Life With Archie #10
Written by: Paul Kupperberg (both stories)
Art by: Norm Breyfogle (Veronica), Pat and Tim Kennedy (Betty)
This issue of “Life With Archie” sees things heat up in both alternate-futures… and I specifically mention “alternate futures” since in this issue, the long-ignored Dilton Doiley subplot finally comes back. (Yes, SPOILERS AHEAD.)
In the “Veronica” future, Reggie’s trial begins, while Veronica wonders why Archie’s selling off his share of Lodge Industries stock without telling her, though one guess why… and it isn’t what Veronica’s thinking. This would make for an interesting future story development…
Meanwhile, Fred Mirth shows up again, this time in an office in possibly-fictional Hartsdale. (The only Hartsdale in real life is a small town near New York City, or rather, near the Archie Comics’ offices in Mamaroneck, NY. I suppose this might keep with Riverdale being shown in some Archie stories lately as located on the east coast, or within driving distance of the Big Apple.) Fred gets a surprise visit from Dilton, who seems to want something of Fred (and the two knowing each other).
However, the bigger surprise is seeing Mr. Lodge get a surprise visitor himself… apparently *literally* himself! Apparently, Mr. Lodge has found a way (presumably via Memory Lane and/or one or both Diltons) to travel between the “Veronica” and “Betty” worlds, though the reasons for such have yet to be revealed. (“Betty”-Lodge notes he’s one of “five people in all creation” who’d believe this situation… presumably the five are both Hirams, both Diltons, and one of the Fred Mirths?). Adding fuel to the fire: Veronica sees “Betty”-Lodge sneaking out of the Lodge mansion…
In the “Betty” future, the gang is all together in Pickens Park for a game of football, but the gathering delves into each of the gang noting what’s currently going on in their lives. Jughead notes how hard a time he’s having adjusting to being a businessman; Archie is having difficulties in being a teacher, as is Betty with a student. Jason Blossom tries to become friends with Veronica, leaving Reggie (pursuing a story about the site of the new high school development) feeling left out. Chuck and Nancy get a scene here, where they have a brief argument over Nancy’s career. Finally, Veronica catches her father seemingly arguing to an empty room, leaving her wondering if something’s wrong with “Daddy.” Apparently so… given later, we see Lodge speaking with what looks like Dilton!
Despite the cover, Bella Beazly isn’t seen in this issue.
I’m glad to see the Dilton subplot hasn’t been forgotten, though I wonder if the comic really needs the “parallel Earths” idea at this point—both futures’ storylines seem to stand up well enough on their own. Still, maybe it’ll explain why Mr. Lodge (well, both Mr. Lodges) has turned to the “dark side,” as it were, or what the “true” deal is with the Memory Lane plot device that’s been in several Archie stories in recent years.
Of course, there’s the usual filler in this issue, too. Various features about Harry Potter (per the upcoming final movie installment) are in this issue, with Sabrina and Salem “remarking” on Potter mythos elements. A promo piece for a youth line of novels about the Archie characters is seen, and Jughead “reviews” a Pokemon video game. There’s also a “celebrity daydream” page of Reggie, Betty and Archie imagined as Harry, Hermione and Ron of Harry Potter (I’d think Dilton looks a lot more like Harry Potter than Reggie, though). Finally, there’s the usual ads promoting the digital versions of Archie comics, as well as for the just-released Kevin Keller miniseries.