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Archie - The Married Life - 10th Anniversary - Opinions?

Started by Mr.Lodge, November 06, 2019, 07:48:53 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

beatman10

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on June 20, 2022, 02:54:21 PM
Yep! I remember reading this one. I  also remember a storyline where Archie has a dream where he meets up with a rich, middle aged, hamburger chain mogul (sound familiar?) Jughead. And, Jughead tells Archie that he married Betty Cooper!!

Jabroniville

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on November 07, 2019, 12:21:29 AMSeems like it's ignoring everything after LIFE WITH ARCHIE #1 (i.e., all of "The Married Life" stories written by Paul Kupperberg). I like the art (well, except for Dan's decision that an older Archie should have a huge jaw in order to distinguish him from teenage Archie), but it's still too soon for me to pass final judgment on it as a story. I plan to re-read the whole thing in one sitting sometime after the last issue is released (or I might just wait for the TP), and maybe I'll have a clearer feeling about it by then. Clearly it's not a sequel to the run of LIFE WITH ARCHIE as written by Kupperberg, though. Having re-read the whole prior Married Life story fairly recently, both the strengths and flaws inherent in that series became a lot more obvious to me. After reading the whole thing again, I revised my initial opinion downward in terms of plot and story continuity, but felt like where it stood out was in terms of character interaction scenes and dialogue (only possible where you have a lot of pages for that kind of stuff).

That said, the story doesn't have anywhere near the same room to breath as the original LIFE WITH ARCHIE magazine, and the plot is necessarily compacted to fit into six standard-sized floppy comic issues -- which amounts to the same as only THREE magazine-sized issues of The Married Life, so it's hardly fair to compare one to the other as a complete series, either. Then again, I can recall the same sort of complaints about the final B&V story arc by Uslan and Parent. Either one is still miles better than what we're getting in the current ongoing ARCHIE title and miniseries like SABRINA.
I'm curious what you think the flaws were. Apologies if the re-read is now too long ago for you to remember XD.

I found that it had definitely gone off the rails at some point (I believe during a writer switch) and sometimes the two universes weren't different enough to really justify having both stories. It was neat seeing Little Ambrose and others return, though :)

DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: Jabroniville on November 26, 2022, 01:40:43 AM
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on November 07, 2019, 12:21:29 AMSeems like it's ignoring everything after LIFE WITH ARCHIE #1 (i.e., all of "The Married Life" stories written by Paul Kupperberg). I like the art (well, except for Dan's decision that an older Archie should have a huge jaw in order to distinguish him from teenage Archie), but it's still too soon for me to pass final judgment on it as a story. I plan to re-read the whole thing in one sitting sometime after the last issue is released (or I might just wait for the TP), and maybe I'll have a clearer feeling about it by then. Clearly it's not a sequel to the run of LIFE WITH ARCHIE as written by Kupperberg, though. Having re-read the whole prior Married Life story fairly recently, both the strengths and flaws inherent in that series became a lot more obvious to me. After reading the whole thing again, I revised my initial opinion downward in terms of plot and story continuity, but felt like where it stood out was in terms of character interaction scenes and dialogue (only possible where you have a lot of pages for that kind of stuff).

That said, the story doesn't have anywhere near the same room to breath as the original LIFE WITH ARCHIE magazine, and the plot is necessarily compacted to fit into six standard-sized floppy comic issues -- which amounts to the same as only THREE magazine-sized issues of The Married Life, so it's hardly fair to compare one to the other as a complete series, either. Then again, I can recall the same sort of complaints about the final B&V story arc by Uslan and Parent. Either one is still miles better than what we're getting in the current ongoing ARCHIE title and miniseries like SABRINA.
I'm curious what you think the flaws were. Apologies if the re-read is now too long ago for you to remember XD.

I found that it had definitely gone off the rails at some point (I believe during a writer switch) and sometimes the two universes weren't different enough to really justify having both stories. It was neat seeing Little Ambrose and others return, though :).

