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Archie Meets Ramones #1

    Ian Jane

  • Archie Meets Ramones #1

    Archie Meets Ramones #1
    Released by: Archie Comics
    Released on: October 5th, 2016.
    Written by: Alex Segura and Matthew Rosenberg
    Illustrated by: Gisele Lagace
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    “Rock N Roll Riverdale!”

    Archie Andrews stands on stage in the gymnasium at Riverdale High, his band-mates - Reggie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica - all standing behind him as he proclaims “We are the WORST band on the planet!” They walk off the stage and are done with it. No one in the group thinks that they've got a shot at winning the Battle Of The Bands at this point, except for Betty, and Betty has an uncanny ability to make Archie see things her way.

    The band argues, and then the band splits, leaving Archie alone with Sabrina. She gives him a copy of The Ramones' first album, it's his dad's favorite record! Shortly after that, his dad comes into the dressing room and sees the record, telling Archie how it was once his prized possession and how he hoped to get it signed by the band but lost it on the way to a concert. They put it on the turntable, give it a spin, and as the familiar chorus of “HEY HO LET'S GO” fires up, Archie is transported to the Manhattan of 1976, along with the rest of his band.

    “Betty's right… I don't think we're in Riverdale anymore.”

    The Riverdalians introduce themselves as The Archies, the New Yorkers introduce themselves as The Ramones. When Archie says 'We know!' they ask him how - 'Are you from Queens too?' Jughead tells Joey Ramone that Archie is 'really into punk' and before you know it, The Archies are slated to open for The Ramones at their own Battle Of The Bands going down inside Max's. The Talking Heads (who aren't mentioned by name but c'mon) are on first but after that, Archie realizes that the record and Sabrina's magic sent them here - the record she gave him was the prize in THIS 1976 version of the Battle Of The Bands, it's all connected… somehow. Does it matter? Nah.

    So The Archies get on stage, spotting a young and mouthy Mr. Weatherbee in the crowd… and they flop. Again. They're rushed off the stage for the main act, The Ramones, who come out to the sounds of Blitzkrieg Bop, wowing The Archies and everyone else in the room. After the show, The Archies talk to The Ramones, they want a second chance - and they get it, but first they have to do everything on the list that Joey gives them. That involves going to Vince Lombardi High School and taking a gym class, finding treasure in a Pet Sematary, hitching a ride to Rockaway Beach and then, eat kosher salami (that's the fourth rule, right?). That's where Jughead comes in - 1976 prices are amazing! But when The Archies head to 53rd and 3rd only to find that The Ramones have stood them up even after accomplishing all four missions, what can they do? Thankfully a guy in a sleeveless Ramones shirt directs them to a party where they band is playing in the basement. Jughead doesn't wanna go down to the basement, but he does and once they find the band they find out that the only reason they were sent on this quest was because The Ramones thought it would be funny.

    It all changes when Joey finds the notes that Archie has been taking on their live show, tips and pointers he figured would help make his band as good as their band. Archie picks up on what Joey tells him and from there? Well… it's off to CBGB (look for Lux and Ivy in the crowd!!!) and then hopefully back to their own time… but not before Archie wins the prize - a signed copy of the first Ramones record!

    “Play fast!”

    This is one of those comics that shouldn't exist, but once you start reading it, well, you'll be happy that it does. Segura and Rosenberg work enough Ramones and seventies era NYC punk references into the story to keep it fun, but they don't overdo it - this is still an Archie comic through and through. The Ramones are almost God-like here, they don't really get much in the way of character development, they just sort of appear and help out Archie and his crew on their quest, but that doesn't matter. This isn't a biography or a documentary, it's comic book crossover and on that level it works quite well. On top of that, someone did their home work - there are some pretty great 'unofficial' cameos in this comic that should make fans of vintage NYC punk smile, if even just a tiny bit (commercialism sucks but when it's done right…). The script is fun. No more, no less. It's not deep, it's not going to change your life, but it will make you laugh and it will make you appreciate the DIY message contained herein. Don't go into this expecting The Ramones to change the Archieverse and don't go into this expecting the encounter with the band to make the Archie characters any different - it never goes there and it never needs to.
    This issue is all about teenage kicks (not a Ramones reference… get over it.

    Gisele Lagace does a great job on the art. Obviously all of the Riverdale characters look 'right' but more importantly as far as this story goes, The Ramones follow suit. You'll have no trouble telling the four band members apart, but at the same time the visuals employed in bringing The Ramones to life here are completely in keeping with the Archie house style. It works. Maybe it shouldn't, but it does. This is a lot of fun.

    • Mark Tolch
      Mark Tolch
      Senior Member
      Mark Tolch commented
      Editing a comment
      This was pretty great. Predictable and not really complex in the least, but hits every visual cue I wanted.
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