We’ve seen the lead up, but now how about the actual first meeting of Archie and Sabrina? How did they become an item, and why would they keep their relationship a secret? The summer of Archie and Sabrina continues in ARCHIE #707 from Archie Comics.
Writer: Nick Spencer, Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Jenn St-Onge
Colorist: Matt Herms
Letterer: Jack Morelli
Editor: Alex Segura, Jamie Lee Rotante
Publisher: Archie Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 4, 2019
Previously in Archie Comics: After fixing Cheryl Blossoms game of amateur Bachelor, and keeping his secret girlfriend a secret from Betty and Veronica, Archie has unintentionally set the girls on a head-to-head course of conflict. But that is far and away at this point, as Archie meets with Sabrina, the aforementioned secret girlfriend. Then we flashbacked to Archie having a summer unlike any other he has had before, and not in a good way. With all of his friends gone on different adventures to places not Riverdale, Archie finds himself on the lonely side of the street as he navigates life. How exactly did he and Sabrina meet, and could it have anything to do with the mystery that Reggie and Jughead have begun to investigate?
LOVE… WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT.
After starting his summer off in a most mundane way, doing things like planning jobs, seeing a movie, and generally being bored, Archie has found himself in the wilderness running for his life from a pack of hungry wolves. Wait, do what?!? Yes, all it took as trying to stop from hitting a deer with his car for Archie’s life to turn from dreary to dramatic. It would have been more dramatic if not for the fact that he knocked himself out running into a tree. You see, the wolves caught up with him, but he missed Sabrina as she came on like a boss witch and commanded the wolves to leave the red-haired teen alone. Oh, and by the way Archie, Sabrina not only saved your life but fixed your car… You’re welcome.
A giant Pop’s sundae later and a scheduled date day, we find Archie taking Sabrina on a tour of Riverdale. They begin by going to all of Archie’s favorite places; the baseball field where Betty taught him to play baseball, the arcade where he hangs out with Jughead. In fact, Archie talks about his friends so much Sabrina begins to feel like the day is getting a little crowded. Everywhere they go Archie has some memory of his absent friends. It makes her realize how different she and Archie’s lives have been. While he has been out with good friends having fun as long as he can remember, she has been in her aunt’s house talking to her cat. She decides maybe it is just time to leave well enough alone and wishes Archie a great summer.
So how did the two connect on a more than friends’ level? Who took that first step? When was their first kiss? Something changed and somebody took a chance, but who, and why? What is it about the coming fall that seems so ominous?
You’re going to have to pick the book up later this week to find out.
WHEN A BOY MEETS A GIRL
Archie and his girl crazy nature is a thing of legend. So why go back and tell another story of Archie and a girl? Well, this is an Archie for a new generation, and as much of a tagline as that sounds, the tale which Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, The Amazing Spider-Man) and Mariko Tamaki (Tomb Raider, X-23) have been spinning in the first three chapters of Archie and Sabrina is a wonderful example of that new storytelling direction. They have been weaving a wonderful story that has been unfolding very organically, and there is a definite sense of wonder and innocence, but at the same time dread. Watching Archie and Sabrina’s friendship unfold into something a little more meaningful makes for a very enjoyable read. It seems natural. Is this an earth-shattering, crisis invoking issue? Nope. It is a solid, well written and pleasing story of two lonely kids who find each other and sense a spark. Spencer and Tamaki fully convey the idea of Archie as the popular kid and Sabrina as the outsider, but they do it in a way which has you eagerly anticipating what comes next, because you really aren’t sure.
Jenn St-Onge (Nancy Drew, Jem: The Misfits) style fits this story so well. It has a touch of manga influence but it does not overwhelm. The look is very animated, and she portrays a real range of emotion and movement. The looks between Sabrina and Archie are wonderful, and the page layouts are very fluid and eye-catching. Add to that the colors of Matt Herms (Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man) and the combination draws you in. Herms is one of the best colorist out there and he shines in this issue.
BOTTOM LINE: FANTASTIC
Once again Archie Comics has taken what should be a mundane idea and infused it with such and energy and love of the characters that you cannot help but enjoy it. The Spencer/Tamaki team is great, and combining St-Onge and Herms for the art duties is a natural. There are some great moments in this issue, especially the little glances as Archie begins to realize that Sabrina is a girl unlike any he has known. It the subtle little moments that really launch this issue above and beyond.
More than a summer fling, Archie #707 makes you want the summer to last forever.
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Even as you watch young love blossom, you can’t help but be fearful for what is inevitably coming. The ride, however, is more than worth it.