Archie comics have been through a reboot recently, and along with the new and improved Archie Comics series from Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, we also have been getting so many different Archie crossover books. The kids from Riverdale have been meeting, teaming up with and facing off against a whole bevvy of pop-culture characters; from the kids from Glee, to KISS, to the Punisher, Predator- now with Sharknado and the upcoming meeting with The Ramones… These books only serve to keep an extremely long-running property on the shelves and in the conversation about comics, when so many other characters, titles and publishers have fallen by the wayside- so, obviously, Archie Comics must be doing something right.
While Sharknado isn’t exactly the most prestigious of pop-culture crossovers, it most certainly is a popular one, and it is something that, I imagine, caters to a wide range of non-comic reading audiences. So this story serves as yet another foothold for new readers to jump into the world of comics- “Oh, you like Sharknado? Did you know there’s a Sharknado comic book???” and then you fall deep down the rabbit hole, just like I did. Except for me, it wasn’t Sharknado- it was Metalocalypse and then the Blackest Night event book.
This story is rather well self-contained, you only really need to know about Sharknado as films to appreciate the story- it helps if you have a bit of background information on the Archie characters, but they are all relatively straightforward, so you aren’t left in the dark for long. This book definitely caters to it’s specifically targeted audience- it makes it pretty blatant when there is a scene that features the band who wrote Sharknado 2’s theme song (that band is named “Quint”… QUINT!!!) asks the drummer from Josie and the Pussycats if she is ever mistaken for April from the Sharknado films. This is a bit of meta worlds-colliding stuff, because April Wexler and the Pussycat’s drummer are both played by Tara Reid in movies! Not to mention the refrence to Ash from the Evil Dead series and his affinity for chainsaws (there are a bunch of chainsaws in this book- so don’t be surprised).
This book is ridiculous, and I don’t think this book will be nominated to win any major awards, but it was a lot of fun to read, and it definitely did it’s job well enough to make you forget that you actually spent money to own and read a comic book that is based on the SyFy (ugh- I hate even TYPING it out like that…) film trilogy… and who expected THAT to happen?!?!? THREE Sharknado movies?? With plans for a fourth already?!?! It is crazy. But crazy in a wonderful way. I loved the first two Sharknado movies- they were campy, and terribly written and acted, and the CGI and what limited practical effects they used were probably outdated in the 1980’s… but it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and Ian Ziering is as good/bad as it gets.
I wish I could have seen more of the “celebrity cameo” aspect of Sharknado in this book- though, I do understand that it is probably a logistical nightmare and a major money issue to try and secure likeness rights for ANY celebrity to appear in the pages of a comic book with the word “Sharknado” emblazoned on the cover.
Overall, this book was fun, and it accomplished it’s goal of bringing the Sharknado to Riverdale- and showing us how all of the Archie universe characters would act in a Sharknado. The relationship between Betty and Veronica seems like something that could be co-opted or at the very least, used as inspiration for another Sharknado movie- like “Sharknado 4: Ladies’ Bite” and its all badass, super-tough women fighting sharks the whole time (You’re welcome, Sharknado people…)!
This book is definitely not for kids, but it is a really fun, silly read- and anyone who likes campy sci-fi stories, or is just looking for something a little bit outside anything considered “the norm” in comics: this book is for you!