had no experience of Adam Hughes as a writer. I didn't really expect to find it satisfying, given Mark Waid's comments that Betty and Veronica wouldn't be friends in the 'new Archie'.

I was very pleasantly surprised therefore, to enjoy this a great deal.

The artwork is not as 'realistic' as you might expect - there's a Kyle Baker vibe to my eyes. It's clearly comedic, so while not the classic Archie style, it's not that far removed from it.

The writing style is also comedic, with drama there to provide the context for the humour rather than the humour being dropped occasionally into the drama. The plot about Pop's closing is one that's been used many times in the past, so this feels familiar and the characters are the ones we recognise - Veronica sunning herself while Betty works, Archie and Jughead larking about and joking, Midge and Moose drinking sodas at Pop's.

So I'm encouraged. Betty and Veronica are clearly friends at the start of the story and Archie, Betty, Jughead, Midge, Moose and Veronica are clearly all comfortable in each others company.

Betty's quickness to violence will be something to keep an eye on, but in theory it's all in keeping with the slapstick nature of classic Archie (if you go back far enough) and may be foreshadowing how the argument develops over the next couple of issues.

For me, this is best of the 'new' Archie so far. It retains the heart and humour of the characters and Riverdale while offering a different look and feel, a different approach to the storytelling. I'll be even happier if Betty and Veronica are friends again at the end of issue three.

The Downloader

I Very Much agree with you.  I thought that it would be utter trash, boy, was I in for a SUPRISE!

DeCarlo Rules

I'd agree as far as the different look and feel, and different approach to storytelling, but that's exactly what made it hard for me to connect with this on any level. I definitely was not feeling the 'heart and humor', although Adam Hughes turned in artwork that was up to his usual high standards. The problem with the script is that there's way too much dialogue which seems to bog down the pace, and it felt forced and artificial to me, particularly having an intellectual talking Hot Dog narrate the story. Maybe the reboot would have worked if they'd let Dan Parent write the story, and Hughes just draw it, I don't know.

As with the Archie and Jughead titles (even though it varies slightly from issue to issue), there just doesn't seem that there's much happening in 22 pages. Someone else had made the observation that if this is supposed to be the same B&V from ARCHIE, then how did they become friends in the first place? We don't actually see much evidence of the basis of their friendship, never mind any clues to how it began, and then it's straight into B vs V at the end of the story. I'd have had no problem with this title being in its own separate continuity, but it's like it's got one foot in, the other foot out, of ARCHIE's continuity.

steveinthecity

I concur with most of DCR's comments above, but want to give props to Adam's writing overall on the first issue.  Not as funny as Chip's Jughead, but the best first issue of the three reboots imo. 
Comics!

DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: steveinthecity on July 28, 2016, 05:25:46 pm
I concur with most of DCR's comments above, but want to give props to Adam's writing overall on the first issue.  Not as funny as Chip's Jughead, but the best first issue of the three reboots imo.


Yeah, I still think I'm going to lean slightly toward Chip Z's 1st issue of Jughead, as far as the writing, but point taken -- averaging out the writing and art together, B&V#1 is probably the best first issue so far. Maybe if Derek Charm had been the artist on Jughead from the outset, I'd still say Jughead #1. Hughes really has to pare down those wordy word balloons and concentrate on having some more things actually happen in 22 pages. There were places in there where it sort of felt like a chore to read it.

Purgatori

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on July 28, 2016, 03:47:40 am
I'd have had no problem with this title being in its own separate continuity, but it's like it's got one foot in, the other foot out, of ARCHIE's continuity.


In the old days, continuity played almost no part in Archie comics so I'm all for the new Betty and Veronica having only a passing relationship to the Archie and Jughead titles. Neither of them seem to have a great deal of crossover, so it's possible they're all being treated as alternate versions by editorial

DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: Purgatori on July 29, 2016, 03:22:15 am
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on July 28, 2016, 03:47:40 am
I'd have had no problem with this title being in its own separate continuity, but it's like it's got one foot in, the other foot out, of ARCHIE's continuity.


In the old days, continuity played almost no part in Archie comics so I'm all for the new Betty and Veronica having only a passing relationship to the Archie and Jughead titles. Neither of them seem to have a great deal of crossover, so it's possible they're all being treated as alternate versions by editorial


It wants not to be, yet it wants to be. What's with the near-subliminal dialogue reference to Principal Stanger's attempt to turn the school into some kind of military academy over in JUGHEAD (check it if you missed it)? Yet over in ARCHIE, if I've heard correctly, B&V aren't friends. So IS it in continuity with those titles, or NOT? Either way they want to do it. Just make up their minds. It's like... for storytelling purposes, it's a lot more convenient if the different titles are not in continuity with each other, but for marketing purposes, it's far better if they appear to be -- which to me, just makes it annoying. At this point, the only explanation that might possibly work is that both JUGHEAD and B&V take place sometime in the future relative to ARCHIE -- but it can't be very far in the future because it's the same year of high school for all the titles. There's probably some things that that doesn't account for though, like Hot Dog being a hyperintelligent mutant dog in B&V, but only in that title (maybe someday it can all be explained away as some temporary experiment in raising animal intelligence by Dilton or something). It's not even the kind of thing I'd think about questioning if we were still in the cartoon world of classic Archie, but dialogue and characterization are leading us to believe they're trying to create a more 'realworld' New Riverdale here. At least Chip Zdarsky was playing it cagey about "is it real, or only fantasy?" over in JUGHEAD -- maybe we're just seeing things from Jughead's perspective. It's like on some level the thinking here is that the New Riverdale titles can somehow manage to be all things to all readers, but what really happens is that the realistic elements and fantasy elements work at cross-purposes to each other and step on each other's toes. Personally, I'd ditch the drama in a heartbeat for the out-and-out fantasy, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

