Next week, Archie Comics will release Archie & Friends: All Action #1. The new one-shot features a brand-new story from the creative team of writer Daniel Kibblesmith, artist Ryan Jampole, colorist Glenn Whitmore (with Rosario Peña), and letterer Jack Morelli. The story imagines Archie and the Riverdale gang as mech pilots in battle against rampaging kaiju. Today, ahead of the issue’s release, The Beat is pleased to offer a preview of the issue’s new story.
Here’s how Archie Comics describes Archie & Friends: All Action #1:
A BRAND-NEW STORY kicks off this collection of tales of mecha monsters, heroic hijinks, and action-packed adventure! In “Super Mecha Teens,” a giant monster threatens to attack Riverdale, and only one teen (with some robot help) can save the day. Unfortunately, that teen is Archie Andrews. But he doesn’t have to do it alone! But who does he choose? Betty with her rugged, self-built mech, or Veronica with her hi-tech, hi-end robotics? As all the mechs are being mauled by the monster, Archie must decide in this story that’s equal parts Transformers and Pacific Rim.
“Like way too many of my projects, this started as a Tweet,” writer Daniel Kibblesmith told The Beat. “I think I might have asked Archie Comics to let me write ‘Archie Meets Pacific Rim.’ Still a great idea! But Ryan is such an encyclopedic mecha anime fan that this became a much bigger riff on the entire genre, and it won’t be hard to figure out which anime series was my biggest influence as the writer.”
“Much like the co-pilots of Pacific Rim, I think Daniel and I were super in sync on this story,” artist Ryan Jampole added. “I could tell from his script exactly where to plug in certain anime/manga tropes because of our shared love of the mecha genre, and I don’t know if he knows this but of the genre, Evangelion is my favorite. And I think fans will totally get the references we put in!”
As for the story itself, it starts fast and doesn’t let up. “What I love about this story is its pacing,” Jampole said. “It doesn’t waste time getting going—full throttle, we’re dropped right into the action. That first panel says it all: ‘Things are NOT going well for our heroes, and it’s all up to our boy Archie to get in the dang robot!’ We did a lot to set up the universe in this story, and I am so stoked for people to read it.”
“I’d love to expand this corner of the Archie-verse in future stories,” said Kibblesmith, “especially after seeing how big a visual world Ryan was creating; the possibilities are endless. And I personally would enjoy coming up with a bunch more Archie-themed mecha names—possibly the most fun task I’ve ever had in writing a comic.”
Check out the preview of Kibblesmith & Jampole’s new story below. Archie & Friends: All Action #1 is due out in stores next Wednesday, April 5th.