Archie Comics can do no wrong as of late. Their “New Riverdale” line of comics has been one great series after another. They’ve managed to update their line and push their characters into a newly modern universe. And somehow, everything has maintained its charm. These still feel like Archie books, there’s just something fresh and exciting about them. You can now add Josie and The Pussycats to that list, because if the first issue is any indication, this new series by Marguerite Bennett, Cameron Deordio, and Audrey Mok is going to be a blast.
You can probably guess the setup of this issue, because it doesn’t mix things up too much. Josie and the Pussycats #1 is about the band getting together, playing their first gig, and (unsurprisingly) getting an offer from a “renowned and talented music producer.” The setup isn’t what sells this book, though–it’s the humor, quirky cast, and fun.
So much of that can be attributed to artist Audrey Mok and colorist Andre Szymanowicz. Mok’s kinetic artwork has clear manga and anime influences, but the style she’s crafted is all her own. Even when the book is hitting the easy jokes or the predictable plot points, Mok is elevating the work and making everything feel shockingly engaging. There’s some much energy in this issue, it’s practically leaping off the pages at times. If there’s one reason to buy Josie and The Pussycats #1, it’s Audrey Mok. If there’s two, it’s the vibrant colors provided by Szymanowicz, which succeed in providing more energy and excitement to every panel.
While writers Marguerite Bennett and Cameron Deordio spend much of the issue hitting familiar plot points, they also manage to deliver some amazing and dynamic characters. Whether you are a long time Josie and The Pussycats fan or somebody new to this whole world, you’ll fall in love. Every character has their own, unique voice and they’re all great. Melody is clearly the book’s best though, and her obsession with cats could be it’s own series. Seriously, we’d read the hell out of Melody and The Pussycats as long as the “pussycats” are literal cats and Melody is just losing her mind over their cuteness on every page.
Josie and The Pussycats #1 doesn’t quite knock it out of the park like Archie’s other books, but it’s a blast to read and filled with awesome visuals. Mok’s art alone is enough to bring us back for another issue. Archie fan or not, you really should jump into this world. Josie and The Pussycats is just further proof that Archie Comics is the company to beat lately. Nobody else is making comics this fun and engaging. Nobody else even comes close.
Image: Archie Comics
Benjamin Bailey writes for the Nerdist and can be found on Twitter talking about Godzilla, comic books, and hardcore music.