Archie #600


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Archie #600


  • Words: Michael Uslan
  • Art: Stan Goldberg
  • Inks: Bob Smith
  • Colors: Glenn Whitmore
  • Story Title: Archie Marries Veronica: "The Proposal"
  • Publisher: Archie Comics
  • Price: $2.50
  • Release Date: Aug 20, 2009

Archie #600 marks not only a milestone for Archie Andrews and the gang, but for all of American pop culture. In some ways more ubiquitous than even Superman, the adventures of the Riverdale teenagers were a part of nearly everyone's childhood, male and female alike. And there is nothing more important in the mythology of Archie Comics than the love triangle of Archie, Betty and Veronica. The question was destined to remain unresolved because the perennial teenagers haven't aged in over six decades and it wouldn't make editorial sense for that to change. So the solution the clever people at Archie arrived at was to fast forward four years. From the end of high school, to the end of college.

I am a little ashamed I don't read Archie Comics regularly, as I've never read an issue that didn't lead to the proper kind of diversion you anticipate getting from a funny book. They are akin to the longest running sit-com the world has ever seen and have maintained the wholesome yet candid exploration of teenage life. Devoid of the cynicism or “reality” of the teen sex comedies, Archie maintains an innocence that is just as real as the “dark” side of high school life. Archie represents the good times of being young, and this storyline is the culmination of the triumphant adolescence, the engagement of high school sweethearts.

Uslan's script is not as uproariously funny as many of the past comics, but appropriately so. The most striking thing about the story is the extreme pathos that all the usual suspects show toward Betty. Even though Veronica is the “winner” in the ultimate game, the sympathy lies almost entirely with Betty, and the immensity of the storyline (slated for six issues) should give the creators ample opportunity to explore this seminal event with the charm and grace you would expect. In many ways, Riverdale exists out of time, as witnessed by the excellent sequence in which Mr. Lodge, the wealthy father of Veronica acts in a manner befitting a character from a classic film of the 1950s, as Archie in effect asks for Veronica's hand in marriage. Equally traditional are Archie's parents, who see their graduation present to their son being spent on an engagement ring, and are proud of the youth's effort to do the right thing, and embark on the path of a true gentleman.

Stan Goldberg provides the artwork for the seminal issue with the class and grace Archie readers have come to expect. For all the talk of updating the look, and changing art style for a new audience, the characters remain entirely recognizable and accessible.

600 issues is an incredible achievement in publishing and Archie Comics celebrates the milestone by producing an excellent story that everyone who has ever shared in the life of Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, Moose and all the rest would be neglectful to miss. It only costs $2.50, less than a standard comic runs in today's environment. Pay your money, and be a part of history.

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  • Fletch Adams

    Fletch Adams Aug 26, 2009 at 1:25am

    I agree with most of what you said Steve...I read this after picking it up for my wife (yeah...for my wife...that sounds plausible...lol) and enjoyed it. Easily as much as I enjoyed the escapism of the story, it took me back to simpler times in my own life. Isn't that one of the things comics are supposed to do for you? The only thing I found a little weird was the art - the Riverdale gang all seemed a little too round in the face to me

  • Lee Newman

    Lee Newman Aug 26, 2009 at 1:33am

    Just for the sake of clarity. The new style look of Archie appear in the digests exclusively, my daughter reads all of the Archie books and laments the end of Betty and Veronica Spectacular!

  • Fletch Adams

    Fletch Adams Aug 26, 2009 at 1:49am

    I've seen those ones too (and, I actually think that's a pretty clever idea - much like the Sabrina revamp a few years back). What got me on this, was that it was in the Archie house-style...but, not quite :/

  • Steve Kanaras

    Steve Kanaras Aug 26, 2009 at 8:41am

    Thanks Lee, I wasn't sure about the art update. It was a little different than normal. I'll have to check the digests for the truly different art. This issue rekindled my interest in Archie, so job well done.

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