In Riverdale Season 3 #5, the final installment of the tie-in to the third season of the hit CW series based on the world of Archie Comics, we get two stories. This anthology serves as an extension of the television world of Riverdale and elaborates on side stories mentioned within the show or gaps that remained. As a fan of everything Archie Comics and by extension the Archie-verse that has made its way to live-action, Riverdale Season 3 has been a fun ride.
With different creative teams taking on each story, with the exception of Micol Ostow, who has served as writer on all stories in the five-issue, we’ve able to explore different visuals of the Riverdale world that has bounced from dark and gritty to airy and positive. By extension, over the five issues, Ostow has shown her dynamic range as a storyteller.
In Riverdale Season 3 #5 we get two stories: “Lady Sings the Blues” and “Into the Wild.” In the first story, artist Thomas Pitilli, colorist Andre Szymanowicz, and letterer John Workman. This story focuses on Archie and Jossie’s relationship which we got to see in season three of the show, even if they weren’t end game. Here, we get to see Jossie dealing with not being accepted into Julliard and Archie looking to lift her spirits by booking a gig in the city.
Like the other stories in this series, there is a skeleton rattling in Jossie’s dad’s kitchen drawer and the bitter reveal is somber. Ostow continues to show her knowledge of the existing characters. Their dialogue is genuine and I’m left pining for my ship.
Last issue we got #Veggie and this one we got to see the depth of Archie’s love for Josie, a character who deserves more love from the series and will hopefully get it as she enters the new extension of the Archie-verse in Katy Keene. That said, Pitilli’s art seems to miss the real-life character reference for both Archie and Josie which leaves much to be desired in that area, while Szymanowicz’s Benday dots are too frequent and distracting, making the panels extremely busy.
To offset the emotional weight of the front half of Riverdale Season 3 #5 we get the second story: “Into the Wild.” In this one, Ostow is joined by Joe Eisma on art, Matt Herms on colors, and Janice Chiang on letters, and it focuses on the Vixens who have been stranded when their bus skids off the road.
While the bulk of the story just focusing on the girls’ interactions, mainly Cheryl and Betty, it evolves into a little mystery as a sign from the Gargoyle King appears. This story also points the finger to one of the people who used the Gargoyle King’s existence to their advantage: Gladys. Like in the first of the pair in Riverdale Season 3 #5, Ostow absolutely nails the voices of each of the girls.
Jumping between believable lines for two drastically different characters is a tough task and one Ostow knocks out of the park. Coupled with Eisma’s art, Riverdale jumps off of the page, coming to life with the characters fans have come to love.
Overall, Riverdale Season 3 is a wonderful addition to the existing story of Riverdale on the CW. It’s a must-read for people who love the world that’s been adapted to television and at the end of the day, each of these five issues holds two great stories.
Riverdale Season 3 #5 is available now.
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.