The Archies #7
Alex Segura (Writer), Matthew Rosenberg (Writer), Joe Eisma (Art), Jack Morelli (Lettering), Matt Herms (Colors)
May 16, 2018
Their tour is ending and The Archies are going out with a bang. Their final show is a Battle of the Bands against none other than Josie and the Pussycats. The issue opens with Reggie breaking the fourth wall and treating us to a recap of the milestones they reached as a band. They’ve met and played with musicians they have admired and even had their album produced by Blondie. They should be riding high on cloud nine but they’re still struggling as a band. That partly has to do with Archie, at least according to Reggie—who is of course a reliable narrator. Despite everything they have achieved, there’s a sense that winning the Battle of the Bands could make or break them.
From the opening scene, it felt like this issue was establishing that The Archies have come as far as they could as a band. In the Last Notes section, Alex Segura writes about how being in a band is tough – filled with “a lot of low points with small victories peppered in.” Over the course of this series, that was accurately represented through the band’s journey to this final gig. This tour has been filled with a lot of lows: bad shows, indecision, motel fires; and some amazing highs: playing with Tegan and Sara, getting advice from Chvrches, Blondie; and so was this issue. Following that theme of highs and lows, the Battle of the Bands is probably their best show, but is it enough? As they stand backstage listening to the praise being heaped onto Josie the Pussycats, they begin to doubt that it is.
Things progress quickly in this book. In a way that’s to its detriment. In the wake of the Battle of the Bands each member of The Archies has to deal with the fallout. The issue asks what does this mean for the future of the band and more specifically, each member’s place in it? It doesn’t give us or the band a lot of time to ponder those questions. Josie and Sadie from Speedy Ortiz, who was one of the judges, both make surprising offers that could lead to alternate futures for members of the band. Decisions are made that feel a little rushed perhaps to accommodate the ending of the series.
Eisma’s art captures that fun Archie vibe. It dynamically moves through Reggie’s initial monologue as the band plays around him and showcases the excitement surrounding the encore performance of Josie and the Pussycats. You can almost feel the music emanating from the page as well as the emotions from The Archies watching from backstage. Herms’ coloring is the perfect accompaniment to Eisma’s art.
This series was about a group of friends who went on a music filled adventure. Through everything they’ve had each other and the music. Featured throughout the series have been a number of indie and more famous bands that have helped The Archies grow as a band. Now we’ve come to the end of the series. It’s been a fun, sometimes strange, sometimes rocky road to get here. This issue could have ended on a solemn note pounding home the message that it’s not easy being in a band. You can give it everything you have and still come up short. Sometimes it is best to walk away. Instead the creators chose to end it on a happy one with the band doing what they love: playing for themselves.