Details of Archie Comics cover set in Manila are impressive. But what did it miss?

October 22, 2019 - 7:56 PM
Archie Comics Philippines cover
A closeup of the new cover of Archie Comics by Filipino illustrator Miguel Mercado (Filbar's Online/Facebook)

Fans of the beloved Archie Comics have been praising the new variant cover created by Filipino artist Miguel Mercado.

On the cover, characters Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle and Jughead Jones were drawn with the Rizal monument in the background.

The artwork was released during the first SuperManila Pop Culture Convention. The first of the series will be out this November.

The main characters are posing in front of the Rizal monument in Manila. Jughead is eating isaw, a popular street food, while Betty and Veronica are holding halo-halo, an iced beverage of fruits and sweet ingredients.

Archie & Friends Travel : Manila from Philippines

Some Filipinos praised the realistic details of the characters and the food items they carried.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

But some noticed that there is something missing—the controversial residential tower behind the monument.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

They were referring to the construction of Torre de Manila which was stopped following complaints that it destroyed the skyline of the park which foreign leaders traditionally lay a wreath on their state visits.

Rizal Park Front View
Rizal Park is one of the major tourist attractions of Manila. Depicted is the Rizal Monument with the Torre de Manila in the background. (Uploaded as entry to Wiki Loves Earth in 2018 by Arius1998)

The tower has been dubbed “a national photobomber” as it ruins the view of the Rizal monument.

The upcoming series titled “Archie and Friends Travel #1” would revolve around The Archies, the band led by Archie, on their tour in countries around the world, which included a stop in the Philippines.

“Travel round the globe with Archie and the gang! See the world from The Archies on tour in the Philippines to Raj’s documentary in India, a quick layover with Reggie in Rome and finally B&v getting some royal treatment in Canada,” the synopsis read.

The unveiling during the convention was done by the collaboration of two popular brands in the local comic book industry—Filbar’s and Comic Odyssey.

The illustrator

Mercado, the main illustrator, also worked for Marvel before and did variant covers for stories on Spiderman and Captain Marvel.

In an interview with ABS-CBN, he shared that his big break began when he was contacted by an editor of the publisher of Power Rangers comics in 2016. He had been an illustrator since 2011.

“You just start doing things for yourself, just drawing your favorite heroes and then those people take notice. Even up to today when I get offers from different publishers to make covers, I never can get over that feeling of surrealness,” Mercado said.

He shared that his recent work with Archie Comics and Spiderman was the most memorable.

“For Archie because I’ve always read the book as a kid and for Spiderman, it’s my very first Marvel cover, which I’ve always wanted to get,” he said.