A new student has just joined Pembrooke High, and he’s turning Cheryl’s life upside-down! Is she falling in love, or falling down the social ladder? She’d better figure it out fast, before she loses the class president election to him!
Cheryl Blossom seems to be someone created in the tradition of characters you love to have. In an exclusive digital publication of some of her old stories, she encounters Pieter, a Norwegian exchange student who quickly usurps her place as ‘most popular person in school’. Trying to win back her place involves her trying her usual tricks of intimidation and manipulation, but it seems Pieter is hiding some secrets of his own…
First off, let me say that I didn’t warm to this comic. Though it does share a somewhat charming art style and approach to storytelling that the usual Archie comics do, having a very unlikeable character as the person we are meant to root for just didn’t work for me.
It’s most probably my sense of humour, which tends to skew a bit darker when it comes to situational comedy like this. Whereas High School Royalty is typically structured like a young children’s comic (which in all fairness it is) where Cheryl gets thwarted every story to much wringing of hands and almost pantomime villain levels of obnoxiousness, I prefer shows like Curb your Enthusiasm or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. To me, those shows delve into what makes those characters tick and justly ‘rewards’ them for their horrible behaviour – a comeuppance which never seems to come in High School Royalty.
Perhaps that’s the appeal- seeing characters in the regular Archie comics are one note villains who antagonise the leads not get their own way all the time. Or maybe it’s an element of just being able to deal with a somewhat crueller and darker side of the otherwise rather light town of Riverdale. Whatever it is and despite such charming artwork, I just wasn’t able to get into the comic. Which is a real shame.
Betty & Veronica’s Rival Cheryl Blossom: High School Royalty is available from Comixology.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.