The Wednesday before Free Comic Book Day had been somewhat quiet the past few years, 2018 FCBD is anything but empty as over a dozen debuting books hit the shelves to be followed by loads comics people will be lining up for on Saturday. We look at a classic style tale of Riverdale’s favorite friends and a golden collection 30 years in the making.

Betty & Veronica Friends Forever: At The Movies #1

 

 

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Story: Bill Golhier

Art: Dan Parent

Inks: Rich Koslowski

Colors: Glenn Whitmore

Letters: Jack Morelli

Published By: Archie Comics

 

 

With the CW’s Riverdale and the modern line of Archie comics, it’s easy to sometimes forget how childish and juvenile fun these books can be. Betty & Veronica Friends Forever is a throwback for those of us who would read pocket sized comics on long car trips. The book is a collection of new stories which read like the comic strips of yesteryear.

The stories in this comic are jokes twitter makes about Hollywood today. From too many Pirates movies to friends over-excited about seeing the new Star Wars movies on opening night, you can’t throw a rock in this book without hitting current pop culture. In one scene Betty fights a monkey throwing plastic coconuts before being chased off a movie set by the book’s version of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow who’s actually called Mr. Repp.

 

Something always underrated about Archie’s older style comics is how spot on to the era Dan Parent’s art is. The heavier lines, subtle yet cartoon nuance of the emotions drawn on these characters, even touches like large facical marks; everything about the pages looks as though it was made in the 1970’s. Even if retroism isn’t your favorite style of art it’s hard not to appreciate the level of nostalgic work Parent puts in.

You won’t find some life changing depth within these pages, just loads of gags. New classic style Archie comics are the equivalent of me watching Little House on the Prarie or playing Super Mario Bros; something that exists to entertain you and remind you of simpler times. On that level Betty & Veroinca Friends Forever: At The Movies succeeds as a quirky one and done.

 

Tank Girl Full Color Classics #1

 

 

Story: Allan Martin

Art: Jamie Hewlett

Colors: Tracy Bailey

Published by: Titan Comics

 

 

Few things truly embody the spirit of “cult hit” like Tank Girl. It was Mad Max meets L7, a series full of dynamic characters created by Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin. When Tank Girl first appeared, she did so in a UK magazine called Deadline back in 1988. As with most Europe comics, the initial issues were done in black and white. With Titan acquiring the publishing rights to Tank Girl, the publisher is bringing the original comics with added production and punctuation.

The first of six, Tank Girl Full Color Classics prints material from 1988-1989 in full color done by Tracy Bailey. While the original black and white is worthy of appreciation on its own, the new color work by Bailey blends well with the psychedelic art on the pages. Tank Girl was anarchy that formed to become a story of rebellion and mind altering sexual inclination. Her struggles for survival alongside her half-kangaroo boyfriend turned into epic adventures of the pair taking down massive war machines. Maybe purists would rather see the original pages in their original form but the nature of this punk rock inspired world begs to break rules, even its own. Bailey’s flat palette is the right choice for this classic work. It never outshines or hides any piece of the incredible original line work by Jamie Hewlett. Big moments, as well as fourth wall breaking gags, are all given a new buttress by how much more flow the color work gives these panels. In particular, it helps make the lettering easier to read as it now pops against a color and not just borders on white pages.

Admittedly, I only read a few Tank Girl comics after the movie came out. Back then UK comics were not easy to come by and as time went on I just found other things to read. Tank Girl Full Color Classics are more than we deserve. These punk-fueled stories are exciting, funny, and tantalizing. On top of finally getting to read them, readers are treated to a DVD’s worth of hardly seen before photos and art from those who worked on Deadline including the legend, Steve Dillon. There’s even a pinup done by Dillon for a publisher press kit.

Celebrating 30 years of Tank Girl is something no one ever thought would happen. Its contribution was more than drawings of boobs and bullets, Tank Girl gave a voice in comics to a subculture that birthed The Ramones, Minor Threat, and The Buzzcocks. While you can’t celebrate everything at San Diego Comic-Con, I think it’s a shame that a true comic like Tank Girl isn’t getting treated in the SDCC souvenir book over the MCU, which according to reports is skipping the show this year. Tangent over, go buy Tank Girl Full Color Classics.

Here’s all the #1’s and One-Shots this week:

CODA #1 (BOOM)
(W) Simon Spurrier (CA) Jae Lee, June Chung (A/CA) Matias Bergara
Simon Spurrier ( The Spire, Godshaper ) and Matias Bergara ( Cannibal, Supergirl ) present a broken fantasy world that's perfect for fans of Mad Max and The Lord of the Rings.

