Who is the most evil character in all of Archie Comics History?
Reggie Mantle: A mere mischief maker
Zombies and Cthulhu
The Predator: Evil doesn’t use emoticons.
The Greendale Witches. Boring. Unimaginably boring.
What we will soon deal with is an evil unlike which we have ever experienced. A corrupter of souls, a dasher of dreams, he knows not love and is a plague upon the human condition. All sentient life is but toys for him to cruelly amuse himself.
NICK. ST. CLAIR!!!!!
There’s a new kid in town and he’s NICK ST CLAIR. He’s rude, causes trouble, has no respect for authority…and he’s dating your best friend. Can Betty and friends help Veronica see that she is in…Bad Boy Trouble?!
Nick St. Clair: Oh man is he hilarious. He’s so over the top bad you can’t help but laugh at what he does! The poses, his attitude, what he wears is so exaggerated you can’t help but laugh. Just how unnecessary bad he is funny? The guy decides to take his time in the hall, be late, and make horrible jokes or yell at teachers! The best has to be the boxing match with Archie (Yes, you read that right). He’s like an evil professional wrestler! From his lame jokes, threats, and constantly hitting on Betty with the worst lines ever he’s just so bad he’s good!
The art. Well, if you wanted the teens of Riverdale to look more like teens Steven Butler does that. And he does a good job differentiating the characters. Jughead is sporting whiskers, Dilton wearing two piece clothing. I like that you can look at a character and can guess about what age they are. The backgrounds are well done and detailed. And Butler draws an awesome bike. Heck, Betty and Veronica look different enough and each have their own style. Every character has their own body language, poses, and character tics. And inker Al Milgrom’s inks just helps bring out the art even more.
The Coloring: Well, no Grossman but Stephanie Vozzo does a great job all the same. The theater scenes are just great. To convey darkness everything is in black and white save for the movie screen that is in full color. That’s a great idea that works perfectly. Flashbacks are in blue and black. The colors are bright. I was bothered by Midge suddenly having brown hair…but then again, who does in Archie Comics? Bingo Wilkin? St. Clair?
The Nick St. Clair
The writing: Anyone ever seen a Captain Planet cartoon now combine that with a Saved by the Bell episode and you get about where the writing is. A lot of the story focuses on Betty and she’s in super goody mode so yeah, she’s kind of flat and boring. Nearly every character save for Nick. St. Clair is flat and boring. I mean, you have a few moments but they are few and far between. Veronica is a cardboard cut out of herself, and save for the first few pages, she has no personality except “He’s not bad! You just don’t understand him” that we’ve all seen or read a million times. No dialogue really stands out to help distinguish the characters. You have one moment where Archie is clumsy but after that…he pretty much could be anyone from that point on.
And there so much exposition and stating the moral of the situation that I actually groaned. And let me explain my current situation: My Air and Central Heat is out, it’s over eighty degrees…and Dilton going “Well, Nick St. Clair would be in better shape if he didn’t skip classes” caused me physical pain. And it just keeps going from there. We get it, Nick St. Clair is baaaad. You don’t need to go over and flat out tell us that for pages after the first gazillion times!
This comic was first a novel as you can tell because the pacing can be horrible at points. The story was really stretched out to make it four issues so a lot of scenes that should have had a few more panels of emphasis (like the boxing match or the very end) makes it feel flat. And that probably the origin of all the writing problems (Save one). In a novel, you do have to give detail, explain the emotions, give a history—but comics has a visual aspect where you don’t need to do that. Like I said Steven Butler did a great job on art, but the script does not use him to make the comic better.
Should have switched the girls: There was something else that bothered me about this but I couldn’t put my finger on it, then I realized something: Betty should have been the one dating St. Clair. Early on Betty was having self doubt about herself and how she stands in the triangle; even silently admitting that Veronica can be sweet as her, but might be more gorgeous. Wouldn’t it be more interesting to see this bad boy with Betty? Betty being chosen over Veronica would work in the narrative that was set up earlier. Veronica tries to warn her, but she would see it as jealousy and maybe ruined newly built up confidence. Betty is always put outside of the moral dilemma (Like covering for Veronica and Nick going out and staying late) but since she’s the main focus wouldn’t it have made more sense for her to be in the dilemma. Like the essay, Nick wants her to write it but Betty would struggle between what is right and wrong. In the story we mainly follow Betty and she’s the one who communicates the lessons and whose thoughts we see…but Veronica is dating Nick so the real interesting parts of the story are elsewhere away from the main character.
The art. I didn’t recognize Prof. Flutesnoot or Coach Clayton at first. ….Well, I don’t want come off like I’m JUST picking on the writing! J
The end: Off panel. Nick is sent to military school and tells Reggie he’s sorry for the trouble he caused wants to be a better person. BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Normally this would be where I talk about the 10 things I’ve learned from what I read, but for this…
THE TOP TEN EVIL NICK. ST. CLAIR MOMENTS!!!
Being from New Jersey.
- Yelling at Ms. Grundy
- His no regards for cafeteria and those in it (Cutting in line, swiping sandwiches without paying, and stealing Dilton’s dessert! THE FIEND)
- Cheapshotting Archie after the bell had rung to end the boxing round
- Constantly making moves on Betty while dating Veronica (Veronica’s rich, but he likes blonds)
- Sneaking into the movies
- Keeping Veronica out late at a club and forcing Betty to cover for them.
- The goatee and leatherjacket
- Having Veronica write his 2,000 word English Lit essay for him
- The chicken liver joke
This is interesting little problem. I really like the art aspects of the story—but I detest the writing. It’s just not up to par. But you know what…I still kind of like this story. Mainly because of how over the top Nick St. Clair is. I just couldn’t help but laugh at his antics. I see this trade like a bad movie almost. And like I said, I really like the art and coloring. I admit there are moments where you roll your eyes, but I think the good out ways the bad enough.
I’ll go C+
And next week up on the docket is Jughead: Match—forget that, I’ll review The Man from R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E instead.