Thursday, June 4, 2015

1208: Archie 666

I love endings. Whether it's a TV show, book, movie or comic book or comic strip, I love endings. I love seeing how the creators plan on wrapping up the storyline. I've seen good endings, bad endings and just...endings. Archie Andrews first debuted in Pep Comics #22 back in 1941 has been published continuously since then. His own title, Archie, began in 1942 and yesterday, came to an end after 666 issues. Archie Comics plans on relaunching the title next month with an all-new Archie #1. What I really loved about #666 were the variant covers featuring the cover dress of past titles from the Golden Age of Archie Comics. The six variant covers commemorated Archie (1942-2015, 666 issues), Blue Ribbon Comics (1939-1942, 22 issues), Top-Notch Comics (1939-1942, 27 issues), Pep Comics (1940-1987, 411 issues), Zip Comics (1940-1944, 47 issues) and Jackpot Comics (1941-1943, 9 issues).

But what about the story? Is the last Archie story a good ending, bad ending, or just an ending?

The story opens with Archie getting in trouble, as usual, from put-upon Riverdale High principal Mr. Weatherbee.
What follows is Weatherbee giving Archie his 666th detention and an order to repaint and repair the hallway on Saturday or face expulsion. The remainder of the story is Archie wondering what he's going to do while the other Riverdale students reminsense about how terrible Archie is but also how kind.

I love the nods to the Life With Archie series that featured Archie literally taking a bullet for Kevin and current zombie-filled series Afterlife With Archie.

What I kind of hoped for, when I realized what this issue would contain, was flashbacks directly from the series, showing Archie screwing up from the '40s to today with footnotes noting which issue the screw up was from. Maybe that's what they did but just didn't notate it because who's going to go back and find an Archie comic from 1954 just to read about Archie putting lead weights in one of Ms. Grundy's textbooks? Only one panel had a footnote and it was for a more recent issue. Is everything wrapped up in a nice, little package? Depends. All-in-all, Archie #666 is your typical Archie comic which is definitely not a bad thing. Archie Comics has lasted 70 years on this simple formula and it's classic, timeless and always receives a chuckle.

I don't know if the relaunch of the Archie titles will last or how it will all work out but as someone who has read Archie comics since learning how to read, I wish them well and hope they continue to be as influential.

When I was a kid, I used to call David Letterman "David Waterman". I don't know why and when my mom would bring it up, I was always confused as to why I did that. She didn't even know why so I guess I just misheard his name. Why I couldn't just read his name on the screen, I don't know but whatever.

I'm not a late night talk show fan so David Letterman retiring doesn't really bother me. As long as he doesn't lobby to get himself back on television, gets placed in a primetime slot and when that show fails finagles his way back into late night by usurping Stephen Colbert's gig. Wait, that would never happen because Letterman, despite his personality, is a class act.

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