ARCHIE #600: It has been a really long time since I've last read an issue of ARCHIE. Well, a proper one, at least -- I glanced through one of those "new look" issues, but threw it across the room in disgust.
So I was a little surprised as to just how much I enjoyed this first part of "Archie Marries Veronica"
Some people, I guess, might object to this being an "Elseworlds" (Archie walks one night along "Memory Lane", but decides to walk UP the path), but it seems to me that the Archie line depends on being essentially changeless (If slightly out of tune with what teems are really like), but, at the same time, moving away from that eternal formula can seemingly yield fairly alright stories.
So, yeah, it's a little strange to see Archie Andrews as a drifting post-collegial young man who makes the decision to change the way he's done thing all of these years and to make a commitment to Ronnie, but it also worked in a very strange way.
I mean, I'm certainly a "Betty Man", and that makes a lot more sense to me than Veronica, but Mike Uslan's script here is remarkably crisp, as well as filled with real drama and pathos.
I have a slightly bigger problem with the art -- I guess my eye just has a hard time with any drawing that's NOT Dan DeCarlo, but Stan Goldberg has been drawing Archie for years (Decades?), so it isn't like this looks "off model" or something. BUT...
... they made a really strange choice to not actually render most of the female character's noses in most panels.
It just looks wrong, especially on Veronica.
In fact there are several panels that, if I looked at them out of context, without a picture of Archie or Jughead, I don't know that I would necessarily have guessed it was from an Archie comic.
Not a major deal, either way, but it has knocked down my grade just a little. What's surprising to me is even with that knock, I'm still going to say this issue was VERY GOOD. Wow! Whudathunkit?
What did YOU think?