Thursday, November 9, 2023

#IReadsYou Review: BETTY & VERONICA FRIENDS FOREVER: Beach Party #1


STORY: Jamie L. Rotante; Dan Parent; Francis Bonnet; Craig Boldman; Tania Del Rio; George Gladir
PENCILS: Holly G!; Dan Parent; Jeff Shultz; Rex Lindsey; Bill Gollhier; Dan DeCarlo
INKS: Jim Amash; Bob Smith; Rex Lindsey; Rudy Lapick
COLORS: Glenn Whitmore
LETTERS: Jack Morelli; Rex Lindsey; Vincent DeCarlo
EDITORS: Jamie Lee Rotante, Vincent Lavallo, and Stephen Oswald
EiC: Mike Pellerito
COVER: Holly G! with Rosario “Tito” Peña
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (August 2023)

Rating: All-Ages

Betty and Veronica in “Babbi's Riverdale Beach Party”

Eternal high school student and teenage boy, Archie Andrews, and his friends made their debut in M.L.J. Magazines' Pep Comics #22 (cover dated: December 1941), and before long, Archie was the publisher's headliner character.  In 1946, the company changed its named to Archie Comic Publications, also known as “Archie Comics.” Two of Archie Comics' main characters are Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge, best friends and also rivals in their love for Archie.

Archie Comics frequently publishes themed one-shot comic books featuring Betty and Veronica.  The latest, apparently the twenty-first in this series, is Betty & Veronica Friends Forever: Beach Party #1 (#21).  It features one new story and five reprint stories.  Entitled “Babbi's Riverdale Beach Party,” the new story is written by Jamie L. Rotante; drawn by Holly G! (pencils) and Jim Amash (inks); colored by Glenn Whitmore; and lettered by the great Jack Morelli.

Betty and Veronica in “Babbi's Riverdale Beach Party”:
The story opens at Veronica's beach house, which she has decorated so that it looks like Babbi's beach house.  Who is “Babbi?”  She is this story's stand-in for the beloved fashion doll, “Barbie.”  Many of the young women at the party are hugely influenced by Babbi, but not everyone attending is crazy about the iconic Babbi.  That includes Cassie Cloud, so when her brother, Casey Cloud, gets caught up in Babbi fever, she has something to say.

Archie, Reggie, Jughead, Trevor, Kevin, and Eliza are among the Archie gang appearing in this story.  Plus, a special guest star is just around the corner.

THE LOWDOWN:  Archie Comics often sends me PDF copies of their titles for review.  While I don't get to review all of them, I enjoy these single issue titles like Betty & Veronica Friends Forever: Beach Party #1.

First, I enjoyed “Babbi's Riverdale Beach Party” because Holly G!'s art is so pretty.  Next, there is a delightful scene of Kevin Keller openly lusting after new character Casey Cloud.  Third, the whole Barbie/Babbi angle is quite nice, and in the end, the story left me wanting more.  Because of the appearance of a special guest, the story ends in the middle of Veronica's “Babbi” party, so, at least to me, it feels like we missed out on potentially the best parts of the story.

As usual, I must warn you, dear readers.  I will always recommend classic-style Archie Comics titles.  Betty & Veronica Friends Forever: Beach Party #1 offers a new character, but the story feels old school and classically fun.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of classic-style Archie Comics will want Betty & Veronica Friends Forever: Beach Party #1.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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