“Archie, Vol. 3” picks up directly from where “Vol. 2” left us. In this volume the energy picks up again and we are interested to Cheryl and Jason Blossom. Veronica and Cheryl face off in one of the predominant conflicts and while it’s entertaining, it’s also very look-at-how-much-damage-rich-girls-can-do-to-each-other. Back in Riverdale, Archie is inconsolable and Jughead steps up to be the one supporting Archie. The Andrews’ are about to celebrate a big anniversary and Archie’s friends are worried he won’t rally himself to complete the surprise party he wants to throw for them.
I almost gave this volume four stars for several of the conversations between Jughead and Archie. Archie is bascially experiences hearbreak for the first time and doesn’t really know how to keep it from tainting his outlook on life. Jughead, who’s used to being cynical, is doing his best to keep Archie from going all out pessimistic. In a wonderful bit of role-reversal, Jughead and Archie literally and figuratively swap-places and it’s a very well done bit of character development for the two. I’m really liking liking where they are taking Jughead in this series and in this volume he really has the chance to shine and establish himself as a character worth paying attention to. It becomes quite clear in this volume just how much Archie and Jughead rely on one another and how much it means to have a best friend.
“Vol. 3” picks the energy back up enough from “Vol. 2” that it makes it worth it to continue with the series. In fact, I might even say “Vol. 3” is better than “Vol.1” because of the depth of character development we see in several of the characters.