Jun 29, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 125: Betty and Veronica v.2 #262, December 2012

I remember buying this issue at a local Chapters store because of the cover. I'm a fan of pop culture homages, and when you mix Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vampirella, and the Riverdale gang, how can you lose?

I probably shouldn't ask questions like that.

The story doesn't quite go full tilt and cast the heroines in the roles they propose to on the cover. The Vampironica of the cover is actually a "vampire clone" of Veronica, and Betty only becomes a slayer accidentally, preferring the garlic the vampires in the tale rather than stake them. That's what I get for judging (comic) books by their covers, I guess.

What's nice, though, is getting a taste of Riverdale in the 21st century. Much of my Archie Comics intake has, of late, been fifties through seventies stuff, and my early exposure was almost exclusively digests from the eighties. I did read the wedding issues in the main series a few years back, but aside from that have had little to no exposure to the newer mainstream Archie. (I say mainstream because I'm voraciously devouring Afterlife with Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina at the moment.) While it does maintain the distinctive art style and general set-up of tales (though this one is more along the lines of the older Life with Archie), there's something missing that I can't quite put my finger on. Though the older stories were very much set in a nostalgic, pre-racial American middletown, there was always a subversive streak to them, one thumbing the nose to that nostalgia even as it celebrated it. I think the more recent stuff has let go of that subversion. Conversely, I've thought for a while now that Archie Comics as a publisher has been pretty forward-thinking in its practices, but I'm not sure that the writers they've hired are always thinking forward in the same way. I guess once Mark Waid and Fiona Staples take over the main series, we'll see what happens.

That's all for now. See you tomorrow.

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