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“Archie Meets Ramones” #1

By | October 6th, 2016
Posted in Reviews | % Comments

The Archies are on tour and they’re looking to be sedated! Check out our review of Archie’s latest crossover below!

Written by Alex Segura & Matthew Rosenberg
Illustrated by Gisele Lagac e & Shouri

Hey! Ho! Let’s go! America’s favorite teens cross paths with the original NYC punks in this extra-sized one-shot spectacular that is not to be missed!
When the Archies tank at the Riverdale High Battle of the Bands, a magical twist of fate sends them hurtling into the past—and face-to-face with none other than the Ramones! Can the legendary punks get the Archies to realize their own rock ‘n’ roll potential and find their way home? Probably not—but it’ll be a blitzkrieg bop of a journey, as the two bands bounce from 53rd and 3rd to Rockaway Beach in this must-read crossover from the writers of the best-selling ARCHIE MEETS KISS and WE CAN NEVER GO HOME with jaw-droppingly beautiful art from Gisele Lagace (“Occupy Riverdale”)!

One of the things I really enjoy about the “Archie Renaissance” we’re all going through right now is how the increasing absurdity of Archie’s crossovers is making stuff like “Archie Meets The Punisher” feel like old hat. Sure, “Archie Meets Ramones” may not be as morbid a mash-up as “Archie vs. Predator” but it’s such a specific story that it ends up being one of the most delightfully absurd stories Archie Comics has put out this year.

“Archie Meets Ramones” starts as most Archie stories do, with the gang at a Battle of the Bands at Riverdale High. The Archies (Archie, Betty, Veroncia, Jughead, Reggie “Fuck King” Mantle) mess up and blame each other for their band not doing so well. This leads to Sabrina the Teenage Witch meeting with Archie backstage so she can hand him an old Ramones record that ends The Archies back to 1976 New York to meet The Ramones. The Ramones agree to help The Archies, a band that sang “Sugar Sugar” become more punk rock. At least, as punk rock as you can get in an Archie comic. If The Ramones had forced to Jughead to prove he was punk by making him snort an entire bag of coke or something, this book would have gotten an instant 10/10.

If I had any complaint about the artwork, it’s just that 1976 New York doesn’t look like 1976 New York. The idea of of Jughead exploring Abraham Beame era Manhattan is something that will never leave my thoughts, but there’s still an absolute charm to the Archiefied version of The Ramones. Especially as The Ramones send the gang to “learn punk rock” by visiting a pet semetary, hitching a ride to Rockaway Beach, you see where we’re going here. Over the course of their travels, The Archies progressively become more disheveled which in turns makes them decidedly more punk. They’re really great decides, especially Punk Archie who I can only regretfully describe as a “sex kitten”.

The most biting aspect of “Archie Meets Ramones” (if there’s something “biting” about an Archie comic) is its relationship with The Ramones. Rather than treat The Ramones as something these cool millennials are obsessed with it’s Archie’s dad’s favorite band. That’s gotta hurt for anyone who regularly listens to The Ramones, espescially when Young Archie’s Dad shows up to the 1976 concert. Archie Comics has been putting a lot of effort into staying relevant in 2016 and making their teen characters only kind of aware of who The Ramones are is a pretty great step towards that. Reggie should’ve asked them to play “Anarchy in the UK”.

Really, I’m just impressed with how Archie Comics has been able to seamlessly transition into crossovers with little to no commotion. Stories like “Afterlife with Archie”, “Archie vs. Predator” have all been stellar stories that captured the hokey essence of Riverdale without dulling down characters like Predator. And here, they really get to the heart of The Ramones when they tell Archie the true meaning of punk: it’s being yourself and not trying to imitate anyone else, even if they are The Ramones. It’s a strong message, even if it is one The Ramones are telling a time traveling group of teens.

Final Verdict: 7.7 – “Archie Meets Ramones” is a very fun one-shot that’s pretty much what you’d expect from an Archie comic in 2016. The good news is that what you can expect from Archie in 2016 is a clever irreverent romp that manages to balance the line between Archie and The Ramones without making either look out of place. It’s not “Saga” or any other comic that’s going to change the industry but it’s a great read if you’re a Ramones fan, if you’re an Archie fan, or if you’re a dad trying to relate to their children what music used to be like in the 70’s but you can only communicate through Archie comics for some reason.

James Johnston

James Johnston is a grizzled post-millenial. Follow him on Twitter to challenge him to a fight.