- Posted by Johanna on November 8, 2008 at 8:00 pm
- Category: Archie Comics
As you get older, it becomes more common to see nostalgia (from the older) or unfamiliarity (from the younger) with an era you lived through. That applies to the new book in the Archie Americana series, Best of the Nineties.
The biggest drawback with this volume is the introduction. Compilation editor Paul Castiglia does an excellent job reminding or introducing the reader to what the Archie Comics company was doing last decade, but that’s the problem. In that era, they were already celebrating their 50th anniversary, launching the Americana reprint series.
Castiglia talks about the importance of the Love Showdown storyline, in which Cheryl Blossom returned to the company. The Sabrina the Teenage Witch comic was revived during this period. The 90s also saw “Archie Meets the Punisher”, the weirdest comic crossover over, but reportedly successful. (I’ve never read it, although I’d like to.) He goes on to mention the strange books, throwing ideas at the wall, like Archie’s R/C Racers and Jughead’s Time Police.
Any of these seem like good choices for this book, but that’s not the series’ purpose. The “Best of the Nineties” in the title means stories reflective of the trends of the decade, not what were the best or most significant Archie stories published in the era. So none of them are included.
The 5- to 6-page stories that follow the intro can’t help but pale in comparison. This 96-page book isn’t long enough to contain anything more substantial without decreasing the variety of stories that could be included. What’s left here are relatively meaningless stories that spur only thoughts of, “oh, yeah, that was a big deal then, wasn’t it?” Topics covered include answering machines, remote controls, home video, and parodies of Hanson and Beverly Hills, 90210. The most interesting to me was the one where Betty and Veronica cut their hair really short, while the guys are sporting mullets. Given that all the girls’ faces are the same, Ronnie looks strangely like Midge, and Archie’s just creepy with long hair.
(A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the publisher.)