School’s out and Archie has been inspired to take a path on his road of life. Maybe you’ve heard of it, it’s this new thing called rock’n’roll? I wonder if it will catch on? You can find out in Archie 1955 #1! It hits store shelves September 18th from Archie Comics!
Writer: Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn
Artist: Tom Grummett, Bob Smith
Colorist: Glenn Whitmore
Letterer: Jack Morelli
Editor: Mike Pellerito
Publisher: Archie Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 18, 2019
Previously in ARCHIE 1955: The year is 1955. Archie and friends have graduated high school and are returning for the band to play a Spring Fling dance. It’s all set, they have the skills, and Mr. Weatherbee’s approved set list, what could go wrong?
AIN’T THAT A SHAME…
Years past since it happened, but people still want to know, need to know. A mysterious figure sits in the offices of The Capital Courier and they have a story to tell. It is a story of a young man and his love of the music.
The 1955 Riverdale High Spring Fling dance was all mapped out by the administration. The principle, the ever present Mr. Weatherbee was on hand to make sure the kids looked correctly, behanved correctly, and danced correctly. He even approved the music to be played that night by Riverdale High alumni Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones and Reggie Mantel. The dance was going on without incident, until that last song. Until the band came to the realization they were not in school anymore, and they could play what they wanted to. A loud, new music flowed freom the band as they unleashed the sounds on the unsuspecting celebrants, much to the dismay of The ‘Bee. He pulls the plug on Archie and friends, and sends them packing. But not all of the “adults” found fault with their performance. Local disc jockey Rick Sterling liked what he heard, He extends an offer to play the boys demo record on the air and unwittingly unleashes a chain of events that will lead to either success and happiness, or failure and sadness.
ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK…
Archie 1955, or Archie ’55 if you prefer, is another trek back in history to see what would happen if Archie had actually been alive during that time. What might have happened if he was involved somewhat with some of the biggest events of the day, and the event this time is the birth of rock’n’roll.
Emerging from the creative minds who brought you Archie 1941, Mark Waid (Archie, Empire) and Brian Augustyn (Archie 1941, The Flash), we get a version of Archie who has the background we all know, the archetypical teenager. But what you also get is a story of an Archie who is around during one of the most tumultuous times in music history, the birth of rock’n’roll. 1955 is the year Rock Around The Clock shot to the top of the British charts and was featured in the film “The Blackboard Jungle.” Colonel Parker became Elvis Presley’s manager and sign the young singer to RCA Records, and Etta James “The Wallflower” is a hit, but was considered to suggestive to be played on the radio. Drop into all of this an Archie Andrews who is tired of the Pat Boone, Eddie Fisher music scene, and you have the beginnings of a great story. This Archie is struggling against the restrains society has put on him and wants his own musical voice to be heard. Will he take that big step, and if he does, will he remember his friends?
Tom Grummett (X-Men Forever, Superboy) handles the pencils for this story, while Archie veteran Bob Smith (Archie, Super Friends) comes in with the expert inks. First, anyone who publishes a title with teenagers should be begging Grummett to draw for them. He is able to hit this perfect look for his young characters which brings out their difference from full adults, and he does it flawlessly. The fact he has a great eye for panel construction and flow is a plus. With Smith’s inks over his work, it all clicks. But when Glen Whitmore (Betty and Veronica, Adventures of Superman) colors it all, it rises above the crop.
BOTTOM LINE: TOP OF THE CHARTS
The creative team could have very easily gone a bright and cheery “American Bandstand” route and made a world where the whole The Archie’s discover rock’n’roll and interact with a bunch of rock starts, but that would be too easy. Waid and Augustyn have gone the realistic route, even going as far as to hint at the ideas of censorship and segregation along the way. Like their hard look at a young teen in World War II, Archie 1955 looks like it will explore all of the possibilities. But I wonder, will Reggie and Jughead get their due or will they go the way of The Crickets?
Archie 1955 #1 strikes the first chords of a love song to rock’n’roll, and it seems as if we might get a little dirty on the way.
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Archie 1955 #1
Archie 1955 #1 is a powerhouse blasting the reader with 1000 watts of rock’n’roll nostalgia!