Okay, before we begin this review of the new Saved by the Bell comic from Lion Forge Comics (with an assist from both Roar Comics and IDW Publications) we want to admit that we never actually watched the TV show as we were not only too old for the show but our children were not old enough to be the program’s target audience so we totally missed out on the show’s cultural significant. Still, we do understand that those who did watch it seem to love it dearly do when we discovered it had made the jump to comics; we were intrigued (especially as its previous incarnation in comicbook format from Harvey met with such derision). Still, this article is about the new Saved by the Bell comic Lion Forge Comics, the first eight issues of which have now been gathered together in a trade paperback and are now available in book stores and comic shops across the country.
What the comic does is take the cast of the original show and place them back in Bayside High as freshman, but in the current era — complete with computers, tablets, cell phones, and the internet — and tell brand new stories about this group of friends. So yep, you have Zack, Slater, Kelly Lisa, Jessie, and Screech, along with Principal Belding “returning” to Bayside High for a series of all new adventures. This square-bound volume contains the first eight issues of the on-going Lion Forge Comic, beginning when the kids first get to Bayside High, and working its way through several initial encounters during their first year of school. These include (but aren’t limited to), getting that first date, escaping Mr. Belding’s detention hall, as well as all of the ups and downs of high school in the year 2014.
From there the stories take off telling us all sorts of new experiences for the kids as writer Joelle Sellner and artist Chynna Clugston Flores spin stories about these (formerly) ‘80s kids in the new millennium. Again, while we weren’t fans of the original show, We did find this comic very enjoyable — similar in nature to an Archie Comic, but with a more realistic sentiment and feel to it (not to malign Archie Andrews, whose comic we did read extensively as a youth). All-in-all we feel that it really doesn’t matter if you saw the show or not, the comic is well-written, and well-written and illustrated, making it a fine addition to either the newcomer’s library or for long-time, returning fans.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web.