'Archie' #710 Review: Katy Keene makes quite a stylish splash as Riverdale welcomes its mysterious new resident

The debut of Katy Keen is a quiet, simple story, but Katy Keene's fashion choices are quite visually distinct


                            'Archie' #710 Review: Katy Keene makes quite a stylish splash as Riverdale welcomes its mysterious new resident
Katy and Sis Keene (Art by Laura Braga / Colors by Matt Herms / Archie Comics)

The current 'Archie' reimagining, which adds some continuity and overarching plot to what is generally a quick gag comic, now introduces Katy Keene to Riverdale.

She arrives just in time to celebrate her new on-screen appearance on The CW. There's not much more to the issue than that, but it must be said, Katy Keene makes quite an impression in her first appearance here. 

True to his The CW-counterpart, Jughead opens the issue making notes on his laptop, talking about how the town feels about the arrival of Katy Keene.

Riverdale's a small town, and the appearance of someone new in their midst has caused quite a stir — at least, among the teenagers of Riverdale High. Katy Keene made her first Riverdale appearance with a picture at Pop Tate's, but she hasn't been seen since, and everyone in Riverdale loves something new, loves a mystery. 

Katy Keene, with a little help from her sister, Sis (named, apparently, to help anyone who forgets how Sis' relationship to Katy Keene), makes a rather stunning debut on stage wearing clothes she designed and tailored herself.

Laura Braga does a lot of great work giving every teen in Riverdale their own unique sense of style without resorting to the comic book tradition of giving each character one basic outfit they wear more or less continually.

Her Katy Keene outfits, however, still manage to stand out, and Matt Herm's vivid coloring only adds to the effect. The actors on The CW show can only wish they looked this good. 

The glamor can go a little too far, however. When it's character spotlights, like Katy Keene's debut, or the styled roller-derby outfits that appear later in the issue, everything looks fantastic, but in more ordinary, quiet moments, the characters still look a little too glamorized.

The range of expressiveness we see is limited, and for a comic book set in a small town with associated small town adventures, that's a serious drawback. It's hard to enjoy Betty and Veronica's fangirling over Katy's clothes when they look like bored models checking their make-up in an imaginary mirror.

Archie himself spends much of the issue sulking over the attention Katy Keene has been getting, and he looks like a brooding jock who is having trouble figuring out how feelings work. In that, at least, he bears some similarity to his comic-book counterpart on 'Riverdale'.

Apart from Archie's bizarre worries that someone is more popular than he is, and the vague hint that there may be some mystery surrounding Katy, there isn't really a lot of story happening in this issue.

It does feel like the events of 'Archie' #710 could be condensed to a page or two, but then again, it would be a shame to miss out on Laura Braga's designs. 

When she was introduced, Katy Keene was largely a cartoon fashion comic, with plots scattered here and there to keep things interesting.

This issue is not out of place with the spirit of that idea. The 'Archie' reimagining has managed some pretty enjoyable stories in its run, however, and a simple debut is just Part 1 of the 4-issue introduction art. 

'Archie' #710 was published by Archie Comics. Story by Mariko Tamaki & Kevin Panetta. Art by Laura Braga. Colors by Matt Herms. Lettering by Jack Morelli.

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