(Submitted by Mr. Prince Adam…Thank you, Super Friend! 🙂 xoxo)
“Set in the same universe as the hit CW series, Riverdale continues to reveal untold stories of the world’s most famous teenagers. When five students from different social cliques (Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jugghead, and Josie) end up in Saturday detention together — will they kill each other or come together against the forces of evil that brought them there?” (Archie Comics)
If you love the film The Breakfast Club, then you will love this book. This is the comic book’s homage to that classic 80’s coming of age film. Heck, the title of the film is the title of this issue and there are at least three characters in the book who reference the film. Archie even mentions having never seen the film. That’s the hardest part of this book to believe, that someone hasn’t seen The Breakfast Club. The fact that the film is spoken by name, as well as social media such as twitter, sets Riverdale as existing in the real world. I’m glad this is the case because these characters are your average teenagers, meaning there’s no need to create a alternate world for them to inhabit. Narratively, the issue is bookended by present day and time scenes, but the bulk of the issue is a flashback to the food fight, that landed them in detention. After Josie, of “Josie and the Pussycats” fame singles out relative new girl Veronica Lodge for starting the food fight, we get a look back at what everyone was doing during the food fight.
Archie tuned up his guitar and stood up on a table, ready to give an impromptu concert. However, his crippling fear of performing in front of people prevents him from going through with it. This is technically, the first mention of Archie’s desire to be a musician and sets up his rivalry with Josie. It also sets up the dichotomy of wanting to be a performer, yet being shy about performing in front of others. We see him battle and to a degree, overcome this fear in the back half of season 1 but here, it’s really fresh. Also, a fear of public speaking/performing is a fear I’ve had back in high school, so I absolutely feel for him. Veronica Lodge was helping her friend Kevin set up a Gay/Straight school alliance, to try and decipher all the gay students in the school, and get their numbers so Kevin could get a date. Sure, setting up a school group just to get a date seems a little overboard. Though I purposely wrote an essay filled with errors, as well as the backup one with suspected corrections I’d need to make, because I had really hot teacher that I wanted to spend more time with before class. Of course, nothing happened, but she was hot, so the extra time was so worth it! Anyway, the true take away from this scene, which continues on from issue #1, is that while Veronica has an attitude and a chip on her shoulder, she is intensely giving and fiercely protective of her friends. She admits that she got involved in the food fight, when a football jock insulted her and Kevin but she didn’t start the fight. As for Betty and Jugghead, Betty was doing research for an article she is writing for the school paper. One of the books she is reading is The Story of O, an erotic novel. When Jugghead discovers this, he playfully chastises Betty. However, when Cheryl grabs the book and starts referring to Betty and her sister as freaks and outcasts. The reference to Betty’s sister, is the first mention of Betty’s sister and Cheryl’s brother having dated and that it ending badly. As Cheryl berates her, we can see darkness and anger building up and erupting in Betty, as she throws a piece of pie at the back of Cheryl. Betty’s anger and darkness gets heightened in Season 1 but you see it in it’s infancy here. Without spoiling anything, I hope Betty’s emotional state is explored more in this comic and in Season 2. I like that the instigator of the food fight was Betty, the goody two shoes you’d lest expect. The book ends with detention ending and the gang sans Josie, sharing a meal at Pop’s Dinner.
Joe Eisma is back on art but this time is joined by fellow artist Thomas Pitilli. Their artwork looks so similar, that when one ends and the other begins, it is hardly noticeable. Each artist has certain characters who they excel at drawing though. Joe Eisma’s strength is Archie, Josie, and Jugghead, while Thomas Pitilli draws a great Veronica, Cheryl and Betty. The opening image of the gang sitting in detention continues the theme of homage for The Breakfast Club. The position of the characters, and the location being the school library, is an exact replica of the film. If the cover didn’t say Riverdale, you might think this was a comic book adaptation of the film. The image of Archie about to perform his impromptu cafeteria concert is great. The detail is so strong, that you can not only see, but almost feel his crippling anxiety. The scene where Betty snaps at Cheryl before she starts the food fight is very evocative on several levels. First, you can see Betty’s face scrunching and teeth gritting in anger. Adding to it, is the temporary black and purple color scheme in this panel almost makes it seem like we’ve gone into Betty’s mind and are seeing her anger actual emerge from the recesses of her mind. Kudos to colorist Andre Szymanowicz. Without him, this effect doesn’t happen. My favourite page is definitely the food fight. It’s so messy and chaotic. There are later panels that isolate the food fight, from our main characters perspective but the main splash page is so chaotic. Also, somehow artist Thomas Pitilli has made Cheryl Blossom even more bitchy looking. In his hands, her natural resting look is “Bitchy Face.”
The second issue doesn’t move the story along, instead being more of a character study of sorts. Last issue, I said it worked as both a prequel and a continuation of the TV series. This issue is clearly more of a prequel to the story told in season 1. It’ll be interesting to see if the series tries to juggle telling prequel stories, or if it toggles between prequels and concurrent stories. If you’re a fan or the show or the characters from the comic books, you’ll like this book. Even if you don’t love Archie or Riverdale, you’ll still want to read this if you love The Breakfast Club. And who doesn’t!?