After a few try-out stories in various places, the manga version of Josie and the Pussycats finds a home in Archie & Friends. Fittingly, this new story is an origin of sorts, showing how Josie and Valerie meet and decide to start a band, find their drummer Melody and acquire their manager Alexander. The story by Tania del Rio is so full of incidents that there is no room for an actual story, but it's still an enjoyable read with lots of nice characterizations. Josie is a slightly-obsessed* loner**, which is an interesting take. Valerie still need a little more work -- right now she's just Josie's friend. Melody is adorable and endearingly scatterbrained, but I'm not sure about the new Alex yet. The old Alex was a good manager when his ego didn't sabotage him. Manga Alex doesn't seem to have the same ego, so what's going to make him comically screw up? (If he's simply incompetent, that's not funny.)
The art by Chris Lie and Jim Amash has improved lots since the preview stories. It's less stiff and flows much better. But there's still too much "muppet mouth"!
*obsessed with rock and roll!
**until she meets Valerie