Review: Archie vs. Sharknado #1

Let's be for real: Archie Comics is killing it right now.  Archie vs. Sharknado is not the absolute best example of this, but it's still a lot of fun and worth randomly grabbing on your next visit to the shop. Archie is not the center of anybody's world.  Okay, maybe Betty and Veronica's, but speaking from the perspective of people who frequent comic book shops to buy floppies, people aren't clamoring for Archie the way they foam at the mouth for X-Men or Batman.  That hasn't exactly changed, but there is something that has: these days, when I see a new Archie comic, more times than not, I'll throw it on my pile.  These crossovers especially have been a ton of fun.

If you don't like campy things, this comic is obviously not for you; however--and this is going to sound really obvious but it's true--if you like Sharknado and the properties like it, then you will enjoy this comic.  It is honestly as if the world of Sharknado were perfectly subsumed into the cartoon world of Archie via some kind of meta-fictional wizardry.  Nothing in this comic strays from the Sunday Paper style of Archie, and that takes both the campiness and the entertainment up like ten notches.

Archie vs Sharknado #1Seriously, we're talking about Josie and the Pussycats going toe-to-toe with sharks; Jughead in a quest to get his hat back from a flying version of Jaws; Betty and Veronica bro-ing out over their love for Archie while they crank up some chainsaws.  All of the quintessential Archie-ness that gets packed into this comic is heightened by the fact that it wasn't written by someone who is a regular to the Archie series: it was written by Ferrante, the mind behind Sharknado.

Maybe that just speaks to how intangible Archie and his crew are for a couple of generations of readers.  Or, maybe it's just not that complicated and he had a good coach in Archie regular Dan Parent, who helped him script it.  Regardless, he's got a great creative team behind him which deftly transferred his campy, ridiculous vision to the familiar world of Riverdale.

I would rather have a few more of these comics than any more Sharknado films, quite frankly.  And, in a weird way, it's sort of a bummer that this is a one-shot.  But, what makes the story work so well is that it doesn't loiter around the silliness of this idea too long, something that would inevitably pull back the curtain a little too far on how dumb this all is.  Additionally, one of the things that makes this comic work so well is Sharknado's weird place in the current zeitgeist.  Let us not forget either that this comic doesn't happen if not for it being a fun way to plug the movie that comes out this week.  It's hard to be mad at soulless marketing when it's this unapologetically ridiculous and fun.

I cannot insist that you go out and buy this comic, but there really were a lot of impressive little nuggets in what seems like a ridiculous pairing.  I can at the very least promise that you won't regret taking a chance on it if you even sort of think it's your kind of book.

Score: 4/5

Archie vs. Sharknado #1 Writers: Anthony C. Ferrante with Dan Parent Artists:  Dan Parent and Rich Koslowski Publisher: Archie Comics Price: $4.99 Release Date: 7/22/2015 Format:  One-Shot, Print/Digital