The only writer switch in THE MARRIED LIFE (or LIFE WITH ARCHIE magazine, if you prefer) was at the very beginning, where issue #1 is the setup written by Mike Uslan -- and immediately after that, it's Paul Kupperberg for the follow-up through the rest of the series.

The major flaw is a lack of any general plan or direction (until looming cancellation forces one upon Kupperberg; i.e. "The Death of Archie"). The pendulum swings wide with Mr. Lodge initially as the seeming villain, and then (as things take a distinct turn towards more of a harder SF theme) seemingly Dilton Doiley... but then Kupperberg backs away on the SF angle (perhaps due to reader reaction?) shortly after launching a meandering plotline featuring Veronica's lost plane crossing into the Bettyverse. Sure the various twists kept readers on tenterhooks from issue to issue of the magazine, but read as a whole there's no real plot structure overall. Various characters' threads get lost in the miasma in the latter half.

ARCHIE: THE MARRIED LIFE 10th ANNIVERSARY has Mike Uslan back in the driver's seat again, but this time it's "10 Years Later" after the original "ARCHIE MARRIES..." (ARCHIE #600-606), and while incorporating some of Uslan's ideas from LIFE WITH ARCHIE Magazine #1, goes off on completely different tangents than Kupperberg's story did.

Jabroniville

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on November 26, 2022, 03:59:02 PMThe major flaw is a lack of any general plan or direction (until looming cancellation forces one upon Kupperberg; i.e. "The Death of Archie"). The pendulum swings wide with Mr. Lodge initially as the seeming villain, and then (as things take a distinct turn towards more of a harder SF theme) seemingly Dilton Doiley... but then Kupperberg backs away on the SF angle (perhaps due to reader reaction?) shortly after launching a meandering plotline featuring Veronica's lost plane crossing into the Bettyverse. Sure the various twists kept readers on tenterhooks from issue to issue of the magazine, but read as a whole there's no real plot structure overall. Various characters' threads get lost in the miasma in the latter half.

ARCHIE: THE MARRIED LIFE 10th ANNIVERSARY has Mike Uslan back in the driver's seat again, but this time it's "10 Years Later" after the original "ARCHIE MARRIES..." (ARCHIE #600-606), and while incorporating some of Uslan's ideas from LIFE WITH ARCHIE Magazine #1, goes off on completely different tangents than Kupperberg's story did.

Ah, OK- I can't remember the specifics this long after the fact, but I recall the huge first issue for sure- all that wild stuff being added in. I felt a very sudden narrative shift at some point in the first year (what you describe as the "pendulum swing") and that's probably what I'm thinking of. Dilton doing the science-fiction stuff comes in heavy and then feels like it's dropped completely. 

I'm forgetting "Hiram the Villain" but I definitely recall him being antagonistic at some point. Was it to Archie/Veronica or to Reggie? Boy I don't remember a plane crossing universes either, lol- so much of the comic really left my memory ages ago. 

In retrospect the one thing that still bothers me is that Jughead MARRIES MIDGE and Archie only learns about it after the fact. As if at any point someone would get married and not tell their best friend XD. 

I barely recall the "10th Anniversary" book coming out and I never checked it out. Reviews weren't great but now I'm curious, lol. The benefit of hindsight can help out a LOT of stories. 

