Also, though I tend to think of these characters as perennial high-schoolers, it was nice to have issues dealing with Betty and Veronica and what sorority they both should be in, etc. Little things like that gave a breadth to these characters that I hadn't expected.
Instead of quaint little cookie cutter characters that never changed and never really showed any growth from one comic to the next, Archie Archives, Volume Four showed me that (at least at the onset) Archie and his friends were vital and came from people talented and eager to tell the story of "every" teen through the medium of comics.
Maybe today the strip might seem stodgy and old simply because it is impossible to keep up that vitality over the long span of years the strip is lucky enough to have survived. In the end, though, it survives because of the strong strong core of it's beginning.
Archie Archives is well worth picking up and reading. If you're like me, though, afterwards you're just going to want to pick up the first three volumes in the series as well.
(Archie Archives, Volume Four is set to be released by Dark Horse Comics in a hardcover format on February 7, 2012. Copy reviewed was in a PDF format provided for advance review.)