Since the last issue of Riverdale Season 3, the tie-in comic to the CW adaptation of the Archie universe, the third season of the television show found a home on Netflix, making now the perfect time to pick up this mini-series. Published by Archie Comics, each issue contains two stories that add to the story of Riverdale’s season three, pulling back the curtain on some of the skeletons in the town.
So far we’ve seen some of what happened while Cheryl and Toni’s adventure to LA, a romance between Sweet Pea and Jossie, a look into Joaquin’s life in juvi and more. The stories featured in Riverdale Season 3 #4 continues to build out relationships and expand the world of Riverdale in a thoughtful way.
“Strangers on a Bus,” the first story in Riverdale Season 3 #4, has a script by Micol Ostow, art from Thomas Pitilli, color by Andre Szymanowicz, and letters by John Workman. Grounding the story in Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, Ostow does a great job of weaving an acknowledgment to Hitchcock without it feeling like a large riff on the classic thriller.
With each party agreeing to commit each others’ murders in the film, Ostow uses Betty’s perspective and knowledge of the plot through her diary writing to move the story. Stuck in the rain, with no one to come pick her up, Betty waits for a bus that isn’t coming only to meet Gladys, Jughead’s mom. After opening up to each other, Betty unwittingly finds herself in the middle of promise.
The art in this part of the issue is well-done and slightly pulpy in the best ways. It suits Ostow’s writing, which is the real star of this story and this issue.
“Dead Calm” is also written by Ostow, but features a different team of the visuals, with art from Joe Eisma, colors by Matt Herms, and letters by Janice Chiang. As the last half of the book, it embraces a ship that many love #Veggie – Reggie and Veronica. While the two use Hiram Lodge’s personal boat to spend an intimate night away docked in the river, it doesn’t stay that way; docked, that is. When the pair wake up to the motion of the river, it’s clear that they aren’t alone. what comes next is the two fighting back and the bestest of boys, the dachshund Vader, playing helping save the day too.
“Dead Calm” is a great story to have a ship setting sail – which I have to believe Ostow meant as a tribute to the part of the fandom in love with the ship. If you’re unfamiliar, the practice of shipping in fandom is taking characters and putting them together in fan creations, every now and then a property acknowledges ships and makes them canon.
In season three of Riverdale, the ship between Reggie and Veronica sets sail, and now in Riverdale Season 3 #4, Ostow sets them sailing again. There isn’t anything heavy this issue or revealing as we’ve seen in the majority of the other short stories in this mini-series. Instead, it’s softer, even with the action pieces.
Eisma’s art in this story is my favorite of the issue. The characters resemble their on-screen counterparts greatly, the inking is sure, and I can’t help but fall in love and want Eisma to draw more pups. The colors are bright and Veronica and Reggie’s skin-tones are well done.
Overall Riverdale Season 3 #4 is another great read and a necessary read for any Riverdale fans out there. I’m still unsure of having the covers of the issues not be representative of the stories inside them, as the main cover features Archie in a fight – a great cover but something that throws off a reader. That being said, Ostow knows the exact tone, life, and continuity of Riverdale as it exists on the CW and has done a stellar job bringing it to each of her stories in this mini-series.
Riverdale Season 3 #4 will be available where comics are sold on June 26, 2019.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.