Today, we take a break from Rebirth and DC Comics and instead focus on three books from three other publishers. We’ve got comics with established, long-running characters (G.I. Joe – A Real American Hero and Archie) and the latest miniseries detailing a relatively new universe (Jupiter’s Legacy 2). Let’s get started.

Jupiter’s Legacy 2 issue 2
Written by Mark Millar
Art by Frank Quitely

It’s a world where the offspring of the world’s greatest superheros have put themselves in control as a way to proactively help the people of the world. But those superheros and their offspring aren’t exactly good people. So when the choices they make start to go off the rails, who’s going to stop them? Well, the supervillain side of the family, of course.

The latest Image Comics miniseries builds on the world created by Millar and Quitely in the previous stories, with the supervillain side of the family gathering allies for an upcoming battle. And then, an act of terrorism I wasn’t expecting sets the hero side off and potentially sets the powderkeg off early.

In addition to Millar’s writing – which has been top notch in these miniseries – Quitely’s art continues to amaze. The creative team has me completely invested in the story and the developments in this issue have me foaming at the mouth for more. If only they released new issues every two weeks instead of once a month.

G.I. Joe – A Real American Hero 230 
Written by Larry Hama
Art by S.L. Gallant 

While G.I. Joe as a property has been rebooted and restarted several times now, the main series that dates back to the Marvel series from the 1980s continues to go strong under IDW after being restarted a few years back. With decades of continuity, getting a handle on the story can be a little intimidating, but the cartoon nature of the storytelling really helps to let new readers in at the start of each arc. And since Larry Hama, the architect of the original series, is still at the helm, the quality is still pretty high.

Knowledge of the book’s history does come in handy though, as there are callbacks to the team’s past adventures, and issue 230 is no different. Building on the creations of the crazed Dr. Venom and how he tortured people and rewired their brains with his Brainwave Scanner is central to the current arc, as a new character has been imbued with the knowledge and skills of the original Snake Eyes. That shouldn’t end well for the Cobra team.

We also get a subplot with Duke’s wife being a potential traitor, which I assume will come to a very dangerous head somewhere down the line.

Hama has always been brilliant with his Joe stories, and he continues to produce a quality comic every month.

Archie 10 
Written by Mark Waid 
Art by Veronica Fish 

At the end of 2015, I called the still-new iteration of Archie – a modernized version of a classic character – to be one of the best comics on the market. Mark Waid has created a new world for this old universe, bringing Archie and the gang into the 21st Century. The story has centered on the broken relationship between Archie and Betty and Archie’s budding relationship with the newly-arrived Veronica.

The love triangle is still there, but made to be more realistic. The relationships have their ups and downs – like any teenager’s life – and Waid weaves through it all beautifully, allowing Archie to narrate the events of the day. In issue 10, we see how things continue to get worse between Betty and Archie as Mr. Lodge uses a bumbling red head to run his opponent for Mayor out of town. That opponent just happens to be Betty’s uncle, a long-time teacher at the high school.

The episodic nature of the series is definitely something new for an Archie book, with every issue building on what has come before, and it all feels like it’s coming to a head  for everyone’s favorite group of teens. The next few issues should be a lot of fun.

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