Archie Lives!

Archie #666
Archie Comics
Story: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: Rich Koslowski
Letters: Jack Morelli
Colors: Glenn Whitmore

After decades of issues getting published, Archie Comics finishes the traditional version of it's title character's series. Issue 666 raps up the long run, however next month begins the new, modernized Archie written by Mark Waid with art by Fiona Staples. That's the future though, let's discuss the present. This issue of Archie is written and drawn by character veterans Tom DeFalco and Dan Parent (respectively). Neither of these talented individuals need much of an introduction, as both have been a staple in the lives of these characters and the readers for a very long time. In this issue they provide an appropriate send off shows that they understand the character and respect the fans.
Archie has done it again! After making a horrible mess at his school he received his 666th detention which causes Mr. Weatherbee to wave expulsion in the air if he can't clean everything up. News travels fast in Riverdale and everyone is shocked and upset at this turn of events, particularly Betty and Veronica, of course. Now most of the issue features Archie only in flashbacks, as the citizens recount the moments when he may have been clumsy, but always had kind intentions. Knowing that Archie is a strong part of the town's spirit Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Reggie, Cheryl, and all of the other Riverdalians band together to try to save the young man.

DeFalco made an incredible choice here. A series that has run this long and touched so many people could have had a sad goodbye story. It could have been a series of artful au revoirs showcasing tons of moments that Archie and his friends shared. Alright so we do get some flashbacks to great moments but we also get an end that could easily not be an end, a story that finishes Archie the same way it began... with a pure sense of fun. The jokes and slapstick are all here as well as a few nods to alternative Archie tales (Life With and Afterlife With in particular). We see each character in the main cast get a loving anecdote, and then watch the problem get handled. DeFalco understands this huge cast of characters, and their unique personalities don't waver from the delightful atmosphere Riverdale is known for.

Parent, as always, provides the iconic look for this cast of characters. With backgrounds that seem small town, we see Riverdale once more in this light. The characters are all in their traditional style of dress, with Veronica looking stylish as hell as per usual. Honestly, there is not much to say. The series has a charming style that has shifted from when it first started, but Parent with Koslowski and Whitmore make sure this feels like a home away from home.

Look, I know this isn't the end for Archie. I mean, the publisher is still around and putting out incredible comics such as Afterlife with Archie, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Sonic The Hedgehog, Megaman, and the Dark Circle Comics as well as their new direction for Archie himself. Plus the guy is iconic, he'll be back in this iteration at some point. That being said, I still felt a bittersweetness as this issue wrapped up. However, what's on the horizon is bound to be incredible. I would like to thank DeFalco, Parent, and everyone else who has made Archie and Riverdale the welcoming community throughout these many years. This issue was released on 6/3 and costs $3.99. Don't forget to check back with Archie Comics next month as well as a new era begins!

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