Subway Shorts – Rivals

Sometimes, you get a couple of kids who just don’t like each other but manage to work together for the greater good, like in Super Sons. Other times, it leads to a drag race between Archie and Reggie.

Super Sons 4
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez

The thing that I love the most about this book is how much it reminds me of the relationship between Tim Drake and Kon-El/Connor Kent, only in reverse. Whereas in the early days of Peter David’s Young Justice, Superboy was the showboat and Robin was the level-headed one, Super Sons sees the tides turned with the next generation. Jon Kent’s utter deflation from having to deal with Damian Wayne in every issue has been amazing.

Super Sons - Hate

I figured that, by the end of their first adventure together, after defeating Kid Amazo with the help of Kid Amazo’s sister and Lex Luthor, Jon and Damian would have found that mutual respect for each other, building to their friendship. Alas, no, Jon let’s Damian know as they sneak back into the Kent farm that he wants nothing to do with Damian. But the diminutive duo is faced with an even greater challenge than Kid Amazo: an angry Lois Lane and Alfred Pennyworth.

Peter Tomasi’s handling of the boys has been fantastic, but I absolutely can’t wait for the next issue to see how THAT team-up is handled.

Archie 20
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Pete Woods 

This incarnation of the Riverdale gang has dealt with some serious business – the Archie-Betty break-up; Mr. Lodge running for Mayor against Betty’s uncle – in a way that they’ve never been presented before. And it’s been a nice change of pace, having a great writer like Mark Waid dealing with some real-life issues with these characters. But this… I wasn’t expecting this.

Archie - Ready

Archie’s main rival, Reggie, finally gets under Archie’s skin enough to make Archie do something even stupider than he’s used to: drag race Reggie for possession of the car Archie and Betty have spent about a decade fixing up. All because Archie didn’t want Veronica to hear that he was a fumble away from being cut from the football team.

Betty, of course, is furious when she hears about what Archie was planning. He’s an idiot, after all, and will likely get himself killed drag racing Reggie. So she races up to where the race is happening to stop it.

And then…

Archie - Crash

An oil slick and three cars racing in different directions is not a recipe for anything but disaster. To make matters worse, all three cars go through the barricade and over a ravine to end the issue.

The publisher has been promoting OVER THE EDGE as a major story – “the biggest Archie story ever!” – and it’s certainly not anything I thought I would see in an Archie book. I do appreciate that Waid and company are trying new things with Archie and the gang, but this just felt like it was too over the top. Now, I have the utmost faith in Waid and I’m looking forward to next month’s issue to see where he goes from here, but I’ll admit to being a bit disappointed at how severe the situation is.