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college essay help. do my homework. by BrianBug
[Today at 10:17:40 am]


Archie story pitch by darkmark
[September 16, 2019, 04:05:38 pm]


Re: Riverdale Reviewed by Tuxedo Mark
[September 14, 2019, 08:39:50 pm]


Re: What’s the coolest Archie merch, past or present? by Captain Jetpack
[August 29, 2019, 07:19:03 am]


KATY KEENE TP by DeCarlo Rules
[August 29, 2019, 03:33:37 am]

Shoutbox

  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "It's Their Miserable Lives!" from Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 3: [link]
    September 14, 2019, 08:40:21 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "All I Want for Christmas is...Everything!" from Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 3: [link]
    September 03, 2019, 05:21:04 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: Katy Keene trailer: [link]
    August 28, 2019, 12:46:35 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Fall Guys" from Archie Giant Series Magazine, No. 530: [link]
    August 24, 2019, 05:42:25 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: COSMO returns in November in an all-new miniseries by Ian Flynn and Tracy Yardley!  :)
    August 24, 2019, 02:05:15 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "The Virtuous Villain" from Archie at Riverdale High, No. 89: [link]
    August 19, 2019, 04:28:23 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Life's A Circus" from Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 2: [link]
    August 10, 2019, 03:13:43 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: Huh. I just saw it on Vomixology yesterday, but today there's an error message at the same link: [link]
    August 09, 2019, 09:20:52 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: Well, WOA 91 is not in comic shops until 8/14, so...
    August 09, 2019, 07:02:32 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: Okay, yeah, that's up (thanks), but World of Archie Double Digest #91 isn't.
    August 08, 2019, 10:17:28 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: ARCHIE: THE MARRIED LIFE - 10 YEARS LATER #1 (of 6) ?
    August 08, 2019, 01:29:15 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: Did any books come out today? I haven't found any digital editions on Amazon.
    August 07, 2019, 09:45:41 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Seymour No More!" from Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 1: [link]
    August 03, 2019, 10:27:42 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Coming Distractions" from Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 1: [link]
    August 01, 2019, 07:42:43 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Love & War" from Archie's Love Showdown Special, No. 1: [link]
    July 27, 2019, 10:10:13 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "It's Friendship" from Archie, No. 325: [link]
    July 20, 2019, 08:03:27 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: Thanks, but I don't buy the digests; I just read the new stories using Amazon's free preview.
    July 19, 2019, 10:17:04 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: @Tuxedo Mark -- I don't know why they aren't listed on Amazon, but ComiXology (which IS Amazon) has them. [link]
    July 18, 2019, 02:20:47 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: @Tuxedo Mark - Well, they came out in comic shops, but I guess that doesn't help you. If you've got a regular bookstore (or supermarket) somewhere nearby, they should have the digest, anyway.
    July 18, 2019, 02:17:24 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: Are Blossoms 666 #5 and Archie and Me Digest #19 out or not? I don't see even print copies on Amazon.
    July 17, 2019, 10:55:02 am

What comics have you been reading?

Started by irishmoxie, March 30, 2016, 10:49:35 pm

Previous topic - Next topic

DeCarlo Rules

June 29, 2019, 01:16:11 pm #1650 Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 02:06:17 pm by DeCarlo Rules
Today I read a couple of recent Archie TPBs, trying to get caught up.

ARCHIE'S SUPERTEENS & THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS - This was originally a mere 2-issue microseries. The story was written by Ian Flynn, who formerly wrote such titles as SONIC, MEGA MAN, NEW CRUSADERS, and the more recent MIGHTY CRUSADERS series. Unlike those latter two comics, this story featured the Silver Age Mighty Crusaders (except for Fly-Man and Fly-Girl), along with a few other MLJ superheroes. I generally liked the way the story was written, as it was sort of a throwback (along with the earlier Red Circle/Dark Circle THE FOX series) to earlier modes of superhero storytelling that seemed to best capture that feeling of the 1960s "Mighty Comics Group". Just for fun, and not taking the whole superhero genre too seriously (as was the case with BLACK HOOD, HANGMAN, and THE SHIELD, 3 of the overly-dark Dark Circle titles).