Here's to there never being any kind of story that crosses over between the titles -- then it will go from being merely irksome to being super-annoying, and probably the point at which I write them all off altogether.

steveinthecity

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on July 28, 2016, 05:49:42 pm
Quote from: steveinthecity on July 28, 2016, 05:25:46 pm
I concur with most of DCR's comments above, but want to give props to Adam's writing overall on the first issue.  Not as funny as Chip's Jughead, but the best first issue of the three reboots imo.


Yeah, I still think I'm going to lean slightly toward Chip Z's 1st issue of Jughead, as far as the writing, but point taken -- averaging out the writing and art together, B&V#1 is probably the best first issue so far. Maybe if Derek Charm had been the artist on Jughead from the outset, I'd still say Jughead #1. Hughes really has to pare down those wordy word balloons and concentrate on having some more things actually happen in 22 pages. There were places in there where it sort of felt like a chore to read it.
Yeah, I think the art on Jughead has been it's weak point. I have enjoyed Chip's stories, so no complaints there.  As for B&V being wordy, I'll re-read #1 in a day or so as it didn't really "feel" that way to me, and I'm usually sensitive to that stuff (i.e. Claremont). The pace and flow of the book was just fine for me.
Comics!

DeCarlo Rules

July 29, 2016, 09:01:47 am #8 Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 09:37:21 am by DeCarlo Rules
Quote from: steveinthecity on July 29, 2016, 08:25:48 am
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on July 28, 2016, 05:49:42 pm
Quote from: steveinthecity on July 28, 2016, 05:25:46 pm
I concur with most of DCR's comments above, but want to give props to Adam's writing overall on the first issue.  Not as funny as Chip's Jughead, but the best first issue of the three reboots imo.


Yeah, I still think I'm going to lean slightly toward Chip Z's 1st issue of Jughead, as far as the writing, but point taken -- averaging out the writing and art together, B&V#1 is probably the best first issue so far. Maybe if Derek Charm had been the artist on Jughead from the outset, I'd still say Jughead #1. Hughes really has to pare down those wordy word balloons and concentrate on having some more things actually happen in 22 pages. There were places in there where it sort of felt like a chore to read it.
Yeah, I think the art on Jughead has been it's weak point. I have enjoyed Chip's stories, so no complaints there.  As for B&V being wordy, I'll re-read #1 in a day or so as it didn't really "feel" that way to me, and I'm usually sensitive to that stuff (i.e. Claremont). The pace and flow of the book was just fine for me.


Well, obviously it doesn't compare to the extreme of something like a Chris Claremont comic. On average for a comic book, the word count isn't that high, but IMO, it's mostly unnecessary wordage that doesn't really add much in the way of characterization or exposition. It mainly seems that there's a lot of talking going on by way of trying to divert your attention from the fact that there's not much really happening in the story. What was the point of having Hot Dog narrate the tale, other than for a cute effect? It's just useless verbiage for nothing. It doesn't advance the story or reveal anything (other than the mere fact that Hot Dog is an intellectual talking dog) of the slightest importance, and it doesn't even appear that Hot Dog will have any active role in events (other than to eat the story pages when the writer gets stuck for an interesting idea). Another example is Archie and Jughead's conversation about "Who would win in a fight: Archie, or Jughead?" Someone like Chip Zdarsky might be able to pull that off, but here it just smacks of some sort of faux hipsterism. Then there's the other "cutesy" boondoggle of "Hot Dog ate pages 19 and 20 so Betty will go meta and read the script while she and Veronica lounge about in bikinis -- because that's what you were expecting an Adam Hughes B&V comic to be like, am I right?". That's ONE drawing per page (and a WHOLE lot of word balloons), as opposed to having to actually advance the plot through graphic storytelling. All sort of "funny bits" designed to distract you from what should be the plot of a six-page short where Pop Tate is (again) going out of business. If there's humor in the story, it should arise organically out of the progression of story events, but a lot of these tangents just feel forced to me, a way to pad out what's essentially a humdrum retread of a standard Archie Comics plot for a short story.

Compare to Frank Doyle, who was able to write stories both interesting AND funny using NO words at all. Or maybe just two, repeated for effect... "VERONICA?  --ARCHIE!  Veronica!! ... Archie.  VERONICA! Archie?", etc. Doyle could write an interesting six page story using only two words or less in which about ten times more happens than in Adam Hughes full-length story using hundreds of words. That's because Doyle only used the words that were needed to tell the story.

Teenabiswas

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