There’s a new girl in town, and everybody loves her… except, perhaps, for our man Archie. Your Major Spoilers review of Archie #710 from Archie Comics awaits!
Writer: Mariko Tamaki & Kevin Panetta
Artist: Laura Braga
Colorist: Matt Herms
Letterer: Jack Morelli
Editor: Alex Segura and Jamie Lee Rotante
Publisher: Archie Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 15, 2020
Previously in Archie: There’s a new girl in Riverdale and she’s turning everyone’s heads… and NOT everyone is happy about that! Who is Katy Keene and why is she so Insta-famous and beloved in Riverdale? And, moreover, why is she quickly becoming Archie’s biggest competition?
We open with Jughead and his laptop, providing both narration and the clear designation that this book is now a companion to the ‘Riverdale’ TV show, wondering about the nature of small towns and their secrets. The secret in this case is the identity of the mysterious local social media star who has been showing off her design and fashion skills online. The question is so compelling that Betty, Veronica and Sabrina stake out the only fabric store in town in the hopes of catching the mystery girl in action. They come close, which causes the woman, Katy Keene, to make a public appearance at the local music venue. She makes a huge splash, both with her singing and her fashion, totally overshadowing Archie’s big night and the debut of his new song. Katy also wins over the ladies of Riverdale by designing matching roller-skating outfits, leading to Betty, Veronica and Sabrina welcoming her as one of their own. Everyone in town is in awe as the issue ends, but Jughead worries whether or not there’s enough room in the small pond for another big fish…
AS SEEN ON TV
If the ads during recent episodes of ‘Flash’ and ‘Supergirl’ are any indication, CW and Archie expect that the new Katy Keene series will be their next big hit, so I was a little leery when I started this issue. The story here works pretty well, but the sudden ascendance of Katy’s star feels a little bit contrived, especially when you ask yourself how everyone in town was following her on Insta without knowing who she is. Even with that question, though, this is a cute little story that makes you like Katy and her little sister, and understand why the Riverdale gang responds immediately to her… It’s just kind of overwhelming to have EVERYONE gushing about the new kid in town. The super-cute art helps a lot, as Katy is adorable in every one of her outfits, and everyone in the book is gorgeous, with pink skin and cute little red noses. I’m really in love with the colorful palette of this book, too, with vivid pinks and blues popping from a realistic base coloring palette to evoke the neon-soaked of CW TV.
BOTTOM LINE: A LITTLE OVERWHELMING
Even with my concerns about the Katy-worship going a bit too far, Archie #710 really sells the New Kid In Town as something special, with excellent art and incredible coloring making it a beautiful read, while Archie’s jealousy of Katy’s success puts our hero in a new light, leaving the issue with 4 out of 5 stars overall. I’m clearly not the target audience for this book, but it’s easy to appreciate how modern Archie is willing to adjust their comics to find multiple audiences, even if they don’t include me as a reader.
But does Sabrina have magic powers or not?
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It's a big debut for a "new" character and even if the story borders on trying too hard, the art and exquisite coloring make it work.