DEATH OR GLORY #1 (IMAGE)
(W) Rick Remender (A/CA) Bengal
"in order to pay for her beloved dying Father's surgery, Glory has three days to pull off four dangerous cross-country heists with mob killers, crooked cops, and a psycho ex-husband all out to bring her in or die trying."

STAR TREK TNG THROUGH THE MIRROR #1 (IDW)
(W) Scott Tipton, David Tipton (A) Chris Johnson (A/CA) J. K. Woodward
Following up the smash-hit miniseries MIRROR BROKEN, the Mirror Universe Next Generation crew is looking for new worlds to conquer, and they're crossing over to the Prime Star Trek Universe to find them.

ACTION COMICS SPECIAL #1 (DC)
(W) Dan Jurgens, Max Landis, Mark Russell (A) Francis Manapul, Jill Thompson (A/CA) Will Conrad
The Last Will and Testament of Lex Luthor!

DC NATION #0 (DC)
(W) Tom King, Scott Snyder, James TynionIV, Joshua Williamson, Brian Michael Bendis (A) Clay Mann, Jos? Luis Garc?a-L?pez (A/CA) Jorge Jimenez

Read the DC Weekly Recap on The Beat to get the low down on this pivotal comic.

HARLEY LOVES JOKER #1 (DC)
(W) Paul Dini (A) Bret Blevins (CA) Amanda Conner
Paul Dini returns to the character he co-created to deliver the incredible two-issue wrap-up of the "Harley Loves Joker" flashback tale that ran as a backup in HARLEY QUINN last year.
AVENGERS #1 (MARVEL)
(W) Jason Aaron (A/CA) Ed McGuinness
Thor Odinson. Steve Rogers. Tony Stark. The Big Three of the Avengers are reunited at last! And just in time to save the world from total annihilation at the hands of their most powerful enemies yet: the 2000-foot-tall space gods known as Celestials.

SHIELD #1 (MARVEL)
(W) Jonathan Hickman (A) Dustin Weaver (CA) Gerald Parel
Delve deeper into the hidden past of S.H.I.E.L.D. - along with some of history's greatest minds! Michelangelo has been pulling the strings for years, and is now becoming the prime mover. Can he keep Leonardo Da Vinci and Isaac Newton from killing each other and destroying the Brotherhood of the Shield?

HUNT FOR WOLVERINE WEAPON LOST #1 (MARVEL)
(W) Charles Soule (A) Matteo Buffagni (CA) Greg Land
As one of the biggest mysteries in the MARVEL UNIVERSE unfolds, DAREDEVIL assembles a squad of uncanny detectives to track down WOLVERINE - MISTY KNIGHT, FRANK MCGEE and the mutant known as CYPHER. Investigating recent sightings across the globe of a man believed to be LOGAN

YOU ARE DEADPOOL #1 (MARVEL)
(W) Al Ewing (A/CA) Salva Espin
YOU decide what choices Deadpool makes! YOU keep track of your scores issue by issue! YOU roll dice to combat various foes! Travel through Marvel history as Deadpool to meet Hulk in the swinging '60s!

RED SONJA TARZAN #1 (Dynamite)
(W) Gail Simone (A) Walter Geovani (CA) Aaron Lopresti
The She-Devil with a Sword meets the Lord of the Jungle!

SHERLOCK HOLMES VANISHING MAN #1 (Dynamite)
(W) Leah Moore, John Reppion (A) Julius Ohta (CA) John Cassaday
Michael Williams is a family man. A reliable man at both work and home. When he disappears, there are no clues left behind. Now, it is up to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to find out what happened to him and what danger may be lurking around every corner

CYBER SPECTRE #1 (Scout Comics)
(W) Richard Emms (A/CA) Ale Graza
In a world run by super-computers and where the judicial system is purely digital, there is no human error, just a singular artificial intelligence that calculates the outcome of every possible crime.

HARBINGER WARS 2 PRELUDE #1 (Valiant)
(W) Eric Heisserer (A/CA) Raul Allen
The Harbinger Renegades have been scattered across America... battered by the brutal MASSACRE that decimated their ranks.
Behind them all, Livewire - leader of the Harbinger Foundation's most unusual group of SECRET WEAPONS - is about to incite the coast-to-coast clash that brings them all together in an inescapable collision of power.

NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS ZEROS JOURNEY #1 (Tokyo Pop)
(W) Dj Milky (A/CA) Kei Ishiyama
When Jack Skellington's faithful pet Zero gets lost, the ghost pup must get the help of theresidents of Christmas Town to find his way back.