December 12, 2010

Archie comics reviews: Tiny Titans/Little Archie #3 (of 3), Life With Archie #5

Archie comics reviews: Tiny Titans/Little Archie #3 (of 3), Life With Archie #5

tiny_titans_little_archie3Tiny Titans/Little Archie #3 (of 3)

Written by: Art Baltazar and Franco
Art by: Art Baltazar

In this concluding issue of the Little Archie/Tiny Titans crossover, Sabrina finally shows up and meets Raven. They wind up using their powers to help their friends in the typical goofy manner of this series. Zatara also winds up “helping” in an amusing manner, based on an offhanded remark Little Archie makes.

Other segments include more of Archie and Robin being mistaken for each other, with Mr. Lodge (apparently wary of possibly dealing with another Archie) showing little patience for Robin (who Veronica invited over). Archie also winds up in the Batcave and runs amok. Duela (the “Joker’s Daughter”) then shows up, leading to the story’s funniest part, Batman calling the Joker to “come pick up both his kids” (assuming “the boy with the orange hair” is one of the Joker’s). There’s also an eating contest between Cyborg and Jughead, and more of Mr. Weatherbee meeting his “old friends” (Slade and Trigon).

Unlike the regular Archie comics, here the kids are all aware of Sabrina’s witchcraft powers, which fits with the general lack of secret identities/light-hearted tone of the “Tiny Titans” series. In the regular comics, Sabrina’s finally told one of the core Archie cast, Jughead (in “Jughead” #200) earlier this year, a revelation they seem to plan to follow up on in an upcoming “Archie & Friends” issue.

There’s also a backup story, a several page preview of the “Young Justice” comic based on the new TV series (which I haven’t seen). From what’s printed, I’m not too taken with how Superboy’s written (or I don’t have patience for obnoxious sullen teenagers), though I guess it keeps with the “teens want to be treated like grownups… only, uh, without paying bills or getting a job or living outside their parents’ house” generation-gap/adolescent-angst cliche. If that’s reflective of the show’s tone, my interest has just lessened…

Nice wrap-up to the miniseries. Now if we can get Marvel and Archie to come up with (as promised in “Archie Meets the Punisher”) a “Jughead Meets Wolverine” story for the next inter-company crossover…

Life With Archie #5

Life With Archie #5Written by: Paul Kupperberg
Art by: Norm Breyfogle

Things finally come to a boil in the “Veronica” future storyline, with Veronica finally confronting her father over his Mr. Burns-esque plans for Riverdale’s future (a future of chain stores aplenty driving out local business, particularly Pop Tate’s Jughead’s Chocklit Shop). Meanwhile, Moose’s political campaign gets (after the events of this story) a likely major boost, and Jughead looks like he’s finally able to save the shop.

Nice boost in tone from the previous issues, with several items apparently being wrapped up (or set up for a new future storyline) for next issue. I liked the sarcastic next issue caption box, “Next: Someone Gets Arrested!,” at the end. A few Archie universe details are also included, particularly Pickens Park (a recurring Riverdale locale) and its statue of Civil War hero General Pickens (apparently somehow related to Jughead, if one goes by the short-lived, early 90s time-travel series “Jughead’s Time Police”).

As for the “Betty” storyline, the main focus is on the upcoming triple-wedding between Ms. Beazley and Svenson (apparently in this timeline Beazley’s bodybuilder husband from a recent Archie story is either deceased or divorced), Ms. Grundy and Mr. Weatherbee (with more foreshadowing on “not much time left”), and Jughead and Midge. Other subplots are focused on, namely Betty and Archie’s financial state, Veronica finally reconciling with Archie and Betty (and vowing to do something about her father), and Mr. Lodge himself confronting Archie to brag about how he’s trying to break Archie and Betty’s life.

The story (and caption for the next issue) seem to foreshadow Archie and Betty possibly moving back to Riverdale, as well as Ms. Grundy’s fate, though I’d like to know what’ll happen to Reggie (who doesn’t appear in this story) or what Archie and company plan on doing about Mr. Lodge.

Meanwhile, there’s the usual backup items in this magazine. A “Celebrity Daydreams” page has Betty and Veronica (in their usual teen forms) imagining themselves as singers Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry respectively, while a two-page spread has the gang discuss plans for winter break/celebrities they’d love to meet up with. Interestingly, Chuck’s portion mentions by name reading comics by Dan DeCarlo, a name I’d figure would be little mentioned by Archie (per their treatment of DeCarlo late in his life), though a recent compilation of his work by Archie (along with the management changes) might suggest a change in attitudes. There’s also a pullout two-sided poster with a Christmas theme (one side is from the recent Christmas themed trade paperback cover, the other from a “Betty & Veronica Spectacular” I bought for my niece a few years ago). Finally, another two-page spread features various celebrities (several who I’ve never heard of) talking about dealing with bullying, with a half-page by “Archie” himself giving tips for how to deal with bullying. While it’s fallen out of the news recently, it’s good to see bullying/cyberbullying still being mentioned.

Tags: ArchieArt Baltazarbullyingcomic reviewscomic tips and recommendationsDan DeCarloDC ComicsFrancoindependent comicsLife With ArchieLittle ArchieMediaNorm BreyfoglePaul KupperbergTiny Titanstrivia