- Posted by Johanna on October 14, 2007 at 6:41 pm
- Category: Archie Comics
Halloween — what a perfect time for Sabrina the Teenage Witch #88 (even though it came out last month). The kids are setting up for a holiday party, and they’re excited because Halloween is the time witches are allowed to use their magic in the open.
Both Sabrina and her best friend Llandra used to date Shinji. That means that their suspicions about his new girlfriend Hemlock aren’t being listened to, even though they’ve seen her doing suspicious things. Meanwhile, Sabrina’s magic-using friends are leery of her growing relationship with Harvey, who now knows their secrets. We even check in on Amy, whose crush on Harvey makes her resent Sabrina.
All of these plots come to a head when Hemlock tattles to Sabrina’s aunt, who has to put her duties ahead of her love for her niece. Status quo is reestablished, but in a very dramatic, highly involving way. I greatly admire Tania del Rio’s skill in keeping everything moving, with small revelations each issue building to a much larger plotline. It’s a great example of how to keep serial comics interesting.
In contrast, there’s Archie & Friends #113. It’s yet another unbelievable “Betty drives NASCAR” story, only this time, they nod at how ridiculously dangerous this would be. And for a story set at a raceway, the characters don’t seem to do much of anything for the first half but talk.
Once Betty finally gets in the car, she takes the lead briefly before crashing. Ambulances roll, the car bursts into flames, but Betty walks away and even hops herself into the ambulance for her checkup. End panel: Mr. Lodge (racecar sponsor) thinking, “I’m not so sure there’ll be a next time! If anything were to happen to Betty, I could never live with myself!!”
You’re two stories too late, buster, and I would love it if there weren’t any more racing stories. They’re much too pedestrian, capturing none of the actual excitement of the sport. And while I understand Archie Comics not wanting to do anything too scary or gross, having Betty almost skip away from her flaming crash is irresponsible.
There’s also a story where Chuck turns Nancy’s goth friends into characters at Monster High, which seems to leave us with the message that subcultures don’t care how you satirize or make fun of them as long as you talk about them. (Not sure how accurate that is). There’s also one where Principal Weatherbee keeps losing school bells.
Let’s go back to Halloween. For the holiday, the publisher offered an ashcan (half-sized comic) that could be purchased in bundles to give away to trick-or-treaters. Sadly, Little Archie: The House That Wouldn’t Move looks like it fell through a time warp. It’s done in classic Little Archie style, just like they did back in the 1950s. I’m not sure how many 5-year-olds would appreciate or even like it.
The story also states that ghosts are real, which won’t play well with many neighborhood parents. We’ll stick to giving away our leftover Johnny DC titles.
(Complimentary copies for this review were provided by the publisher.)