#NCBD 8/19/2015 – Archie #2 and Secret Wars: Secret Love

Spoilers abound.

wpid-20150819_191118.jpgI kept it simple this week when I was on comixology.

Mostly, that was because I blanked on what DC books I wanted and I’m on a tight budget until payday. But at the same time, there were only two books that I really wanted to buy: Archie #2 by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples and Secret Wars: Secret Love with a whole lot of people. (I’ll talk more about the individual stories and creative teams in a minute).

I don’t regret buying either book or yelling at my coworkers until they came to read them with me.

Let’s talk about Archie first.

Seriously, I used to beg my mom to buy me Archie comics from the magazine racks above my head in K-Mart. Now I’m able to buy the books for myself and it’s come just in time for this fantastic take on the series that reinvents the characters I loved as a kidlet without losing any of what made them so fascinating and fun. Obviously, I thought that last month’s issue was stellar.

This month’s issue is even better.

What makes Archie so good where it could’ve gone so very wrong is that it’s a book about teenagers and the teenage experience that actually feels like it could be plausible. It doesn’t feel like you’re watching a CW show where all the kids are played by actors older than I am.

It feels… real.

Sure, I’m twenty-four now and so not a teen, but this book clicked for me with the very first issue. And now that we’re on the second, I’m still loving it. One thing that Mark Waid has always been good at is pulling depth out of characters and making you care about them. He’s on a higher level of writing with that, I swear. Half of these characters existed in a sort of background role for me as a kid. If you weren’t Archie, Betty, or Veronica, I wasn’t interested.

But now?

Now I’m actually invested in most of the characters because I know how well Mark Waid writes and I want to see his take on everyone that lives in Riverdale.

Especially Jughead.

Oh my gosh! I was already excited for his solo series (because I’m incapable of ignoring anything Archie-related it seems) but with the look at his backstory and just… everything about how Fiona Staples draws him. I’m just kind of lowkey wishing that I could go to Riverdale and hang with the gang.

Now, I could legit talk about Archie for days but I shouldn’t. Before I move on to talking about Secret Wars: Secret Love, I do want to talk about three things about this month’s issue of Archie that really got me excited.

First – the panels with Trevor and Betty where he tries to get a kiss and she jerks away. Not only does she express herself, she gets steaming mad at the way that Trevor all but tells her that he’s got expectations if he’s in a girl’s room. I mean, it’s a scene that many women and girls have lived, where the guy friend you have seems to think that a closed door gives them carte blanche to hang all over you. I think it’s important that we don’t gloss over things like sexuality in comics about (and essentially for teens) so I’m really looking forward to seeing what we get from this series.

Second – Another Betty moment (because Betty is the best!) starts with Betty and her friend Sheila hanging out before a big party. There’s the whole montage out of a 90s romcom where she’s putting on makeup, extensions, and press on nails. She’s using a curler and figuring out heels and at the end of it all – she doesn’t exactly look like herself. Fast forward to the end of the issue where we find Betty with her hair pulled up and her hands full of grease from working on a car. She’s still adorable and awesome, but that’s because she’s Betty and that’s fantastic!

Three – Veronica Lodge. Who didn’t have a huge crush on Veronica as a kid? She’s so darn adorable and as a fellow spoiled princess, I felt like she was a kindred spirit. We don’t get any dialogue for her this issue but we do get to see her and that’s really all that matters.

I can’t wait for next month’s issue and another chance to make obnoxious high pitched noises over Archie.

Up next, is Secret Wars: Secret Love, an anthology of cute little stories done in the style of those ridiculous romance comics from the fifties. I don’t know anything about what’s going on in Marvel right now. That’s the truth. I got the Secret Wars stuff for FCBD but then I never read them but seriously, I heard “Misty Knight and Danny Rand” and I was here for it.

I was so here for it. All of the stories were interesting and none of them were bad at all but I did have clear cut favorites even though all of the stories rocked in some way.

The first story in this anthology is Guilty Pleasure, a Daredevil/Karen story done by Michel Fiffe. Now Fiffe’s a good writer and I enjoy his art, but I really don’t know much about Daredevil outside of the TV show and a few comic team-ups. I was a bit lost. But the ending was very sweet but with an air of “bad things are coming” and I always appreciate that.

Up next is Fan of a Fan. This story about newish Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes and darling Ms. Marvel of my heart, Kamala Khan was written and penciled by Felipe Smith with colors by Val Staples. This is ridiculous. It’s so darn ridiculous and I’m going to be honest, when the story didn’t go the way I expected, I let out such a ridiculous noise in my office that my officemate was startled. And that was with her headphones on.  Fan of a Fan is super cute and I freaking loved it!

Misty and Danny Forever is why I bought this antho in the first place. Written by Princeless‘s Jeremy Whitley and with adorable art by Japanese artist team Gurihiru, this was the story. This made the entire book for me. Can I just have an entire book about family shenanigans between Luke, Jessica, Misty, and Danny? Please? With this creative team? There was nothing about this story that didn’t have me squeeing. From the T-Rex fight to the kidlets (Misty and Danny named their daughter LUCY!!) to Danny doing Misty’s bantu knots as they cuddled, this was basically everything I’ve ever wanted in a comic and I’m so happy I thought to buy it!

Sadly, Squirrel Girl Wins A Date With Thor wasn’t quite what I wanted. Now I’m not saying that Marguerite Bennett or Kris Anka did a bad job on either writing or art, but that it was just a little too weird for my taste. I don’t read Squirrel Girl but is it supposed to feel like she’s secretly reading my mind and saying all the things that I’d say? (She names Thor’s individual abs what the heck?? I love her!!) This story was hilarious, I’ll give you that, but it just didn’t get me 100%. Maybe if I knew more about Squirrel Girl and didn’t ship myself with Thor like whoa I’d have been able to get into it more.

The last story in Secret Wars: Secret Love is Happy Ant-Iversary by Katie Cook. It’s so freaking cute I’m going to die! It’s like the cutest and sweetest little comic in the world. I made noises at that story that I only make at baby humans. That’s how cute it was.

Despite being super lost because I know nothing about what Marvel’s been doing for like two years, I loved this whole anthology. Someone please tell me that there’s going to be more (and that I can petition someone to put a Thor/Ororo comic in it please).

Right now, the nine year old niece is reading the antho (skipping over Daredevil for now because she’s got a weirdly low tolerance for things that are scary or “inappropriate”) and loving it! Her favorite story, is the Misty Knight/Danny Rand one so I’m pleased.

I’m really happy that my first Marvel buy in a long time was a really good book.

All in all, this was an awesome #NCBD and I’m happy that I got to share it with my nieceling!