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Tuesday, September 11, 2007
And Then There Was That Time Betty Got Kidnapped By Hillbillies
Life With Archie, the "serious" Archie book, for it's 149th issue featured this apparently Deliverance inspired cover:
It starts out innocently enough, with Archie and Betty poling (no pun intended) their way through Federal wetlands (are there any bits of geography Riverdale doesn't have?).
Shack: a rough cabin or shanty. So, yes, Betty, well done, all that studying for the SATs paid off. "Shack" is the right word. Unless of course this is the meaning of "shack" that Archie meant, and you just weren't clued in to the hip slang of the youth of today...
Of course, the shack dwellers don't take kindly to strangers...
Which gave the anonymous Archie artist an excuse to draw Betty's sweet, sweet ass...
That's right carrot-top, argue with the man with a gun to your girl-friend's head... Dumbass...
And then, it all goes horribly, horribly wrong, as the implied subtext goes places not even the Earth-Christian Archie would go to...
Luckily, Ronnie comes along, in her souped-up speedboat which can't be legal to be driving around in those shallow Federal wetlands...
"Wow, Ronnie, your dad sure has a lot of emergency supplies! First aid kits, flood lights, life jackets, fire extinguishers...hey, what's this packet?" "Oh, those are fake IDs in case Daddy needs to make a run for it and he doesn't have enough gas in the boat to reach a country that doesn't extradite."
Archie hatches a clever plan...I know, it's not really plausible, but run with it, we're almost out of story pages...
For the large number of you who are coming here from that foot-fetishist site, that panel was for you.
"Think the police will get here before they drown, Ronnie?" "Not a chance, Archie!"
From Madhouse Comics #102, Archie's "monster-humor" book which used to be a comic about a band and their wacky adventures.
And that's about as close as we're going to get to an explicit political statement in an Archie comic; those darn liberals are so soft on crime a super-hero couldn't do his job in today's society. This is from 1976, mind you...
In order for this gag to work, Betty must have been the recent victim of a serious head injury. How else to explain her reasoning that middle-class, suburban Archie would have meant the sport of fencing?
Archie and Reggie are playing ball inside the Lodge mansion. If you can guess how this story ends, congratulations, you can write Archie comics professionally.
Reggie is a strict Darwinist. This probably explains why he's a date rapist.
Archie may be a furry, but no matter how you bend the terminology, he is definitely a twink, not a bear.
Yes, contemporary television shows and their "goths/emos are scary" storylines will look just as dated and ridiculous in twenty years...sorry C.S.I. fans.
Attempts to contemporize Archie comics ruining the jokes:
Does anyone use commercial collect calling anymore? Does anyone use payphones anymore?
Batman being a hypocrite:
Man, was that series awful. I think the "armor" the heroes wore is easily in the top five of "Stupidest Things I've Ever Seen In A Comic." I'm glad Alex Ross really liked the Super Friends when he was a kid, but that was no excuse for DC to put this out.
Oh, and in regards to the big spoiler news from comics today, I only have four words to say: status quo successfully maintained!
"No thanks, racist antique store lady, we're just browsing." Though I'm impressed Chuck was able to talk Nancy into wearing her Power Girl costume out in public. But that's not what's important about this story. No, it's the way the story directly contradicts my first hand experiences both working comics retail and trying to find nifty, inexpensive items in an antique store.
A potentially valuable commodity left unnoticed in an antique store? That never happens.
A comic book in good shape in an antique store? That never happens.
A reasonably priced comic in an antique store? That never happens.
An actual "collector's item" in an antique store? That never happens.
Never mind good condition, a near mint comic in an antique store? That never happens.
Selling a comic for more than you paid for it at an antique store? Now that really never happens.
Oh, and the story ends with racist antique store lady getting her come-uppance, for those of you who need closure.
Now, I've seen older Archie stories relettered to make references more contemporary (a process which I swear I once saw result in a character holding up an LP and calling it a CD...oh, to have had a scanner then), but this is the first time I think I've ever seen the art altered to include a contemporary ad.