I think it's pretty cool how Archie Comics has embraced the pop group, The Veronicas, but I dunno...it's getting to be a bit much, to be honest. I think the Veronica are best used as a special event thing, not as an every issue occurance. However, this issue of Archie and Friends is significant not for yet another appearance by the Veronicas, but because, in this issue, Archie & Friends has officially become one of the true rarities in mainstream comics today - an actual anthology!
This issue has a Dan Parent Archie comic, a Tania Del Rio/Chris Lie Manga Josie and the Pussycats (inks for Parent by Jim Amash and for Lie by Dan Davis) and the debut of Andrew Pepoy writing/drawing a Katy Keene series!
It's a great idea in theory, three pretty darn different styles of art, three groupd of characters, so it should be three times the fun, right?
Well, for the most part, I suppose it is. Although I was a bit disappointed in all three stories.
The first one, by Parent, has nice art, I think, as Parent is a great artist.
But the story is fairly blah. The cover of the issue is the story, essentially. Archie is collecting a lot of Veronicas merchandise, so Veronica decides to create merchandise as well for Archie. Can't really say that's all that thrilling of an idea. And the comeuppance? Lame!
Pepoy's Katy Keene's story was also not that great, but in this instance, I don't think it has much to do with the overall series, as it has more to do with Pepoy being forced to cram a LOT LOT LOT of characters into one story, to introduce us all to the basic concept of Katy Keene becoming an overnight sensation.
Nice art by Pepoy, and I loved how he incorporated the idea of a fan designed her outfit INTO the story, having Katy SAY, "A fan designed it." Classic.
So this story was fairly blah, but I don't think that'll be any indication one way or the other as to what will happen in future stories.
Del Rio's Josie story is the best of the issue, but even it falls a bit flat, I think. The story is Josie and the gang are given money by their manager to buy new instruments, but at the end, they realize they are too attached to their old instruments. Slight story, but well structured and executued - except, of course, for the ending. Can someone PLEASE explain that ending to me? It made no sense to me. There looked to be a set-up for a punchline - but then - NOTHING. Just Alex sighing and the girls smiling. That's not an ending!!! What was up with that?
So yeah, overall, Not Recommended (but I love the idea of the comic).