There were a few oddities of note about Flynn's treatment of Archie's Superteens. Unfortunately, Reggie as Evilheart was left out of the story altogether, and Veronica as "Ms. Vanity", who had only previously appeared in a single story prior to this, was put in. I think it would have been better if Veronica had appeared in a variation on her "Powerteen" identity (which had appeared in several issues of the old VERONICA series). In this story, Archie, Betty, and Veronica transform into their superheroic alter egos by holding up some emblem device (I got the feeling this was something from the old Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series, but I never followed that too closely). In the classic Archie superhero stories, all they had to do was say their own superhero names to be transformed. Jughead as Captain Hero was different from the classic stories, too. In the old stories, he'd recite a little poem invoking the powers of his "magic beanie" (kind of like Green Lantern when charging his ring) in order to gain superpowers and transform into Captain Hero. In this story, he not only had to change from his regular clothes into his Captain Hero outfit by himself, but he needed to eat a "magic Jinkie" (known in the real world as a "Twinkie") afterwards to gain his powers. When he finally did transform, his appearance changed into one of those impossibly overdeveloped musclebound heroes, only slightly less bulky than the Hulk. I suppose it was intended for comic effect, but that probably would have worked better if Archie and his friends were drawn in the classic style, as opposed to "new Archie"-style, as they were in this story. I'd have preferred the classic design for Captain Hero, though. Other than that, I thought the artwork in the story wasn't bad at all (though I've now forgotten the artist's name), and worked especially well for the Crusaders characters. Well, Ian Flynn had a ton of characters (including the main villain Doctor Vardox, and cameos from a few others, plus about ten Mighty Crusaders) to jam into a 40-page story, so it's remarkable that it all works as well as it does, even if it's slightly less than perfect.

The rest of the trade collection is filled out with classic Archie superhero reprints, and it seems like they chose some of the less-reprinted ones (like Superteen's second battle with The Consumer from BETTY AND ME #6, which I didn't recall reading before), so that was good. I'd have wished for an entire book in the "Archie Comics Presents..." series of trades, filled with Archie superhero reprints instead, but they made fairly good use of the limited number of pages they had to fill in this format of trade (which was one of the smaller-sized, 6 x 9 inch paperbacks like the old "Archie All-Stars" collections). All in all, a pleasant way to pass an hour or so.


ARCHIE'S BIG BOOK VOLUME 6 - This contained two different longer multi-part stories, "Freshman Year" (originally 5 issues), and "New Kids Off the Wall" (originally 6 issues), plus about 20 pages or so of miscellaneous shorts to fill out the page count (none of which were worthy of commenting on). I decided to skip "Freshman Year" for now and come back to it later, and just read "New Kids Off the Wall", which is one of my very favorites from among all the longer multi-part Archie stories. The story was written by Alex Simmons and was drawn entirely by Dan Parent.

The story: The Riverdale school system has a budget crunch, and the School Council makes the decision that one of the local high schools needs to be closed as a result. Fortunately, that school isn't Riverdale High, it's Pine Point High. The end result of this is that the existing Pine Point students and teachers all need to be transferred to new school districts, resulting in an influx of 50 new transfer students (hereafter referred to as "the New Kids") and 6 new teachers at Riverdale High. I really thought this was a great idea, and something to shake up the old status quo at RHS, by creating new character dynamics and conflict with the New Kids. The new students and teachers are all visually distinctive in their designs, which makes them instantly recognizable, a major plus in the simplified cartooning style of classic Archie.

Four of the new students seem to be created as direct rivals for the original classic Archie characters, which sets up potentially new interesting relationships. First there's Sheila Wu, who challenges Veronica's position of undisputed fashion queen of RHS. Although not rich, Sheila has a strong personality and trades put-downs on an equal level with Ronnie. She also designs her own clothes, and has her own unique style, very different that Veronica's, but just as fashionable in its own way. Then there's Chloe Mancuso, a real spitfire go-getter who outdoes Betty at the things she's best at: working as a reporter for the Blue and Gold, and playing sports (although the latter is only mentioned a few times in passing, and not illustrated in action). Betty's a writer for the B&G, and is used to being the star reporter who gets her byline on the front page, but Chloe's nose for sensational news and photography skills allow her to scoop Betty on several occasions, frustrating the 'golden girl' of RHS. Chloe always seems to be beat Betty out of the top story, but she's not a bad person, she's just a very competitive, high-achieving type-A personality. Next is a mystery student, the unknown prankster who signs himself Prankenstein. Who is he? Reggie would really like to know, and gets his nose out-of-joint by being the butt of most of Prankenstein's biggest pranks. Archie discovers who he is, but doesn't let Mantle the Magnificent know. Better that The Great One has to endure a little humiliation once in a while, so he can see how the other half lives. Prankenstein actually turns out to be Simon, a nerdy little brainiac into science, oceanography, and biology -- with a chip on his shoulder because he feels he's always been ignored. Moose meets his match in size and strength in Victor, the new student whose secret passion is that he's a master pastry chef (one of his pals nicknames him 'Captain Cupcake' just to needle him). Jughead finds himself with three new female fans who follow him wherever he goes, and have dug up all the information they can about him. Normally that might seem creepy, but the girls are all cute, sweet and smitten with Juggy, so no worse than Ethel or Trula, I guess.

