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Archie #600 [Review]


Archie Marries Veronica, part 1: The Proposal

Script: Michael Uslan
Pencils: Stan Goldberg
Inks: Bob Smith
Letters: Jack Morelli
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Managing Editor: Mike Pellerito
Editor/Editor-in-Chief: Victor Gorelick
Cover: Goldberg and Smith

I missed out on the LAST “event” in the Archie title–Freshman Year. Though I ultimately snagged the collected volume, and generally prefer collected volumes…this was a story I decided I’d go ahead and try the single issue(s).

We begin at the end of the kids’ high school career–graduation day is upon them–and see them reacting to the impending changes to their lives. We get what seems to me an incredibly stupid/cliched plot device to hop a few years into the future to the gang all just about to graduate from college. With all the changes about to happen, Archie proposes to Veronica (who accepts) and the wedding-planning goes into full-swing while Mr. Lodge begins planning Archie’s job/career (having hired Archie to ensure the kid can afford to take care of his daughter).

The story is really pretty simple…but there’s a surprising amount of depth hinted at…stuff that probably won’t jump off the page at anyone, but for someone who has been through a high school graduation/friend-dispersal and two college graduations and all the changes that come with ’em…it’s easy to identify with the mood if not specific characters. I actually expected this story to be half an issue, tops…with some sort of backup shorts to fill the issue out…that this six-issue-arc would maybe be what I’d normally consider 2-3 issues’ worth of content as to the Archie-Marries-Veronica, anyway. Instead, this is the entire contents of the issue–from first page to last, it’s an ongoing narrative…something I’m not used to with Archie books.

THe art is really not distinctive…it’s in the classic “Archie style” (as opposed to the “New Look” that gives the characters a more real-world appearance). If you’ve seen any Archie comic, you probably know the “Archie style.” It’s what you picture when you think of the character or the supporting cast. Simplistic, sure, but the characters have their individual appearances that make them recognizeable if not downright iconic (such as Jughead with that crown of his). Given the classic style, that this doesn’t seem to break from that, I have no qualms whatever with the art…it simply is what it is, providing the look/feel I’m used to with Archie books.

On the whole, this was quite the enjoyable book. It’s been years since I’ve read any longform Archie stories (the shorts/one-pagers being what I’m used to from the occasional digest picked randomly in more recent years), and this issue has me chomping at the bit to see what comes next. That stupid/cliched plot device–while being what it is–is quickly forgotten as the real story kicks off (yet I’m pretty sure that plot device is going to be important to the resolution at the end of this arc–to restore the status quo I’m sure the publisher will not permantently deviate from.)

This would seem to be a great jumping-on point for new or lapsed readers as well as the ongoing readers. There’s also the fact that this is quite the anniversary issue–#600 to be exact–and said anniversary is celebrated by beginning this story, rather than by extra pages, variant covers, higher prices, or other what-have-yous. It’s a standard-size issue for the standard price ($2.50) which makes it quite a deal in the current comics market.

Highly recommended!

Story: 8.5/10
Art: 8.5/10
Whole: 9/10

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