First, a thank you to Edelweiss and DC Comics for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I have never read any of Archie Comics before, though I’m somewhat familiar with the characters through the TV adaptions Sabrina & Riverdale. I have also never read and Harley & Ivy stories prior to this one – perhaps not the best place to start but I’m not complaining.
It’s also worth mentioning that due to my limited previous reading in this genre if you think I’m being too harsh or too generous with my assessment of writing or art, it’s probably due to my limited frame of reference and there isn’t a lot I can do about that right now.
I generally love crossovers across all media – having a preference for character-driven stories myself, the interactions between different characters, particularly when it’s their first meeting or they are from different worlds, really intrigue me. I think this story would have landed with me more if I were a huge fan of the Archie Comics – they’re on my TBR, I’m getting there – but being pretty new to that world, I was more interested in the Harley & Ivy part of this story.
That being said, I don’t feel like the collision of these two iconic duos was really that … iconic? I loved the little DC references and guest stars and their integration with the ‘Riverdale’ of it all – Catwoman coming all the way from Gotham to see her favourite band, Josie and the Pussycats, for example, and Zatanna teaming up with Sabrina Spellman for a show, Alfred & Smithers (now there is a comic I’d like to see!) direct line, all that good stuff – but the few times Harley & Ivy actually met Betty & Veronica felt less significant by comparison.
The main focal point of the book is really the relationships within the two pairs, as both Harley & Ivy and Betty & Veronica get a fair bit of development in their own core relationships, which was nice to see. In all fairness though, when it becomes apparent that two of the most notorious super-villainesses in Gotham have a healthier interpersonal relationship that you do, it probably signifies time for a change, don’t you think?
Harley & Ivy’s relationship is definitely my favourite of those portrayed, though the two characters are clearly very different, their team working is mutualistic and fun to read and even if Ivy generally leads, it’s clear she wouldn’t impose her will on Harley to get her own way.
The writing itself was pretty good, though I found the inclusion of the Reggie/Joker arc a bit superfluous. Personally, I don’t think Harley requires a version of the Joker in this story or any for that matter, and I didn’t see how it added anything or moved the plot along. The art was a different style from what I’ve seen before and fit the backdrop and story quite well. Whilst, it was an interesting filter to see Gotham through I think I prefer the cover art style personally – but that is just my preference.
Overall, this double Freaky Friday adventure with two of the most iconic all-female duos was a fun, colourful read, even if it was slightly uneventful and I didn’t actually find it all that hard to envelop Riverdale into the ranks of the DC Universe’s fictional, caricature cities. I’d recommend this to lovers of both Archie & Bombshells but if you’re not big on either, you can perhaps give it a miss.
Side note: I was pretty thrown by how different the Archie characters are to their Riverdale TV Show counterparts, in particular, Betty & Veronica’s rivalry since I thought they were friends? I’ll have to read the books I think.
Writing Quality – 6/10
Image/Illustration Quality – 7/10
Character Development – 6/10
Overall – 6/10
“Andreyko: It’s literally been writing itself. We’ve been having weekly dinners. The first dinner was just plotting the broad strokes of the mini, and we were both like, “What about this?! What about this!?” And it’s been totally spoiling me. I’ve been blessed that every project I’ve been working on has been more fun than the last. I just wrapped Batman ‘66 meets Wonder Woman ‘77 and I’m going into this — and it’s just so much fun. It feels like we’re in a sandbox playing with action figures.”
Marc Andreyko in an interview with CBR.com – read more here.