Is there anything Riverdale’s scrappy teens haven’t faced by now? How about giant robots and kaiju monsters? Now this new one-shot Archie & Friends: All Action kicks off with a story written by Daniel Kibbelsmith (The Late Show With Stephen Colbert) titled “Super Mecha Teens”—and he binged all of Evangelion to prepare!
The comic, with art by Ryan Jampole, colors by Glenn Whitmore, letters by Jack Morelli, and cover by Jampole and Rosario “Tito” Peña, arrives in April. Today, io9 has a sneak peek of the mecha action, starting with this synopsis: “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.”
“I’ve been asking the editors if I could write an Archie mecha story for literal years and I hope it’s not our last one. Anyone who reads this will hopefully see how much world-building we put into it, and all the possibilities of hurling the Archie cast into these genre conventions,” Kibblesmith said in a statement to io9. “It’s crazy how perfectly these characters click into this kind of story, but as always, that malleability is the magic of Archie comics. What’s left to say? Get in the robot, Archie.”
Kibblesmith also had high praise for the artist. “Ryan’s love for this stuff clearly shines through. It’s so passionate and informed, you really see the complete aesthetic of this world in such a short glimpse.”
Jampole was just as excited to work on the story as Kibblesmith. “Design-wise, I really wanted to pay homage to the giant mecha manga (say that three times fast) and anime that I grew up reading/watching, and still do!” he said in a statement to io9. “There’s some Mazinger, a pinch of Evangelion, a dash of GoLion, a sprinkle of Tetsujin 28. I think the story is so well written that it can be for everyone, but if you’re a fan of the mecha genre you’re really gonna get a kick out of it!”
As you can tell, the artist is a big fan of the new comic’s inspiration. “Anyone who knows me knows I love manga, and Archie has been really cool with letting me stretch those manga visual storytelling muscles lately, injecting those sensibilities into the classic Archie stories,” Jampole said. “And I think it all lead to this story ‘cuz it’s the comic I’ve been preparing to draw since I could pick up a pen—it helps that the script is fantastic, too. It really is one of my favorite stories I got to work on! If you love Archie—which you should!—and you love giant robots—which you should!—then you’ll love this story!”
Archie & Friends: All Action arrives April 5.
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