The story kind of rambles around through different incidents over the course of 6 issues, so there's no real central theme, although there's the mystery of Prankenstein's identity, and Veronica's new obsession with discovering which of the new students is secretly super-rich, but hides that fact from his fellow students for some reason. There's lots of little bits of business with another 10 or so characters that I haven't even mentioned. Unfortunately there are so many introduced here that we barely get enough panel time with some of them to get to know them all that well. For once, Archie is not the main focus of a multi-part story, although he certainly appears enough throughout the story. It's just that Archie isn't the one being bugged by one of the New Kids, he has no direct new rival (although at least one of the New Kids, Sayid, seems romantically interested in Betty, and that interest is somewhat mutual).

I only wish this story had gotten another multi-parter following up with all the new characters, as some of them barely even get introduced, with no real room for development, like Chunk Charlston. Overall though, it felt like the new characters were set to really shake things up. The fact that that never really happened, and they didn't become more than occasional parts in a few random stories, with lots of extra roles and cameos, had more to do with bad timing. They were introduced just at a time when the remaining pages of new stories began to shrink. First ARCHIE & FRIENDS was cancelled. Then BETTY, then JUGHEAD, then VERONICA. With ARCHIE and B&V as the only ongoing titles left, there just weren't enough pages of new stories left to do the new characters justice; the stories had to keep focus on the main Gang of Five, plus the usual supporting cast of Chuck & Nancy, Ethel, Moose & Midge, and Dilton. Even with the ongoing 5-pagers in the six digest titles, there's rarely any opportunity to work them into stories with any sort of substantial role. A real missed opportunity.

DeCarlo Rules

July 04, 2019, 06:23:55 am #1651 Last Edit: July 04, 2019, 07:14:41 am by DeCarlo Rules
Continuing my catching up with recent Archie TPs, I read the other multi-part story from ARCHIE'S BIG BOOK VOLUME 6, "Freshman Year". I think I enjoyed the story more the second time around, and also read the trade collection of FRESHMAN YEAR - BOOK 2 (which was actually titled "The Missing Chapters" in its initial comic book serialization). The sequel is actually not a multi-part story per se, but 5 individual side stories that take place (some in flashback) during Freshman Year. The highlight by far of those was the Jughead story, which reveals what happened when the Jones family moved to Montana for 3 months from September through November during Freshman Year. It also explains the "S" on Jughead's shirt, which is actually from Silby High (in Silby, Montana) where Jughead met Sadie Cameron, who you might say was Jughead's first crush (but he never talks about it). S is for Silby, but also for Sadie (the fact that he still wears the shirt indicates that he he still remembers this brief time fondly). The rest of the missing chapters aren't bad, but definitely less memorable, and completely peripheral to the main Freshman Year story. It seems a shame though, that they didn't use the opportunity afforded by the BIG BOOK format to collect both FY stories into a single volume. Also revealed in FY is the fact that Dilton had a crush on Betty when he first met her in Freshman Year (and possibly still does). Other than that, FY introduced the new characters (rarely seen again) of Pencilneck G and Zane Zappen (sort of a Bizarro Jughead & Archie); they were both fun characters. One bit of discontinuity appears in the last missing chapter when Cheryl Blossom shows up on the final page. A caption at the bottom of the last page promises a "Cheryl Blossom: Freshman Year" story, "Coming Soon!". Obviously the story was never told, and just as well to my mind. Apart from that oddly jarring bit which violates Cheryl's previously-established continuity, Freshman Year was sort of a nice bridge between "Little Archie" (which is alluded to several times in dialogue, but mercifully we're spared from unnecessary flashback sequences), that didn't contain too many big dis-continuities.

Then I re-read ARCHIE MARRIES (the Abrams hardcover collected edition), which reprints ARCHIE #600-606; figuring it might be time to refresh my mind about this story in preparation for the upcoming Archie: The Married Life 10th Anniversary miniseries. On a side note, the Abrams hardcover edition contains interviews with all of the relevant parties: publisher Jon Goldwater, editor Victor Gorelick, writer Michael Uslan, penciler Stan Goldberg, inker Bob Smith, letterer Jack Morelli, and colorist Glen Whitmore. I found those all to be very interesting, both in the general sense, and regarding the specifics of this particular story. I'd just skipped those the first time I'd read the book, but now I'm glad I took the time.

Currently I'm working my way through the entire run of THE MARRIED LIFE (the trade collected editions of the LIFE WITH ARCHIE Magazine series), but reading them in a different way than I did the first time. I'm beginning by reading the entire run of Archie Marries Betty straight through; then I'll follow that up by reading the entire run of Archie Marries Veronica straight through. I've already got lots to say about that, but I'll leave it for another time as this is getting long enough. As I understand it, the Archie: The Married Life 10th Anniversary miniseries is a 10-years later sequel to the events of ARCHIE 600-606, and ignores all of the plotlines from the later LIFE WITH ARCHIE series. And just as well, as in both the "Bettyverse" and the "Veronicaverse" shown in LIFE WITH ARCHIE, Archie is dead before 10 years have passed since the wedding.



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