beatman10

In the "Veronica" story, Mr. Lodge tries to frame Reggie for bribery and extortion. And then he lies to Veronica about Archie demanding a million dollar dowry before he would marry her. Mr. Lodge felt as long as Veronica was married to Archie, she would lack the killer instinct needed to take over Lodge industries.Mr. Lodge's meddling nearly ended their marriage. It didn't help that Veronica believed her "Daddy" over Archie. So yeah, Mr. Lodge was antagonistic to both Archie and Reggie.
    In the "Betty" story , Mr. Lodge vowed to ruin Archie and anyone else associated with him for turning down his bribe to leave Betty and marry Veronica. It nearly worked until Veronica found out about it and got her father to leave her friends alone.  From what I've read, most readers didn't like seeing Mr. Lodge as a villain.
    I believe the storyline where Jughead marries Midge and Archie didn't know about it until after the fact was in the original "Archie Wedding" series. This was Mr. Uslan bringing out the "SURPRISE"!!! I kind of knew something would happen to Jughead because he said earlier in the story 'No girl trapped me!" Archie and Betty did go to Jughead's wedding in LWA issue #5 and are kind of shocked  to see that Jug "finally noticed a girl".
    If you go in with the mindset that the "10th Anniversary" is only a mini series and isn't trying to compete with the 4 year, 37 issue "Life With Archie"  you may feel more positive about it. This really only focuses on what is going on with Archie's marriage(s) at the 10 year mark. There are some real issues discussed here that happen at that point in a marriage. And there are some surprises. Plue Archie doesn't die!!!!

Jabroniville

Quote from: beatman10 on November 28, 2022, 09:59:13 PMIn the "Veronica" story, Mr. Lodge tries to frame Reggie for bribery and extortion. And then he lies to Veronica about Archie demanding a million dollar dowry before he would marry her. Mr. Lodge felt as long as Veronica was married to Archie, she would lack the killer instinct needed to take over Lodge industries.Mr. Lodge's meddling nearly ended their marriage. It didn't help that Veronica believed her "Daddy" over Archie. So yeah, Mr. Lodge was antagonistic to both Archie and Reggie.
    In the "Betty" story , Mr. Lodge vowed to ruin Archie and anyone else associated with him for turning down his bribe to leave Betty and marry Veronica. It nearly worked until Veronica found out about it and got her father to leave her friends alone.  From what I've read, most readers didn't like seeing Mr. Lodge as a villain.
    I believe the storyline where Jughead marries Midge and Archie didn't know about it until after the fact was in the original "Archie Wedding" series. This was Mr. Uslan bringing out the "SURPRISE"!!! I kind of knew something would happen to Jughead because he said earlier in the story 'No girl trapped me!" Archie and Betty did go to Jughead's wedding in LWA issue #5 and are kind of shocked  to see that Jug "finally noticed a girl".
    If you go in with the mindset that the "10th Anniversary" is only a mini series and isn't trying to compete with the 4 year, 37 issue "Life With Archie"  you may feel more positive about it. This really only focuses on what is going on with Archie's marriage(s) at the 10 year mark. There are some real issues discussed here that happen at that point in a marriage. And there are some surprises. Plue Archie doesn't die!!!!
ahhhhhhhhh- I remember the "You MUST leave Betty for Veronica!" plot point! Yeah, that was wild, and seemed out of nowhere with Mr. Lodge as the bad guy. 

Yeah I remember the "Married Life" stories re-treating old ground and fixing some stuff up- Jughead & Midge were seen slowly falling in love instead of going all "LOL surprise, best friend! I'm married!". I had forgotten they had retconned out that bit of Archie being in the dark. Thanks!

DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: beatman10 on November 28, 2022, 09:59:13 PMFrom what I've read, most readers didn't like seeing Mr. Lodge as a villain.

It's a violation of Mr. Lodge's basic character. Sure, there are plenty of stories where he doesn't like Archie and tries to thwart him. And there are stories where sometimes there is an adversarial relationship between Lodge and "the gang" in general because of a generation gap thing -- but in pretty much ALL of those stories, Mr. Lodge comes around in the end. In most classic Archie stories, Mr. Lodge is not an bad man at all... he's shown to be a good man, despite the fact that he's rich. There are many instances where the gang points out an issue which Lodge helps resolve through his philanthropy.

beatman10

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on November 30, 2022, 04:29:36 PM
Quote from: beatman10 on November 28, 2022, 09:59:13 PMFrom what I've read, most readers didn't like seeing Mr. Lodge as a villain.

