Katy Keene is missing… Can her friends find her before it’s too late? Your Major Spoilers review of Archie #713 from Archie Comics awaits!


Writer: Mariko Tamaki & Kevin Panetta
Artist: Laura Braga
Colorist: Matt Herms
Letterer: Jack Morelli
Editor: Alex Segura
Publisher: Archie Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 29, 2020

Previously in Archie: Katy Keene is missing in New York City! After rejecting a major opportunity in the fashion biz, Katy has run off into the night. Archie and the gang search for Katy and soon find out that things are more complicated than they seem.


The big trip to New York has not gone according to plan. Archie’s music isn’t taking off like he’d hoped and Katy Keene’s meeting with the big, powerful agent went badly, making her worry that the fashion industry will never be ready for her aesthetic. As we open this issue, the Riverdale gang is searching high and low to find their missing designer, with even Archie taking to the streets to find her… in the lobby of the hotel. Katy tells him that she’s out, preparing to head home to Riverdale to live forever in obscurity, leaving him behind to haunt the streets. In a trendy boutique, she finds her muse again in the form of Arnetta, a designer who has not only heard of her, but wants to team up with her for a new line that will showcase Katy’s design sense! It’s an unbelievable coincidence, followed by a montage of her friends pitching in to help with putting it all together, getting a location for the show and even modeling the clothes! Sabrina even pitches in a little magical help (which Katy knows about?), and the issue ends with Katy deciding to make a go of things in the big city.


In a lot of ways, this feels like old-school, upbeat Archie, with everybody chipping in to help, including Josie and the Pussycats, a big musical number from Archie and Josie and a happy ending that wraps up all our loose ends, no matter how unlikely that all seems. Laura Braga’s art is lovely throughout the issue (though the coloring makes it look a bit like everyone has a cold, with a red nose), and she excels at the quiet, conversational storytelling that this issue requires. There are a lot of heart-to-heart moments, a few close-ups (including the traditional Sabrina-just-did-magic smirk, directly at the reader) and some lovely big-screen shots of the runway show and they’re all fun to look at. The closing sequence, wherein the Riverdale gang gets hot dogs in Times Square, feels as cinematic and well-constructed as any well-shot CW drama, without having to hide that they’re actually in Vancouver.


Thanks to the pandemic-related delays, Archie #713 is coming out several weeks later than expected, meaning that it comes AFTER the ‘Katy Keen’ TV show it’s clearly setting up to parallel has run its course and not been picked up for another season, but it’s a fun, retro Archie adventure with lovely art and delicate coloring making for a lightweight, yet satisfying reading experience, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.

I’m still not sure who all knows that Sabrina is magical in this continuity.

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The Beginning

It's really sort of a shame to see the comics set up to emulate Katy's already-cancelled TV show, but it's a breezy, pleasant journey getting there.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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