Archie Americana: Best of the Nineties

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.

Archie Americana: Best of the Nineties cover
Archie Americana:
Best of the Nineties
Buy this book

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.)

3 Responses to “Archie Americana: Best of the Nineties”

  1. Dan Coyle Says:

    Oh, The Punisher Meets Archie is highly recommended. It was written by Batton Lash and drawn by Stan Goldberg (handling Archie characters) and John Buscema (handling Punisher characters).

  2. Next Archie Americana Book Announced: Best of the 70s Book 2 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] May 5. The 96-page color volume is $11.95 US, the same price as the most recent book in the series: Best of the Nineties came out in late 2008. The first Best of the Seventies volume was released in 1998. For the second […]

  3. Mrinalini Roy Says:

    i am doing some research on archies n this website has been d most helpful. Thank u.




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