Story by Nick Spencer
Art by Marguerite Sauvage
Previously… If you haven’t read the revamped Archie series from the last few years and don’t wish to read 36 issues, make sure to pick up Archie #699 which recaps all 36 issues into an easy-to-digest edition.
I was a huge fan of Mark Waid’s run on Archie. What he and Fiona Staples created back in 2015 revitalized Archie Andrews and the small town of Riverdale for a whole new generation. I immediately latched onto the New Riverdale Archie Comics was creating. I had been an Archie fan since I was a kid, they were my Marvel or DC. To see Archie Comics all of a sudden relevant again filled my heart.
I was disappointed to hear that the Waid Archie run was ending with issue #36 but was going to be loosely continued with a revamped series picking up with the old titling (and adding the 36 issues of the new run + a recap) to get to the milestone 700th issue. It is obvious after reading that The CW Riverdale series has had a huge impact on the new direction of Archie.
The issue starts with summer vacation coming to a close. Everyone has ventured outside of Riverdale to explore the world, except for Archie who chose to remain in the town. Jughead has gotten a job blogging about food for the Riverdale Gazette; Betty and Veronica have just returned from Vegas and New York; and Cheryl Blossom is throwing an end of summer bash to rebrand the Blossom name after something Jason did (with a subtle mention of him being like his father, perhaps his real criminal father). However, the real cliffhanger that will drive this new “reboot” of the series are Archie’s relationship with Sabrina Spellman and Jughead walking into a crime scene at the Riverdale Gazette.
Archie #700 resets the status quo while maintaining everything that worked in the Waid run. It sprinkles in a healthy dose of the Riverdale mood and mystery while reigniting the love-triangle that was surprisingly absent in the Waid run. While I’m not entirely sold on this new era of Archie (and a lot of that has to do with the art style, sorry Sauvage I’m just not digging it yet), I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. If Afterlife with Archie is on an indefinite hiatus then I got to stick to my main Archie series for now!