It's a violation of Mr. Lodge's basic character. Sure, there are plenty of stories where he doesn't like Archie and tries to thwart him. And there are stories where sometimes there is an adversarial relationship between Lodge and "the gang" in general because of a generation gap thing -- but in pretty much ALL of those stories, Mr. Lodge comes around in the end. In most classic Archie stories, Mr. Lodge is not an bad man at all... he's shown to be a good man, despite the fact that he's rich. There are many instances where the gang points out an issue which Lodge helps resolve through his philanthropy.
What I remember mostly about Mr. Lodge and Archie's relationship in the comics was, whenever Archie was at the Lodge mansion, he would end up breaking all of the Lodge's prized possessions, accidentally, of course. Mr. Lodge would get so frustrated with him and end up throwing him out, usually with Smithers' help. And I remember one story, even Ronnie helped to throw him out. Another thing I remember about Mr. Lodge was that he was always protective of Veronica and made sure Archie minded his manners when he was with her, just like any good father would be.
I can maybe understand Mr. Lodge being antagonistic toward Archie more so in the "Betty" timeline since Archie married Betty and sent Veronica into a depression. That whole "You hurt my little girl but you can make her happy again by leaving Betty" was wrong and Veronica would never accept Archie being paid to marry her.

DeCarlo Rules

As far as I'm concerned, every single time (and boy, were there lots of them) that Mr. Lodge and/or Smithers gave Archie the old heave-ho out the front door of the Lodge mansion, he was perfectly justified. Good for him!

beatman10

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on December 15, 2022, 12:05:12 PMAs far as I'm concerned, every single time (and boy, were there lots of them) that Mr. Lodge and/or Smithers gave Archie the old heave-ho out the front door of the Lodge mansion, he was perfectly justified. Good for him!
Yeah, this reminds me of SNL's "Mr Bill Show". You know that Mr Bill is going to get destroyed every episode just like Archie is going to make a fool of himself at the Lodge Mansion and get thrown out. But it's still funny.

beatman10

Quote from: Jabroniville on November 30, 2022, 12:43:06 AMeah I remember the "Married Life" stories re-treating old ground and fixing some stuff up- Jughead & Midge were seen slowly falling in love instead of going all "LOL surprise, best friend! I'm married!". I had forgotten they had retconned out that bit of Archie being in the dark. Thanks!
That was pretty bold of Midge proposing to Jughead and him accepting!!! I think all along she wanted a real marriage with him. She is apparently someone who goes after what and who she wants.

DeCarlo Rules

Well that was ONE writer's idea of Midge's character, anyway...

It's still wide open, and I'm sure some writers would be aghast at anything other than "Moose & Midge 4-EVA"...

Hell, it would have been interesting if she'd wound up with Reggie after all! Anything's possible really.

beatman10

Yes, I'm sure the writers as well as the fans all have their feelings on which pairings they like or even if the characters should be shown as "adults". I read somewhere that not everyone at corporate was on board with seeing Archie and the gang as grown ups .It was interesting that Reggie never tried to date Midge after her breakup with Moose.

Jabroniville

I'm still a bit upset they paired the girl who didn't get chosen off with Reggie in both stories- it ruined the Betty/Jughead shipping opportunity XD!

beatman10

Quote from: Jabroniville on January 28, 2023, 08:18:07 PMI'm still a bit upset they paired the girl who didn't get chosen off with Reggie in both stories- it ruined the Betty/Jughead shipping opportunity XD!
Uh Oh! There were two members of this forum who had "Betty" and "Reggie" in their usernames. You don't want to ruffle their feathers by bring up "Bughead", do you? ;D But yeah, I've read comments saying "It should have been Jughead and Betty in the Veronica story". And it kind of makes sense being the both of them chose food preparation careers. I think Reggie messed up a little with that reality show bit. Betty wanted no part of that but went along with it to make Reggie happy. (Good ol' Betts,,,the people pleaser!) In the 10th Anniversary, on the Veronica side it was only hinted at the end that Reggie and Betty would become a couple. I'm curious to know if Mr. Uslan had written more chapters of"Life With Archie" but they got shelved when he opted out and Mr. Kupperberg took over.

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